The latest in an occasional series of books that turn my crank, and which I think you’ll like, too.
Musselled Out (2015) and Fogged Inn (2016) by Barbara Ross (Kensington Books), the 3d and 4th in the Maine Clam Bake mysteries. I love this series. Barb Ross is writing some of the smartest cozies around. Julia Snowden took a break from her career in venture capital in NYC to return to her Maine hometown to help her widowed mother, sister, and brother-in-law brink the family’s clambake business back from the brink. She’s succeeded, but not without personal peril, murder, and unexpected romance. In Musselled Out, her boss’s patience is running out, and she’s got to decide whether to stay—while investigating the death of a potential competitor, the disappearance of a local lobsterman, and the strange doings of her own mother.
Obviously, she stayed, or there would be no fourth book! In Fogged Inn, Julia investigates a death that appears to be closely linked to four couples determined to deny any connection with the dead man—or each other. Fogged Inn explores old friendships and new tensions. The author set herself two challenges—one obvious on the first page, the other on the last—and meets them both beautifully. This book is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, and deservedly. I’m in awe. (Next up: Iced Under, published in December 2016.)