Fogged Inn (Maine Clambake Series #4)

Fogged Inn (Maine Clambake Series #4)

by Barbara Ross

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Overview

Fogged Inn (Maine Clambake Series #4) by Barbara Ross

An autumn chill has settled over Busman's Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.

Nothing's colder than a corpse—especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who'd want to kill the unidentified stranger—and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they're all connected. One thing's for sure: Julia's going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…

Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!

Praise for Clammed Up

"Readers can enjoy both figuring out the mystery and taking an armchair visit to coastal Maine." —Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496700377
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Series: Maine Clambake Series , #4
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 89,330
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. The first book in the series, Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer's Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She is co-editor/co-publisher of Level Best Books, which produces anthologies of crime stories by New England authors. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Read an Excerpt

Fogged Inn


By Barbara Ross

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Barbara Ross
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0038-4


CHAPTER 1

"Jule-YA! There's a dead guy in the walk-in."

My brain swam slowly out of a deep slumber. My boyfriend, Chris Durand, rolled over in my bed. "What was that?" "Dunno. Gus. Something about the walk-in." I knew, from unfortunately frequent experience, that my landlord, Gus Farnham, had opened the door that connected his restaurant downstairs to my studio apartment above and bellowed up the stairs.

"What is it now?" Chris mumbled. We'd been sharing the restaurant space for a little over a month. Gus served breakfast and lunch as he had for more than fifty years. Chris and I ran the restaurant for dinner. Gus was very particular about how he wanted things left, and as careful as Chris and I had been, we'd managed to annoy the old curmudgeon practically every day. Chris pulled the duvet around his shoulders. "Time is it?"

I grabbed my phone off the bedside table. "Five after five."

Chris groaned. We'd finally gotten to bed after one in the morning — four scant hours before. "Can you handle it?" he asked. "He called you."

"Jule-YA!" Gus bellowed again. "There's a stiff in the refrigerator."

I heard it that time. He definitely had my attention. I felt around for my red wool robe and slipped my feet into my lamb's-wool-lined moccasins. "Coming!"

Gus stood at the bottom of the stairs, hands on hips. He'd flipped on the overhead lights in the restaurant, providing a warm, homey glow in contrast to the dark that crept in through the windows.

I blinked the sleep from my eyes. "What did you say?"

"There's a dead guy in my walk-in refrigerator. You leave him there?"

I didn't answer. It was a ridiculous question. I marched to the big refrigerator and swung open the heavy stainless steel door.

There was a dead guy in there. He was seated on the floor, his back resting against the lower two shelves, face upturned. His eyes were wide open, as if in surprise. He looked as if he were alive, but I could tell he wasn't. I'd seen dead bodies before. Just to make sure, I took a big gulp of air to steady myself and felt the base of his throat for a pulse.

His skin was cold. Dead cold and refrigerator cold. I snatched my hand back, took another deep breath to tamp down the emotions swirling in my chest — repulsion, sadness, fear of an unknown future — and sprinted out of the walk-in Indiana Jones style, as if the floor were crumbling behind me.

"Think I didn't check him already?" Gus groused from behind me. "You know how he got here?"

Deep breaths. "Nope."

"So you never seen him before?"

"I didn't say that." I walked back to the bottom of the stairs and opened the door. "Chris! You need to get down here. Now!" Chris mumbled something I didn't understand, but I heard his feet hit the floor. "You call the cops?" I asked Gus.

"Nine-one-one. As soon as I spotted him." As if in response, I heard the sound of sirens approaching.

Gus, who had better ears than anyone his age had a right to, heard them too. "Don't need to make all that racket. He's dead."

Chris came down the stairs, light brown hair tousled from sleep, still buttoning his flannel shirt over his bare, well-muscled chest. We'd been together for five rocky months, yet the sight of him still made my heart beat faster.

"You were in bed?" Gus asked him. Gus and his wife, Mrs. Gus, had risen at 4 AM every morning for decades. She, so she could bake the delicious pies Gus served at the restaurant, and he, so he could open early to feed the lobstermen and fishermen of Busman's Harbor, Maine. As a result, Gus had trouble believing anyone was still sleeping at five o'clock. Chris and I had explained to him time and again that we were often up late closing the restaurant and then cleaning up to his exacting specifications, but he treated the information as if it were irrelevant. Last night, due to circumstances well beyond our control, we'd been up even later.

There was a loud banging on the restaurant's front door. "Guess I forgot to unlock it," Gus said, and went to answer.

