Death and a Pot of Chowder: A Maine Murder Mystery

Death and a Pot of Chowder: A Maine Murder Mystery

by Cornelia Kidd

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683315834
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Series: A Maine Murder Mystery , #1
Sales rank: 248,007
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author


Maine author Cornelia Kidd, who also writes under the name Lea Wait, spent a wonderful summer on a Maine island when she was ten. Now she lives in a historic home on the banks of the Sheepscot River with her husband, artist Bob Thomas, where she cooks seafood, reads, writes, speaks to groups of all ages about writing, and, whenever possible, drinks champagne. This is her first Maine Murder mystery.

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Death and a Pot of Chowder: A Maine Murder Mystery 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
BunnySTx More than 1 year ago
Being an avid reader I enjoy a good cozy mystery. So when I saw this book, I was eager to read and discover a new favorite story or a new author to follow. This author, Cornelia Kidd, introduces me to Quarry Island, Maine. It's a small island community that is very tight-knit. Everyone knows everyone, and of course...usually, everyone's business as well. The main character, Anna is surprised one day when she learns that she has a younger sister. The sister has reached out because the father has recently passed on and she wants to connect. On the day of her visit, tragedy strikes. Anna's husband, Burt, learns that his brother, Carl, has disappeared while out on his boat. Tragedy turns to heartbreak when it is discovered that Carl is found dead. It's labeled a drowning, but that's what it stays as. Anna's life is soon thrown into chaos when they are told that Carl's death was murder and that her husband is the prime suspect. With the help of her sister, Anna intends to delve deeper to figure out what really happened and who committed the crime. This is the first book that I have read by Cornelia Kidd, I believe, and overall I enjoyed the story. It is well-paced and engaging. For me, Anna is a soft character. She's the main character but she doesn't have a lot of depth to her. I wanted more. She's comfortable with her life, for the most part, and she takes care of house and home. Finances have become tight, but she still does her best for her family. I love how quickly and easily Izzie blends into the family. You can tell that she is meant to be there. She has more character than Anna really. Izzie had to grow up fast, but she's managed to accomplish quite a bit in her life. She has dreams, goals, and ambitions. I love how helpful she is around the house and with Anna in the wake of all the tragedy that has happened. When disaster first hit I honestly thought Anna would make Izzie stay in a hotel or come back another time. I was very pleased that she doesn't do this. I'm also thankful that when others were telling Anna to be cautious of Izzie and to even send her away, that she doesn't listen to them. A big negative for me concerning this story is how Anna handles the situations with her son, Jake. Jake is rude and disrespectful to not just her but others numerous times. Anna never once reprimands him, and it honestly bothers me. When the boy starts disappearing and just going off, I'm shocked that she never says anything. Everything is dismissed as "Oh he's just a teenager" and more such nonsense in my opinion. Another situation I didn't like was when the detective goes and pulls Jake from school. Why doesn't Anna get a phone call?! That is major! The detective is not a family member or relative, so the school should have phone Anna to let her know what was happening. I truly enjoyed the mystery element of this novel. When the pieces begin to come together, the author artfully misdirects us until the end. I was shocked! Haha! I thought...well, maybe! But then dismissed those thoughts. Well played madam. Well played. I loved the twist. While I would have liked more depth from certain characters, this story is truly enjoyable. I definitely recommend it to those who are looking for a good mystery novel. I am rating this book 4 out of 5 stars. The reason I am doing this is that I couldn't get past the lack of Anna really standing up and being a parent to Jake.
Michelle_Palmer More than 1 year ago
A cozy mystery set on an island off the coast of Maine. Generally when I read a cozy, the relationships are the best part of the book. Some of the relationships in this book are great but some felt awkward and I don't think they were supposed to be. The setting was charming and I loved the developing sisterhood between the two main characters. I will probably read further books just to see this relationship develop. I solved the mystery about halfway through the book but it did not detract from the story.
