Murder by the Sea by David Howard and Robin Jarossi

Blog tour: 11 to 22 July 2022


A beach read like no other.

Be prepared for a journey from where the land meets the sea, to where life meets death.

There is something sinister about a British seaside town. On the surface, they’re all funfairs and breezy promenades. Yet dig a little deeper in the sand and you soon uncover an underworld of murder, madness and mayhem …

This official companion book to the long-running true-crime documentary series on CBS Reality dives into some of the most extraordinary murder cases in Britain’s seaside towns.

Featuring 10 of the series’ most powerful and shocking cases, including extensive interviews with detectives, forensic psychologists, witnesses and relatives, as well as exclusive additional material and insights that could not be included in the original TV episodes.

My review

Based on the CBS Reality series, Murder by the Sea, this official companion book of the same name is an intriguing insight into a selection of the TV documentary episodes. It’s a fascinating read about 10 real-life murder cases in seaside resorts around England and Wales. The book contains additional information that wasn’t included in the original episodes of the series.

Murder by the Sea is well written and engaging and I found the cases very interesting and varied. They’re from 1953 to 2014 and the majority of the killers are male. The murders took place in Anglesey, Barry, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Isle of Man, Pembrokeshire, Southport and St Brides.

All the cases make for harrowing and disturbing reading but they’re also rather perplexing at times and it was interesting to read exclusive insights and analysis from detectives, forensic psychologists, witnesses and relatives, as they tried to figure out the motives behind the killings, some of which seemed incredibly senseless and tragic.

Real-life true-crime books can often be rather dry and dull but Murder by the Sea kept my interest throughout, with its variety of shocking murders, and I was gripped and couldn’t put it down, reading it in a couple of days. I do wish I hadn’t been reading case six, about the murder of poor 90-year-old Mabel Leyshon, while eating my lunch though! So awful.

I liked the format of the book with a map of the murders at the front and then each chapter/case had an image of the murderer with details of who they killed, when and where. There were also smaller images throughout the book of key people involved in the cases. It would have been good to see images of the victims though, as these weren’t always included.

I hadn’t heard of the true crime documentary series on which this book is based but will definitely be checking it out now! It sounds like I’ve got lots of catching up to do as the series was launched in 2018 and has been commissioned twice a year since then. The brand new series 7 launches in September 2022 with another in January 2023.

I thoroughly enjoyed (if that’s the right word!) Murder by the Sea and found it gripping and very compelling reading. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of true crime stories. I hope there will be a volume two of this book very soon!

Buy the book

Murder by the Sea by David Howard and Robin Jarossi can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle, in paperback and audiobook. See also, Hive, Waterstones and Ethical Book Search.

About the author

Robin Jarossi

David Howard is a documentary film maker and founder of the television production company Monster Films. A recipient of the Royal Television Society Award for journalism, his award-winning films include Interview with a Murderer (Channel 4) and Dark Son (BBC). He is the creator and director of the series Murder by the Sea. This is his first book.

Robin Jarossi is a freelance journalist and the author of The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper. He is also an on-air contributor to true-crime documentaries on the BBC and CBS Reality, including Murder by the Sea.

Twitter: @RobinJarossi

Blog tour

Thanks to Mel Sambells at Mardle Books for my paperback copy of Murder by the Sea and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.


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