"Take a look in the walk-in," I whispered to Chris.

He did, backing out in a hurry, eyebrows raised, green eyes wide. Gus came clattering down the stairs that led from the restaurant's street-side public entrance into its front room. My childhood friend Officer Jamie Dawes and his partner, Officer Pete Howland, were behind him. Two EMTs and half a dozen firemen brought up the rear.

"I told 'em they didn't need all these people." Gus crossed his arms, a portrait of Yankee disgust at excess of any kind. "The man is deceased."

Jamie and Officer Howland entered the walk-in. They were back out in less than a minute. "He's dead," Jamie told the EMTs and firefighters. "Double-check me for your logs and then you can go along." A young EMT strode into the walk-in and returned moments later shaking his head.

"Can I cook them breakfast?" Gus asked.

"No." Jamie didn't hesitate to answer. "You're closed down. At a minimum, having a dead guy in your refrigerator constitutes a health code violation. Everybody out," he said to the assembled crowd. Then he looked over at Gus, Chris, and me. "Not you three."

"Can I change?" I was suddenly aware of my robe and slippers.

"In a minute." Jamie and Howland stood in front of the three of us. "You know who this guy is?" Howland asked.

"Not his name," I said. "But he was in the restaurant last night, sitting at the bar. He was here when you came in." I looked at Jamie. He nodded. Even though it had been a crazy, stressful night for him, there had been only nine people in the restaurant in addition to Chris and me when Jamie had arrived. He would remember the stranger.

"Either of you got anything to add?" Howland looked from Chris to Gus.

Chris shook his head.

"I was home in bed last night," Gus protested.

"You can go get dressed," Jamie told me.

"Thanks. What happens now?"

"Unattended death. We call the medical examiner."


* * *

I arrived back downstairs dressed in the same basic clothes I'd worn almost every workday since I'd returned to Busman's Harbor the previous March — work boots, jeans, and a T-shirt. The number of layers varied with the season, though little else did. Since it was the first day of December, my ensemble featured a turtleneck underneath the T-shirt, a flannel shirt over the top, and thick socks between my bare feet and the work boots. I'd run a brush through my shoulder-length blond hair, the beginning and ending activity of my Maine daytime beauty routine.

Jamie and Chris were seated at the restaurant's counter, while Gus stood behind it. I smelled coffee and was grateful the police had at least allowed Gus to brew it. I took a seat on the stool next to Chris.

"Where's Officer Howland?" I asked.

Jamie answered. "Outside, waiting for the ME. We were just talking about" — he gestured toward Chris — "when you last saw the gentleman."

"Do you remember?" I asked Chris.

"No. Not really." Chris looked at me.

"I'm certain he wasn't here that second time I came in," Jamie said. "That was around a quarter to one."

"One in the morning?" Gus wasn't happy. "The police coming around twice? What kind of place you runnin' in my building?"

"Long story," I said.

"I'm all ears."

"Not now," Jamie cautioned. "First, which one of you was the last one in the walk-in?"

"I was." Chris sat, elbows crossed on the counter. "We were open late, as you know." He threw a warning glance at Gus, who looked ready, once again, to demand an explanation. "Julia did the dishes and then minded the bar while I cleaned up. I put the last of the food away a little before ten."

He looked at me for confirmation. I nodded, adding, "When everyone finally left, I put the lemons, orange slices, and cherries from the bar into the little fridge underneath it. I didn't go back in the walk-in."

Jamie leaned back on his stool. "Interesting you say, 'When everyone finally left,' since everyone apparently did not."

"Sorry, I meant ..." I floundered. What did I mean?

"And what time did you think the gentleman left?" Jamie looked at me.

I squinted to help myself remember. "A little after ten. Chris closed the kitchen and came to help me. The guy threw some cash on the bar and drifted out right after that."

"Drifted?"

"Drifted," I repeated. "Ambled. Sauntered. Strolled. Moved casually toward the door."

"Was he drunk?"

This time I looked at Chris for confirmation. We both had experience judging people's levels of inebriation, Chris from his work as a bouncer, me from managing the Snowden Family Clambakes in the summer. "I would say he was relaxed, maybe had a little buzz on," I said, while Chris nodded his agreement. "I wasn't worried about him, if that's what you're asking. I certainly didn't think he was going off to die in our refrigerator."

"Did he tell you his name?" Jamie asked it slowly, as if to emphasize the importance of the question.

