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A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw… Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw… Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value. Oldroyd and DS Carter are called in to solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. But the closer they investigate, the more complex the web of deceit appears. This is no straightforward crime of passion. With a violent murderer on the loose, it’s only a matter of time before they strike again. And this time it’s personal. Oldroyd must expose the truth, protect his daughter and stop the horror before it’s too late.


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A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw… Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw… Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value. Oldroyd and DS Carter are called in to solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. But the closer they investigate, the more complex the web of deceit appears. This is no straightforward crime of passion. With a violent murderer on the loose, it’s only a matter of time before they strike again. And this time it’s personal. Oldroyd must expose the truth, protect his daughter and stop the horror before it’s too late.

30 review for The Whitby Murders

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I am new to this author and really should not have started with book 6, but The Whitby Murders turned out to be an entertaining and easy to read cosy mystery, even without knowing what has happened before. I was predisposed to like it of course because it was set in Whitby with mentions of Harrogate and Leeds - all places I remember well from my University days. DCI Jim Oldroyd makes short work of solving a murder which is not at all how it first seems. I spotted how it was done pretty quickly a I am new to this author and really should not have started with book 6, but The Whitby Murders turned out to be an entertaining and easy to read cosy mystery, even without knowing what has happened before. I was predisposed to like it of course because it was set in Whitby with mentions of Harrogate and Leeds - all places I remember well from my University days. DCI Jim Oldroyd makes short work of solving a murder which is not at all how it first seems. I spotted how it was done pretty quickly and guessed who did it, but I had to read the end to understand why. I enjoyed all of the main characters and very much liked the friendly way they all related to each other. Maybe it was a little fanciful with everyone being so supportive of each other and never a cross word spoken but it was also very relaxing. I liked it enough to have acquired books 1-5 anyway! My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    2.5 stars, rounded down This latest in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series is a bit of an odd duck. It takes place in Whitby, where Oldroyd’s daughter had gone for a Goth Weekend with her friends. One of her friends supposedly stabs another in full view of everyone. She calls her father to help. So, we are meant to believe that DCI Oldroyd is able to head over there, along with his DS to help in the investigation. We are also meant to believe that despite several eyewitnesses, the police would co 2.5 stars, rounded down This latest in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series is a bit of an odd duck. It takes place in Whitby, where Oldroyd’s daughter had gone for a Goth Weekend with her friends. One of her friends supposedly stabs another in full view of everyone. She calls her father to help. So, we are meant to believe that DCI Oldroyd is able to head over there, along with his DS to help in the investigation. We are also meant to believe that despite several eyewitnesses, the police would continue to investigate the murder (and a subsequent suicide) because of some gut feelings and no contrary evidence. Maybe police departments have fuller budgets in the UK… While I like the characters in this series, this story seemed disjointed and in need of a better editing job. The omniscient POV seemed to muddy the waters. I felt the story might have worked better if we had heard from fewer characters. Ellis threw out lots of possible suspects and red herrings. But each red herring would be resolved within a page of being presented. There wasn’t any tension to the story. The key to the resolution was obvious to me within minutes of the first murder. This story just seemed amateurish. In truth, I liked the first two books in this series more than the last two I’ve read. My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The Whitby Murders is the sixth in J.R. Ellis's Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series featuring D.C.I. Jim Oldroyd. This instalment takes place during the (real life) Whitby Goth Weekend, a goth-themed festival based in the picturesque coastal town of Whitby, and timed to coincide with Hallowe'en. As many readers will know, the town of Whitby is closely associated with the legend of Dracula, both as the setting for part of the story and because author Bram Stoker's inspiration for the novel is attri The Whitby Murders is the sixth in J.R. Ellis's Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series featuring D.C.I. Jim Oldroyd. This instalment takes place during the (real life) Whitby Goth Weekend, a goth-themed festival based in the picturesque coastal town of Whitby, and timed to coincide with Hallowe'en. As many readers will know, the town of Whitby is closely associated with the legend of Dracula, both as the setting for part of the story and because author Bram Stoker's inspiration for the novel is attributed partly to a holiday he spent in the town during the 1880s. This case has a deeply personal element for D.C.I. Oldroyd. His daughter Louise calls him to request that he come to Whitby from his base in Harrogate, after a close friend of hers is murdered, a horrifying event to which she was a witness. Louise and five of her friends have travelled from their working lives in London to Whitby for the Goth Weekend, sharing an airbnb and looking forward to a weekend of "partying, dressing up and general fun" (loc.58). The six friends attend a Dracula-themed escape room activity, and it is there that the fun weekend turns to tragedy. Fortunately for Oldroyd, his superior officer, D.C.S. Walker, is happy to authorise him to take time away from his Harrogate workload to hotfoot it to Whitby at a moment's notice, taking D.S. Stephanie Johnson with him. Not only that, but the officer in charge of the murder investigation, D.I. Alice Granger, is a former colleague and acolyte of Oldroyd's, and is more than happy to accept his unofficial assistance with her investigation, in which his daughter is one of the suspects. It's all a little too cosy to be believable, to be honest... Balancing her work with her maternal obligations, Granger carries out her official investigation, hampered somewhat by the large goth-visitor population in town. Comparing notes with her as they go, Oldroyd and Johnson meanwhile undertake their own deeper dive into several leads, including searching for the missing prime suspect, interviewing the escape room's rather curious employees while trying to track down its mysterious owner and uncovering a counterfeit jewellery racket in which the victim may or may not have been involved. After Johnson returns to active duty in Harrogate, her colleague and partner, D.S. Andy Carter, heads south to London to probe further into the lives of the victim, her partner and the other members of Louise's circle of friends. All the lines of enquiry eventually converge on the thrilling unmasking of the villain. I've enjoyed reading each of the instalments in J.R. Ellis's series, and The Whitby Murders was no exception. However, I felt that there was just a little too much going on in terms of intertwined plotlines. I found several of the clues rather heavy-handed and the character behaviour at times completely unbelievable. That said, I felt the core plot of the mystery was well-conceived and the conclusion satisfying. For readers who are willing to suspend disbelief a little, and persevere through the myriad of distractions in terms of alternate suspects and motives, The Whitby Murders is a good, solid detective story in the traditional mould. I look forward to further instalments in the series. My thanks to the author, J.R. Ellis, publisher Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    2.5 stars rounded up (and I'm afraid I'm being generous here) The town of Whitby, England, makes the most of its connection to the Dracula legend and holds a Goth Weekend each year just before Halloween. Five young friends arrive from London and have reservations to take part in an escape room with a Dracula theme. They are all dressed in goth costumes and are eager to have a good time. But one couple, Andrea and Dominic, seem to be continually arguing and to their friends' horror, Dom pulls out 2.5 stars rounded up (and I'm afraid I'm being generous here) The town of Whitby, England, makes the most of its connection to the Dracula legend and holds a Goth Weekend each year just before Halloween. Five young friends arrive from London and have reservations to take part in an escape room with a Dracula theme. They are all dressed in goth costumes and are eager to have a good time. But one couple, Andrea and Dominic, seem to be continually arguing and to their friends' horror, Dom pulls out a knife and stabs Andrea, escaping out an emergency exit from the escape room. Police are called and the other three friends give their statements. It seems pretty cut and dried what happened here. But is it? One of the friends, Louise Oldroyd, has niggling doubts and contacts her father, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd. He gets