The Light Beside the Sea



The Light Beside the Sea
by Connie di Marco

About The Light Beside the Sea


The Light Beside the Sea (A Zodiac Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – San Francisco, California
Publisher – CMA Literary (May 6, 2024)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 341 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8989009596
Digital Print length ‏ : ‎ 318 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0D393JQ87


San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti has been haunted for years by the hit and run death of her fiancé, Michael Sefton. The driver of the vehicle was never apprehended. The lone witness to the accident spoke to no one and now is dead. Even the cold case detective assigned to the case died before any resolution was found. Every time Julia thought she might be getting close to an answer, each clue led only to a dead end.

Michael, a graduate student, had just returned from an archeological dig in Guatemala when he was killed. But why did he mail his journal to Julia for safekeeping before his return home? What was he afraid of? Why did another graduate student fall to his death on that trip? And now, another man connected with that journey has been murdered closer to home. And the murderer hasn’t finished.

When Julia finally finds the courage to delve into the journal Michael sent to her years before, she learns of the undercurrents, jealousies and anger between members of the group. She begins to understand the pressure and fear her fiancé was coping with and his suspicions of their University mentor who was most likely engaged in unethical and illegal behavior.
But events soon take a darker turn when Julia finds a likeness of the Maya god Hunhau, god of death and the underworld, on her doorstep. A strange man covered with markings and tattoos keeps appearing to her but no one else seems to see him. With guidance from another professor she’s introduced to a world she never knew existed.

Is the man she sees human? And is he under the sway of the Maya god of death?

Will he unleash evil or is he here to right a wrong done to his people?

Julia must move quickly or her death will be the next.


About Connie di Marco

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti, a woman who never thought murder would be part of her practice.  The fifth book in this series, The Light Beside the Sea, has just been released.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers Association, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Q&A With the Author:

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

I always knew, from the start of the Zodiac Mysteries, that my protagonist, Julia Bonatti (whose last name, by the way, was borrowed from a famous 15th century astrologer), would have to come to some resolution regarding the death of her fiancé.  For several years, Julia carried the loss of the man she loved through a prequel novella and four full-length books.  

I do believe Julia's personal tragedy helped to flesh out her character and bring her to life for readers.  But in a series, there's an organic point in time when a certain thread must end, when questions must be answered.  Julia needed to be freed from an event that marked her life so dramatically.  

I knew the right time would come and I felt this fifth book was it.  Julia needs to solve the mystery of her fiancé's death.  

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Michael, Julia's fiancé, is killed in a hit and run accident shortly after his return from a university dig in Guatemala.  The research into that culture was fascinating and gave me the idea to use a strong paranormal element in this book.  (No spoilers here.)  This was a great jumping off point because I started with absolutely no idea why Michael died or who wanted him out of the way!  I knew I'd have to make it all up and in the end, I think it turned out to be a real corker!

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I've made the first small inroads into Zodiac #6, which will feature Gale, Julia's best friend, her past and her secrets.  I do want to continue this series because I think Julia has many more adventures on her journey.

I've also finished another book, but I do want to refine it a bit more.  For a long time, two characters have been rattling around in my head and they won't leave me alone.  They are Betty and Flo, two mostly unemployed and well-past-middle-aged actresses who despise each other.  That book is set in Los Angeles.  

I've also started another book, set in present time, that features a ghost from an earlier century.  Needless to say, I have a lot more work to do on that one.

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

I just need time to finish all my projects, so I've asked the universe to clone me.  I'm hoping that happens soon!

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I really hope the fans of the Zodiac Mysteries are thrilled by The Light Beside the Sea!  And satisfied with the solution to Michael's murder!  

Author Links


Purchase LinksAmazon – 


May 6 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST

May 8 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT


May 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

May 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

May 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

May 14 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 15 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 16 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST

May 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

May 18 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

May 19 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

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  1. Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

  2. Such a great cover. Looking forward to reading.

    1. Thanks, Katie! I love all the covers for this series. The inspiration for this one was a real natural tunnel at Lands End in San Francisco where strange happenings have occurred.

  3. I read the book excerpt and I am glad I did- I want to read this now -thanks

    1. Oh, thanks so much! I really hope you enjoy this one!

    2. That's great! I hope you enjoy this one!

  4. Both professions are certainly very interesting.

  5. Love the setting. Nicely written. Cheers.

    1. Thanks, Calvin! I think San Francisco is a great place to set a mystery!

  6. I always enjoy reading about the zodiac signs and this book sounds very intriguing

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy Julia's interpretation of her clients' natal charts -- and the mystery of course!

  7. I love the cover! It sets the tone for the book.

  8. Thanks so much, Jeanna! I love all the covers for the series, thanks to a great cover designer - Hannah Linder!

  9. Great interview, can't wait for this book in the series. Feels like it's been awhile since we heard from Connie!

    1. Hi Sally! Great to hear from you. Yes, this one has taken forever to get out in the world. I hope you enjoy it!

  10. This sounds like a great book and one that will keep me interested and reading for sure.
    heather hgtempaddy

    1. That's what every writer hopes for -- a page turner. Hope you get to enjoy this one!


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