All at Sea: Synopsis


Adam and Colin are aboard The Elysian, cruising towards Italy to see Adam get hitched, and are determined to stay out of trouble…

On the first night, a priceless piece of art is stolen from an eccentric old lady. Adam and Colin offer to help recover it, and are convince the thief was one of their fellow dinner guests from earlier in the evening.

Can the amateur sleuths reunite the painting with its owner before they dock in Venice? And, with danger lurking around every porthole, will Adam even make it to the altar?

All at Sea is the sixth in the Stonebridge Mysteries series of cosy crime novellas.


Stonebridge is a small town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Most of its inhabitants are friendly, happy people. Most of them… Because bad things happen even in the happiest of places. It’s a good thing, then, that Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin call Stonebridge home.

Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of detective shows, a misplaced sense of confidence and a keen desire to see justice done, these two are the closest thing the town has to saviours. Which isn’t that reassuring…

All at Sea: Mr Frankowski’s Thoughts

Every good story is very much like the sea. It is often comforting in its familiarity but wild, anxious, and uneasy in its unpredictability. It’s both soothing and unsettling as it swiftly moves from the softness of a blanket on a rainy Sunday afternoon to an unexpected start that can rock you to the core with its wilderness.

Today we welcome to the world All at Sea, the 6th outing of armchair detectives from The Stonebridge Mysteries series, Colin and Adam, penned and developed by Chris McDonald and published by Red Dog Press.

This short but gorgeously written novella by the author of The Wash of Black is precisely what a cosy mystery should be. It’s a delightful romp that is as entertaining as unexpected. Like the previous books in the series, All at Sea takes us on the journey of escapism and daydreaming through the kaleidoscope of incredibly developed characters and cartoonish villainy. The character development and the representation of the first class passengers of a luxurious ocean liner have made it for me. The Agatha Christie-esque, slightly overexaggerated cast is as instrumental to the flow of the story as the exploits and unorthodox investigative methods of our two sleuths. McDonald is becoming more and more comfortable with creating multiple layers for the supporting characters without fear of bloating them with unnecessary detail or backstories.

In fact, having followed Chris McDonald’s work for over two years now, I can clearly see he’s genuinely finding his voice as he slides in and out of various storytelling styles. He proved to be a master storyteller with his Erika Piper novels, exploring the good, the evil, the darkness and the light. In The Stonebridge Mysteries, however, he whacks us with a tremendously satisfying dollop of humour, laddish charm and nerdy awkwardness. And a promise of new adventures, which are as relatable as they are outlandish.

The Stonebridge Mysteries is a lovely series that brings a lot to the cosy genre. The separate instalments are fun to read on their own, whilst the series as a whole provides pages upon pages of detective brilliance in the tradition of the Sunday night cosy TV dramas. The secondary storylines develop, our two protagonists grow as individuals, their lives are changing right in our very eyes. And us, the silent witnesses, my Faithful Reader, are becoming a part of this cute Irish coastal town.

All at Sea, the 6th instalment in The Stonebridge Mysteries is out today. You can get your copies from:
Red Dog Press – All At Sea

Also available on Amazon, Kobo, Google Play Books and all good bookshops.

About the Author:

Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.

He is the author of the DI Erika Piper series A Wash of Black, Whispers In The Dark and Roses for the Dead. He has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, in the shape of The Stonebridge Mysteries, as a remedy for the darkness.

He is a full-time teacher, husband, father to two beautiful girls and a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.

Find him on Twitter @cmacwritescrime