by Barbara Ross
Synopsis: An autumn chill has settled over Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.
Nothing’s colder than a corpse—especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who’d want to kill the unidentified stranger—and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they’re all connected. One thing’s for sure: Julia’s going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…
Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!
My Review: This is the fourth installment of the Maine Clambake Mystery series and I think the stories get better with each book. It’s the off-season in Maine, and Julia has moved into the studio apartment above Gus’ Restaurant. She and her boyfriend Chris are operating the restaurant for dinner and calling it Gus’ Too. Gus wakes Julia up hollering early in the morning that there is a dead body in his walk-in refrigerator. It ends up to be the stranger that was in the restaurant the night before. Not only that, but there was a car accident a couple of blocks away and the driver of one of the vehicles involved has disappeared. Julia also finds out that the gift certificates that the four couples who ate in the restaurant the night before during a storm, had been changed with an expiry date added. Are these situations related? Who is the dead man and why was he murdered in the restaurant? Who worked to get the four couples all in the restaurant together? Once again Julia investigates and finds out information that the police do not think is important. Are Julia and Chris in danger? Who is trying to get Julia to stop asking questions?
This book opens with the murder, and the pace never slows. Because it was off season, Julia, Chris and Gus were the main characters from town as well as the State Police and Julia’s friend Jamie. This was nice because the characters involved in the mystery that Julia was investigating got me a bit confused at times. I like the way the story played out and the solutions to the various mysteries were unexpected. I enjoyed the side story very much and it added a nice dimension to the story. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers. I love this series, and this is another great entry.