Author Alicia Bessette
“A fresh shot of warmth and verve.”
The New York Times
“Well-plotted and beautifully executed.”
Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“A must-read for all mystery lovers … so engaging and engrossing, I couldn’t put it down!”
—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author

“… swept me off to the Outer Banks … Upbeat prose, likable characters, and … a whopping good payoff.”
—Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author

“A fresh shot of warmth and verve.”
The New York Times
“Everything a cozy lover could possibly want.”
Publishers Weekly
“Well-plotted and beautifully executed.”
Mystery & Suspense Magazine
“A must-read for all mystery lovers … so engaging and engrossing, I couldn’t put it down!”
—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author
“A perfectly plotted mystery from a wonderful writer…”
—J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author

“So vivid… an absolutely terrific summer read.”
—Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author

“… swept me off to the Outer Banks … Upbeat prose, likable characters, and … a whopping good payoff.”
—Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author
“Everything a cozy lover could possibly want.”
Publishers Weekly

“A perfectly plotted mystery from a wonderful writer…”
—J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author

“So vivid… an absolutely terrific summer read.”
—Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author

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About Alicia

Before authoring the Outer Banks Bookshop mystery series, Alicia Bessette worked as a reporter in her home state of Massachusetts, where her writing won a first-place award from the New England Newspaper & Press Association. A pianist, published poet, and enthusiastic birdwatcher, she now loves living in coastal North Carolina with her husband, novelist Matthew Quick.

Author Alicia Bessette
Alicia Bessette: Smile Beach Murder

Smile Beach Murder

From author Alicia Bessette comes an all-new mystery series featuring Callie Padget, a former reporter turned bookshop clerk on the Outer Banks who is pulled into a deadly web of secrets when a mysterious fall at a lighthouse echoes a tragedy from her past.

When Callie is laid off from her reporting job, she returns to her hometown of Cattail Island and lands a gig at the local bookstore—the same one where she found comfort after her mother died.

In fact, the anniversary of her mother’s infamous death is approaching. Years ago, Teri Padget tumbled from the top of the lighthouse. As islanders are once again gossiping about the tragedy, devastating news strikes: the lighthouse has claimed another victim. Eva Meeks, of Meeks Hardware.

The police are calling it suicide, but Callie does not believe Eva jumped any more than she believes her mother did—especially because Callie knows that before her death, Eva had dug up a long-forgotten treasure hunt that could have put a target on Eva’s back.

In Callie’s search for answers, she enlists the help of some beloved books and several new friends, including handsome martial arts instructor Toby Dodge. But when another death rocks Cattail, Callie must face her fears alone. Earning enemies in pursuit of the truth, she will either uncover the killer—or become a victim herself.

An Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense series
“The perfect mystery to kickstart your summer … thrilling.”
Fresh Fiction

“Readers will finish Smile Beach Murder cheering for Callie and eager for many more cases to come.”
—BookPage

“A page-turner … I was enraptured.”
—Dru’s Book Musing

“Alicia Bessette’s gift for description will transport you to Cattail Island and the salty air of coastal North Carolina. [A] must read!”
—Lorna Barrett, New York Times bestselling author

“… vibrant… Reading Smile Beach Murder is like taking a relaxing beach vacation… with a little dose of murder thrown in.”
—Annelise Ryan, USA today bestselling author

Smile Beach Murder had me on the edge of my seat! … wonderful…”
—Peggy Rothschild, author

FAQ

Q: Will there be any more books in the Outer Banks Bookshop mysteries?
A: Murder on Mustang Beach (book 2 in the series) is coming your way in 2023. Sign up for my newsletter for all the details as they roll in.

Q: Is Cattail Island a real place?
A: While North Carolina’s Outer Banks are actual barrier islands, Cattail Island is fictional. My imagination puts Cattail in the Pamlico Sound, somewhere south of Roanoke and north of Ocracoke islands (both of which are real). If you’d like to visit someplace like Cattail, try Ocracoke.

Q: Do you have any advice for writers who want to be traditionally published?
A: Loads! My newsletter includes writing tips, encouragement, and insider info, in addition to lots of other fun and excusive content. Please do join many other happy subscribers and sign up! I’d love to have you along, and I promise to never share your information or overload your inbox.

Q: Who are some of your early writing influences?
A: Nevada Barr, Lillian Jackson Braun, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, and L.M. Montgomery. My favorite books are Jane Eyre and Watership Down. My favorite contemporary authors include Matthew Quick and many others.

Q: Are you the same Alicia Bessette whose piano music plays on my solo piano Pandora station?
A: Between 2002 and 2019 I released four full-length albums of original solo piano music: Reservoir, Orchard, The Great Room, and Finding the River. All are available on iTunes and Amazon.

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Events

Smile Beach Murder Book Tour 2022

Friday, May 6 from 6-8 p.m.
In-Person: First Friday Manteo Book Signing
Downtown Books, 103 Sir Walter Raleigh St, Manteo NC

 

Wednesday, May 11 @ 6 p.m.
In-Person: Alicia Bessette In Conversation with Matthew Quick
Dare County Arts Council, 300 Queen Elizabeth Ave, Manteo NC
*ticket purchase required
*books available via Downtown Books

 

Thursday, May 12 @ 6 p.m. EST
Virtual: Alicia Bessette In Conversation with Jenn McKinlay
Bethany Beach Books

 

Saturday, June 4 from 12-2 p.m.
In-Person: Dare Day Book Signing
Manteo NC Waterfront, Authors’ Tent
*books available via Downtown Books

 

Friday, June 10 from 4-7 p.m.
In-Person: Book Talk & Signing
Grand Opening of the Camden County Library, 104 Investors Way, Camden NC
*books available via Page After Page Bookstore

 

Monday, June 13 @ 7 p.m.
In-Person: Alicia Bessette In Conversation with Matthew Quick
Collingswood Public Library, 771 Haddon Ave, Collingswood NJ
*free registration required
*books available via Inkwood Books

 

Wednesday, August 24 @ 6 p.m.
In-Person: Alicia Bessette In Conversation with Matthew Quick
Gale Free Library, 23 Highland St, Holden MA
*free registration required (call 508-210-5569 or email galefreelibrary @ gmail.com)
*books available via TidePool Bookshop

Contact

Thanks for stopping by my website. For more about me, my work, and my life on the Outer Banks in my adopted home state of North Carolina, please do visit me on Instagram. I’d love to see you there! And I love hearing from readers and book clubs. Email me at alicia@aliciabessette.com or by using the button below.

Rights inquiries:

Adam Chromy, Movable Type Management

Publicity inquiries:

Tina Joell, Publicist (Berkley)

Media

Alicia Bessette: Smile Beach Murder
Author Alicia Bessette