Retro Reading: Town in a Lobster Stew by B.B. Haywood
A Secret Recipe Leads to Murder
My first thought- another mystery centered around a festival. I've been there before but was surprised author B.B. Haywood would use another festival as the plot for the second Candy Holliday mystery.
Anyway, it's the 29th Annual Cape Willington Lobster Stew Cook -off which ushers in Memorial Day and the summer season. The contestants are hoping their recipe will be the judge's favorite just like former winners James Sedley and Wilma Mae Wendell. In their younger days, the two were sweethearts and he created a special lobster just for her and they're the only two who have the secret award winning recipe.
When he disappears so does his recipe. It had been hidden away at Wilma Mae's house for years and when she discovers it missing, she hires Candy to find it. After solving the murder of Sapphire Vine, she's become sought after in finding missing things.
Candy agrees to help find the recipe and on the day of the cook-off, Wilma Mae (one of the judges) collapses and Candy is quickly chosen as her replacement, much to the dismay of community booster, Wanda Boyle.
Once the tallies are added up, Wanda's furious that her recipe didn't win, but when Sedley's body is found in Wilma Mae's basement, she joins forces with Candy to help solve the mystery.
In Town In a Lobster Stew Haywood starts the process of setting up the relationship between the installments. What makes this installment good is nearly a year has passed since the first installment so, I do forgive the repeated references (at first). Unfortunately, though, the pace is still slow even with the "refresher references" since a lot of this story is repeated amongst the characters.
Another plot (which starts to border on the grand '80's nighttime soap operas) introduces us to the Sykes family and their hatred of the Pruitts. My feeling is there will be some type of showdown in an upcoming installment.
Either way, I was still debating whether I wanted to continue on this journey and since I've invested my time, I guess I'll have to stick with it.
And while I'm not a lobster lover, there are some lobster based recipes, but unfortunately, it doesn't look like the missing recipe is included.