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Swimming Alone

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The Sea Side Strangler is on the loose in Beach Point, where fifteen-year-old Cathy Banks is spending the summer with her aunt (who happens to be mystery writer Roberta McCabe). Although thrilled to be away from her psychotic, divorcing parents, with no cell phone or internet access, Cathy is positive that her summer is going to be wretched. Just when she begins to make friends, and even finds a crush to drool over, her new friend Lauren vanishes. When a body surfaces in Beach Point Bay, Cathy is forced to face the question: has the Sea Side Strangler struck again?

148 pages, Paperback

First published August 14, 2015

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About the author

Nina Mansfield

15 books62 followers
Nina Mansfield is a Connecticut based writer. Her first novel, SWIMMING ALONE, a YA Mystery, was published by Fire & Ice in August 2015. Nina began her writing career as a playwright; she has written numerous plays, which have been produced throughout United States and in Canada, Australia, England and Ireland. Her short plays have been anthologized in Smith & Kraus’s The Best Ten-Minute Plays (of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014) and YouthPlays’ Middle Schoolin’ It. Her one-act play Clean is published by Original Works Publishing. A collection of her plays entitled Three More Marriage Plays, along with her plays No Epilogue, Crash Bound, Text Misdirected and Missed Exit are available from One Act Play Depot. Her short mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Mysterical-E. In addition to writing, Nina enjoys reading, seeing theater, practicing yoga, traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter. Nina is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Sisters in Crime. Please visit her at www.ninamansfield.com.

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5 stars
25 (58%)
4 stars
11 (25%)
3 stars
3 (6%)
2 stars
3 (6%)
1 star
1 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Laura Wolfe.
Author 16 books209 followers
January 6, 2016
I've had this book on my "to-read" list for several months. Now that I've read it, I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. This YA mystery was well-written with unique and believable characters, and a fast-paced plot that kept me turning the pages. Mansfield did a fantastic job of weaving a story complex enough to keep me guessing until the end, but not too complex that it became confusing. I found myself rooting for the main character, who spit out some hilarious one-liners throughout the book. In addition, the setting transported me to a quaint, seaside town which was exactly where I wanted to go in the middle of winter in Michigan! I very much look forward to reading more of Mansfield's books in the future.
Profile Image for Nina.
Author 15 books62 followers
August 20, 2015
Of course I am giving this 5 stars! (I am a bit biased.) But seriously, it's a great beach read full of suspense. Hope you'll check it out!
Profile Image for Caroline.
Author 6 books55 followers
January 21, 2016
This book is fabulous. Cathy is hilarious. The worst thing in the world that could possibly happen to her, has happened. Cathy is sent away for the summer to live with her aunt in a seaside town with zero cell reception and no Internet access. Not only is she cut off from all of her friends, Cathy's parents also make her get a job. So much for spending every day laying on the beach soaking up the sun. The icing on the cake is that the Sea Side Strangler is on the loose, murdering young brunettes - just like Cathy!

When her new friend from work goes missing (another young brunette), Cathy finds herself caught up in the mystery and danger. Will she survive the Sea Side Strangler?

Seriously, I'm not a big mystery book reader, but this book hooked me from page 1. Cathy is such a likable character. Even in her gloomiest moods she's still hilarious. Nina Mansfield did a beautiful job not only creating a realistic, yet likable, teenage girl character, but also weaving the pieces of the mystery to create an engrossing story.

** Note: I do work for the publisher of this book and I designed the book cover. However, I 100% stand by my review and rating. This book is a must read for YA fans, especially those who like a good mystery.
Profile Image for Em Jay.
184 reviews42 followers
February 19, 2016
**I received this book from a blog giveaway**

