Happy Book Birthday, Barb & Cate!

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.

Muddled Through

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…

Barb says…

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.

Cate/Liz Says…

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.

48 Thoughts

  1. Happy book birthday!! I love our small town festivals and parades! Got a strawberry festival coming up, yummm!

  2. Congratulations to you both! My copies are waiting at Jabberwocky and I can’t wait to read them.

    You can’t beat a small-town parade for local excitement, pride, and potential for (fictional) mayhem!

  3. Happy Book Birthday(s)! Two fabulous authors and two book that have been on my TBR since they were first discussed. Can’t wait to read them both!

    Love everything about our small town – from the annual events, the way the support each other and how we draw closer together in the bad times. We all need that Mayberry – Andy Griffith feel and that’s why we have so many tourist that come to town. It’s why we uprooted and moved here after retiring.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. Congratulations! I’m so lucky to have you two amazing writers and women as friends. I’ve read Muddled Through but look forward to Gone But Not Furgotten!

  5. Congratulations!! I enjoy going to the different festivals we have in SW Florida. My favorite so far is the Swamp Cabbage Festival.

  6. Congratulations to both of you. I preordered Barb’s book and got it today on my e-reader. Can’t wait to read it but I am finishing up a Julia Henry book right now. Originally from small town New England, I love all the small-town references and attitude. My first exposure to small town government was that the voting and many town meetings (the larger issue ones) took place in my elementary school! Thanks all.

  7. Happy book birthdays! Can’t wait to curl up with both books.

    Small town festivals? We have a Scarecrow Festival in Fort Kent. It’s a parade with floats and lots of events in the park. Great fun for all. No dates announced for 2022 yet, but it’s usually in late September and in conjunction with University of Maine Fort Kent’s homecoming.

  8. Congrats to you both! Oh, the TBR stack is tottering. 😄. I chaired the Christmas parade for many years in a very small town. Once I even had to hop on a float to become a Christmas tree stand when the guy wires broke. Great fun.

  9. Congrats to you, both! I enjoyed Muddled Through, and I’m looking forward to Gone but Not Furgotten.

    1. So excited for both of you! Huge congratulations to two of my favorite authors.

      I loved the annual Fairfield CT Memorial Day parade. The parade route went right by our house, and people would come the night before and set up blankets and chairs to reserve a prime place. There was also a church across the street that did a pancake breakfast the morning of the parade. Great memories, for sure.

  10. Congratulations on the new books! Can’t wait to read them! I like small town festivals where old friends meet and the whole town is there.

  11. I remember the local block party! The streets in the neighborhood were blocked because we were having a neighborhood party with lots of fun and fun games for the children. Of course, this all happened ages ago when everyone knew who their neighbors were!

  12. Congratulations to you both! Can’t wait to get started on the new ones. 🙂
    The small towns in which I’ve lived seemed to have parades for every holiday, usually as an excuse to expand shopping days/hours. BUT, my favorite small town tradition was the annual strawberry festival held in June in a central NJ town. Oh, my, yum. Every conceivable strawberry concoction was available to buy or sample.

  13. Congratulations to you both! One of the areas I lived in had a wonderful Greek festival that I really enjoyed attending. Great food and performances.

  14. Happy book birthdays. I live in a larger city so I do not know a lot of what small towns actually do. I know one community has an apple butter festival in the fall. The whole town is swamped with people who come in from out of state for this festival.

  15. Congratulations to the both of you! I always enjoy our town festivals and parades! So much fun! And the good food!

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