on a roll

Dancer Allie Larkin had an argument with a staircase, and the staircase won. Her ankle lost, getting broken in two places. Taking a break from dancing in order to heal, she heads back to Mystic Bay to help her Aunt Gully open her lobster restaurant. The Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack has already started to make a name for itself, with its simple, delicious, classic lobster roll and Aunt Gully's homey decorations and large personality. 

But to really get the restaurant's name out there, Aunt Gully entered the Best Lobster Roll contest at the local food fair. With the television coverage, a win there would cement Aunt Gully's reputation and seal the restaurant's success. Competing against three other popular lobster rolls, Aunt Gully has her work cut out for her. The judges are the mayor, a former Broadway actress who is appearing in a local production, and a team of tasters from YUM Network. 

Allie and her sister Lorel wait in the audience in anticipation as the entrants come on the stage, and then the judges are introduced. The first lobster roll comes out, is presented to the judges, and with just one bite, they are instantly sick. EMTs rush them to the hospital, but it's not enough to save them all. The actress dies, and the cooks are devastated. Allie and Lorel whisk their aunt away from the cancelled festival, but they can't help but wonder what happened. These were professional chefs working with fresh ingredients, so food poisoning seems unlikely. So what happened? And why? 

Aunt Gully had been getting some threatening letters, from the Lobster Liberation Society, but would they go so far as this to prove their point? Or was this about something else entirely? Allie has to know the truth, even if it puts her in danger, so she grabs her best friend Verity and investigates the case. 

Curses, Boiled Again is the first in a new cozy series, and author Shari Randall brings the flavor with this classic, charming introduction. I really loved this book! The characters are adorable, and the mystery is well written and engaging. The Lobster Shack Mystery Series is a very welcome addition to the mystery shelves. And read this one soon, as her new book in the series is coming out this summer! 


Galleys for Curses, Boiled Again were provided by St. Martin's Press through NetGalley, with many thanks.