Welcome Guest Shari Randall — My Cozy Mystery Mistake

The winner of Shari’s books is Becky Prazak!

Shari will give a copy of Curses, Boiled Again, Book One in the new Lobster Shack Mystery series, to one lucky commenter.

Hi, Wickeds! Thank you for inviting me to visit. It’s always a pleasure to hang out with you.

I just launched my debut mystery, Curses, Boiled Again! It’s been a whirlwind – I feel like a little kid playing at the beach who gets knocked over by a wave. Whoa! What just happened?

I’ve enjoyed every surprise but now things are getting serious.

I’m getting reviews.

On one hand, it’s wonderful that readers are taking the time to share their feedback about the book. Plus Amazon likes authors to get reviews, and God knows, we want Amazon to be happy.

And the reviews have been great, for which I’m thanking my lucky stars.

But a couple of reviewers pointed out that I’d forgotten to put something in the book. My cozy mystery mistake?

I’d forgotten a recipe.

My series is set at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack, a cedar shingled little spot set in Mystic Bay, Connecticut. Any resemblance to other charming New England tourist towns is entirely intentional. Colorful buoys cover the sides of the building and an antique mermaid figurehead welcomes diners at the door. Inside, the walls are covered with shelves of owner Gully Fontana’s mermaid collection, which she calls her “mermaidabilia.”

The book is full of people cooking, savoring, and talking about delicious Connecticut style lobster rolls.

What’s Connecticut style? It’s simple summertime goodness – freshly cooked lobster served in a buttery, toasted hot dog bun with melted butter poured on top. That’s it. It’s so simple, I didn’t devote a page to a recipe.

Aunt Gully, the owner of the shack, does whip them up that way but she also adds her own Lobster Love sauce, a sauce with the complex flavors of a lobster bisque.

Ah, that Lobster Love sauce.

Dear reader, I have no idea what’s in the Lobster Love sauce. The folks lucky enough to taste it aren’t sure what’s in it either, but they describe it as magical, the taste of summer in New England. They beg for the recipe.

Since I know Aunt Gully better than anyone I know she’d want me to own up to my mistake. I’ve decided to share the secret of the Lobster Love sauce right here on Wicked Cozy Authors.

The secret: there is no one recipe. Aunt Gully makes the Lobster Love sauce a different way every day.

But all that talk of lobster rolls has made readers hungry, so if a craving for lobster hits, here’s a recipe I think Aunt Gully would approve. It’s a bisque, and don’t we all love lobster bisque? Enjoy it now as a savory soup or save it for summertime, and enjoy it, if possible, with a water view.

Easy Lobster Love Bisque

Takes about an hour to make! 6-8 servings

2 lobster tails, cut in half

2 cups water

1 TBSP salt

2 TBSP olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

2 ribs celery, sliced thin

1 garlic clove, smashed

2 TBSP tomato paste

2 cups dry white wine (if you don’t want to use wine, replace with stock)

1 TBSP fresh thyme (2-3 sprigs)

1 bay leaf

1 TBSP paprika

3 cups fish stock (or you can use chicken broth)

1 14 oz can fire roasted, diced tomatoes

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup half and half

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

If you like spicy, at the end add some of your favorite hot sauce, to taste.

In 2 cups of salted water in a large pot, steam lobster tails (shell side down) until cooked through (approx. 5 minutes)

Carefully remove tails from the water. Put in bowl. Reserve cooking water. Let the tails cool then remove the meat and reserve the shells.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over med-hi heat. Add onion and celery and cook until onion is translucent (approx. 4-5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes.

Add the wine to the mixture, deglazing and scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add herbs, paprika, stock, reserved liquid from the lobster pot, and tomatoes. Add reserved shells to the pot. Let simmer 45 minutes.

Remove the shells, strain mixture, and blend with immersion blender until smooth. (If you’re not fussy, you can skip straining the mixture.) Stir in cream, half and half, and lemon juice.

Chop the lobster meat and divide among soup bowls. Ladle bisque over the meat and enjoy!

Readers: What is your favorite restaurant with a view?

Shari Randall lives in a mid-century money pit on the Connecticut shore. When she’s not committing murder (on the page, of course) she enjoys dancing, reading, and volunteering at her local library. You can see what’s new with her at https://us.macmillan.com/author/sharirandall/.



81 Thoughts

  1. Hello Sherry, my favorite eatery with a view is a little cafe in my hometown that serves only cupcakes and coffee. You can see all the beautiful trees and structures. Thanks for writing Curses, Boiled Again. Maureen

    1. Maureen, cupcakes and coffee and a view sounds like bliss! I wish there was a place like that near me – we’re short on cupcakes and long on fish here in CT.

    1. Hi Edith, thank you for reading Curses! And thank you for supporting indy bookstores – nothing better than shopping in a cool little bookshop.

  2. Hooray, Shari, for the success of your book! I am so happy for you. You asked about favorite restaurant views. I enjoy any restaurant overlooking the water in Maine!

  3. I enjoy eating near the lake in the summer. It is fun to watch the boaters navigate the bays. I am looking forward to reading your new book!