Grey Winters More than 1 year ago
Whenever I get a book for review (read “for free”) I always want to enjoy it so much. I want to be able to glowingly say I loved it and only write positive things about it. I want to build it up so much. Sometimes that isn’t plausible or realistic though. Some books are just not a book for you. This was one of those books. I will, however, say that I was able to get through the entire book because of it being a mystery. There is a part of my brain that will forever want to know “whodunit” and that part of my brain pushed me forward even though I wasn’t engaged as much as I would have liked with the story. I want to state first that I am fairly new to the world of cozy mystery books, I grew up on television shows like “Murder, She Wrote” that are obviously similar. Recently, I finished a buddy read that made me recognize that I had a deep appreciation for the mystery genre and especially the cozy mystery format. Cozy mysteries with their small town relationships, their wholesomeness (even with murder being involved), and just that weird warmth that you get from such a book. I love seeing a world that I once was a part of when I lived in a smaller town. I understand those close knit communities and honestly love seeing them in print. The issue here though is a cozy mystery book has two words within its genre title. Cozy and mystery. These elements should be balanced. In this book, however, it feels that for far too many pages we were stuck in the cozy and not enough of the mystery. It felt that the characters that were supposed to be investigating the death in the book were more invested in other matters or simply acquiring knowledge through people literally coming to their door. The fun of a cozy mystery and other mystery novels, to me, is when the character goes sleuthing to discover clues. To gather information and often times this means the main character snooping in areas that maybe they shouldn’t be. Putting their life in a little bit of danger during the process. In cozies, the danger tends to be a little more mundane, but it is still there at times. This seemed to be lacking in that element until the “reveal” part of the book. Up to that moment it was like everyone was just talking and not really trying to figure out the murder. This book was definitely more cozy than mystery and that was my chief complaint with it. Another issue that I had with this book was that characters, especially Anna, didn’t seem to respond in ways that I would think most people would in the situations that they were placed in. No one just tells people everything and that felt like what these characters did throughout the book. Anna didn’t seem to understand that she was the mother of Jake, her son, and that she was allowed to discipline him and say you are not going to respond to me in certain ways. No, I am not a parent, but let me say that if I was I would never respond the way that Anna does in this book. It was frustrating to read. I even tried to analyze it as that I was never a parent, but seriously there are moments where I couldn’t move past it. Many times I felt that I wanted Izzie, her new sister, to say something to her. Having a moment where the kid is mad and screaming he doesn’t want to talk to her would have felt a bit more organic than what happens within this book. It felt like she was treating her child like a roommate! Yes, this upset me greatly.
momelaine More than 1 year ago
I have read books by Lea Wait before but this one written under her name Cordelia Kidd was the best yet! Her writing with this story reminded me very much of one of my very favorite authors, Elisabeth Ogilvie. Her descriptions of living on an island and the life of lobstermen and the hard work they have to do to earn a living are so real! The story of Anna meeting her half sister is very interesting. Izzie comes to the island and gets involved in the mystery of who killed her half sister's brother-in-law. Anna and Izzie are a good sleuthing duo. I pray there will be a few more books in this series. They will be on my list, for sure!
