Book Review: Bamburgh (DCI Ryan Mysteries #19) by LJ Ross

Published in 2022 and the 19th book in L.J. RossDCI Ryan Mysteries series, Bamburgh sees the death of a cantankerous old woman who dies at her home in the sleepy, picturesque village of Bamburgh. At first, DCI Ryan doesn’t think much of it — except, that is, for the small matter of it having been his wife who found her body. Then another body turns up amongst the sand dunes at the base of the mighty castle fortress, and he decides it can’t be a coincidence.

Meanwhile, after a recent revelation about her sister, DC Melanie Yates’ quest to avenge her death is becoming an obsession, much to the concern of those around her. With a new DCS to contend with and hundreds of cold case files to sift through, the chances of uncovering a dormant killer seem unlikely. But as Melanie delves deeper into the secrets of the past to uncover the truth, she soon realises it lies much closer to home…


I’ve only previously read the first book in this series and I wouldn’t have described myself as a fan yet. But consider me converted, as I really loved this latest instalment.

An enjoyably light murder mystery with likeable characters and an atmospheric setting, Bamburgh is a fast-paced whodunnit strengthened by strong police procedural and lots of humorous dialogue.

The crime and investigation didn’t grip me at first, but what held my attention was the fantastic characters. While I enjoyed Holy Island, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the romance aspect of the story as I thought it felt a little abrupt. But 18 books later, Ryan and Anna’s relationship is still going strong and I began to enjoy their chemistry much more easily.

I also felt really at home with the other characters, too. I absolutely loved the banter between Ryan and Phillips, and really enjoyed the way that Ryan supported the rest of his team and how they all came together to get this mystery solved.

It didn’t take me long to get on Ryan’s side, and I was soon immersed in the investigation, too. There are some great twists along the way, and I also appreciated that the big reveal happened earlier on, allowing more progression regarding how this affected the characters involved, keeping you fully invested in their individual developments.

You can really tell that Ross has a lot of love for her characters, and I most definitely want to go back and start to get to know them better!


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