permission to work with the local police who are investigating the case. The rest of the novel is a plodding police procedural. Unfortunately, it was all too obvious to this reader right from the start what has happened here. The only reason to continue reading is to learn the why. I jumped into this series with book 5 and was eager to read this latest edition. Sadly, it was a disappointment. I received an arc of this new mystery from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    The Whitby Murders is the sixth instalment in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series featuring DCI Jim Oldroyd of Harrogate Police. Set against the backdrop of the seaside town of Whitby, Yorkshire, where the ruined Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula” after he took regular holidays in the area in the 1890s; it was even where he started writing the classic masterpiece. Summer has turned to autumn and Oldroyd's daughter Louise and a group of four friends travel from London The Whitby Murders is the sixth instalment in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series featuring DCI Jim Oldroyd of Harrogate Police. Set against the backdrop of the seaside town of Whitby, Yorkshire, where the ruined Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula” after he took regular holidays in the area in the 1890s; it was even where he started writing the classic masterpiece. Summer has turned to autumn and Oldroyd's daughter Louise and a group of four friends travel from London to spend Halloween at the annual Whitby Goth Weekend, an alternative music festival that transforms the quaint town into a gothic paradise every October. This biannual festival comes to life in both the spring and fall of each year, attracting a plethora of excited goths, steampunks, emos, metallers, bikers and other unique revellers from all over the world. It's a celebration of all sorts of weird and wonderful characters, goth culture and arts. The festival is about drinking, shopping, dancing, and listening to music. Representatives of all subcultures are welcome—goths, punks, bikers, Victorian vampires and steampunk folks. They soon decide to try their luck at a Dracula themed escape room they had made reservations for, but dressed in costumes and ready for a night of fun, the group is concerned and irked when couple Andrea and Dominic spend the night arguing continually culminating in the shocking murder of one of the group. It's then that Oldroyd receives a call from Louise who is both panicked and in shock but it's clear there is also some confusion too. To their horror, Dom had pulled out a knife and stabbed his girlfriend before making a quick escape through the emergency exit. It's a crime with three eyewitnesses and an abundance of CCTV so it is assumed to be an open and shut case but this is more complex as Louise approaches her father and insists that there was something very wrong with the whole tragic incident. She doesn't believe what she saw. It is out of DCI Oldroyd's jurisdiction but the local police allow him to assist them in their intensive investigation to locate Dom and apprehend him. When the witnesses keep changing their stories, it becomes obvious Louise was on to something. What exactly happened inside that escape room that fateful evening? This is an enthralling and compulsively readable procedural with a multilayered and intricate plot with some clever twists and turns and good use of misdirection. Ellis can be relied upon for his complex and intriguing mysteries - his plotting is cleverly executed and the fact that here we seemingly have witnesses to the brutal murder makes this a little different but no less riveting. As the mystery unravels about the circumstances surrounding Andrea's killing I was utterly gripped and absorbed, and I enjoyed the extra development of the characters. And last but by no means least the setting is a character in itself with the vivid descriptions of the coastal scenery making you long to be there. This is an atmospheric, quick-paced and immersive read from start to finish. Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    The Whitby Murders is the sixth book in the DCI Oldroyd series set in Yorkshire, and unfortunately the one I’ve enjoyed the least. These all work as stand-alone mysteries although you do gradually learn more about the detectives and their families as the series goes on. While I did like the premise of a murder committed during a “goth weekend” in Whitby (these are real events - have a look at Google images!) and the Dracula history, the plot and the police investigation were literally unbelievab The Whitby Murders is the sixth book in the DCI Oldroyd series set in Yorkshire, and unfortunately the one I’ve enjoyed the least. These all work as stand-alone mysteries although you do gradually learn more about the detectives and their families as the series goes on. While I did like the premise of a murder committed during a “goth weekend” in Whitby (these are real events - have a look at Google images!) and the Dracula history, the plot and the police investigation were literally unbelievable and the writing, exposition and dialogue were all clunky, tiresome and repetitive. Oldroyd is alarmed and upset to receive a call from his young adult daughter Louise, who has witnessed one of her good friends stab his girlfriend during a Dracula themed Escape Room game, then run off. She can’t understand or believe it so asks him to investigate, and fortunately the detective in charge is a former colleague so happily agrees to his involvement. Looking into the group of friends, Oldroyd and his team discover their secrets and past resentments, but what could motivate such an elaborate murder? These books are all old-fashioned locked room-type mysteries set in modern times (although with no mention of covid), with complicated and often convoluted criminal plots unravelled Poirot-style, with all revealed at the end by a Scooby-Doo-like villain - complete with a “if it weren’t for those ***** kids” rant! Elements that I have indulged previously annoyed me more this time: if you’re going to use an omniscient narrator who knows everyone’s thought processes, we should learn the detectives’ deductions as he goes along, rather than have them all painstakingly explained at the end. I found it preposterous that a prolonged criminal investigation to a multiply witnessed murder would be pursued in various jurisdictions because of a mere hunch, especially once the perpetrator is found. Also that the police would allow civilians - some witnesses - to take part in the investigation, and not use modern technology like tracing a cellphone! The procedural parts dragged as characters are interviewed then the findings gone over again in conversations amongst the team, there’s an awful lot of repetition. Many of the characters’ names are too similar - Granger & Garner, Morton, Hampton & Hinton, Walker & Watkins - I was grateful for my kindle search button as I had to keep checking who was who. Also there are too many scenes of Oldroyd’s personal life - we don’t need to hear about every walk on the beach with his girlfriend - and what’s the obsession with his weight and the women in his life controlling what he’s allowed to eat?! On the plus side, I didn’t guess the who, why or how and the plot was explained satisfactorily with most loose ends wrapped up. I liked the descriptions of Whitby and the way Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel was woven in - I have read it but had forgotten much of the plot. I like the ongoing series characters and the way they are allowed to have mostly normal happy relationships without too much drama - I just don’t need as much detail! Overall this was Okay but not great - if you like this type of Golden Age-inspired crime, I do recommend the earlier books in the series rather than starting with this one - also for fans of Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks series which this also resembles (in a good way.) I probably will continue the series in the hope that some of these issues are eminently fixable. Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon UK for the ARC which allowed me to give an honest review. The Whitby Murders is published on May 27th.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    I had read the first two of Ellis’s “Yorkshire Murder Mystery” series, and they were pretty good, especially for a first-time novelist. But this is the sixth one installment, which came as an ARE, so I’ve skipped three books -- and I honestly don’t quite know what to make of it. By the time an author gets this far into a continuing series, one expects a smoother style, the result of experience, right? But he had that already with his first book. And in certain ways, this one reads like it might I had read the first two of Ellis’s “Yorkshire Murder Mystery” series, and they were pretty good, especially for a first-time novelist. But this is the sixth one installment, which came as an ARE, so I’ve skipped three books -- and I honestly don’t quite know what to make of it. By the time an author gets this far into a continuing series, one expects a smoother style, the result of experience, right? But he had that already with his first book. And in certain ways, this one reads like it might have been his debut work. The story this time is set in Whitby, the small, ancient port town in north Yorkshire, which is famous both for its 7th Century abbey and as the location of much of the action in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In fact, a number of British literary figures spent time in Whitby, and the town has capitalized on his fame in that regard by hosting the Whitby Goth Weekend twice every year, where aficionados of Goth and steampunk culture come to dress up and do their thing. And that’s the background for the murder witnessed by Louise, daughter