Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
AGAINST THE CLAW by Shari Randall is the second cozy mystery in the Lobster Shack Mystery series. The novel is due out on July 31st 2018 by St. Martin's Press. The first novel in the Lobster Shack Mystery series, CURSES, BOILED AGAIN came out on January 30th 2018.
While waiting for her broken ankle to heal so that she can resume her career as a ballerina, Allie Larkin is back in her hometown of Mystic Bay, Connecticut, and she’s helping out at her aunt’s Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack restaurant and performing at the local theater. Allie’s life suddenly gets complicated when she’s out on a friend’s lobster boat and she pulls up a dead body instead of some yummy crustaceans. The young woman is a Jane Doe, and Allie is determined to help the police figure out the woman’s identity and what happened to her. When a second body turns up – this time her sister’s ex-boyfriend – Allie is even more determined to figure out what is going on in Mystic Bay before her sister is arrested for at least one of the two murders.
I thoroughly enjoyed AGAINST THE CLAW from the first page to the last. Randall balances out Allie Larkin’s personal life (working at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack, her relationships with family and friends, and her rehearsals at the local theater) alongside Allie’s amateur investigation into the two murders. There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot and in Allie’s investigation into the two murders. The readers will be left guessing as to who the killer(s) is and what the motive(s) is. I also enjoyed all of the quirky, real-life characters. Allie Larkin and her aunt Gully are fun, relatable, and likable characters. The setting is also very intriguing, and Randall brings the New England coastal town to life through her descriptions.