When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.
Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.
Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.
The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?
River's catering business is taking off and she spends most of her time doing the prep work. Her husband Pete owns an ice cream shop and he has the idea to sell her baked goods - cookies and a pie or cake, one day a week. She's trying to work out how to do all this when Jasmine Garr is found dead. It's not like River was close to Jasmine - she feels strongly that the killer should be caught. That, and she can't imagine that the "chicken lady," Jasmine's neighbor could be responsible. So between cooking and baking, she's sleuthing.
As River meets with everyone involved, she realizes that she didn't know some of them as well as she thought. At least the deputy has gained some respect for what she might ferret out. The cats, Major and Iris, as well as Pete help her with her sleuthing and she hires someone to help with the cooking and baking as Pete's idea takes on a life of its own.
This is the third in the Seafood Caper Mystery series, but it's the first one I've read and it is easily read as a stand alone mystery. There are surprises for River and the reader as clues and misdirections are scattered throughout. The pace is good, and the chickens, alligators, and cats add a whole new dimension. Shrimply Dead is an enjoyable cozy mystery.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
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