Hello, hello! It’s the last Wednesday in June, so it’s time for another book review. Around this time of year, I have a tendency to miss Maine. I decided to request book one in a new cozy series called Maine Murder Mysteries. It’s called Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd and it came out earlier this month from Crooked Lane Books. As usual, I must thank them and NetGalley for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. With that out of the way, let’s get on with it!
Death and a Pot of Chowder is set on Quarry Island, a tight-knit community focused on family and lobstering. It focuses on Anna Winslow and her family. First, she receives a letter from a sister she didn’t know she had who wants to meet. If that wasn’t enough excitement, she brings Izzie (the sister) home with her only to discover that Anna’s brother-in-law, Carl, was murdered. Anna is a little resistant to getting mixed up in a murder investigation until charges are brought against her husband. Then, the fun really begins.
I knew nothing about this book going in, aside from the fact that it was set in Maine, so I had no expectations of it. That was a good thing, because I probably would have been sorely disappointed in it if I was expecting something. It was slow moving and just kind of drifted along like it wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere. Which isn’t a bad thing. It gave us plenty of time to get to know the characters and become invested in their lives, though I’m definitely more interested in Izzie than Anna. I didn’t really empathize with Anna the way I was supposed. It was mostly because she focused on wanting to know the “dad” who abandoned her rather than being content with the “step-father” who raised her. I just don’t understand people who are so obsessed with a sperm donor (there’s more to it, but that’s basically what he was). Especially when a loving father figure is in the picture. But anyway, I really liked everyone else.
As far as the plot goes, it was one of those where I figured out what was going on pretty early. The fact that Anna didn’t figure it out earlier was written off as her being too close to everyone involved, but what was Izzie’s excuse? Was she just too focused on her own stuff to see the signs? Maybe. Or maybe I just automatically assume the worst about people. But just because I knew what was going on, didn’t mean that I was sure about the murderer. I wavered back and forth between two people until close to the end, so that was nice. It’s a pretty standard plot, though.
The writing was okay. Like I said, it was slow and drifting. It was also one of those stories that had to repeat all the clues at least three times, which was annoying. But the parts about Maine and island life were lovely, so I didn’t mind the rest so much.
Ultimately, Death and a Pot of Chowder was just okay. If a second one comes out, I’ll probably pick it up because I liked the characters and want to give them a second chance.
Overall, I’d give it a three out of five stars. If you’re into cozies and Maine, give it a shot. Otherwise, it’s not going to hurt if you skip over this one.