A day at the beach: A review of Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper

If Seaside, New Jersey was a real place, I’d book my next vacation there. Murder and intrigue notwithstanding.

Shadows on the Sand was my first Gayle Roper novel, and I’m not sorry I took the plunge. It was an enjoyable blend of romance and mystery. Thrilling in all kinds of ways.

In it, Carrie Carter runs a cafe and when her dishwasher turns up missing, and then dead, she finds herself looking for answers. Greg, a former police officer, a widower and a regular at the cafe, is drawn into the search. While the storyline has its predictable moments, the journey is fun and exciting, with enough twists and turns to keep you in it till the end.

Click here for a sneak peek at the first chapter.

I especially loved the characters. Carrie and Greg and the supporting “cast” became real to me. I believed their emotions, their struggles, their reactions. My only criticism of Carrie is that I kept imagining her older than the 33 years the author created her to be. She had a rough past, so maybe that’s why she seemed older in thought and deed.

I’m not sure what impacted me more, though: the story or the author’s note at the end. Roper reveals that she was recently widowed, a characteristic she shares with Greg in the book. His struggles became more meaningful as I realized she was writing, in part, from what she knew and experienced.

That, my friends, is the key to good writing. I appreciated Roper’s openness in sharing that particular struggle and transforming it into a creative work for the blessing of others.

Shadows on the Sand is Roper’s fifth book in the Seaside Seasons series. I’m looking forward to reading what I’ve missed in the other books.


As part of the Blogging for Books program, I received a free digital copy of Shadows on the Sand from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.


So, if you made it this far, you might be willing to go a step further, right? Click on the link below to rate my review on the Blogging For Books Web site and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a FREE book from Waterbrook Multnomah. That’s worth a few extra seconds, right?