  4. I would Love yo read this and leave a review
    I love lobster and lobster sauce plus I live in CT myself. It doesn’t get much better than that, unless you get a Lobster Bomb from from Ford’s in Noank…

    Here’s to hoping.

    1. Hi Janette, you know my secret! I based my setting on Noank and Mystic – two of the prettiest little towns anywhere. And the Lobster Bomb – oh my goodness – it’s the best thing ever!

  5. How fun….another new cozy writer to read. It seems that I will have enoughreading material until I die!! Thank you

    1. Hi Sherry – thank you for inviting me to visit! I’ve never been to Aspen – you’ll have to tell me about it. Wasn’t there an old saying that restaurants with a view didn’t have very good food? I’ve found that doesn’t apply to many of the seaside restaurants I like. Thank goodness.

  6. This book looks like so much fun! My favorite restaurant with a view is Bubba’s in Virginia Beach, which has the bonus of being right next to where we got married 5 years ago. They have a bacon cheeseburger topped with blue crab that is so good! They are right on the Lynnhaven Bay.

    1. Hi Kristin, I love Virginia Beach! The first time I ever saw dolphins was when I was swimming there. That Bubba’s burger sounds out of this world delicious. Sounds like you have many special reasons to love that area.

  7. LOVE, lobster and everything about the sea. Would love to win this debut mystery. Sounds like a fun read.

  8. As the book is better than the movie, so is the idea of a Lobster Love Sauce better than an actual recipe. This way we each get to imagine its scrumptiousness in our own way! (And believe me, I can imagine it.) I am 40 minutes from Mystic, so I have been there often. What a great setting for your book! Looking forward to getting (winning?) a copy and reading it. I always love the first of a series.

  9. This sounds like an awesome book. You are a new to me author. unfortunately, in our city, the restaurants with a view don’t have great food. Thanks for the chance to win and wishing continued success with this series.

    1. Hi Kathleen, thank you for your kind words. I was just thinking of that old saying too – restaurants with a view don’t have good food. Sadly, I’ve found that to be true in too many (usually expensive) places. But no worries with an entirely fictional lobster shack!

    1. I’ll admit that my absolute favorite restaurant is in a strip mall in Springfield, VA and has a view of another strip mall. But the food is so good!

  10. If you had said best place to eat with a view, I would have said at my dining room table. We live in the Ozark Mountains and the view can be breath taking. However, since you said best restaurant we have eaten at with a fabulous view, I’d have to say the Elements on the Falls at Niagara Falls. It was a fabulous trip and that meal definitely had a breath taking view.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of “Curses, Boiled Again”, Book One in the new Lobster Shack Mystery series. I’d LOVE the chance to read this book. With or without a recipe, I know it’s bound to be a fabulous book and a wonderful cozy mystery. <3

    The talk of lobster reminds me of our wonderful trip 3 years ago through the New England state, including Connecticut, in the fall of the year. Lobster and seafood in general was one of the highlights of the trip for us that live no where close to an ocean.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hi Kay, how wonderful to have a beautiful mountain view right outside your window!
      My husband has been talking about taking me to Niagara Falls this summer since I have never been there. I’m going to put your recommendation on our itinerary. Thank you!

  11. Congratulations, Shari! I haven’t eaten there, but I’ve seen pictures of the LeMont, which has a phenomenal view of the Pittsburgh skyline and the three rivers.

    1. Hi Liz, Thank you! I’m going to have to start a list of restaurants from these replies. I just googled LeMont – omg! The view! and the food! Road trip to Pittsburgh!

  12. Your book sounds wonderful. I am definitely going to give it a try. Thank you for the recipe and the chance to win! Funnily enough, I don’t think I have a favorite restaurant with a view ; although, I have many favorite restaurants!

  13. Any restaurant that over looks the ocean in Southern California.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. Red Lobster is the closest I get to a seafood restaurant that has lobster. On my bucket list is a trip to New England so that I can gorge on all the lobster, crab, etc. that my stomach can hold. Thanks for the chance to enter your giveaway.

  15. Oh, I am so looking forward to reading Curses, Boiled Again (love the title)! Not having lobster on the menu, especially lobster rolls, is one of the things I miss most about moving from the coast. For now, the best view is from Cafe Chocolate in Lititz, PA (a great cozy, not cutsie, town. The food is all organic and delicious. The view? A wonderful indie bookstore, Aaron’s Books, where I enjoy the companionship of a cozy mystery book group

    1. Oh, Ginny, that sounds absolutely wonderful. Is Lititz Pennsylvania Dutch country? That’s on my bucket list. And I hear the food there is divine.

      1. Pennsylvania Dutch country is really all over the place around Lancaster. However, Lititz is just a little out of the mainstream of it. There certainly are plenty of great places to visit nearby. I just love driving through the countryside here. And it is quick and easy to get to even from downtown Lancaster. A perfect place to retire.

  16. I live in NY and there’s a lovely restaurant right on the Hudson River that has outdoor seating with a great view. My favorite is Sunday brunch there.

    1. Hi Nicole, several time a year I cross over the Hudson on the Tappan Zee Bridge and I’m dying to visit all the towns along the river. It is beautiful.