Biszemom More than 1 year ago
Death and a Pot of Chowder was a delightful read from beginning to end! This book is the first in a new series called “A Maine Murder Mystery” and is written by Cornella Kidd who has also written books as Lea Wait. While I cannot remember reading her books prior to this, I will be on the lookout for them moving forward. The plot was well developed and the story moved along quickly, but with rich details and character depth. Sisters Anna and Izzie feel well connected even though they meet for the first time in this story. I felt fully immersed in the story and couldn’t put it down and have marked several of the recipes in the back to try.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd is the first A Maine Murder Mystery. Anna Winslow lives on Quarry Island in Maine with her husband, Burt and son, Jake. She is surprised when she receives a letter from Isabel “Izzie” Jordan stating that she is her half-sister and would like to meet. A couple of weeks later, Anna is in Portland to meet up with Izzie. They arrive at their lunch destination when Anna gets a call from Burt regarding his brother, Carl. Carl’s boat was found adrift and he is missing. Anna and Izzie rush to Quarry Island where the search is ongoing. Later that night, Carl’s body is discovered, but he did not die from drowning. Detective Jonas Preston of the Maine State Police is on the case and they soon learn that the evidence is mounting against Burt. Anna and Izzie band together to track down Carl’s killer. Death and a Pot of Chowder is set on Quarry Island, Maine. The author provided detailed descriptions of the island and its history. Anna is thirty-two and has been married to Burt since she was eighteen years old. Burt is a fourth-generation lobsterman and expects his son to follow in his footsteps. Anna grew up on the same street. Her mother and grandmother still live in the house (close knit family). It is a place where people can leave their doors unlocked and children can roam freely (until someone murdered Carl). The author did a terrific job at setting the stage for A Maine Murder Mystery series. I like how the author brought the two sisters together and their plans for the future. I loved how Anne of Green Gables was woven into the story (one of my favorite books). I thought the mystery was simple. I easily identified the guilty party. Anna and Izzie work together to figure out Carl’s movement before he was killed. They question various people and get assistance from retired detective and neighbor, Rob Erickson. I could have done with less speculation and repetition. There needed to be more action which would have helped the pacing (which was slow at times). My rating for Death and a Pot of Chowder is 3.5 out of 5 stars. I found Jake to be extremely annoying. I realize his attitude and behavior are realistic for a fourteen-year-old, but I did get tired of his yelling and door slamming. Izzie’s love of cooking comes through as she describes how she likes to create dishes and execute them. There are various cookbooks mentioned and there are recipes included at the end of the book. There are many engaging cozy moments as the two sisters bond, explore the island, cook, and plan for the future. Death and a Pot of Chowder is nicely written, has good characters, rustic setting and plenty of food. Death and a Pot of Chowder captured my interest and I will be picking up the next A Maine Murder Mystery.
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
A layered, engaging mystery! This book is set in my most favorite of mystery locations: Maine. The small, closet-knit island community is the best place for a great whodunit. Main character, Anna, is a wife and mom who's lived her whole life on the same road and has known the island and its citizens her whole life. So who could be better to investigate the death of a family member... especially when her own husband is suspect #1? Add in a new family member that Anna's just learned about, and some background on the primary characters, and there was plenty of meat to this story to keep me reading. The victim, though generally a good person, had flaws, which created several strong suspects as the story went on. There were plenty of clues and twists - both relevant and not - to keep me guessing 'til the very end. I also enjoyed the recipes at the end and how each chapter began with a snipped from old books about housekeeping and cooking. This is the first book I've read by Cornelia Kidd, but I'm already looking forward to reading more! I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Death And A Pot Of Chowder is the first book in the A Maine Murder Mystery. I was drawn to this book by its description and when I learned that Cornelia Kidd also writes as Lea Wait, I knew I had to read it. I have read all of Wait’s Needlepoint and Antique Print series books and love her writing. This story takes place on Quarry Island, Maine where most residents are involved in the lobstering industry. Anna Winslow is one of those residents. Anna’s husband Burt in a lobsterman as is his brother Carl. Anna has just gotten a letter and she doesn’t recognize the handwriting on the envelope. When she reads the note inside, she finds that she has a half-sister, Izzy, who lives in Connecticut. Anna drives to Portland to meet Izzy at the bus station. On the way back to Quarry Island, Anna learns that Izzy is a chef and is looking to find a job in Maine and get her career started. Shortly after they get home Anna learns that Carl had gone out on his boat to check his lobster traps and is missing. The next day, Carl’s body is found washed ashore and it is found that he had been shot. As the police begin their investigation they soon zero in on Burt having killed his brother. His rifle has gone missing and they also learn that Carl had written a check on Burt’s checking account and nearly zeroing out the account. When Burt gets arrested for his brother's murder, Anna begins to do a little sleuthing of her own to clear her husband. Even though Anna and Izzie have just met they are bonding quickly and Izzie proves extremely valuable in keeping the family upbeat and is able to see things in the friends and neighbors that Anna may not as she has known them all her life. I found this story to be well-plotted and told with plenty of twist and turns. The story had interesting and believable characters and am looking forward to learning more about the interesting residents of Quarry Island. Each chapter begins with excerpts from various cookbooks and household management books from the 1800’s, which I found to be very interesting. Delicious sounding recipes are also included with the book. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in this exciting new series to see what adventures Anna and Izzie will have next.