of DCI Jim Oldroyd, head of CID at Harrogate, as one of her best friends stabs another of her best friends in a local “escape room.” It all seems very straightforward to the rest of the shocked group of young people, all of whom have come up from London for the festivities, and also to Defective Inspector Granger of Whitby. But something it all feels wrong to Louise, so she calls Dad and begs him to come over to Whitby and look into things, even though it’s decidedly not his patch. Granger, however, had be trained by Oldroyd and is delighted to be able to work with him again, so Dad is there like a shot. And the plot thickens, and thickens, and thickens again, with more than a few herrings strewn redly about. It’s not the plot that’s the problem, though. It’s the way DCI Oldroyd, who has vast experience and a sterling reputation, seems to nearly lose it at numerous pints in the investigation. He’s practically in tears every time he thinks about his (grown) daughter involved in a murder case. That sort of reaction is simply not credible for a senior copper. He would have developed a much tougher shell than that, even when family is involved, or he would never have risen so high. There are also assorted problems with the author’s narrative choices, as when, during the “knocking on doors and talking to people” phase of the investigation, he describes what each of Oldroyd’s team is doing -- and then has them repeat, in detail, to their boss what they’ve found out (and which the reader has just read a few pages earlier) -- and then has them repeat it all again as they compare notes among themselves. That’s a classic novice’s error, and one Ellis avoided in his first two books. So why does he commit it now? It’s a puzzle. This is a pretty good story with a nicely constructed plot, but the author is in need of a sit-down with his editor.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of The Whitby Murders, the sixth novel to feature DCI Jim Oldroyd of the Harrogate Police. Oldroyd’s daughter, Louise, and her friends are in Whitby for the Goth Weekend and to kick things off they visit the local escape room. Once there things don’t as planned when their friend, Dominic, stabs his girlfriend, Andrea, and runs off. With three witnesses and CCTV the case seems cut and dried, but Louise has doubts and asks I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of The Whitby Murders, the sixth novel to feature DCI Jim Oldroyd of the Harrogate Police. Oldroyd’s daughter, Louise, and her friends are in Whitby for the Goth Weekend and to kick things off they visit the local escape room. Once there things don’t as planned when their friend, Dominic, stabs his girlfriend, Andrea, and runs off. With three witnesses and CCTV the case seems cut and dried, but Louise has doubts and asks her dad to investigate. I thoroughly enjoyed The Whitby Murders, which has an intricate plot with plenty of misdirection. I must admit that I guessed some of how it was done, probably a first for me in this series, but I had no idea about the perpetrator or the motive. I like this series for the plots as they are real brain teasers, offering ingenious and sometimes convoluted solutions to seemingly impossible crimes. This novel is slightly different with its immediate suspect and eye witness accounts, although as any true crime aficionado knows eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable, and is more a question of unravelling what exactly happened and why. It is fun trying to outwit a devious killer and I found the mystery gripping and compulsive. It must be said that the plot is the only thing in this novel worth raving about. The characters are rather one dimensional and the dialogue rather saccharine with all the praise and mutual support going on. I lie, this novel has given me a strong urge to visit Whitby, although maybe not on Goth Weekend (I left that kind of thing behind in the 80s and feel too old to revisit). It sounds like a lovely part of the country with an interesting history. The Whitby Murders is a good read that I can recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The only thing I liked about this book was the location. I adore Whitby. I could picture the settings very clearly in my mind. Sadly, I disliked just about everything else. My mother is prone to watching third-rate TV police dramas in the afternoons. This book reads like one of those. I suspected it was a first novel or something in the 'fan fiction' genre because the writing was so plodding, clunky and 'tell-don't-show'. I'm astonished to discover that this author has been writing for many years The only thing I liked about this book was the location. I adore Whitby. I could picture the settings very clearly in my mind. Sadly, I disliked just about everything else. My mother is prone to watching third-rate TV police dramas in the afternoons. This book reads like one of those. I suspected it was a first novel or something in the 'fan fiction' genre because the writing was so plodding, clunky and 'tell-don't-show'. I'm astonished to discover that this author has been writing for many years. I love this genre (normally) but I lean towards the more literary end of crime fiction - Val McDermid, Kate Atkinson, et al - and this was just too simplistic, too obvious and irritating. At the end, the killer comes clean in a big "I'd have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those pesky kids" which seemed to have been taken straight out of an episode of Scooby Doo. Why would any murderer explain their actions in such detail? Don't they know that juries still make mistakes and he might have 'gotten away with it' if he didn't tell this bumbling policeman every little trick in the book? Very poor. Sorry but I just can't recommend it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    It’s Halloween in Whitby & DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for the goth festival. Their visit takes an unexpected turn when an escape room ends in murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value. She calls her father & he gets permission, along with DS Carter, to help solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. This is no straightforward crime of pas It’s Halloween in Whitby & DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for the goth festival. Their visit takes an unexpected turn when an escape room ends in murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value. She calls her father & he gets permission, along with DS Carter, to help solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. This is no straightforward crime of passion. This is the sixth book in the series & another well written book but I had to suspend belief that Oldroyd & his sergeant would be able to go & investigate. However I did enjoy the twists & turns plus the red herrings & I was kept guessing as to the motive. I would prefer more character development but the books are all about the plot & they certainly deliver on this. I loved the setting of Whitby & brought back many fond memories of time spent there My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    I've read several of the earlier books in this series, and found this one the best so far. Set in Whitby during the Goth festival, this book ties in the town's true connection with the Dracula story to a murder that occurred in an escape room. DCI Jim Oldroyd's daughter Louise is enjoying the puzzle of the room with several friends, when one of the group, Dominic, stabs his girlfriend Andrea in front of them all. Louise calls in her father to help investigate, as she is sure that all is not what I've read several of the earlier books in this series, and found this one the best so far. Set in Whitby during the Goth festival, this book ties in the town's true connection with the Dracula story to a murder that occurred in an escape room. DCI Jim Oldroyd's daughter Louise is enjoying the puzzle of the room with several friends, when one of the group, Dominic, stabs his girlfriend Andrea in front of them all. Louise calls in her father to help investigate, as she is sure that all is not what it seems. I'm not sure that the police would truly continue to investigate this (and the other murders that occur) from the initial evidence - which appeared very clear cut. The investigation seems a little off too, as civilians are allowed to be involved. But aside from this I found the book an enjoyable tale. Plenty of good twists and turns keep you guessing. The relationships between Oldroyd and his ex-wife, and his current interest Deborah added to the story. The setting itself adds plenty of atmosphere to the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I picked up the first of the Yorkshire Mystery series on a recommendation from Amazon, and I’ve been enjoying the series since. I don’t think that The Whitby Murders is the strongest volume in the series, but it’s still worth a read. So, If you’re new to the series, I might start with the earlier books, in order to be more familiar with the characters, and also because they’re a little bit better than this one. That’s not to say that this is terrible, though. I did enjoy the characters and setti I picked up the first of the Yorkshire Mystery series on a recommendation from Amazon, and I’ve been enjoying the series since. I don’t think that The Whitby Murders is the strongest volume in the series, but it’s still worth a read. So, If you’re new to the series, I might start with the earlier books, in order to be more familiar with the characters, and also because they’re a little bit better than this one. That’s not to say that this is terrible, though. I did enjoy the characters and setting -- Dracula and Goth Weekend are right up my alley, and I love “locked room” type mysteries. I just enjoyed the earlier books in the series more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    AC

