Narrator: Katie Schorr
Series: Mainely Murder Mystery #2
Published by Penguin Audio on November 7, 2023
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 10 mins
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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In a fresh new Maine-set holiday cozy, landscaper Kinsley Clark must root out a killer before she becomes the prime suspect.
Landscape artist and owner of SeaScapes, Kinsley Clark has been re-hired to decorate the town of Harborside for the upcoming holiday season and boat parade. Using the local elements found in Maine, Kinsley creates kissing balls—the town’s official mistletoe—to hang downtown and along the wharf. Kinsley is also responsible for Harborside’s official “lobster-stacked” Christmas tree, located beside the local marina, where the annual Harborside Boat Parade & Fireworks Display takes place.
When local alderman Chris Chesterfield—dressed up as the Grinch, right down to the green face paint—falls off the pier and into the icy Atlantic the night of the annual kickoff event, the town is in shock. But all eyes turn to Kinsley and her beautiful decorations when it becomes evident that Chris didn't fall after all—and that he was looking to replace SeaScapes with a different decorating team. Kinsley, along with bestie, Becca, and Pete, the owner of the Blue Lobstah, must unearth the truth before Kinsley takes the fall.
Kinsley, a landscape artist, owns SeaScapes, a business she runs from her cottage behind her aunt’s inn. The town of Harborside hires her to decorate for Christmas and throughout the year, but when local alderman Chris Chesterfield—dressed up as the Grinch, right down to the green face paint—falls off the pier and into the icy Atlantic the night of the annual Boat Parade & Fireworks, Kinsley becomes a person of interest. Lots of people knew Kinsley and Chris didn’t get along, and several had witnessed them arguing on the day of his death.
I liked Kinsley and her friends and family. They’re believable and I like how they all have to do their jobs in addition to working on the case. Kinsley’s brother. Kyle. is home for the holidays on leave, but I didn’t love the questions around how their parents died. I’m just not a fan of that whole overarching family mystery arc.
The mystery was fine with several suspects and decent clues. The characters and setting were more interesting than the plot though. And I loved all the Christmas touches. But please stop writing about people giving pets as Christmas presents. A dog is not a good gift, even if the person has hinted they want one. It’s a huge commitment, both in time and money and, with few exceptions, should not be a choice made for someone else.