I'm always nervous reading mystery novels, since as much as I love the suspense, I absolutely hate it when I can figure out who the killer is by page two. SWIMMING ALONE, I'm happy to say, was not one such book. Despite having my suspicions (which turned out partially right, but not in the way I'd expected) I didn't guess who the Sea Side Strangler was. Mansfield planted plenty of red herrings and Cathy's constant suspicions and overreactions made sure to obscure the truth right up to the last minute.
As a main character, Cathy was fun and relatable. It made me secretly happy that >spoiler< she didn't end up with Doug -or Luke, for that matter. It broke a tiresome trend I've seen too often in YA fiction. >spoiler< I really enjoyed how there was romantic tension, but it wasn't forced at all for the sake of it.
Unfortunately it was quite short, but it worked. Overall a fast-paced, humorous, and tense mystery I would definitely recommend to teen readers!
Profile Image for Stacy Mozer.
Author 2 books24 followers
March 4, 2016
Swimming Alone is a perfect mystery for a reluctant teen reader. Humor combined with mystery makes it a real page turner.
Profile Image for Anne Martin.
707 reviews13 followers
February 19, 2016
I forgot to review this book! Sorry.
I enjoyed it, and younger readers will even like it better. I just thought Kathy's situation a bit extreme. No internet, no phone. Why? Just to make a story?
Thank God, she finds a good job and friends quickly. Otherwise, it would drive her insane.
When the girl she works with disappears, she must do something.
A nice mystery, with thrilling and scary parts.
The characters were a bit young for me, but I believe teens will love the book. Typically one of those books deserving to be better known.
Profile Image for Justin Turczak.
151 reviews26 followers
April 17, 2016
From first few pages I absolutely loved this book! Reason for this I live in a beach town so what Nina describes sounds so familiar and makes me think I'm at the beach even though it's April so can't go in the sun. But other things I liked until very last page didn't know who the sand beach killer is and there is the twist I didn't see happening. Only thing maybe as a con was a small booked and had finished this book in one sitting espcially with a book I like, over all really good read and if suggest to read it. 5/5 stars
1 review
September 5, 2015
Swimming Alone is a fantastic read. It is hard to put down, in fact I read it in one sitting!
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,485 reviews16 followers
December 23, 2020
I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Poor Cathy is planning on having a rough summer even though she’s staying in a beach town with her aunt. Her parents are going through a divorce, she has no cell phone, and her aunt has no internet access or even a TV! It was hard for me to believe that Cathy’s parents would send her there without a phone when they were surely feeling guilty. Fortunately, Cathy finds a part-time job and makes some quick friends. But one of her friends soon disappears, and Cathy is forced to face the real possibility that a serial killer has snatched her.

Cathy is brave! There’s a serial killer on the loose who kills girls who look like her, but she still goes out on her own to find her friend Lauren.

Swimming Alone is a mystery with a tad of suspense that young adults who like mysteries will enjoy. It even has a surprise ending.
Profile Image for Lisa Welch.
1,129 reviews8 followers
October 4, 2015
On the Plus Side:
** This is a solid suspense read – I was guessing the entire time, and I didn’t figure it all out until close to the end (and even then I still had some guesses at other aspects of the novel). There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing!
** I always love novels that are set in seasonal beach towns during the summer. It could be that I envision myself spending a summer someday in a town just like Beach Point Bay.
** I appreciated the variety of characters included in the novel. I really enjoyed getting to know many of the main characters as well as the secondary characters with their wide range of personalities and quirks.
** I liked the voice that is used throughout the book. I think it is very appropriate to the YA population, and it was perfect for the story.
** If you need a quick read for a fall day indoors, this one is perfect. It could easily be finished in an afternoon.

On the Minus Side:
** I really do not like the cover for this book. I feel as if it doesn’t reflect the actual content of the novel. When you see a bikini-clad woman on a beach do you think mystery and suspense?
** In my opinion, this story wrapped up too quickly for me. I was enjoying the build of the suspense, and then the whole novel ended suddenly. Although I liked the ending, it was all a bit fast for me.
749 reviews2 followers
April 13, 2016
This is not my normal genre to read. That being said it was a well written semi-fast pace book. There are plenty of twist and turns. I would read something from this author again.

Cathy has been relegated to a beach city with her author aunt while her parents hash out divorce issues. The biggest problem with the town, there is a serial killer on the loose. From here we see the mind of a teenager travel from theory to theory.

Definitely a good fast read and I am glad I took a chance on it.
Profile Image for D.G. Driver.
Author 22 books83 followers
November 3, 2015
Fun Mystery

I haven't read a mystery in a while, and this was a blast! Cathy's growing paranoia as she comes to suspect everyone she meets as a possible murderer is great fun to read. This is a great book for ages 12 and older. A good, clean read for teens. I hope Mansfield writes more like this.
Profile Image for D.G. Driver.
Author 22 books83 followers
November 4, 2015
I haven't read a mystery in a while, and this was a blast! Cathy's growing paranoia as she comes to suspect everyone she meets as a possible murderer is great fun to read. This is a great book for ages 12 and older. A good, clean read for teens. I hope Mansfield writes more like this.
Profile Image for Ella Chochrek.
33 reviews
December 29, 2016
**I received this book from a blog giveaway**

I thought the writing style was perfect for the teen/tween audience the book is targeted to. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because the storyline seemed a little bit stereotypical to me.
Profile Image for Brittany Goodwin.
Author 19 books46 followers
April 21, 2016
This is a good enjoyable beach (or in my case, airplane) read. It took me a few chapters to get into it but once it picks up it's a quick, fun read. Appropriate for young readers but will intrigue adults as well. Looking forward to seeing more from this debut author!
15 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2016
I was surprised how much I liked this book.
I liked the characters and the book is well written.
I liked the story and I kept on guessing "whodunit" till the end.
I am loooking forward to read the author's next book.
141 reviews
July 27, 2016
Loved this novel. I won this novel though goodreads giveaways.
March 6, 2016
Light beach read

Fun little mystery with twists and turns galore. Ms Mansfield manages to channel the voice of a 15 year old with great skill.
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews

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