    I suppose at times, this is just the way things go: I've had two DNFs in a row. This time, it's The Whitby Murders. Unlike the last one on my DNF list, this one didn't have a huge number of characters flung at the reader in the first few chapters, so it wasn't that. No, it was the writing, which I didn't like. At all; Why? First, it's just meh.It's easy enough to read, don't get me wrong, but there's just no pizazz to it. It's a very dry recitation of what's going on and what the characters are sa I suppose at times, this is just the way things go: I've had two DNFs in a row. This time, it's The Whitby Murders. Unlike the last one on my DNF list, this one didn't have a huge number of characters flung at the reader in the first few chapters, so it wasn't that. No, it was the writing, which I didn't like. At all; Why? First, it's just meh.It's easy enough to read, don't get me wrong, but there's just no pizazz to it. It's a very dry recitation of what's going on and what the characters are saying and feeling. It feels to me to be a bit amateurishly written, and the head hopping within the same chapter, in my opinion, should have been edited to at least contain each head in its own chapter. There is also a great deal of repetition of things. The ream investigating the crime lays out some information they've found. Then they have to lay it out for everyone. Then they go over it again. That sort of thing made me skim here and there, and I stopped at 60% on my Fire. Second, in dialogue, people are often doing something while they speak ("Blah blah blah," she said, smiling at him.) or there are far too many descriptors after the dialogue that are entirely unnecessary if the character's mood can be discerned from what they're actually doing. Example: a woman and a man, who are a couple, are having some kind of argument. ("Suit yourself then!" Dominic shouted aggressively, and hung at the back of he group, apparently in a sulk..) Do we really need to know that he shouted "aggressively? Aren't most people aggressive when they shout? This was the last in a round of dialogue involving two people.. There are only four exchanges, and we have "shrieked", "said", "replied", and aforementioned aggressive shouting. Three, there are a huge number of filter words in this. The latter example above is a good one. "Apparently" in a sulk? "So and so looked bewildered" - how? Raised eyebrows? Furrrowed brow? "No, Dad, no!" Louise was getting increasingly agitated and her voice was getting louder." We got the louder part - she is, after all, shouting. And if she's getting agitated, how do we know this? There is a bit of back and forth with her father, and at a time when dialogue tags could be helpful, along with some kind of descriptor. But there is nothing that indicates she's getting wound up. Is she pacing? Fidgeting in her seat? Don't know! Four, there is a large amount of telling versus showing. This also involves filter words, but applies as well to the author telling how someone feels versus showing us, or just giving us an infodump about a character. For example, the "apparently in a sulk" business. Who is making this determination? How could they tell he was "apparently in a sulk"? What exactly was he doing when he was hanging at the back of the group? When we get an infodump, we really do not need to know virtually everything about them right at that moment in a narration. Show us what they're doing to assign them the characteristics you want them to have. That will let the reader draw a fuller picture of the characters, and even if those conclusions are not what you planned, they will at least not be cardboard cutouts. Five, there are certain things that have to be taken with a giant grain of salt. Senior DI able to just walk out of his office after getting his daughters call, and head to the town she's staying, and taking a DS with him? Red herrings presented (good) but being cleared up in a page or two (bad)? The police continue to investigate a murder with not just eyewitnesses but video as well that backs them up, because of a gut feeling the daughter has? That all seems unlikely, as does the DCI father seemingly on the verge of tears whenever he thinks about his daughter close to the murder. He's a veteran police officer. Why is he on the verge of tears about this all the time? We also get a great deal of narration about his personal life that adds nothing to the overall story. Again, sorry for the DNF on this. Two stars out of five (rounded down from 2.5 stars). Thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the reading copy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda Sharp

