Top Ten Tuesday: Books with a Seaside Connection

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules see her blog.

This week’s topic: It’s a ‘freebie this week and so inspired by the new edition of Jane Austen’s Sanditon I’ve chosen Books with a Seaside connection. I am spoilt for choice but here are just ten of them (I have plenty more). Most of them are crime fiction:

  • Sanditon by Jane Austen – possibly the first seaside novel, set in the fictitious Sanditon, a place on the Sussex coast between Hastings and Eastbourne.
  • A Cure for All Diseases by Reginald Hill – I have to include this both because I love Hill’s books and because he was inspired to write it by Sanditon. He set this Dalziel and Pascoe mystery in Sandytown, a pleasant seaside resort devoted to healing.
  • I Found You by Lisa Jewell – Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home. But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?
  • Evil Under the Sun Poirot is on holiday in Devon staying in a seaside hotel – a seaside mystery. Sun-loving Arlena Stuart lies, stretched out on the beach, face down. But she wasn’t sunbathing – she had been strangled.
  • Have His Carcase by Dorothy L Sayers. Harriet Vane is on a walking holiday when she comes across a dead man, his throat cut from ear to ear, lying on the top of a rock, called locally the Flat-Iron, on a deserted beach.
  • Gently by the Shore by Alan Hunter George Gently is called in to investigate a murder in Starmouth, a British seaside holiday resort. An unidentified body was found on the beach. The victim was naked, punctured with stab wounds.
  • The House at Seas End by Elly Griffiths – Ruth Galloway investigates the discovery of the bones of six people, found in a gap in the cliff, a sort of ravine, where there had been a rock fall at Broughton Seas End. Seas End House stands perilously close to the cliff edge above the beach.
  • The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett, set in a fictitious village on the south coast of England. It’s the first in the Fethering mystery series, in which Carole and her neighbour Jude investigate the murder of man found dead on the beach.
  • The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch – As the title suggests, the sea plays a major role in the book. When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage.
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan,  set on Chesil Beach on the Dorset coast where a newly married couple struggle to suppress their fears of their wedding night to come.

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books with a Seaside Connection”

  1. Some excellent choices here such as Chesil Beach and The Sea The Sea (which I found surprisingly enjoyable). A few I’ve not read also.
    I can add to your list….
    Holiday by Stanley Middleton, a booker prize winner about a man who takes a holiday in the seaside place of his childhood to recover from the failure of his marriage.
    Any of the Superintendent Roy Grace novels by Peter James. They’re all set in Brighton. You can’t get more seaside than that……

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    1. Thanks, BT – I hadn’t come across Holiday by Stanley Middleton but I have read some of the Superintendent Roy Grace novels, an excellent choice too.

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  2. I thought there would be an Elly Griffiths in there. I was really jealous of Ruth last week when the east coast seemed to be the only place that wasn’t absolutely sweltering. The Bears and I don’t do hot weather.

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    1. There are so many I could have included, I was spoilt for choice. I’m not good in hot weather either, fortunately I’m much further north than you and we’ve only had a few blisteringly hot days.

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  3. Oh, you’ve got some great choices here, Margaret. And they’re nicely varied, too. There are three or four of them, too, that really interested me (the Murdoch, the Hunter, and the Brett in particular). I like all three authors’ work, but haven’t gotten to those novels yet. It looks like a great reading list.

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  4. Ah, thank you! I just read Sanditon yesterday and have been searching my brain trying to remember which of the Dalziel books was loosely based on it, so you’ve saved my sanity… 😀

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  5. Nice topic choice! I was thinking, when I saw your topic, before I continued with the post, that novels seat near or around (or tied significantly to) are always really gorgeous. There’s so much potential in it because water can be both calm and treacherous, so all the plots that can be tied to it are endless. I love especially when they contrast with some mystery/thriller tropes, you know? Great picks. That Lisa Jewell is on my TBR and I think I’m a bit more hyped to get into it.

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