"No," I answered. "And, as I said, he paid in cash."

"And to confirm, neither of you had ever seen him before last evening."

Chris and I shook our heads.

"He doesn't appear to have a wallet on him," Jamie said. "Or a phone. I don't want to move him until the ME gets here. Maybe they're in his back pants pocket."

"He told me he was staying at the Snuggles," I offered. The Snuggles Inn, a gingerbread-covered Victorian bed-and-breakfast, was across the street from my mother's house and was run by Fiona and Viola Snugg, dear family friends and honorary great-aunts.

"Thanks. That's helpful."

"ME's here," Officer Howland called from the front door. "She's parking."

Jamie stood up. "Bring her down."

CHAPTER 2

Gus moved from behind the counter to clear the way for the tidy figure of Dr. Joellen Simpson to enter the walk-in. Dr. Simpson was a family practitioner with a good reputation in Busman's Harbor, and was also, apparently, our part-time medical examiner.

As soon as Howland and Jamie followed her into the walk-in, Gus stalked to a table on the far side of the dining room and motioned for Chris and me to join him.

"Now you're going to tell me what the heck is going on." He gave us the full Gus treatment — a squint that emphasized his great white eyebrows — to show he meant business. "How in heck did you leave a dead guy in my refrigerator?"

"I'm not sure," I said.

"We didn't." Chris was more emphatic.

Chris and I had been running our restaurant, which we cleverly called Gus's Too, for five weeks. The idea had been all Gus's. He'd proposed that he serve breakfast and lunch and that Chris and I share the space and serve dinner, or as Gus called it, "suppah."

The offer had seemed like a lifeline at the time, and I'd grabbed it like the flailing survivor I was. I'd returned to Busman's Harbor in the spring after fifteen years away for school and then work, the last eight in a venture capital job in Manhattan. My goal had been to rescue my family's clambake business from bankruptcy. With a lot of help from friends and family, and a few major calamities along the way, that mission had been accomplished. At least for this year.

But by the middle of October, the clambake was closed down for the season and I was at a crossroads. Return to my life and career in New York, or stay in Busman's Harbor with the man I loved?

Then Gus had offered the restaurant as well as the studio apartment above it. Chris, I had discovered, was a brilliant home chef. I had experience running my family's food business. The town, Gus felt strongly, needed a place to gather during the winter months. So win-win-win. Or so I'd thought.

The night before in the restaurant hadn't been typical, that was for sure. For one thing, we'd had only four reservations, but for the Monday night after Thanksgiving that seemed reasonable. Lots of people were still out of town and others were presumably home gorging on leftovers. Most of our business was walk-in trade anyway. I wasn't worried.

But then, as the sun went down, the fog rolled in. Fog in coastal Maine is like rain in Seattle. If we all stayed home because of it, we'd be home half the year. But this fog morphed into something more serious that our local weather people liked to call "frizzle." As the temperature hit thirty-two degrees, the fog froze, leaving everything it touched — roads, cars, windows — coated in a thin, slippery veil of ice.

At 7:00 PM, Chris and I had stood looking at each other across the empty dining room. Perhaps no one would come at all.

"I'm going to put more sand on the walkway." Chris wasn't skilled at doing nothing. He'd done his kitchen prep. The pea soup was made, the stuffed chicken breasts prepared. The sweet and smoky aroma of slow-cooked braised short ribs wafted across the restaurant. It was the perfect do-ahead entree for our short-staffed kitchen.

"You just got back inside from the last time you sanded," I had pointed out.

At that moment, we heard a car come to a stop. One car door slammed, followed by a second. Caroline and Henry Caswell descended the stairs into the restaurant.

"We're so happy to see you!" I'd meant every word of it. I took their heavy wool coats and hung them up on the hooks that lined the wall outside the restrooms.

"You look lovely," Caroline had said.

At night, I traded in my work boots and jeans for black slacks and a nice top. I pulled my hair back and put on a little makeup. The restaurant was supposed to be a casual gathering place but nice enough for a couple to have a "date night." We had spruced it up with candles and checkered cloths over the linoleum tabletops. After New Year's Eve, we'd be the only eat-in restaurant open in town, so we were trying to meet a lot of needs.

The Caswells lived just up the peninsula in Baywater, a "Community for Active Adults over Fifty-Five." On a previous visit to the restaurant, Caroline had told me they both had connections to Maine going back to their childhoods, but like so many Maine retirees, they'd gone elsewhere to make their money. They had been early and loyal supporters of Gus's Too, coming in at least once a week, the closest thing to regulars at our fledgling operation.