    The plot was way to easy if you read a lot of mysteries as I do. Not a challenging who done it. I might try one more book by this author to see if it's any better. The plot was way to easy if you read a lot of mysteries as I do. Not a challenging who done it. I might try one more book by this author to see if it's any better.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    There were many things I enjoyed about this book but it was not my favorite of a series that I truly love. The first half of the book, although based on an interesting premise of the seaside town where Count Dracula came to England and the vampire themed escape room, I thought it was a little lackluster. It seemed to lack the usual enthusiasm and Yorkshire history and color. The second half of the book picked up with more mystery, complicated plot and character development and as usual, the fina There were many things I enjoyed about this book but it was not my favorite of a series that I truly love. The first half of the book, although based on an interesting premise of the seaside town where Count Dracula came to England and the vampire themed escape room, I thought it was a little lackluster. It seemed to lack the usual enthusiasm and Yorkshire history and color. The second half of the book picked up with more mystery, complicated plot and character development and as usual, the final solution centered on smoke and mirrors. Oldroyd of course if famous for solving impossible murders that involve deception, lies and illusion. This case was special because his daughter was involved and it also developed the relationship between Oldroyd and his new love interest. I just did not feel the same excitement in reading it until the second half. The narrator does a great job of Oldroyd's raspy Yorkshire voice but in this book he sometimes forgot and used Oldroyd's distinctive voice for some of the younger characters and it did not seem right. The book is still definitely worth the read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    In fairness, I’ve never read a previous book in this series, but I felt like I didn’t know the characters or their relationships well. The story itself was unnecessarily complex and a bit confusing. Solving the mystery seemed to happen suddenly - especially since much of the book was spent (it felt) with the detectives not having any clues. The ending was too “scooby doo” for me - walking through the crime and how the detective solved it.... zzzzzzzzzzz. Not well written, in my opinion. I receiv In fairness, I’ve never read a previous book in this series, but I felt like I didn’t know the characters or their relationships well. The story itself was unnecessarily complex and a bit confusing. Solving the mystery seemed to happen suddenly - especially since much of the book was spent (it felt) with the detectives not having any clues. The ending was too “scooby doo” for me - walking through the crime and how the detective solved it.... zzzzzzzzzzz. Not well written, in my opinion. I received an ARC of this book from #netgalley and I’m appreciative.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    Superb - Whitby Murders! Wow, what a book. From beginning to end there’s no lack of excitement and intrigue. I adore this author and hope he can write another one very soon. The plot was brilliant and really had you wondering could it be them, could it be…. and so on. Just what you want in a book. Fantastic. Please bring out the next one soon.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rajat Dubey

