November 30, 2021

Murder at the Lobstah Shack

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This novel mixes up a satisfying recipe of good-hearted characters, brain-teasing mysteries and evocative writing.
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In the Cape Cod town of Westham, Massachusetts, Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida gets a nightmarish wake-up call. It’s her friend and fellow Cozy Capers Book Group member Tulia Peters on the line. When Tulia arrived at her restaurant early that morning, she found more than just tubs of lobster bisque stock waiting to be boiled and buckets of shrimp needing to be peeled. On the floor of her walk-in freezer, former beauty queen Annette DiCicero was lying dead among the pickle jars.

Despite Westham’s quaint, touristy glow, this is not Mac’s first rodeo. Twice before, her Cozy Capers book club has put what they know from reading cozy mysteries into action to solve real-life murders in their small town. Despite the police’s insistence that they stay out of things this time, Mac and her friends are ready to use their considerable sleuthing skills to come to Tulia’s aid in Murder at the Lobstah Shack by Maddie Day.

Tulia, who is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, had recently been seen arguing with Annette about changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. This makes her person of interest numero uno in the investigation—but as Mac starts digging, she discovers plenty of other townspeople have surprising connections to the victim. As the list of suspects lengthens, readers get an around-the-Cape tour of Westham’s other charming-but-deadly locales: the pet store across the alley with the cranky owner; the free food market in the basement of the local Unitarian Universalist Church; the historic Quaker meetinghouse where members say things like, “Believe thee me”; and Greta’s Grains, the bakery where Mac’s new fiance works as a baker, just to name a few.

Short chapters keep the action moving at a good clip, and new revelations about Annette’s ill-tempered widower and past life as Miss New Bedford keep turning up the heat beneath the proverbial stock pot. When Westham’s more menacing inhabitants catch wind of Mac’s snooping, the danger threatens to boil this little seaside town alive.

Murder at the Lobstah Shack mixes up a satisfying recipe of good-hearted characters, brain-teasing mysteries and evocative writing. As readers work to put the clues together, they’ll enjoy all the details that makes a good cozy mystery so cozy: a community of close-knit neighbors, thriving small businesses, love interests who can make a mean lobster quiche and an easygoing pace of life—except, that is, for the occasional murder.

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