Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Review: X Marks the Murder by Pam Stucky


About the Book


Cozy Mystery




Wishing Rock Press

Release Date

April 1, 2021

Synopsis from Amazon:

She went looking for buried treasure. What she found was far more sinister.

Discover your new favorite amateur sleuth!

Wendy Grace has just retired after thirty years of teaching grade school. She and her second husband, James, have moved to the tiny town of Wandering Cove on the idyllic Oregon coast and are looking forward to filling the second half of their lives with new adventures. But Wendy did not expect that those new adventures would include murder!

On a seemingly bucolic Saturday afternoon, Wendy heads out with a local metal detector and shipwreck historian to try her hand at metal detecting on the beach right by her new home. As the historian regales Wendy with stories of the local shipwreck and its legendary lost treasure, Wendy is prepared to find the ubiquitous bottle caps, dropped coins, and maybe a lost bit of jewelry. What she ultimately discovers, however, is far more sinister.

While working on the challenge of identifying the victim, Wendy quickly digs up more long-buried secrets than anyone expected.

My Review

Retired teacher Wendy Grace and her second husband, James Leigh, retire to the small town of Wandering Cove on the Oregon Coast. James’ adult children live there, too.  Wendy and James are ready to settle down to retired life.

Wendy decides to try her hand at metal detecting under the guidance of a local expert. She finds small items like coins and bottle caps. Imagine her surprise when she finds a dead body, too. She definitely wasn’t prepared for that.

With the help of her husband and the rest of the town, Wendy investigates. First, she tries to find the identity of the deceased and then she turns her attentions to who the killer could be. She never thought this small town could have so many secrets.

Wandering Cove doesn't have their own police force.  They have one Community Officer who coordinates with the sheriff's office on an "as needed" basis.  Wendy feels responsible to solve this mystery since she is the one who discovered the body.

I immediately fell in love with Wendy, James and the rest of their family. These characters are realistic and I really cared about them. It felt like they could be your neighbors.  I can't remember the last time I loved characters so much based on the first book.  Perhaps it's because I'm recently retired so I could identify with Wendy trying to fill her time. 

The mystery is intriguing, compelling, and I was totally engrossed in it. I didn’t realize whodunit until Wendy figured it out towards the end of the book. I couldn’t put this one down and read late into the night.

I never read anything by this author before but she’s on my radar now. This is the first book in the series and I’ll be looking for the next one. What a great start to a new cozy mystery series.


For reading challenges:

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2021

Disclosure:  I borrowed this one from the Kindle Unlimited library.  All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I love metal detecting. That sounds good. :)

  2. I haven't come across this author either but I love this premise! I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it!


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