I had led them through the archway into the dining room. "Table or booth?" I asked, gesturing around the empty space. They selected a booth in one of the far corners.

The word that came to mind whenever I saw the Caswells was "pixieish." They were both small and lean with white hair and twinkling eyes — his blue, hers brown. Caroline even wore her hair in a pixie cut.

"How is it out?" I asked. "Tough traveling?"

"The fog!" Caroline had answered as they took their seats. "You could barely see five feet in front of the car."

"And the ice. Terrible," Henry affirmed. "But it's Maine, right?"

"We're just glad you could make it."

"We wouldn't have missed it," Henry said.

"We spent the holiday at our eldest daughter's house in Massachusetts. All three of our girls and their families were there. We are so lucky." Caroline had said it like she truly felt it. "But there's not a thing to eat in our house."

"Plus, we had the gift certificate that had to be used by today," Henry added.

I had handed them their menu books with the paper inserts that Chris and I changed daily.

"Oh, pea soup," Caroline said when she looked at her menu. "How appropriate. For the fog."

"We couldn't resist. It's hearty — full of pea flavor and ham. I tasted it this afternoon."

"Your beau is a great cook," Henry said.

I took their wine order. Merlot for him, chardonnay for her. I'd been selling the gift certificates only since the week before we'd opened, and none of them had an expiration date. But who was I to contradict a good customer, particularly one who had just driven in terrible weather? I'd kept mum on the whole gift-certificate-deadline topic.


