A debut offering from Shari Randall is on the blog today, book one in A Lobster Shack Mystery and narrated by Tiffany Morgan.
Curses, Boiled Again!
A debut cozy set in the small town of Mystic Bay on the Connecticut shore, Allie Larkin is back in town and working with her Aunt Gully in her newly opened Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack. Allie is not actually interested in crime or cooking, she’s a ballet dancer but that is on hold while she heals an ankle, and what better way to regroup and recover than with your family and childhood friends, and pitching in to help with her aunt’s big day – the “Best Lobster Roll” contest surely won’t be too difficult.
But when Gully is suspected of causing the death of one of the judges as her rival’s lobster roll managed to kill them, Allie is determined to get answers to her questions and prove that her aunt isn’t capable of, nor did she poison the judge. Twists and turns, and one fanatic out to save the lobsters from the pot all mix together solidly in this plot: while development of the characters is a bit thin on the ground, and no one actually stands out as a ‘star’ that I needed to know more about, the setting, the interactions and even the twists were cleverly plotted and presented with enough information to keep readers (and listeners) engaged. A solid introduction to the series, sure to make you long for sea air, lobster rolls and that peculiar ‘feel’ of the New England coast, without overworking any of the moments. There are some fairly typical ‘small town’ types, some even hit that rather odd blend of polite yet removed that is common in the area, and enough red herrings require some attention to ferret out the miscreant and solve the mystery, all while providing a story that felt plausible and was engaging. I’m curious about the next book, and that’s always a good thing!
Narration for this story is provided by Tiffany Morgan, and her voice is pleasant, if she seems overly concerned with enunciating every single word, making the narration feel very much like a ‘kid in class’ reading at the teacher’s direction. There are some odd pauses, hesitations for commas, between sentences, and even when there is an obvious “air quote moment”. A bit flat emotionally, with subtle variations in tone that are meant to convey moments or phrases that are ‘important’, without actually adding emotion or auditory layers to the text. It was a performance that felt very ‘new to the game’, and while there was nothing dramatically outrageous to dislike, there also was nothing that particularly allowed me to love the performance.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 3
Title: Curses, Boiled Again!
Author: Shari Randall
Series: A Lobster Shack Mystery #1
Also in this series: Drawn and Buttered
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Food / Recipes, Setting: American, Small Town
Narrator: Tiffany Morgan
Published by: St. Martin's Press, Tantor Audio
Published on: 19 September, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 45 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.