SewWrite 7 months ago
I am a big fan of Lea Wait's Mainly Needlepoint series, so naturally I had to read this new series she is writing under her grandmother's name. I really enjoyed the setting for this series. I grew up on Cape Cod and the setting very much reminded me of living on a small, fairly secluded island. I also enjoyed getting to know the sisters as they were getting to know each other. As always the murder mystery was a good story and the clues were in place for the reader to follow along. When the killer is unearthed, it is a surprise and the reader feels the pain of the characters that we have gotten to know and become friends with. I hope that we will get another book to read in this series because I want to see the relationship between these sisters grow.
Vhar318 More than 1 year ago
Anne Winslow was born and raised on Quarry Island in Maine by her mother, stepfather and her grandmother. Anne married her high school sweetheart Burt, they have a teenage son Jake. Quarry Island is a tight knit community where everybody knows each other. Burt and his brother Carl are lobstermen. Life on Quarry Island is basically the same day in and day out, always has been. One day Anne receives a letter that changes her life forever. Someone new enters into the Winslow’s family and on the day of the arrival, someone close to the Winslow family is murdered. Soon the friends that Anne has known all her life secrets start to come to light. What Anne thought she knew about her family and friends isn’t exactly how they really are. Cornelia Kidd has written a warm and interesting story of family and community. She takes the story in one direction and once you believe you have figured out whodunnit, the mystery goes a direction you don’t expect for reasons you never would have guessed. I really enjoyed this book. It is well written, the blurbs at the beginning of each chapter were interesting and fun, and the story takes a turn I never expected. The story is an easy cozy read. I would definitely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what to expect from this series, but I discovered great characters, family love, strong women who are comfortable in their femininity, and a harsh but beautiful setting. I cannot wait for the next book.
EclecticBooks More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the A Maine Murder Mystery Series. So glad I got in on the first book of this series. It has been added to my series to follow list. The characters are very interesting as is the life of the characters on Quarry Island. Many cozies are set in small towns, which is wonderful, but how great is it to have a cozy set on a tiny island in the North East USA. The main characters are Anna Winslow, her husband Burt, son Jake, Anna's mother and grandmother, and of course the other members of the close-knit community. In this first story, the murder is very close to home. Burt's brother Carl goes missing and is later found murdered. Without going too much into the story and giving away any more details, I will simply say this was a fun, quick read and I am looking forward to more from Ms. Kidd. Keep the Maine mysteries coming! I am giving this cozy a solid 4-star rating!
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Death and a Pot of Chowder is the start of a fabulous new series! I enjoyed everything about it, beginning with Quarry Island, a small community of families who have lived on the island for generations, many making their living on the sea from lobstering. They are the kind of folks who will do anything to help each other. To an islander, where one is born and raised is important, but even if they are a bit suspicious of off-islanders, the residents will give them a chance. Most of the characters are gemstones, described so well that this reader felt she already knew them. Maine sounds like a breathtakingly beautiful place, and it is clear the author loves it. The springtime changes are shown in relation to the characters and how they respond accordingly, to anything from plants and trees showing new life, to muddy ruts, to the chill in the air. One fun thing is that each chapter begins with a quote from a book from the 1800’s to early 1900’s with housekeeping, cooking, or family advice. Some of the quotes showed a side of life I wouldn’t have imagined many homes in those days being able to afford, hiring and overseeing household help. Family relationships are challenged in this mystery, beginning with Anna Winslow, her mother, and her grandmother. Anna receives a letter from a woman introducing herself as her younger half-sister. Their father, who Anna never knew, had just passed away and Isabel “Izzie” Jordan and Anna would inherit equal portions of his estate. Anna’s mother had never talked about her father, never even told her his name, but her grandmother had stayed in touch with her father’s parents and knew about Izzie. Anna and her husband Burt also face challenges. He found his brother Carl’s boat adrift with no sign of his brother on board; he towed the boat to shore and a search party went out. The following day, Carl’s murdered remains were found. Burt, having had a loud disagreement with Carl the day he went missing, is the prime suspect. I love seeing Anna’s love for Burt and her faith in his innocence; she will do anything to help him even as her she gets to know her sister Izzie. Family ties may be strained but remain strong. There are plot twists changing the direction of who the bad guy might be. There were several good suspects. I did guess who the killer was, even though I didn’t know the real motive until the person admits to doing so, and why. I highly recommend this exciting new mystery set against the beautiful, wild backdrop of an island off the coast of Maine. For those who enjoy recipes, there are some included for the dishes in the novel. From a grateful heart: I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher, and was not required to post a review.
