Curses, Boiled Again by Shari Randall
Shari Randall has come up with a fun book here. There’s no such thing as a brand new book idea, just putting your own spin on an idea already out there. This author does it in spades. A restaurant, a food festival, and reality television? I’ve seen plenty of combinations for two of these, but all three? Not too many at all.
The one thing missing from this book is a lobster roll recipe. I got to find one, since this book made me hungry for one!
Allie Larkin is a fun character. I automatically felt for her with the injury crushing her dreams for the moment. She is fully developed, and I enjoyed her bit of a scatterbrained attempt at solving the murder. She feels more realistic that way.
I love Aunt Gully, because she is a feisty broad. And she’s caring of others. The right personality for a restaurant.
The sister Lorel is one I love to hate. She seems too perfect for me, too put together, has no clue the insecurities she creates. Reminds me of my own sister. Doesn’t everyone have one of these in the family? I hope in the sequel she gets accused of the murder! Sorry Shari!
The cops I liked in this story because they are a little bit fumbly. Reminds me of Amos Tucker in Murder She Wrote. This is the kind of cop that needs help, making this cozy mystery one step closer to a reality.
There were a lot of secondary characters in here because of the type of plot base. But I don’t think I had much trouble keeping them straight.
The Setting Descriptions
The setting I wish I could have envisioned better. There were so many different settings that I had trouble figuring out where I was.
On the other hand, the descriptions were very vivid, very telling, and I did get a feel of the places in the story. I just struggled piecing them all together to get a view of the town.
Very snappy dialogue kept the story moving. I liked how everyone talked. And even though most were from the same area, there was just enough differences in how people phrased things to keep everyone straight on who was saying what.
The story didn’t seem to drag at all. I kind of flew through this story. It would have been nice to have an additional intense scene or two, felt this was a bit lacking. I know cozies aren’t supposed to be intense, but it’s good to have a bit of a heart pounding going on.
I liked the concept of this story. As stated before, it’s not unique, but it’s not used too often. Shari Randall did a good job on mixing up different ideas for a mystery together into one.
I found plenty of red herrings that I didn’t know where red herrings until the end. She had plenty of clues sprinkled throughout, most of which I missed, not because of bad placement, but because of good placement.
I had no clue who committed the murder until the reveal. It shocked me. I shouldn’t have been. I should have guessed this, but the story was so well developed it fooled me into forgetting about it.
Shari Randall Author Information
The Lobster Shack Mysteries
- Curses, Boiled Again! – January 2018
- Against the Claw – July 2018
- Drawn and Buttered – February 2019
She also wrote a few short stories. You can view these on her website. You can find out more about Ms. Randall here.
I give this 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to read the next episode!