I received this book for review last August and I don't know why I let it sit on my shelf so long, it ended up being a perfectly delightful little mystery read. Shadows on the Sand takes place in the town of Seaside, New Jersey where Carrie owns a little cafe, working alongside her sister and a motley crew of Seaside residents. Trouble strikes, however, when one of her dishwashers is murdered and her young server's boyfriend becomes a suspect. Soon a whole cast of characters is woven together in the mystery. Meanwhile, a much-wanted romance starts to bloom between Carrie and long-time customer Greg.
That's a lot going on in this book, but I loved it because it really kept the pace of the novel moving. I felt there was a perfect balance of mystery and romance. The mystery itself had me pondering all the way through the end and the climatic ending had my heart beating fast. I loved the way Gayle Roper weaved the lives of those involved together.
I thought the characters in Seaside were diverse and lovable, particularly Carrie and Greg, who find themselves in a long-awaited romance. Of course, one of my favorite characters was Twitter-loving Cilla; I loved the inclusion of social networking in the novel as a way of keeping the residents of Seaside informed. And I have to give a shout out to Oreo - I love when pets play a role in mystery novels!
The only thing I would have liked more of was Andi. As a YA reviewer, her character really intrigued me and I would have liked to have known more about her personal life and her roots. I think a sequel featuring Andi would be fantastic, but any sequel at all will be a welcome addition on my shelf. I would have also liked to have seen how Carrie's relationship with her mother progressed, but hopefully that's something we can see more of in future Seaside Mystery books!
Three stars - I liked this book! Seaside is an absolutely charming town and the residents will capture your heart. Given its location, I think it would be the perfect beach read this summer.