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SEASIDE by Scarlett Thomas

SEASIDE

By Scarlett Thomas

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-932112-09-X
Publisher: Justin, Charles

Which beautiful twin is dead, and was it murder or suicide?

Bubbly Devon literary lecturer Lily Pascale gets an unexpected visit from famed mystery writer Emma Winter and an even more unexpected proposition. Emma offers Lily, who’s gained a reputation of late as an amateur sleuth (In Your Face, 2004, etc.), a huge sum to investigate a local crime. Beautiful young Laura Carter has apparently committed suicide, leaving a note. But her surviving identical twin, who should be shy Alex, claims that she is actually Laura. Lily begins her probe by checking into the seaside hotel the twins inherited from their parents, killed in a car accident when Stan, a family enemy, cut their brake wires. Stan is in prison, but his wife Sylvia pops up from time to time to make trouble. Many people—Laura’s wheelchair-bound elder brother Tim, her boyfriend Kurt and her dance teacher Cornelia, for starters—are certain of the surviving twin’s identity, but they don’t all agree. Then Kurt’s murder raises the stakes and introduces creepy police detective Ian Nagy. The plot thickens when Lily learns that Emma is the twins’ mother and Tim is arrested for Kurt’s murder. On the personal front, the seriously mixed signals she’s getting from an American screenwriter give Lily typically tumultuous love woes.

This buoyant chick-lit mystery boasts crowds of droll characters and moves like lightning. Even traditionalists should smile.