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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What can you do when you’re the key suspect in the murder of a not very well liked man on the community council (known as a selectman) and the only witness that can verify your whereabouts at the time of the murder is a ghost? Sheriff Boyd believes the ghost, Roland, when he verifies that Jay stayed home all night. The sheriff can hear the ghost, as can Jay and his mother. Not many people can hear Roland. Or the other ghost of Anchor Point. And this murder is not the first unsolved mysterious death. Jay is preparing for a grand event, the Seashells and Christmas Bells Ball to help fund his new museum, the Tunnel of Ships. There’s a lot to do and being a prime murder suspect doesn’t help sell tickets.
Donna Walo Clancy’s mystery novel, Seashells and Christmas Bells, has an interesting plot, complete with some old, unsolved mysterious deaths set in a small coastal town. When murder is added to the mix, the plot thickens and the protagonist, Jay, gets a little more than he bargained for as he struggles to clear his name. The ghosts add another interesting dimension to the plot that leads Jay not only to the real murderer, but also to the missing body of a woman lost and presumed murdered so many years ago. The main plot and the subplots interweave to create a fascinating mosaic of tension-building excitement. The characters are well developed, mostly through dialogue. All put together, it makes for an interesting read.