* * *

I just finished telling this part of the story to Gus and Chris when a thunk and a bump echoed from inside the walk-in, and we all turned our heads to stare. "Now you know why I don't allow strangers in my restaurant," Gus said.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross. Copyright © 2016 Barbara Ross. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Fogged Inn (Maine Clambake Series #4) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This terrific series gets better with each book! Best read in order. Love the quaint little Maine town. This story has just the right amount of plot twists that grab your attention. ... I couldn't put it down, and didn't guess where the plot was going until the end. This is a great cozy, with excellent, likeable characters. I can't wait for the next one! No bad language, violence, or adult settings. Truly talented writing. .... a real treat!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross is the fourth book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia Snowden is running a restaurant with her boyfriend, Chris Durand during the off season in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. They serve only dinner and are running it at Gus’s (and call it Gus’s Too). The morning after a long night Gus Farnham (the landlord) yells up the staircase about a dead stiff in the walk-in freezer (Julia lives in the apartment above the restaurant). Julia hurries down the stairs and there is a dead main in the freezer. They immediately call the police. Julia wonders how the man got into the building (and scared that a killer was in the building while she was asleep). The dead man was in the restaurant the night before sitting at the bar. Julia remembers him leaving. No one, though, seems to know his name. Who is the man and why is he dead (and placed in the freezer)? Julia sets out to find the killer (because she is curious and bored). Fogged Inn was not my favorite book in the series. I did not find it good as the previous three books in the series. There are quite a few questioning sessions (where Julia is questioning her list of suspect. Though I do find it hard to believe that these people would talk to her willingly). The mystery was complex (which I liked), but I did not like how Julia went about her investigation. She was running around town like a chicken with her head cut off and jumping to the wrong conclusions. I give Fogged Inn 3 out of 5 stars. Something was just missing this time around. I also found the ending to be a bit of a letdown. Fogged Inn can be read alone, but I think readers would find it helpful to read the other books in the series. I received a complimentary copy of Fogged Inn from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth installment of the Maine Clambake Mystery series and I think the stories get better with each book. It’s the off-season in Maine, and Julia has moved into the studio apartment above Gus' Restaurant. She and her boyfriend Chris are operating the restaurant for dinner and calling it Gus' Too. Gus wakes Julia up hollering early in the morning that there is a dead body in his walk-in refrigerator. It ends up to be the stranger that was in the restaurant the night before. Not only that, but there was a car accident a couple of blocks away and the driver of one of the vehicles involved has disappeared. Julia also finds out that the gift certificates that the four couples who ate in the restaurant the night before during a storm, had been changed with an expiry date added. Are these situations related? Who is the dead man and why was he murdered in the restaurant? Who worked to get the four couples all in the restaurant together? Once again Julia investigates and finds out information that the police do not think is important. Are Julia and Chris in danger? Who is trying to get Julia to stop asking questions? This book opens with the murder, and the pace never slows. Because it was off season, Julia, Chris and Gus were the main characters from town as well as the State Police and Julia's friend Jamie. This was nice because the characters involved in the mystery that Julia was investigating got me a bit confused at times. I like the way the story played out and the solutions to the various mysteries were unexpected. I enjoyed the side story very much and it added a nice dimension to the story. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers. I love this series, and this is another great entry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review from Netgalley and Kensington Publishing. All opinions and views expressed in this review are entirely my own. "Fogged Inn" is the newest installment in the Maine Clambake Mystery. The book starts off with a bang, as Gus discovers a dead body in his walk in freezer. Julia and Chris are running a dinner restaurant out of Gus's breakfast/lunch restaurant. So, naturally the dead man dined at their establishment the night before. Who is this man? Why was he murdered? I did find this book to start quickly, but get stale in the middle. Part of me kept wondering why Julia was investigating. It didn't seem like this mystery really involved her much. She just seemed nosy and bothersome. However, the story did pick back up. This book had more layers and depth than the last few books. Overall, a good book and a great series that I will continue to read.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Book! This is a great book; this is the fourth book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross. Julia Snowden and her boyfriend Chris are serving lobster stew at a local diner. When the landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in cooler Julia finds herself looking into the investigation. If you are looking for a great mystery that will leave you guessing until the end, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Back to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and this time it is snowy and icy and there are no clambakes. Instead Julia and Chris have opened Gus’s Too. They take over Gus’s restaurant in the evenings to give locals one place to dine during the off season. They are still finding their way, running the business by themselves, but they are off to a great start. That is until a dead body is found in the walk-in frig. Julie and Chris recognize the man as a customer from the night before. This leads them to take a closer look at all their customers from that night. Since it was foggy, rainy and cold there weren’t many. Some relatives of mine Caroline and Henry Caswell were among the guests. They certainly couldn’t have anything to do with that dead man, could they?? I started reading and I just couldn’t stop. I was excited not only about Chris and Julia’s new venture, but I desperately wanted to know how that guy ended up in a cooler in a restaurant that was locked up tight and why? Ross has plotted a marvelous mystery and I loved the way everything came together with a very unexpected ending, very different than a typical cozy mystery. At first I was sure I liked it but after thinking about it, I was totally on board with it. We meet several new characters this time, couples that come to eat at Gus’s Too. When Julia does her investigation we get to know them all quite well and their connection to the town. She visits with each of them several times as she tries to figure out if they had anything to do with the man’s death even when they claim they didn’t know him at all. I found the dialogues interesting and I really tuned in to catch any clues. Julia has moved into the apartment above Gus’s and Chris spends most night there. He still has his cabin which he is remodeling so he can rent it out during tourist season. They are starting to get more comfortable in their relationship but they have a lot of things to work out. Julia is a little too sure of herself after helping solve previous cases and Chris just wants her to leave the investigating to the police. Well, we all know that is not going to happen. The fog plays a huge part in this story and I just don’t mean the weather outside. I really felt Julia and the police were working in a fog and through the fog to identify the victim and catch the killer. At times it was as thick as pea soup and I truly didn’t know how it was all going to come together in the dwindling amount of pages left, especially because I knew there were recipes back there too. This is another strong story from Barbara Ross and I commend her for coming up with a great story in the off season when the town is really moving at a much slower pace with less people around. It was nice to get to know some of the other residents of Busman’s Harbor. They were a unique bunch. I hope they pop in for visits in future stories, especially those Caswells!