Bookaholic-mka More than 1 year ago
This is a really fun read set right in Maine. Not just in Maine but right on the docks with all of the lobster boats. The setting is Quarry Island Maine and if you aren’t from the Island you are “from away” and are very unlikely to ever become what is referred to as a local. This is a story about everyday people, living close to one another, trying to make a living, and knowing each other’s business. Just like in every other small town. One thing I absolutely love about this book is that each chapter begins with a paragraph of a helpful hint each from a truly existing book or letter or newspaper column although maybe from 100+ years ago. A hint for cooking or a hint to cure an illness, or curing a pig, or how to save meat through the hot summer, or how to set the table, or even to keep your husband happy. Well you get my drift. Do not skip a one of them; they are hilarious. Even more so since people thought they were all true at one time. They just add to the scene and sense of place she writes about so well. Cornelia Kidd does such a great job at descriptive writing that you almost live on Quarry Island yourself or at least you sure want to. Her characters are down home and yet sophisticated in their own way all at the same time and her writing makes you a part of all of them. Don’t for a minute think you’ll figure the bad guy out at the beginning. There are plenty of twists and turns in this fun book. This is Book 1 of a series titled “Maine Murder Mystery”. I may be assuming this is going to be a series but I am really hoping Book 2 will pop up soon. ***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd is a nicely written cozy mystery set on Quarry Island in Maine, where nothing ever happens......until Anna's heretofore unknown biological father passes away leading to her discovery of her heretofore unknown half-sister, her brother-in-law is presumed lost at sea then discovered murdered, and her dear husband is arrested for the crime! Lots of twists and turns involving family and neighbors, I stayed up past my bedtime to finish this well-crafted mystery! A+ p.s. Recipes included - yay!
Katandjim More than 1 year ago
This book hooked me from the first chapter, and I couldn't put it down. I was enthralled by the descriptions of Quarry Island, Maine. The story begins when Anna receives a note from a half-sister she didn't know she had. Anna's father, whom she never met, had passed away, and when his will was read, Izzy, Anna's sister found out about her. Izzy and Anna decide to meet for the first time in Portland, Maine, but Anna gets a call from home that changes everything. Anna's brother in law Carl's boat is found in the water, without him in it. Anna and Izzy head back to the Island to support Anna's husband Burt. When Carl's body is found, the detectives determine that he didn't drown, but was murdered. Worst yet, Burt is arrested for the crime! Anna and Izzy start investigating the murder and who else in the tiny town could have motive and means. I really enjoyed this book, as I said, I couldn't put it down. It was a great cozy mystery and a quick read. I look forward to other books by this author.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Anna Winslow was born and raised on the fishing island of Quarry Island, Maine and the islanders all know each other well. When Anna discovers she has a sister she never knew about, her life life changes in the blink of an eye. But the same day her sister Izzie comes to visit, her brother Carl in law disappears from his fishing boat. When Anna’s husband Burt is arrested for the murder of his brother, she and Izzie set out to find the police another suspect and determine who really killed Carl. The author has well developed characters and a solid story line. I could almost smell the salt air as I was reading