    Good plot & storyline. 4.4+ rating ❤️

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Pawson

    Goth weekend in Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise has come with her friends from London. A weekend of dressing up starts with a visit to an Escape Room. When they come out a death will have occurred and 1 will be on the run. This story will show can you really believe your own eyes? Do you really know your friends? A great fast paced mystery with good solid police work leading to a not so straightforward case. You really fall in love with the setting of this mystery. Whitby has so much m Goth weekend in Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise has come with her friends from London. A weekend of dressing up starts with a visit to an Escape Room. When they come out a death will have occurred and 1 will be on the run. This story will show can you really believe your own eyes? Do you really know your friends? A great fast paced mystery with good solid police work leading to a not so straightforward case. You really fall in love with the setting of this mystery. Whitby has so much more to offer including Dracula. I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tori Cretton

    The synopsis of this book caught my attention as I'm an escape room lover myself. However, I was not a huge fan of this book. I felt like whenever I sat down to read it I had to force myself to keep going, that it has to get better. For me the writing style was what I disliked the most. The constant changing of perspectives, often times 1-3 times on a page, kept me rereading and backtracking to see who's perspective I was reading about again. I also struggled reading it because some things just The synopsis of this book caught my attention as I'm an escape room lover myself. However, I was not a huge fan of this book. I felt like whenever I sat down to read it I had to force myself to keep going, that it has to get better. For me the writing style was what I disliked the most. The constant changing of perspectives, often times 1-3 times on a page, kept me rereading and backtracking to see who's perspective I was reading about again. I also struggled reading it because some things just seemed way to far fetched. Maybe because I'm USA based and not UK, but the police work they conducted would not fly here. In the US there are jurisdictions for a reason, and a detective that is also a father to a witness would not be allowed to conduct any business in an investigation. I also believe this book was a little dramatic, and I get it- it's fiction, but still. From the beginning, I had my suspicions and they came from some of the  unbelievable acts alluding me to have an idea who the perpetrator was. In hindsight, it's interesting to me how I caught on as some people/details seem to be left out often throughout scenes. This could be a flaw of the book, or just my 'catching on' from reading a lot of books. I give the author a round of the applause, because sometimes we just can't believe what is right in front of our faces. And even more, do we really know who our friends, or even significant others are? However, I will rate this book a 2 because sadly it was just too slow going, a little dramatic/unbelievable, and over all a little hard to get in to. When I read a book I like I have a hard time putting it down, and I found myself putting this one down a lot. 

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mr Dafydd Owen

    So disappointed with this book as I really enjoyed earlier ones. Jim Oldroyd seems to have had a character transplant, I didn’t recognise him. No policeman of his experience would be bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. His daughter was really stupid towards the end, something I find hard to believe. It could have been great, but the repeated telling the reader what was happening by several different characters was annoying. It’s as if this book was written by someone else. An editor’s hand So disappointed with this book as I really enjoyed earlier ones. Jim Oldroyd seems to have had a character transplant, I didn’t recognise him. No policeman of his experience would be bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. His daughter was really stupid towards the end, something I find hard to believe. It could have been great, but the repeated telling the reader what was happening by several different characters was annoying. It’s as if this book was written by someone else. An editor’s hand is needed here to sort all this out. Lastly, all the literary references at the end just seem to be the author showing off. Too much padding

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Sleight of hand, but where's the proof. DCI Jim Oldroyd's daughter is present when a good friend of hers (and several others in attendance) is stabbed while at an amusement. She doesn't feel right about it and calls Oldroyd who gets permission to go outside of his patch and finds himself working with someone who has positive memories of him mentoring her. But there's a lot of inconsistencies in what appears to be an open and shut case, so there's plenty of police work to do. Great plot with very Sleight of hand, but where's the proof. DCI Jim Oldroyd's daughter is present when a good friend of hers (and several others in attendance) is stabbed while at an amusement. She doesn't feel right about it and calls Oldroyd who gets permission to go outside of his patch and finds himself working with someone who has positive memories of him mentoring her. But there's a lot of inconsistencies in what appears to be an open and shut case, so there's plenty of police work to do. Great plot with very clear characters. Finest kind! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Amazon Publishing UK via NetGalley. Thank you!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This is the sixth book in the DCI Oldroyd series, but only the second that I have read so the characters are all still a little new to me. This book is set in Whitby, a coastal town in northern Yorkshire which is known for being a setting in Bram Stoker's "Dracula". The town capitalizes on this by hosting goth weekends where aficionados of goth and steampunk gather. Oldroyd's young adult daughter is attending the festival weekend with friends. They are going through an escape house with a Dracul This is the sixth book in the DCI Oldroyd series, but only the second that I have read so the characters are all still a little new to me. This book is set in Whitby, a coastal town in northern Yorkshire which is known for being a setting in Bram Stoker's "Dracula". The town capitalizes on this by hosting goth weekends where aficionados of goth and steampunk gather. Oldroyd's young adult daughter is attending the festival weekend with friends. They are going through an escape house with a Dracula theme when the unthinkable happens. A couple that is in the friends group has been fighting and while they are in one of the rooms, Dom stabs his girlfriend Andrea. Everyone is in shock as Dom flees the room. Another friend runs to Andrea and she dies in his arms. Oldroyd's daughter Louise calls him in to help with the investigation because she can't believe what she has seen. What I enjoyed most about this story was the unique setting. It made me very curious about the town of Whitby, the whole Dracula backstory, and the Goth weekends that actually happen there. I enjoyed the previous book in this series that I read, so I was willing to go along with the story and see where it went. Like other reviewers, I found the plot a bit outlandish. First, would another detective be able to go to another jurisdiction and tell them how to run the case? It seems unlikely, even though Oldroyd had a previous relationship with the detective in charge. Also, the fact that detectives would be willing to investigate what seems to be such a clear cut case with several witnesses stretches belief, but is of course the reason for the mystery. I found this a pleasant read and I was willing to suspend belief with the questions above, and just go with the story. Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and Amazon Publishing UK for allowing me to read this ARC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne Brown

