Saturday, August 21, 2021

Reviewing The Whitby Murders by J R Ellis

Have you ever been to an Escape Room?   After reading this murder mystery novel you may have second thoughts about participating in an Escape Room adventure.

Reviewing The Whitby Murders by J R Ellis
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Apparently, this novel is the 6th in J R Ellis' Yorkshire Murder Mystery series.  I should probably have started with novel number 1.   Having said that this book stood on its own two feet and is fine to read as a standalone mystery (although I will definitely be looking at reading the rest of these).

Whitby, a Yorkshire coastal town in England's North is closely associated with Bram Stoker's Dracula and since the early 90s has hosted a music festival called the Whitby Goth Weekend twice a year.   The setting of this murder is in Whitby, during the Goth Weekend, and while taking part in an Escape Room.

I have read books that have used music festivals as a setting for murder and also some Gothic-themed novels, but I've never read a book that was actually set in an Escape Room.   I loved the idea and although I realized fairly early on about one thing, I totally missed a few other things so I loved finding out how everything tied together at the end.

If you enjoy murder mysteries then I really recommend this one.  As a book, it is not one that deals in gory as much as the mystery side of a murder mystery and is perfect for people who love putting puzzles together.

I enjoyed reading this book as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership which I always describe as a library membership with Amazon's Kindle store.

Other reviewers who have read some (or all) of the previous novels in J R Ellis's Yorkshire Murder Mystery series have said this is the weakest in the series which means I am even more keen to read the others.  I do have to agree with a few of the comments, however - the actual procedures that took place would not have been allowed to happen in real life, but it's a work of fiction so I didn't mind it!

DCI Oldroyd is the 'star' of these novels and one of the witnesses to the initial murder is his adult daughter who calls him and asks him to investigate.   As far as police procedures go it wasn't on his patch and he obviously had a personal bias.   I was able to put this aside and just enjoy the mystery, but if you like the procedures to be followed (like a number of the reviewers that I've read) then you might want to give it a miss.   I think you'll be missing out, but ...

So I have two questions to ask you - have you ever been to an Escape Room?  Also, have you ever read any of the books in this series by J R Ellis?   I must admit I have been thinking about trying an Escape Room for a while, but now I will be extremely careful as to who I participate in one with!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Sounds intriguing, Lou. I've never read any J R Ellis and also have never been to an Escape Room. In fact, have only recently heard about them. I think I get enough excitement just from 'reading' murder mysteries. LOL. Thanks for your fun review.

  2. I have heard of Escape Rooms but never had a desire to visit one, other than perhaps vicariously through a novel such as this one. I really appreciate your mentioning that the focus of this book is on the mystery and not on the gore of the murder, which is something I would prefer to avoid. The lack of accuracy/believability of the police procedural aspects wouldn’t deter me from enjoying this story or this author. Thanks very much for the recommendation, Lou!

  3. Sounds like another excellent choice for my mother. I know she'd like this one. Thanks for the heads-up on another good book to pin for later.

  4. I suspect this book alone would keep me from participating in an Escape Room "game". I doubt seriously it is anything I would consider regardless because I don't think I could stand being locked in, especially with strangers. The escape rooms I have heard about didn't have windows and I would probably have a heart attack before figuring out how to get out of the room. However, the book does sound like the perfect murder mystery! Thank you for the recommendation.

  5. I know Whitby well and it does have an amazing atmosphere I imagine well suited to this book. I am glad to hear that the book focuses on the mystery side rather than the gory side. I have never been in an Escape room or participated in an Escape room game, I do not feel that I would like it very much! However, I think I could enjoy reading this book as a murder mystery. Thank you for an intriguing book review.

  6. This book really sounds intriquing to me. I think I may start with the first of the series as you suggested. I have never been to an escape room but my adult kids and their cousins all went to one when they were home for Christmas a couple of years ago. They really enjoyed it. Thanks for a fun review.

  7. Oh my, this has raised the intrigue level in me. Now I think I need to add this to my growing (again) list of to be read books. Thanks Lou for this review and no I have not been to an escape room, but have heard about them and it makes me wonder!


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