by Barb, just back from a lovely week in Virginia, visiting family, touristing in Williamsburg, and seeing Sherry Harris!
At long last, I am excited to announce the release of Maine Clambake Mystery #10!
Release Date: June 28, 2022. Yes it’s a long wait, sixteen months from the last one. I’m not sure about the timing. I think there were some covid-related delays in contracting and signing. And, Kensington may have wanted to move publication away from the wide release of Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door on December 28, 2021. I’m happy to have a release date in the summer, which I think suits the series better than the late December date the Clambake books had for many years. I’m thinking, if this ^&*# virus is mostly behind us, maybe even some personal appearances to celebrate the release, which were never possible in the crazy time between Christmas and New Year’s.
Title: The title of the book is Muddled Through. My editor was initially skeptical about it and I understand why. It doesn’t scream cozy or food. And I can see some hot-take reviews. “I muddled through this miserable mess of a manuscript.” BUT I love this title because the book a) takes place during mud season (roughly mid-March to the end of April in Maine), b) is about pottery and local Maine clay, and 3) “muddling through” accurately describes Julia’s emotional state during the period this book covers.
The winner of the title suggestion contest in my newsletter is Lorna Doran. Lorna will be included in the acknowledgements and will receive an Advance Reader Copy as soon as I get them. (I am thinking around March-ish.) Thank you to everyone for your suggestions! There were some excellent ones that may yet get used later in the series.
Cover: Here you go.
It’s different right? No food for one thing. (Never fear, there are recipes in the book.) Weirdly, it’s exactly what I asked for and not at all what I expected. (Though maybe that’s not weird. It happens a lot.) As per usual, I sent a long a link to a Pinterest board to my editor during our cover discussions. Check it out to compare.
Here’s the blurb
Mud season takes on a whole new meaning in the coastal town of Busman’s Harbor, Maine, when local business owners sling dirt at one another in a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall. Vandalism is one thing, but murder means Julia Snowden of the Snowden Family Clambake steps in to clean up the case . . .
When Julia spots police cars in front of Lupine Design, she races over. Her sister Livvie works there as a potter. Livvie is unharmed but surrounded by smashed up pottery. The police find the owner Zoey Butterfield digging clay by a nearby bay, but she has no idea who would target her store. Zoey is a vocal advocate for turning four blocks of Main Street into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends. Other shop owners, including her next-door neighbor, are vehemently opposed. Could a small-town fight provoke such destruction? When a murder follows the break-in, it’s up to Julia to dig through the secrets and lies to uncover the truth . . .
Where to pre-order
Don’t miss out on Muddled Through. For some reason, Amazon has been super-slow getting the mass max paperback up along with the cover image, but the Kindle pre-order link is there. And the book is available from most other retailers.
Readers: What do you think? Cover? Title? Release date? Let me know in the comments.