Title: Curses, Boiled Again!
Author: Shari Randall
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Page Count: 320
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
Welcome to the seaside hamlet of Mystic Bay, where the fish is always fresh, the folks are ever-friendly, and murder is on a roll. . .
Allie Larkin was living her dream as a ballet dancer when a bad fall put her out of business. Now she’s back home in Mystic Bay to heal a broken ankle while also helping her dear Aunt Gully get her Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack off the ground. Nothing would help Gully more than winning the local food festival’s Best Lobster Roll contest. The competition is sure to be killer—especially after one of the contest judges dies after eating a roll from one of Gully’s biggest rivals.
Soon, all eyes fall on Gully as the prime suspect. Allie may only have one good leg to stand on, but she’s not going to let her aunt go down for a crime she never could have cooked up. Can Allie, along with her devoted crew of friends, family, and customers, find a way to trap the killer and claw herself out of this hard-boiled murder case?
Curses, Boiled Again! by Shari Randall is the first book in the all new cozy Lobster Shack Mystery series. This first book introduces readers to Allie Larkin who is a ballet dancer who has returned home to Mystic Bay while she heals from a broken ankle. While back at home Allie has been helping her Aunt Gully with her business, Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack.
Aunt Gully has been invited to take part in a lobster tasting which is a huge honor for someone new to the business. Allie wants everything to go perfectly for her eccentric aunt at the tasting so she has volunteered to help pass out samples. But when it’s time for the judging something horrible happens, all of the judges become sick after tasting a competitor’s dish.
As typical in a cozy read the main character, Allie, finds that she really needs to figure out who the real killer was when one of the judges dies from the poison food. With the law looking at Allie and her aunt she does her own questioning of the victims and suspects.
While I felt this was a solid first installment to this series I also felt that it wasn’t quite perfect just yet. The characters and story were enjoyable enough but nothing particularly stood out and shined to me either. Perhaps it needed a dash more quirkiness or bit more intrigue, not totally sure but I would continue onward with the next book in the series to see if it gains that added spark to raise my rating next time.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
A native New Englander, Shari loves hanging out with the gang at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack in fictional Mystic Bay, Connecticut, where the lobster rolls are delicious, the company’s good, and murder’s always on the menu.
When she’s not committing murder (on the page, of course), Shari enjoys walking the beach near her house, traveling, reading, visiting her globe-trotting children, and dancing. She’s currently trying to talk her husband into a tango class.