Have you ever read a book that is part of a series and wonder where you went wrong? Do you question if you were high when you started the series and are only just now seeing things clearly? That’s where I’m at with this fourth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. I’m wondering if there was something wrong with me during the first three books or if there’s something wrong with me now. Let’s discuss.
Your main character is Julia Snowden. Julia is living in an apartment over a local diner and at night she and her boyfriend Chris turn the diner into a slightly snazzier dinner restaurant. One morning, her landlord Gus finds a dead man in the walk-in freezer. He’s a wee bit annoyed by this and figures Julia and Chris didn’t lock up the night before. Julia feels as if her home has been invaded and thus she has to look into the death of the frozen man.
I don’t have a problem with Julia looking into the death since that’s what happens in most cozy mysteries. Person with no law enforcement skills thinks they’re the only one who can solve the crime. The issue I’m having is how Julia goes about things. She invades the lives of others with no concern to how her actions will affect them. There’s a woman with a delicate condition that Julia is warned not to upset. Of course, Julia purposely says things that will upset the woman. The woman has an attack that requires medication and Julia still goes at her after the lady takes her meds! Why? Julia considers her a suspect. Later, she tackles a man she considers a suspect so he can’t get away from her and breaks his ribs. This is after the case has (correctly) been solved by the cops. Julia was just so sure that she knew better than the cops simply because she had helped them out on a few cases before.
I was left wondering if Julia was this much of a thoughtless, self-centered woman in the earlier books or if this is a new development due to ego. Julia thinks/mentions quite a few times that since she has helped the cops before, her input is valuable. She’s honestly surprised each time the cops come up with a clue before she does. I suppose I might have been able to deal with her attitude except for the simple fact that she’s in the wrong. She had no right to treat people the way she did and the cops actually have to convince people not to press charges against her.
I will say this: the actual mystery is kind of sad and twisted, so I suppose the book is worth reading for that alone. Julia though? She needs a time-out. In the freezer.