Title: Death by Chowder (Shipwreck Cafe #1)
Author: Donna Walo Clancy
Published on: 9th August 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Jeremy ‘Jay’ Hallett is a thirty-year-old attorney. After spending a couple of years working in one of the top law firms in Boston, Jay is back to the place he grew up in – Cape Cod. He’s now bought the famous Anchor Point Lighthouse and the surrounding land and wants to convert it into a cafe.
There were rumors that a ghost lurked around in the lighthouse and the cottages surrounding it. Jay finds a famished-looking dog and adopts it. He calls her Stormy. Every now and then, stormy stares at something and growls. Jay is convinced that the ghost of Rowland moves around in the house. The workmen also complain of ‘ghost sightings’.
Bea, a librarian, is found dead a couple of days later. She had told Jay about the ghost of Rowland and the hidden treasure. The next day, Jay finds her dead. Something sinister seems to be happening in his cafe too, especially in the wine cellar. Jay’s attorney instincts kick in and he decides to catch Bea’s murderer red-handed.
Death by Chowder is the first book in Shipwreck Cafe Mysteries.
There are so many characters in the story and at times, I had difficulty in remembering all their names. There’s Robbie (Jay’s brother), Martha (Jay’s mother), Rowland(the ghost), Cindy(Jay’s ex-girlfriend); Ty, Susan, Mary, Josh and many more – chefs at the cafe; Boyd and Tom – from the police department; Bea and her family; phew!!
The concept of hidden treasure and ghosts was brilliant. A cozy mystery set in a Lighthouse sounds good, doesn’t it? Especially when the mystery involves a friendly ghost, furry pets, a murder and some ‘unghostly’ misadventures.
The only niggle I had with this story was the writing. At some places, the conversation sounded too plain. But given that the plot and the story development was excellent, I am willing to ignore the above-mentioned niggle in this series.
I cannot really say much about the story or the execution of the plot without making this review a spoiler. There were a couple of red herrings and lots of twists and surprises as I read through. The suspense was well maintained until the end. The identity of the perp was unexpected, although a question did come into my mind before the perp’s identity was revealed. I was like, how did they know that? Jay seemed to ignore it but in the end, he does say that he had his doubts. Ah, Hah! There you go!
If you like to experiment with various cozy mystery themes then do give this book a try.