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Sea Shaken. Book review by Gillian and the girls 📖🐾

This week I'm reviewing the third in the Castleby series, Sea Shaken, written by J. M. Simpson.

Reading Sea Shaken to the girls 🐾

Besides children's books, I also enjoy crime fiction. I'm a huge fan of Midsommer Murders and Father Brown and, of course, the great Agatha Christie. I love a good twist, and who dunnit. When I was given the opportunity to review the third in the Castleby series, I agreed despite having not read the previous two. Why did I do this? Because the reviews of Sea State and Sea Change were amazing! So, what did I think of Sea Shaken? Read on, but first I'll give you a little author bio and the book blurb on Sea Shaken: the third of the Castleby Series.

The brilliant J. M. Simpson. Author of the Castleby Series.


Jo Simpson was born in Essex but was raised primarily in the West Country, enjoying a childhood in Devon and Cornwall.

Following school, Jo studied building and civil engineering at Exeter college - at the start, she was the only female on her course.

Jo obtained a degree in Building Surveying from the University of Greenwich and then went on to specialise in research in construction and development, gaining her PhD in 2001. Jo still runs a successful research consultancy and writes novels in her spare time.

Now, Jo lives in Kent with her daughters, husband and two very handsome writing pawtners Max (who features as Brock in the series) and Merlin, both rescue Border Collies.

Jo’s debut novels are the Castleby series, set in a coastal community and largely inspired by the time she's spent in and around the UK’s coastline. The debut novel in the Castleby series, Sea State, was released in December 2021, the second, Sea Change, in March 2022.

Jo is planning a new series set in the Scottish highlands, the first of which will hopefully publish in early 2023.

Sea Shaken by J. M. Simpson


All is not well in Castleby

Jesse Stevens lies in a coma after being pulled off a cliff by a psychopath who escaped from prison to find her.

He is in hiding, also hurt from the fall but fuelled with rage. He needs to make sure she's dead. If she isn't, he'll finish the job once and for all.

Military Intelligence Officer Sam Jones, missing presumed dead, returns from Afghanistan after two years of brutal torture in captivity. Struggling to cope, Sam has no desire to carry on living, or return to family life with his wife, Sophie, and son, Marcus.

Sophie is desperate to help Sam recover and leans heavily on her friend and ex-forces soldier Foxy for support.

Castleby is plagued by a series of unexplained deaths amount the elderly and that of a local fisherman. Inspector Steve Miller works closely with the new local GP, Kate Cooper, to try and find an explanation, and they eventually uncover the sinister truth.

Castleby Series


Oh my, what a book!

I was immersed in the story from the moment I turned the first page. Even though this is the first book I’ve read in the series, it didn’t matter. I easily followed each character and their story - both new and old. The twists and turns were unexpected. Just when I thought I knew the culprit, I’d be proved wrong.

There are so many subplots and characters in some books that I get lost in the who’s who – but not with Sea Shaken. I love the natural, fluid way J. M Simpson writes. Seamlessly, the characters evolve and engage. There is no end of possibilities for spin-offs of this series because each character is strong and interesting. Personally, my favourite has got to be Foxy. Everyone needs a Foxy in their life! 😉

I’d give Sea Shaken by J. M. Simpson a rating of 5/5 – because it was an entertaining, nail-biting, thrilling and gripping read – with moments that make you smile and others which make your lips tremble with emotion. For anyone who enjoys a good crime/mystery with a hint of romance (but no mush), then this book is for you.

Thank you, @literallypr Literally PR and @jmsimpsonauthor J. M. Simpson, for introducing me to the Castleby Series. I’ve now bought the first two in the Castleby series and can’t wait to read and review those too.


See you on my next blog, Martin Treanor's The Logos Prophecy.

Gill x


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