A MelanieM Review: Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1) by C.J. Baty


Rating: 3 stars out of 5


As he approaches his fortieth birthday, Justin Warfield feels alone, drifting like the sand that blows along the beach near his family’s hotel. He has done exactly as his father wanted. Married the right girl and carried on the family tradition of running the Warfield Hotel. On paper things seem perfect, but happiness hasn’t been a part of his life for a very long time.

Marcus Drummond once spent a summer with his best friend Peter at the Warfield Hotel and fell hard for Peter’s much older brother. Five years later he’s back, and this time hopes that Justin will see him as more than his kid brother’s friend.

Sparks fly when the two meet again, but there are a few things standing in their way. The closet that Justin has himself buried in and someone on a killing spree, dumping bodies on the Warfield beach . . . victims that indicate Justin may be involved in some way.

Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1) by C.J. Baty was another difficult story to review.  I liked many elements but found others hard to navigate and others still baffling in their inability to like or believe in.

First of all, I adore mysteries.  I have shelves waited down with them and have mainstreamed them starting with Nancy Drew from childhood.  Honestly, I can’t get enough, from cozies to outright thrillers.  And I like the tales that come from C.J. Baty so I thought this would be a series to grab up and get involved with from the start.

The idea of this family establishment (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries)with all it’s traditions set in the coastal tide water town is lovely.  That’s a great hook!  And Baty lays out its history and drama perfectly.

We also jump into the story in high fashion…with a murder.  Loved that.  The murders and mysteries that start swirling around Justin, his brother Peter who is about to inherit his share of the Hotel and the house (I adored Peter), and Robert, and yes, even Matthew.  Those were the best part of this story.  Some nifty clues were left strewn around that if wasn’t too hard to figure out who exactly was behind the evil goings on and you were still curious enough to want to see everything unfold to want to continue reading.

No, I think my issues here are with Justin and Matthew.  Justin who seems like a bit of a doormat, someone lacking the courage  to get out of the closet where his father put him all those years ago when he forced him to get married.  All around him, including Peter his younger brother, are one’s I am able to connect with more than Justin.  It simply takes far too long for Justin to find any ounce of gumption here before he starts to fight back against, well, everyone.

Another thing is the relationship between Justin and Matthew.  Justin doesn’t remember him.  So while the bodies are falling all around him, Justin is firmly in the closet, the wife is threatening him, the stress and guests must be attended to, Justin is just going to what?  Have a fling with  someone he can’t remember? While a killer is loose closeby?  And fall instantly in love?  Even though Matthew is a friend of his brother’s it just never struck me as terribly convincing.  Again.  I think it was the character of Justin.  I think he just came off as incredibly dense.

Yes, there is a lot of everyone’s here, including a bigoted Sheriff.

I found the wife’s character interesting, especially towards the end and wonder if more information will be forthcoming in the next installment.

This story ends with a cliffhanger and the plot does not wrap up as you would hope.  In fact it leaves the main characters in a dire situation.  If you aren’t fans of this format, this is going to make you really unhappy.

Didn’t bother  me for some reason.

I just have to figure out if I care enough about him to pick up the next story.  The jury is still out.

Cover art is generic and doesn’t really speak to the story.

Sales Links:  Bottom Drawer Publication | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 211 pages
Published July 12th 2017 (first published June 7th 2015)
Original Title Drifting Sands
Edition Language English
SeriesThe Warfield Hotel Mysteries #

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