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the sixth outing for DCI Oldroyd. His daughter, Louise, is on holiday in Whitby form the annual Goth festival at the end of October. To get them in the spirit, the party is booked into an escape room experience called Dracula’s Lair. As well as Louise, there’s Ben, Maggie and couple Dominic and Andrea. Andrea is an actress and Dominic should have been an actor so the pair are very theatrical generally. They enjoy regular and spectacular rows. Whilst in the second of three rooms in Dracul This is the sixth outing for DCI Oldroyd. His daughter, Louise, is on holiday in Whitby form the annual Goth festival at the end of October. To get them in the spirit, the party is booked into an escape room experience called Dracula’s Lair. As well as Louise, there’s Ben, Maggie and couple Dominic and Andrea. Andrea is an actress and Dominic should have been an actor so the pair are very theatrical generally. They enjoy regular and spectacular rows. Whilst in the second of three rooms in Dracula’s Lair, another row erupts. Before the other’s can react, Dominic stabs Andrea and runs out. Andrea dies in Ben’s arms. After a couple of days on the run, sending the friends cryptic messages, Dominic appears in public brandishing a gun. Having caused chaos in the street, he disappears down an alley towards the sea. Everyone hears a shot. The next morning, Dominic’s body is fished out of the harbour. The local police seem to be thinking this is an open and shut case but Louise’s instincts tell her something’s off. She calls her father and he arranges to help out the Whitby police, luckily his superior is feeling generous and the detective in charge at Whitby is an old protege of Oldroyd’s. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Oldroyd is soon also smelling a rat. Little does he know, Louise is actually in danger. Will he figure it out before the real killer can strike again. Although I enjoyed reading this, it’s not my favourite from the series. I realised how the impossible murder was being done as it was being done, which just left the why. It also meant that I didn’t get distracted by any of the red herrings. Finally, although there is always a theatrical element to these whodunnits that I usually enjoy, I felt that the whole Dracula thing was overdone for my taste. That said, I did enjoy reading it and shall look forward to the next book in the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara ✨ Next Book Review Blog ✨

    *****AUDIOBOOK REVIEW ***** I went back and forth with The Whitby Murders by JR Ellis. I really enjoyed the story. I know the story is made up. However, I really like some bit of truth to ring throughout. The fact that a witness could call on her father to come down for the case with his DS and take over the case. They weren’t even in their district. It just didn’t seem all that plausible to me especially with the close connection to the case being DCI Oldroyd’s daughter Louise. That was where I *****AUDIOBOOK REVIEW ***** I went back and forth with The Whitby Murders by JR Ellis. I really enjoyed the story. I know the story is made up. However, I really like some bit of truth to ring throughout. The fact that a witness could call on her father to come down for the case with his DS and take over the case. They weren’t even in their district. It just didn’t seem all that plausible to me especially with the close connection to the case being DCI Oldroyd’s daughter Louise. That was where I struggled. If I can get past that… it’s an enjoyable story and my first by J.R. Ellis. Yes, yes, I’m aware I jumped in at number 6 in this series but it sounded good and for the most part, makes an easy transition into the storyline. Michael Page was a great narrator. I was seriously enchanted by his UK accent. Page kind of comes off slightly sarcastic and fun while still being a DCI and being a serious type of character. I felt like the narrator enjoyed his work here. He might have been a tad thick with the accent but it didn’t bother me one bit. I have a thing for those accents so it just tickles me when I hear it done well especially when said narrator seemed to have such fun. Thank you Brilliance Publishing for the complimentary copy of this audiobook with the hope that I would leave an Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... my opinions. Check out my Blog: Next Book Review Check out my Facebook Page: Next Book Review Facebook

