Death on the Stella Mae by Jan Durham

Title: Death on the Stella Mae (Kipper Cottage Mystery #5)

Author: Jan Durham

Published on: 3 February 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy on Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Death on the Stella Mae is the fifth book in Jan Durham’s Kipper Cottage Mystery series.

Another fantastic addition to my favorite cozy mystery series. I have been following this series from the start and was eagerly waiting to catch up on the latest installment.

Things have finally begun to get better for Liz McLuckie. She had feelings for Ben but was heartbroken when Ben started dating the local vicar. They broke up in a couple of months and Liz wondered if she stood a chance. Death on the Stella Mae opens with Liz waking up to the sound of thunder. Ben is sleeping by her side.

The next morning, everything seems as normal as a coastal town can be after a storm. Liz sees the local trawler Stella Mae return from sea. There are a couple of police cars at the shore. Liz learns that Daniel ‘Doc’ Holliday went overboard during the storm. He was unwell and had said so in a message to his wife at midnight. Nobody knew when he went overboard.

At the funeral service, Liz sees a woman clad in dark clothes standing at the church door. Before Liz could question the woman, a local arrives saying Doc’s body has washed ashore. There’s evidence of foul play. Did someone on Stella Mae kill Doc?

As Liz starts to investigate, she learns the victim was a high-school bully. The local fishmonger’s son is caught up in the mess – a silly rumor which Liz herself must have started. well, you cannot blame her – she saw the young lad with the victim’s wife.

Things on the personal front aren’t going smoothly either. Gryzna, an illegal immigrant who works at Tilly and Mags’ cafe is taken into custody. Her twin sons are British Citizens by default so there’s a question of who will look after them. Then there is Dora Spackle – Liz’s frenemy. Turns out, the victim was related to Dora so Dora wonders if Liz could poke her nose where it doesn’t belong and solve the case… if there is a case, that is.

From start to finish, this book kept me hooked. Totally engrossing and entertaining. Dora’s ‘ego’ keeps her on the friendly/hostile side of Liz. The twins’ antics makes Liz nervous and irritated at times. Then there is Ben who insists on spending more time with Liz – can’t he see that she’s overly busy at the moment? What with looking after the twins and solving the mystery, there’s no time for romance!

The mystery behind the death on the trawler kept me guessing till the end. We have a surprising twist at the end – I didn’t see it coming. Liz is at crossroads – she wants justice for the victim, yes. But at what cost? Thank god she makes a decision that serves good for everybody involved.

It’s a Jan Durham novel so it goes without saying that storytelling is simply mind-blowing! Interesting twist in the side stories of one or two recurring characters. The twins were a hoot – troublesome at times, adorable otherwise.

If you love cozy mysteries, Kipper Cottage Series is a MUST READ! This series comes highly recommended from me. So what are you waiting for? Go on, chop chop. Read Death on the Stella Mae (and rest of the books if you haven’t already) ASAP!

I received an ARC from Inkubator Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

Follow The Book Decoder on:


Comments are closed.