  17. Since I was one of the ones who commented on your “mistake,” I had to laugh when I started this post.

    This is a great debut well worth reading. If you don’t win, you need to get a copy of it yourself.

    1. Hi Mark, I’ve been laughing about it ever since. How could I forget the recipe?! And thanks again for your kind words and for taking the time to review. Hope you’re doing well.

  18. Hi Shari! I don’t have one particular favorite eatery with a view, but I do love to dine near the water – so pretty and peaceful! Thank you for sharing your recipe, and congratulations on your new release! Nicole 🙂

  19. One f my favorite restaurants is Rave Tides in Depoe Bay, Oregon. It is on a cliff overlooking a little bay and you can at home the seals bobbing around as well as the beautiful ocean. No lobster here but the Dungeness crab is fabulous.

  20. My favorite place to eat out with a view is a spaghetti place up north that is set on the river. The building looks like an old Victorian mansion and the decor is all re-purposed old Victorian looking furniture. We don’t go often but it’s special when we do.

  21. Mine used to be Alitos in Sf it had a wonderful view and was my fav place now there is a place here Iowa who has a wonderful view called Timmermans but the prices are just as high as the view but it has a wonderful view of the Miss river and to get there from where i live you have to go across the east dbq bridge which also crosses over the water. On the way out they have the dinner mints and they are dk choc . peggy clayton

    1. Hi Julie, so happy to hang out with the Wicked! It’s all been very exciting as you know – I’m trying to slow down and breathe and enjoy it.

  22. One of my favorite restaurants with a view is Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay, OR. the restaurant is built right on the bay and every table has a view of the rocks and the waves. At high tide, you can see the waves crash dramatically on the rocks.

    1. Hi Autumn, you are the second commenter to recommend Tidal Raves! It sounds fantastic – if I ever get out to Oregon I’m going to have to try it.

  23. In New Orleans where I live there are many fine seafood restaurants but alas I am allergic to shellfish and can’t eat there. But I would really love to read this book.

    1. Hi Carolyn, Thank you! New Orleans is such a restaurant wonderland. My favorite was a muffuletta from Central Grocery. I’ve never had such a good sandwich!

  24. I’m laughing because I had the same issue. My series centers on a Maine Clambake dinner, not a lobster roll, but it’s the same food over and over. When I submitted my proposal for the series, it didn’t have recipes in it, but my agent caught on and sent it back. I put in the recipes for the clam chowder served as a first course and the blueberry grunt served for dessert. After that I was fresh out. But I eventually figured out that my protagonist needed to eat and wouldn’t eat every meal at the clambake, so that’s how I’ve found recipes for the rest of the series.

    1. Hi Barb, my editor sent me a note that said “doesn’t your character ever get tired of eating lobster rolls?” so I’ve switched it up for her. Thank goodness, no one can eat that much of one thing, even lobster rolls. I’ve seen some of your recipes, and they look fantastic!

  25. Your book looks great! I’ll admit, although I read cozies with recipes I never actually follow the recipes so I would be one of those readers who wouldn’t even notice if one was missing. And I don’t really have a favorite restaurant with a view, although there were several I enjoyed in Seattle with lovely views of the water. mbradeen@yahoo.com

  26. One of my favorite restaurants with a view is a small local restaurant , The Riverside, in Crosslake, MN. In the winter it’s not real busy so you can always get a window table—and usually the swans are floating on the water where the river doesn’t freeze. I could watch those swans for hours.

  27. I love that Aunt Gully doesn’t have a recipe, since she makes it different every time. I don’t know that I have a favorite restaurant with a view, however I like ones that have busier sidewalks, so I can people watch.

    1. I live in Chicago and there are a lot of restaurants here with great views. I enjoy going to Navy Pier, it’s casual and right on the water. There are lots of things to do and places to eat and there is a great view from the new ferris wheel.

  28. My TBR list keeps growing. This books sounds like it would be a very good read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  29. My comment disappeared. I’m so disappointed. I put a lot into it, more than I usually do, because I liked the topic so much. I’m sure it was an electronic glitch, but it was here, and then it wasn’t. Darn.

    1. Reine, I’m so sorry! I’ll tell Sherry so they can use that question with another blog – or just come over to my Facebook page because now I’m dying to know what you were going to say.

      1. Dear Shari, I I’m afraid I can’t due to a family emergency. It turns out that effort was not the most I put into that day, and I feel rather foolish now that I even thought it was important. I love the writers here and they all are precious to me as me as any friend. I will keep up with your blog and posts. I just have to get through the current crisis. I am so sorry to disrupt the lovey post.

  30. To get a restaurant with a view I have to travel several miles to Santa Cruz, Monterey, or the Bay area!

  31. I look forward to reading your book. I see Barbara Ross commented. I’ve read her books & enjoyed them. I can’t wait to read yours!

  32. I don’t have a favorite place to eat with a view. Restaurants here in TN aren’t all that great. LOL Unless you count eating at my Aunt’s house on the back porch so you can see the mountains.
    Also I do love the recipe. Going to see if the hubby thinks it would be something he would eat as I know the kids wouldn’t eat it with me. lol

Comments are closed.