Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore by Nellie H. Steele

Posted April 11, 2022 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, mystery/suspense, Nellie H. Steele / 4 Comments

Lily & Cassie By The Sea Mysteries #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: A Novel Idea Publishing, LLC
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2022
PAGES: 313

A new town.
A haunting legend.
New beginnings or the beginning of the end?

After Cassie MacGuire’s husband dies in a plane crash along with her father, both her and her mother, Lily Bennett, are widowed. Looking to make a new start, they move together to the quiet seaside town of Hideaway Bay. But their new home, Whispering Manor, has a reputation stretching back centuries. Legends of ghosts, paranormal disturbances and pirate treasure are all associated with the former sea captain’s mansion, starting with the death of its first mistress, Henrietta Blanchard.

When Cassie stumbles upon Henrietta’s journal and Lily uncovers a more recent tragedy in the home, they begin to wonder if the stories may be fact instead of fiction. When the strange occurrences turn dangerous, Lily and Cassie will have to investigate to save their home and possibly even their very lives!

Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore is the charming first installment in this small, seaside town mother-daughter cozy mystery series by Nellie H. Steele.


I don’t theologically believe in ghosts, but I’m a sucker for good ghost story – particularly if it’s within the Scooby-Doo playbook of ghosts. (If you know, you know.) I also love cozy mysteries, so when you combine the two I’m there for it. Such is the case with Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore by Nellie H. Steele, the first book in a new series featuring the newly widowed mother-daughter team of Lily & Cassie.

The beginning of this book was a bit difficult to follow, at least for me, because the narrative switches back and forth between present day and flashbacks without much transition. As a result, my reading flow was disrupted more than once as I tried to figure out where I was in the story. But once Cassie & Lily take up residence in their new home in the quaint seaside town of Hideaway Bay, I was able to follow the narrative with no further problems and enjoyed the cast of supporting characters we meet as well.

Poor Cassie & Lily – they just want a fresh start after losing their husbands in the same tragedy (which means Cassie lost her father and her husband in one fell swoop). Unfortunately, their new coastal home comes with its own tragedies – not to mention pirates, secret treasure, and ghosts, if local legends can be believed. I loved trying to figure out all the various threads – and how/if they were connected – along with Cassie & Lily. And while there were a couple of moments when I was yelling the answers at them through the pages, they were pretty smart & savvy amateur sleuths.

Bottom Line: Pirates! Ghosts! Hidden treasure? Missing people! Murder? Small Town! Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore has it all, along with a mother-daughter team that readers will love. The author’s writing voice is warm & engaging, and you’ll feel at home with the town & the characters – but it’s Willie the one-eyed cat who steals the show! While it took me a bit to wade through the flashbacks at the beginning, I’m glad I did because the rest of the story kept me turning the pages to figure out how it would all come together. And now, of course, I’m eager for book two – and curious if Whispering Manor has any more secrets to unearth!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s TombNellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.

An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies!  A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.

She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.  When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.

Check out all Nellie offers at or at her blog, Nellie’s Book Nook, available at!

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4 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore by Nellie H. Steele

  1. Brenda Ellis

    A huge Victorian house in a seaside town, ghosts, and pirate treasure. Sounds like a perfect way to spend an afternoon. I can’t wait to read it. Paranormal stories are my go-to!

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