Title: Murder at the Marina (Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #1)

Author: Ellen Jacobson
Publication Info: June, 2018, 192 pages (ebook) (Paperback 246 pages)
Source: Electronic ARC from the author
Purchase Links:
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Blurb: 
A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

My Review:
I had the pleasure of being a beta reader for this cozy mystery, and enjoyed reading it even in draft form. When the author sent me a finished copy, I meant to just skim it, and look at the parts she said she'd changed most. I soon found myself reading the whole thing, zipping along happily and trying to remember who was guilty (I had it backwards, and the clues and red herrings are so nicely scattered about that I couldn't sort it out in my head). 

The story is well put together, the characters interesting and varied, and the red herrings abound. Some aspects of the story weren't totally to my taste--Mollie is a bit crazy in some areas, in my opinion, but she's believable, and the humor is strong. The details about the sailing life are convincing (they should be; the author is a sailor!) and because Mollie is a novice, we get to learn it as we go so the reader isn't left wallowing in a sea of nautical terminology.

Mollie and her husband make an interesting pair, and I look forward to seeing how they get on, especially with the addition of a very intelligent cat to their menage. About that cat: I like how the author used the cat to reveal a few clues, without making it into some kind of super-feline intelligence. There are, however, hints that Mollie's new furry companion may be the perfect sidekick for future investigations.

My Recommendation:
A perfect summer read! Light, cozy, with just enough of a puzzle to keep you going, and full of images of warm summer evenings on the water! Beware of chocolate cravings--these characters eat a LOT of chocolate!
FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of Murder at the Marina from the author, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  

Now for the really exciting part--a visit from the author! 
Ellen Jacobson was kind enough to stop by and tell us a bit about how she came to write this sailing mystery.

Thanks for hosting me on your site today to celebrate the release of my cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina. This is the first book in the lighthearted and humorous Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery series, featuring a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth.

My own sailing adventures and misadventures inspired me to write this series. My husband and I bought our first sailboat in New Zealand in 2012. After a couple of years cruising in those beautiful waters, we returned to the States and bought a bigger boat which we moved onto in 2015. We've since cruised in Florida and the Bahamas, labored over endless boat projects, and worked to keep our cruising kitty (savings) topped up.

I wanted to reflect my experiences learning to sail, cruising and living aboard a boat, and being part of the boating community in my cozy mysteries. You could say that there's a little bit of me in my main character, Mollie.

I thought I'd share one of the boating tidbits which I wrote about in Murder at the Marina—namely, the layout of a sailboat. When Mollie first sees her new boat, she's not impressed with the close quarters. The cabins are small, the galley is even smaller, she has to duck her head to get to the rear of the boat, and she has to squeeze pass people when moving around.

Living on a small sailboat can be difficult to adapt to if you're used to a large land-based home. Our boat has around 400 square feet of living space down below. It's definitely “tiny house” living and you have to downsize your possessions accordingly. For my husband and me, it's absolutely fine, but it will be interesting to see how Mollie copes with living in such a small space.

Thanks for stopping by! We are downsizing, but I'm not sure I could go all the way down to 400 square feet! 

Author Bio

Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and scifi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn't working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.

You can connect with Ellen on:
Author Website - https://ellenjacobsonauthor.com/
Author Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/EllenJacobsonAuthor/
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17395138.Ellen_Jacobson
The Cynical Sailor Blog - http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/
The Cynical Sailor Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/TheCynicalSailor/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Ellen__Jacobson
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