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Fogged Inn - Maine Clambake Mystery 4 Author: Barbara Ross Published: 2-26-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 320 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cooking, Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9781496700377 ASIN: B0046RB372 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . I have only recently discovered Barbara Ross' Maine Clambake Mystery series, but have quickly become a fan. Julie has decided to remain In Busman's Harbor for the Winter so to supplement their income by keeping Gus's breakfast and lunch restaurant open for dinner. They are also staying in the apartment above the restaurant. All seems to be going well until the night a thick fog causes an accident that strands motorist at Gus' Two. Each sits in different areas of the restaurant pretending not to know one another. Then they all pay using coupons they did not issue that are about to expire. The following Gus shouts up to the apartment for Julia and Chris about something that has expired, an unknown man found dead in the walk-in freezer. When the police close down the restaurant Julia gets busy finding out who he was? Who stole the coupons? Who killed the man and why? There are things disappearing, dead bodies and twist and turns for all. Can Julia find the killer be her own expiration date us up? You will not go wrong with this wonderful offering from Barbara Ross. Her characters and plot are solid and well developed.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Another Page Turner In the last couple of years, the Maine Clambake Mysteries has become one of my favorite series. The characters are wonderful and the mysteries keep me guessing until the end. Fogged Inn is the latest in the series, and it’s another strong book. With winter fast approaching and the family clambake shut down for the season, Julia Snowden has opened Gus’s Too with her boyfriend Chris Durand. Gus’s Too is focusing on dinner, using the same building that Gus has used for his restaurant for years to serve only breakfast and lunch. Plus, Julia is living upstairs in a small studio apartment. The Tuesday morning when this book opens, Julia is awakened by Gus yelling up the stairs that there is a body in the walk in refrigerator. The body hadn’t been there when Julia and Chris went to bed. Furthermore, he was a stranger in town who had eaten dinner at Gus’s Too the night before. With no ID on the body, the police don’t have anywhere to start to the investigation. Who was he? Why would someone kill him? And how did he wind up in the frig? Since it happened just downstairs from where Julia was sleeping, she is determined to find out. I often complain here about books that start with an exciting scene and then flashback to something before that excitement happens and tells us the story from there. This book starts with finding the body on Tuesday morning, but things that happened in town and at Gus’s Too Monday night play a part in the book. We are fed this information in pieces, and it never slows down the forward progress of the story, which really does start on Tuesday morning. I loved how it was teased enough that when Julia was discussing what happened Monday night, we really wanted to know what happened, but it never slowed down the forward progress of the story. Really, there is nothing to complain about with the plot at all. From the great start of finding the body, the pace never lags. We are constantly fed clues, red herrings, and surprises until we reach the climax. The ending is logical and sobering at the same time. It really does pack a punch, and in a great way. Sadly, Julia’s family isn’t as big a part of this book as they’ve been of the previous books in the series. It makes sense since the action is taking place away from the family business, and including them would have just slowed things down. But I did still miss them. That’s really my only complaint with the book, and it’s a very very minor issue. We meet quite an interesting cast of characters in this book, and they are all fully developed. I actually grew quite attached to them over the course of the story and wouldn’t complain if any of them popped in for cameos in future books. Of course, Julia, Chris, and Gus are still fun and entertaining characters as always; I enjoyed watching Julia and Chris’s relations grow yet again in this book. Being a culinary mystery, we get several recipes at the end of the book. With the focus on the restaurant, we get a soup (split pea, of course) and several entrée type recipes. Yes, there are some fish, but for those of us who don’t like fish, there are some other great sounding choices as well. This series just gets stronger with each book. Fogged Inn is the best one to date, and it will leave you anxious for your next chance to visit with Julia. NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
psoccermom More than 1 year ago
I love how Fogged Inn book four of A Maine Clambake Mystery starts. It gets you prepared for the cold winter that is fast approaching Busman's Harbor, Maine. You have a chilly night, icy fog, and a lobster stew on at Gus Too which Julia and Chris her boyfriend run at night for the dinner crowd. But this night is different. Guests are sparse because of the bad weather except for four older couples who came in to eat and use their gift certificates before they expired. And they don't seem to know each other which is weird because it is such a small town. Or do they??? The next morning Julia and Chris wake up to Gus, their landlord yelling up the stairs about a dead guy in the walk in freezer! No one knows who the dead guy is and too boot there had been an accident the night before that shut down Main Street. Also, they can't find the second driver? Are these events connected or is it just coincidence? Julia has caught herself in the middle of another mystery that she must solve before someone else ends up in a deep freeze. But little does she know that the events that just took place may have opened up old wounds and a tragedy long ago that some want to stay buried. This book will have you on the edge of your seat with all the twists and turns as well as hungry. The recipes in the back of the book are to die for, no pune intended of course. I am looking forward to the next book in A Maine Clambake mystery.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
As the cold weather rolls in, the residents of Busman's Harbor, Maine can unwind and enjoy a nice meal at Gus's Too, a restaurant operated by Julia Snowden and her boyfriend, Chris. Normally Julia is busy with the Snowden Family Clambake, but the off season has put her at loose ends and the chance to work side by side with Chris is just the right solution. When a stranger is found dead in the walk in cooler, Julia is determined to find out who it is. Strange circumstances bring a set of friends together, but they all have secrets they don't want revealed. I enjoyed this book very much, I think it's my favorite so far. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.