Review: Against the Claw (A Lobster Shack Mystery #2) by Shari Randall

Title: Against the Claw
Author: Shari Randall
Pages: 326
Genre: Cozy, Mystery
Source: Free ARC from St. Martin’s

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from St. Martin’s via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Goodreads Summary: “Ballerina Allie Larkin is still back home, healing up from a broken ankle and lending a hand at her aunt’s Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack. But now that the famed restaurant is branching out into the world of catering, Allie’s help is needed more than ever–even on the lobster boat. The last thing she expects to find once she’s out on the bay, however, is the dead body of a beautiful young woman.

When days pass and not even the police can ID the corpse, Allie takes it upon herself to learn the truth about what happened. Her investigation leads her all the way from the local piers to the secluded estates of Mystic Bay’s posh elite. But how can she crack this case when everyone seems dead-set on keeping their secrets beneath the surface?”

Review: For the sake of transparency, I must admit that it has been quite some time since I read this book. I read it this past August, and if asked, I couldn’t tell you how it ended. However, there are some important things I can tell you that should speak well to my overall reading of this book.

  1. I’m super picky about cozies. At the time, I gave it an easy 4 stars. Now that time has passed, my recollection of it is so warm that I’m wondering why I didn’t give it 5.
  2. As soon as the next in series became available on NetGalley, I requested it. (And I got it and I “squeeeeeed” when I did)
  3. The setting appealed to me because it is set in New England (I live in Maine), in a “fictional” town called Mystic Bay (which I suspect comes from the actual town of Mystic in CT, which I have visited and love immensely), and the cover has lobsters on the front (did I mention I live in Maine???). I was not disappointed.
  4. The characters were great (with the exception of Allie’s sister, whom I really didn’t like), but especially Allie and her Aunt. Their relationship is great. Everyone should have family like that.
  5. I’d still recommend it to anyone who loves cozies, but also to those who just like a light mystery.
  6. After all these months, I still remember it fondly!

A person’s feelings about a book long after they’ve read it can say as much (or more!) about the quality of a book as anything else. And I feel good about saying, this was a wonderful summer read that I’d recommend over and over. Really looking forward to getting into the next one when it’s time. 🙂

16 Replies to “Review: Against the Claw (A Lobster Shack Mystery #2) by Shari Randall”

  1. Great review! I always love mystery covers and titles. I need to read more of the genre this year. I’m jealous you live in Maine! I’ve always wanted to live there. 😉

    • Thank you! Where do you live? This is our 3rd year in Maine. After a 2.5 year pit stop in PA. We’re originally from California. 🙂 I always wanted to live in New England and fate got us here. We love it!

    • Thanks, Susan! We got a few inches. And rain is coming in behind. It’s been the pattern since the first snow. Haven’t gotten enough snow to enjoy it, with the exception of one day. We get just enough to get a 2 hour school delay and cause accidents and then rain behind, which creates an awful slushy mess, and then it freezes and we get to skate to our cars. 😭

  2. Great review, Myndi! I agree how you feel about a book after a bit says a lot and I am so slow at my reviews I see that a lot with myself. Glad you enjoyed this one!

    • Thank you! I’ve never been this far behind on reviews before. But I’m making progress, and I’m taking that as a win.

      My brain just doesn’t retain story details long-term, unless it’s something I’ve read over and over, which is why I try to do the review by the next day, while everything is still fresh. But the feeling always stays with me, even if I can’t remember why I loved it or disliked it.

  3. I have to write my reviews right away also, especially if I’m reading several cozies in a row. I don’t always post right then, but I have to get my basic ideas down. In this case, though, I think it made for an interesting review to hear what you remembered long term and your anticipation of the next book.

    • It’s interesting writing a review for a book that I read so long ago for the same reason. Not my preference to make it a habit though. 😀

    • It seems only fair that if a book sticks with you for the long-term, it deserves more credit than you originally gave it. Or the reverse if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth a year later. 😆

    • Thanks, Carla! It just so happens that I saw you had the next in series on one of your posts, so I went and requested it and THEN got my review done for this one. Definitely a fun series! Looking forward to your review. 😀

    • I say I’m not a big cozy reader, but really I’m just a picky, picky, picky cozy reader. I agree that this series would be a good place to start. I think my first (kind of) cozy series was Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series, which I plowed through after reading her Sookie Stackhouse series (definitely NOT cozies!). The Aurora Teagarden series would probably be my go-to recommend for people who are reticent about reading cozies or who have found they don’t like more traditional cozies. 🙂

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