All at Sea by Chris McDonald

Blog tour: 17 to 21 February 2022


All aboard!

Adam and Colin are aboard The Elysian, cruising towards Italy to see Adam get hitched, and are determined to stay out of trouble …

On the first night, a priceless piece of art is stolen from an eccentric old lady. Adam and Colin offer to help recover it, and are convince the thief was one of their fellow dinner guests from earlier in the evening.

Can the amateur sleuths reunite the painting with its owner before they dock in Venice? And, with danger lurking around every porthole, will Adam even make it to the altar?

All at Sea is the sixth in the Stonebridge Mysteries series of cosy crime novellas.

About the series

Stonebridge is a small town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Most of its inhabitants are friendly, happy people. Most of them … Because bad things happen even in the happiest of places. It’s a good thing, then, that Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin call Stonebridge home.

Armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of detective shows, a misplaced sense of confidence and a keen desire to see justice done, these two are the closest thing the town has to saviours. Which isn’t that reassuring …

My review

Set nearly six months after Mistletoe and Crime, All at Sea is the sixth book in the brilliant Stonebridge Mysteries series. It’s nearly time for Adam and Helena’s wedding in Lake Garda and his mum has kindly paid for the couple to take a European cruise on The Elysian in the week leading up to the wedding. Unfortunately, Helena’s dress needs alterations and she insists on staying behind to sort things out. This is good news for best man, Colin, who gets invited on the eight-night first class trip to Venice instead!

Neither Adam nor Colin has been on an ocean liner before and their packing leaves something to be desired with neither selecting clothes suitable for the opulent settings! The pair are shown to their quarters for the duration – the bridal suite, which sounds amazing!

On their first evening on the ship, they attend a tasting menu meal in the Augustine Lounge and there are some interesting guests at their table: an actor called Vaughn McClusky, an American art dealer called Tex Rivera, Henry Carver-Clark, Isiah Lookman, an Irish businessman called Sean O’Connell and an old lady called Maggie, who is carrying a framed painting named Grachten, which is worth around £4 million!

When Maggie is attacked in her room and her painting is stolen, Adam and Colin can’t ignore the crime – despite promising Helena they’d stay out of trouble – and they swing into action and subtly interview the men they met the previous night and have a few intriguing and dangerous encounters as they try to solve the case.

As usual, there were some good twists, turns and red herrings in this locked room type mystery, which has only a handful of potential suspects. I was suspicious of a few dodgy characters and had fun trying to guess (unsuccessfully) who was responsible for the theft!

Adam and Colin are a great amateur sleuthing duo and always work well together to solve some puzzling crimes. The twosome get rather a lot of luck along the way but that’s all part of the fun!

I always love the amusing chapter titles in these novellas – they’re a brilliant device to give the reader a little insight into what’s to come!

All at Sea is another well-plotted and entertaining novella from the author and I’m a big fan of this fab series! The book is a quick read, at around 100 pages, but it’s engaging, action packed and full of intrigue and suspense. The story develops satisfyingly and there are some witty lines.

I really enjoy this engaging, well-written crime mystery series and spending time with Adam and Colin and I’m already looking forward to the next instalment!

Buy the book

All at Sea by Chris McDonald can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle, in hardback and paperback, or from Kobo or Google Books. Purchase the hardback, paperback and eBook directly from the Red Dog Press online shop.

About the author

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in south Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, the Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

A Wash of Black was his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. Whispers in the Dark and Roses for the Dead are the other two books in the DI Erika Piper series. The Stonebridge Mysteries series consists of six cosy crime novellas.

He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.

Twitter: @cmacwritescrime
Facebook: @cmacwritescrime
Instagram: @cmacwritescrime

Blog tour

Thanks to Sean Coleman at Red Dog Press for my digital copy of All at Sea and for my place on the blog tour.


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