The Wickeds seem to have more and more simultaneous book releases. It’s like it is in families when the birthdays cluster together. Today, we’re celebrating the release of Muddled Through, the tenth book in Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mystery series and Gone But Not Furgotten, the sixth book in Cate Conte’s (Liz Mugavero’s) Cat Cafe Mystery series.
In the tenth installment of Barbara Ross’s award-winning mystery series starring Julia Snowden and her family’s coastal Maine clambake business, a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall leads to murder–which means it’s up to Julia to clean up the case.
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…
It’s been sixteen long months since the release of Shucked Apart, the previous novel-length Maine Clambake Mystery. I hope you’re as excited this new book as I am! Muddled Through is about mud season in New England, the art and commerce of pottery, Miss Rumphius and lupines, and the friction caused by development in a resort area that must retain its unique nature yet offer the kind of hospitality today’s tourists demand. It’s also about the New England town meeting, which some say is the purest exercise of democracy on earth, others say is a total crapstorm, and is frequently both.
I loved researching and writing this book and I hope readers enjoy it.
Gone But Not Furgotten
In Gone but Not Furgotten, the sixth in Cate Conte’s Cat Café beloved cozy mystery series, Daybreak Island has a killer on the loose…and this villain isn’t afraid to use their claws.
Maddie James has big plans for the summer season at JJ’s House of Purrs. But when her friend, master meditator and Tai Chi teacher Cass Hendricks, brings a potential animal hoarding situation to her attention, Maddie has to refocus her attention on the furry felines who may need a helping paw.
Cass has brought his Zen teachings to Fisherman’s Cove―a tiny, working class town on Daybreak Island―and one of his students, Laurel, has been on the receiving end more than one hissy fit from her neighbors, mostly because of her cats. When Maddie and Cass go to Laurel’s to check out the situation, not only do they find a plethora of cats in need, but also a dead body. Laurel appears to have had an unfortunate accident falling down her stairs, but Maddie gets a sneaking suspicion that something more sinister might be behind her death. When she voices her concerns, she’s horrified that it’s Cass who falls under suspicion.
With Grandpa Leo’s help, Maddie has to dig into the secrets this small community is keeping close to find out why Laurel really died before Cass is put behind bars . . . or the killer strikes again.
This was such a fun installment of the Cat Cafe books to write! I got to spend time with one of Maddie’s sidekicks, the mindfulness master Cass, who is based on a real-life Cass who made a huge difference in my life. It also explores the difficult subject of cat hoarding, and what that can look like–for the hoarder, and for the rescuers. Much like Barb’s book, there’s a lot of small-town New England drama involved too, including some local politics and government craziness.
I had so much fun writing this one – and I hope you all enjoy it!
Readers, what’s a small town tradition that you love – or love to hate? Leave us a comment.