Murder in Hum Harbour by Jayne Self

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About the Book

Part-time medical receptionist, part-time jewellery crafter, Gailynn MacDonald thinks she knows everything about everyone in Hum Harbour, Nova Scotia. That’s the way she likes it. But when her former employer, Doc Campbell turns up dead aboard his beached yacht, and her sister-in-law becomes the prime suspect, Quirky, over-excitable Gailynn vows to unmask the killer. With Geoff Grant, Doc’s handsome replacement, by her side, Gailynn uncovers secrets and confronts childhood fears. And in the process she discovers that catching a killer is a lot like crafting her seaglass jewellery…it’s all in the details.

Book Excerpt


I learned something new about myself the day I found Doc Campbell. Dead bodies freak me out.

A cold fog shrouded the world that morning and after the weekend storm, the silent waves nuzzling the shore seemed insanely gentle. I kept my head down, studying the wet gravel as I walked. Anywhere, at any moment, a brilliant sliver of sea glass might catch my eye. Sea glass is a treasure to be gathered, hoarded and sparingly used in the jewelry I create. I spotted a slice of violet and crouched low, unable to believe my good fortune. Violet sea glass is among the rarest of jewels.

Beyond Hum Harbour’s breakwater a foghorn sounded, its eerie echo raising the fine hairs on the back of my neck. A breeze whispered among the invisible evergreens on the hillside above me, and I looked up in time to see the fog shift ever so slightly.

I’d reached the end of the beach where ancient granite rocks guard the harbor mouth. They rise like a giant whale’s back above the low tidal waters. Impaled on their slick black surface I saw the ghostly silhouette of a sailing boat. Stuffing the bit of violet glass into my gathering bag, I crept close enough to make out the shredded bits of sail clinging to its mast.

“Hello? Anybody there?”

The whole spooky scene seemed more fitting of a movie than my daily stroll along the beach, and my heart beat faster. Nothing seems alive on a foggy day. I usually find the sensation comforting, even cozy. But this morning it unnerved me.

“If you’re there, please say something. I’m coming up to see if I can help.” It might sound crazy warning a derelict boat I was approaching but I didn’t want any nasty surprises.

And surprised I was, because when I got close enough and read the name painted on the boat’s hull, I knew whose boat this was.

“Doc? Are you in there?”

Doc Campbell is, or was, Hum Harbour’s only doctor for the past thirty-some years. He’d just retired. In fact, his bon voyage party was Friday night, and he’d set sail for the Caribbean at the crack of dawn the next morning. So what was his boat, the Medical Convention, doing here, on the rocks, on Monday?

Slipping, sliding, I scrambled up the rocks until I was above her and could see into the boat.

“Doc? Can you hear me?”

I tried to make sense of what lay before me. Wedged firmly on the rock, the Medical Convention listed badly to port. Several inches of water pooled in her lowest point, otherwise the deck looked neat as a pin. Crates were safely battened down, the tiny lifeboat securely fastened along the stern. The only sign of trouble, apart from the boat’s obvious position on dry land, was the tangled shreds of Doc’s blue and white sail on the deck.

Once again an errant breeze lifted the torn fabric. I leaned closer. Doc Campbell lay face down in the pooled water, his pewter hair plastered against his skull, his broad shoulders motionless.

Heart in my throat, I ran.




About the Author

Jayne E. Self’s summers in Nova Scotia inspire her quirky, award winning Seaglass mysteries. Besides writing, she’s a mom, gramma, pastor’s wife and—in her spare time—director of Write Canada, Canada’s largest annual conference for Christians who write.


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