Review of Musseled Out

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Julie Snowden has returned to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, to help the family business avoid bankruptcy.  It seems as though they have dodged the crisis and they may finally get back in the black.  But there is still the problem of David Thwing, the Mussel King, who is threatening to move into the area to compete with the Snowden Family Clambake Company.   Julie does not know how this will affect her company or what she can do about it.  But the problem disappears when David is found underneath an abandoned lobsterman’s boat, dead.  One problem is solved, although she did not want the man to die.  But now there is a bigger problem facing Julie.

Her brother-in-law, Sonny, is a suspect in the murder.  The whole town knows that Sonny really did not like him and has had many arguments with him.   But murder is a long way from arguing with someone.  And to make matters worse, Sonny is not being truthful about his whereabouts the day of the murder.  He is lying to her sister and refuses to say what he was doing that day.  This makes him look even more guilty.  But Julie cannot believe that Sonny had anything to do with the murder, so she decides to find the real murderer before he is but away for life.

Besides worrying about Sonny, Julie also has to deal with her mother’s strange behavior.  Her mother has been spending a lot of time away from home but will not say where she is and what she is doing.  She also has to decide if she is going to return to New York to continue her job as a Venture Capitalist.  She must decide soon or she will be let go.  And she also has to decide if her boyfriend, Chris, is enough of a reason to stay in Maine.  Chris has secrets of his own that he is keeping from Julie.  Although she does not think he is doing anything illegal, she still worries about what he is up to.  That is a lot of issues for one person to handle and at time she feels overwhelmed.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and likable.   I like the small town feel of Busman’s Harbor, where everyone knows everybody’s business.  The mystery was carried on throughout the entire book, and there were many suspects to consider.  There are twists and turns along the way to make it even more difficult to solve the mystery.  I did not figure it out until it was revealed at the end.  The ending is very plausible, which I like.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very descriptive in her writing and it is very easy to picture myself right there in the setting, watching all the action taking place around me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  Although this is the third book in the series, it is the first one that I have read.  I am looking forward to reading the other two.

I received a free copy of Musseled Out from NetGalley in exchange for a honest  review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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