A Seaside Mourning is a hugely enjoyable and sensitively written work.
There were plenty of juicy red herrings, and macabre moments, but as a cosy mystery it retained an elegance along with plenty of fascinating detail. The sinister yet poetic description of an exhumation has lingered in my mind.
The main character, Abbs, is appealing and one senses a future romance for him, but this never gets in the way of the plot. The historic touches are also included in an authentic way, that doesn’t feel like a Victorian theme park but rather a genuine and subtle evocation of the period.
One thing that struck me was the clarity and memorability of the characters, and their names. Each was quite distinct. I never lost track of who was who, even though I read the book over several weeks. (This is no reflection on the plot or pacing – it’s a real page-turner – I just had some work issues that restrained my usual reading pace).
Above all, a great read for all fans of classic British cosy murder mysteries. I will certainly be reading more of John Bainbridge’s work in future.