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Summary

Ellery Page is back - and in hot water again! 

Unlike everyone else in Pirate's Cove, Ellery Page, aspiring screenwriter, reigning Scrabble champion, and occasionally clueless owner of the village's only mystery bookstore, is anything but thrilled when famed horror author Brandon Abbott announces he's purchased legendary Skull House and plans to live there permanently.  

Ellery and Brandon have history. Their relationship ended badly, and the last thing Ellery wants is a chance to patch things up - especially when his relationship with Police Chief Jack Carson is just getting interesting. But then, maybe Brandon isn't all that interested in getting back together either, because he seems a lot more interested in asking questions about the bloodstained past of his new home than discussing a possible future with Ellery. What is Brandon really up to? 

Ellery will have to unscramble that particular puzzle post haste. Because after his former flame disappears following their loud and public argument, Ellery seems to be Police Chief Carson's first - and only - suspect.  

***This story contains no on-screen sex or violence***

©2020 Josh Lanyon (P)2020 Josh Lanyon

What listeners say about Secret at Skull House

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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable cosy mystery

Another enjoyable cosy mystery set in fictional Pirate's Cove. The small town has a dark secret and it unfolds when an ex of Ellery’s appears on the scene. Ellery is cast as the main suspect in a murder case again. He’s been settling into the local community and now has friends and supporters who are keen to help him ‘prove’ his innocence. Just like Adrien English, he does his own investigating with help from a few nosy ladies and other locals. At the beginning of the story, there’s a slow burn romance blossoming between Ellery and Police Chief Jack. They almost begin something but this is thwarted. Their chemistry and characters remind me a little of Adrien and Jake. There’s definitely something going on—I just hope we don’t have to wait until the final book in the series for their romance to finally bloom. It’s more of a cosy mystery than a romance. Josh certainly likes to make her characters work for their happiness. Overall, this is a fun, enjoyable read. Josh’s writing draws you into the story and she portrays the characters well. The mystery is skilfully crafted and not too complex or complicated. It will keep you wondering ‘whodunnit’ along with Ellery and the cast of characters in Pirate's Cove. I have a few issues with the logistics of how the case was wrapped up. The audiobook is wonderfully narrated by Matt Haynes. I was intrigued by his voice for Jack.

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  • ClinD2002
  • 22-07-20

No work *spoilers*

So great story I love the characters and the narration, what bugs me BEYOND anything else and why I only gave it the rating I did was because Jack really has now betrayed Ellery twice in pretty major ways and flaked on him relentlessly, and yet by the end Ellery has forgiven and forgotten and said I don’t care you screwed me over twice I STILL wana be your “FRIEND” grow a pair of balls for god sake, Jack should be working a hell of a lot harder if he likes Ellery, but all he has to do is pretty much smile at him and Ellery forgives and forgets everything and rolls over and shows his belly basically saying yes please sir please hurt me again and again!! I want more! It’s all forgiven!! So basically Ellerys utter spineless attitude towards Jack is what gets my goat.

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  • Shelby Brown
  • 05-07-20

fantastic book!

This series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine! Good mysteries, cute side stories, and lovable characters!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Caitlin
  • 29-08-20

Slightly frustrating

I enjoy this series so far but am nursing the seeds of frustration as far as the romantic aspect. The mystery stays cozy, the town is still quaint, but if I were in the MC’s shoes - I would be done with it all and on the next ferry anywhere else.

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  • Annika
  • 28-07-20

This series is quickly becoming a favourite

We are back in the small town of Pine Cove and life is getting back to normal for Ellery Page. Being a suspect in a murder wasn’t the ideal way to be introduced to a new town and community, but for the most part they now seem to be accepting of him. His bookstore has become the hub for gossip and for townspeople to meet, and while grateful for the traffic, Ellery wished they’d actually buy books from the store, but he’s content and enjoying his new life. He’s also enjoying whatever he and Jack had going, still not sure exactly what that was but happy to take the time to figure it out. That is until his ex-boyfriend, Brandon Abbott, bought Skull House, an infamous – and haunted – house in town. Not only did he buy it – he intended to move to Pine Cove. The villagers welcome him with open arms, loving to have a celebrity in their midst. Well, everyone but Ellery that is. Let’s just say that he’s less than thrilled – even less so when the guy ends up murdered and he ends up the number one murder suspect – again. In the past I’ve had a (mostly) difficult time with the cozy mystery genre. Maybe I’ve had some bad luck, but it seems like almost every one of them have either a main character (the amateur sleuth) that annoys me to no end, or they constantly makes these TSTL decision, to the point where I wouldn’t mind for them to end up the next victim. I’m so grateful that Secrets and Scrabble series has nothing of that. It’s all lovable characters and a quirky small town and good mysteries. I’m also really enjoying whatever Ellery and Jack have going on – or not going on. Sometimes I might want to hit them over the head, but that’s part of the charm, I think. It’s refreshing to have a relationship that rivals a snail in pacing, there are too many stories out there with insta-love, so it’s nice for a couple (not that they are one yet) to take their time to find their way. Like always I’m not going into detail of the mystery, but I will let you know that it was one and it kept me entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed Matt Haynes performance of this book. He really makes you feel the essence of the small town and the gossiping townsfolk. He also portrays Ellery perfectly, his personality comes through so clearly and credibly. How he loves his new friends and how he’s reluctantly persuaded to investigate Brandon’s murder. He inflicts emotions into every line, to the point where it’s so easy to become a part of the story, to live in it. I’ve listened to countless of audiobooks by now, and I’ve come to realise that delivering a dialogue credibly is anything but easy especially interwoven with a narrative and descriptions. Haynes does it all perfectly, I’m kind of in awe off how well he nails every situation, and every line. You never have to wonder about any situation, he makes you feel the tension, the humour, exasperation and suspense. This is quickly becoming my favourite series of Lanyon’s and I hope to come back for many more visits in the future. Highly recommended. A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.