Monday, August 15, 2022

DEATH AT THE DEEP DIVE: Secrets and Scrabble 7

Death at the Deep Dive: Secrets and Scrabble 7
is now available (I think) everywhere. 

Yes, I released Book 7 before Book 6. If you missed my weeks of explanation on various platforms, I'll explain again. 

 I was writing both books at the same time--and enjoying myself very much--when I realized that, as creatively satisfying as that method was, I was in danger of missing another deadline and losing preorders for Death at the Deep Dive. Which, for obvious reasons, I did not want to do. So I moved Death at the Deep Dive up, pushed Lament for Loon Landing back, and that's how we ended up where we are today. 

The good news is a lot of you still got the book at the preorder price! YAY.

There is no bad news. Lament at Loon Landing is coming probably at the end of September. The mystery in each book is COMPLETELY separate. There is no overlap. There is a plot point--a turning point--for the emotional lives and relationships of the characters, in this installment. So if you're reading for the mystery, there should be no problem. If you're reading for the relationship, maybe this would bother you? It wouldn't bother me, but if you think it's going to be an issue, hold off reading until Lament at Loon Landing comes out. 

Personally, I think this is the best of the series so far (previously, my favorite was Mystery at the Masquerade). 

The print version is coming momentarily. The audio is scheduled-ish for December.


We only see the things on the surface…


When Pirate Cove’s favorite mystery bookstore owner and sometimes-amateur sleuth Ellery Page discovers a vintage diving collection bag full of antique gold coins tucked away for safe-keeping in the stockroom of the Crow’s Nest, it sets off a series of increasingly dangerous events, culminating in murder.



“Cheers,” Jack said.

“Yo ho ho,” Ellery replied. He sipped his cobalt cocktail. “Mm.” The tart sweetness of the cocktail and the crackling warmth of the nearby fireplace were the perfect pairing for a chilly autumn night. He felt like he’d been waiting to exhale ever since dumping those coins on his desk. “I have to say I’m very relieved you-know-what is you-know-where. The thought that it was just lying there in that cupboard all this time makes me feel a little queasy.”

“Any chance that it wasn’t in the cupboard the whole time? I thought Felix said he left it out on a storage shelf.”

Felix Jones, Libby Tulley’s boyfriend and the son of Pirate Cove’s previous mayor, had pitched in for a short time at the Crow’s Nest while Ellery had been convalescing.

“He must have been mistaken. It was his last day at work and his last day on the island, so it’s no wonder if he was distracted. When I asked him, he barely remembered Cap giving him the bag.”

Jack made a noncommittal noise and sipped his beer.

“Whoever broke in would have to have been in a hurry.” 

Jack conceded, “The assumption would be you had looked in the bag and so it was unlikely to have been left in the shop at all.”


Jack studied Ellery for a moment. His smile twisted. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First off, there’s no proof the collection bag you found belonged to Vernon Shandy. The assumption is the deep dive suit was his, but there are plenty of other divers on this island. No one knows for a fact who hid that suit in the warehouse with the Historical Society’s collection. Or for what reason.”

“To hide those coins,” Ellery said.

Jack shook his head. “That’s an assumption.”

“It’s a working theory. And it’s the most logical.”

“Maybe. But let’s say you’re right. Let’s go with your theory that the suit belonged to the Shandys and that the suit was stashed away to hide the coins.”


Jack laughed. “You really do love the idea of pirate’s treasure, don’t you? If your eyes were any shinier, they’d be glowing.”

Ellery laughed and sat back in his chair. He shrugged. “Okay, yes. I do love the idea of pirate’s treasure.”

“Especially pirate’s treasure with a mystery attached.”

Ellery couldn’t help pointing out, “Wouldn’t all pirates’ treasures have a certain amount of mystery attached?”

“Hm. Good point. But here’s what I was getting at. Even if we go with your theory about who owned the collection bag and why it was concealed, it still doesn’t prove those coins came from the Blood Red Rose.”

Ah. Okay. You’re right.”

“There are a lot of wrecks in the waters around this island.”

“True. I’ll give you that one.”

Jack laughed. “Thank you. And finally, even if your theories are correct about who owned the diving suit and collection bag, where the coins came from, and why they were hidden in the Historical Society’s collection, there’s still no proof that Vernon Shandy was murdered.”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Ellery objected. “Something happened to him.”

“Something, yes. One way or the other, he left the island. That’s for sure. But the surrounding circumstances are unknown.” As Ellery opened his mouth to debate this, Jack continued, “And there are plenty of reasons the Shandys might want to conceal those circumstances.”

Tom returned to the table, bearing platters of golden deep-fried fish, crispy french fries, and tangy coleslaw. He set the sizzling plates before them. “Another round?”

Jack asked Ellery, “Are you driving back to Captain’s Seat or staying over?”

There had been a time, not so long ago, when Jack would not have so casually or so openly asked that question.

Ellery smiled. “If Watson and I haven’t worn out our welcome?”

Jack gave him the slightest of winks and said to Tom, “Another round, thanks.” He added to Ellery, “We can always walk home.”

Tom gave Ellery a droll look. “Coming right up!”

Tom departed, Ellery and Jack reached for the salt and pepper shakers, exchanged the vinegar bottle, repositioned the little jars of tartar sauce.

Jack broke off a piece of fried cod and said, as though there had been no interruption, “I’m not trying to bust your balloon. Obviously, there’s an element of mystery surrounding these events. It just doesn’t automatically, inevitably indicate murder.”

“Well, no, of course not.” Ellery chewed thoughtfully on a french fry.

Jack observed him for a moment. “Which isn’t going to stop you from poking your nose into other people’s business and asking a lot of awkward questions, is it?”

Ellery’s brows shot up in surprise. “Me? Come on, Jack, whatever happened to Vernon Shandy is none of my business. Anyway, even if something sinister did occur, it was over half a century ago. Nobody’s going to remember anything this long after the fact. Assuming anyone involved is still around. Which is unlikely. Right?”

Jack sighed, shook his head. “That’s what I thought.”



  1. No issues with the swap here! I also had "Mystery at the Masquerade" atop my S&S favorites list until "Deep Dive"! Everything about this story is wonderful! EVERYTHING!

    1. It's my very favorite of the series so far. It's got everything I love in it. ;-)

  2. Recently I discovered that the first three books in this series are translated in my language, Dutch. That never happens, so I was very happy. Since I already own the ebooks and paperbacks (and it is one of my favorite series), I bought the audiobooks. The translation is very good and the narrator does a great job. I left 5 star reviews on each book and I hope they will continue.

    1. I'm so glad! And I have good news. The next two books have also been picked up for Dutch translation. :-)

  3. I had decided that the collection was going to be number 6 & I wasn't losing my mind thinking I had missed one of the series. Now it all makes sense & I really want 6 to be released NOW - loving the series.

    1. I love to hear that. I just love writing this series so much. It's probably the MOST relaxing thing I've ever written.

    2. I think Ellery & Jack are 2 of my favorite heroes/characters (although Jason & Sam take some beating) I just love that kind of old fashioned feel to them both (real gentlemen) Pleasure to know them :)

    3. Yes, there's something quiet and gentle about their relationship. Something refreshingly normal. :-D