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    It's the Autumnal Goth Weekend in historic Seaside Town of Whitby ,which in itself is split into two halves both with their own atmospheric character the New Town & across the Swing Bridge ,The Old town from where you can climb the 199 steps which lead to St; Mary's Church & then further along the stunning ruins of Whitby Abbey. A group of friends have come to Whitby to have fun & dress up for Goth weekend ,but something goes tragically wrong & two of the group die ! One of the group Louise Oldr It's the Autumnal Goth Weekend in historic Seaside Town of Whitby ,which in itself is split into two halves both with their own atmospheric character the New Town & across the Swing Bridge ,The Old town from where you can climb the 199 steps which lead to St; Mary's Church & then further along the stunning ruins of Whitby Abbey. A group of friends have come to Whitby to have fun & dress up for Goth weekend ,but something goes tragically wrong & two of the group die ! One of the group Louise Oldroyd has a deep instinct that all is not as straight forward as it seems & contacts her father Jim Oldroyd who is a Police Officer. It had some interesting twists & turns & it helped even more because I have spent a Holiday & also many very enjoyable days out in this unique North Yorkshire Coastal Town so this helped my visualization of what & where things were happening . This is the first book by J.R. Ellis I have read & I am now going to try some of his other ones .#FB, #NetGalley,#Goodreads,#Amazon.co.uk, # Instagram , #, #, #.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Review of eBook When a group of friends, including Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd’s daughter, Louise, head for an escape room as part of their participation in Whitby’s Goth festival, two of the group begin arguing. Suddenly, Dominic stabs Andrea and runs away; the young woman dies in Ben’s arms while Louise and Maggie look on in horror. Why did Dom murder Andrea? And when will it become clear that, although three people witnessed a murder, nothing is as it seems? Sixth in the Yorkshire Murd Review of eBook When a group of friends, including Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd’s daughter, Louise, head for an escape room as part of their participation in Whitby’s Goth festival, two of the group begin arguing. Suddenly, Dominic stabs Andrea and runs away; the young woman dies in Ben’s arms while Louise and Maggie look on in horror. Why did Dom murder Andrea? And when will it become clear that, although three people witnessed a murder, nothing is as it seems? Sixth in the Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series, “The Whitby Murders” takes what, at first, appears to be a straightforward event and creates a complex murder mystery that changes everything the readers think they know about what happened in the escape room. Believable characters populate the story that is set with a unique setting in a Goth festival, giving the story an eerie feel that serves as an undercurrent throughout the narrative. The sense of uneasiness keeps the reader off-balance and adds to the captivating mystery. As the investigation takes some unexpected turns, the case becomes more and more complex, pulling the reader into the telling of the tale and keeping the pages turning. Astute readers will identify the murderer before the surprising reveal late in the story, but this will in no way detract from the intriguing tale. Readers should expect to be captivated by the unfolding mystery until they’ve turned the final page. Recommended. I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Louise Oldroyd, along with several of her close friends, had traveled from London to Whitby for the Goth Festival, as they all enjoyed dressing up in strange and unusual costumes. As added entertainment, the group decided to visit Dracula’s Lair, an escape room in town. Andrea and her boyfriend Dom were arguing with each other, somewhat spoiling the happy mood of the others, but no one was prepared to see Dom suddenly lash out and stab Andrea, then disappear out the emergency exit. Ben tried his Louise Oldroyd, along with several of her close friends, had traveled from London to Whitby for the Goth Festival, as they all enjoyed dressing up in strange and unusual costumes. As added entertainment, the group decided to visit Dracula’s Lair, an escape room in town. Andrea and her boyfriend Dom were arguing with each other, somewhat spoiling the happy mood of the others, but no one was prepared to see Dom suddenly lash out and stab Andrea, then disappear out the emergency exit. Ben tried his best to save Andrea, performing CPR, but it was too late. Terribly upset and frightened, Louise called her father, DCI Jim Oldroyd, an important detective, and begged for his help, as it didn’t seem possible that Dom would kill Andrea. After getting permission from his superiors, DCI Oldroyd went to Whitby to comfort his daughter and begin investigating the case. Not having read the previous five books in this series, I didn’t know anyone’s back story, and being from California, I have no idea how police investigations are conducted in the UK. Maybe it’s possible for an officer to just show up and take over a puzzling murder investigation. It just seemed wrong to me. The investigation itself meandered around and I got impatient waiting for the case to be solved. Overall, it was a confusing read, and was not a journey I particularly enjoyed. My thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher and author for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    DCI Oldroyd's daughter (Louise) goes up to Whitby with a group of friends to be part of the Goths who go there to celebrate Halloween. Whitby is the site of where Bram Stoker set his novel 'Dracula' and it has become a magnet for Goths and the like at that time of year. They go to a "Locked Room" Escape where you have to answer questions to find keys to get out of the room. While in the locked room, one couple of Louise's continue an argument they were having before they got to the venue. All of DCI Oldroyd's daughter (Louise) goes up to Whitby with a group of friends to be part of the Goths who go there to celebrate Halloween. Whitby is the site of where Bram Stoker set his novel 'Dracula' and it has become a magnet for Goths and the like at that time of year. They go to a "Locked Room" Escape where you have to answer questions to find keys to get out of the room. While in the locked room, one couple of Louise's continue an argument they were having before they got to the venue. All of a sudden, the male of the couple pulls out a knife and stabs the woman in the heart. She is dead almost instantly, though people in the group try to revive her. The murderer has gone out the emergency exit and when the chase after him, they find the alley outside to be empty. Louise of course immediately calls her father. There begins a massive manhunt to find the murderer, with Oldroyd being given leave from his post to assist the local constabulary any way that he can. Once he hears the evidence, Oldroyd begins to think that even though three people were there when he stabbed the girl. that there is something odd about the whole thing. The first question is why was he carrying a knife? From herein Oldroyd assisted by one of his DCs with him in Whitby and the other looking for information in London, begin to track down information that only shows more and more inconsistencies. When can you not be sure of something that happened right in from of you.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Poptart19 (ren)

    2 stars Clunky writing & a convoluted plot dampen what could otherwise be a fun murder mystery. The Dracula theme was still fun in a kitschy way. [What I liked:] •The twists in this mystery were more confusing than they were building up to an intriguing climax, but once the details were all laid out at the very end I could appreciate the murder & how it was pulled off. Still not very believable, but creative. [What I didn’t like as much:] •Clunky dialogue, & the writing is odd. There is a lot of s 2 stars Clunky writing & a convoluted plot dampen what could otherwise be a fun murder mystery. The Dracula theme was still fun in a kitschy way. [What I liked:] •The twists in this mystery were more confusing than they were building up to an intriguing climax, but once the details were all laid out at the very end I could appreciate the murder & how it was pulled off. Still not very believable, but creative. [What I didn’t like as much:] •Clunky dialogue, & the writing is odd. There is a lot of summary, but it often happens mid-scene even at key moments. It kept pulling me out of the story. Also lots of info-dumping. •The MC has a family emergency & asks for a few days off work, okay; so his boss assigns his coworker to be his chauffeur & emotional support while he’s on leave? Very odd. That wouldn’t fly in the US. Or maybe I’m misunderstanding what happened there. •The crime was a bit convoluted, but it was the murderer’s motivations that were really over the top. When they revealed their hand, it felt very melodramatic. •The women characters in this are super controlling, treating their partners like kids & rationing sweets & booze. It’s weird. CW: murder, physical assault, suicide [I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]

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