Le Roi’s Perspective—Steamed Open
By Barbara Ross
Note from author Barbara Ross: I didn’t mean to have a pet in the Maine Clambake Mystery series until I visited the real Cabbage Island Clambakes and observed the lives of the island cats. What a life! No cars, no predators, you are literally at the top of your particular food chain. Hundreds of visitors arrive every day, many of them older people or children who can easily be persuaded to sneak you bits of lobster and clam under the table while they’re eating. The livin’ is easy.
Hello. The two-legged beings call me Le Roi, which is French for “the king.” They named me after another two-legged guy named Elvis because they say I look just like him, especially in his later, Vegas years. I don’t know about that, but I do think king is an appropriate sobriquet.
Right now I’m sunning myself on the railing of the pavilion where most of the two-legs gather for food. Eventually the wait staff will show up and someone will shoo me away, but for now I’m content. I’m a Maine coon and almost thirty pounds, so finding comfy spots can be a challenge. I’ll close my eyes for a minute, and smell the wood smoke. No seafood on the fire yet. That comes later.
Yeah, I’ll move, I’ll move. Keep your pants on. Nothing happening. Might as well go for a stroll in the garden. There’s mint and basil, tomatoes and carrots. None of it interests me much to eat, but there are lots of shady spots to rest and butterflies to chase.
What’s this? At last. The sound from the ship that means the two-legs are coming. Hurrying down to the dock to check them out. Ah, perfect. Lot’s of suckers. I think I’ll go give that white-haired female’s legs a rub. As I thought, a smile and a pat. I’ll see you later, sweetheart.
A young one in a wheelie. They’re a mixed bag. Mostly they eat hot dogs, or even worse, tasteless little round bits of grain. They drop a lot of food, which is all to the good, but sometimes they get out of the wheelie-thing and pull my tail. The indignity! But this one’s smiling at me and waving. I’ll give him a thrill and let him pet me.
There’s Julia over there. I lived with her in town last winter. She wouldn’t let me go outside, or even into the big place where they serve food below her house. That was a little frustrating. Plus she has this tall male two-legger staying there a lot of the time. I’m pretty sure she prefers me, though. Why wouldn’t she?
There’s Page. She’s somewhere between a young one and a grown one. I live with her and her family here on the island during the summer. That is, when it rains, I show up at their door and they let me in. And they leave me food in a bowl on a countertop where the young one who lives with them can’t get into it. Not that I’ve much need of that boring stuff. Not when there are so many suckers.
Dinner gong. Finally. Everybody find your seats. Got to scout out my best location. The white-haired female is sitting over there. Think I’ll focus on those four tables. Gotta run! No rest for the hungry. Come to the island and feed me sometime, will ya?
Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery) by Barbara Ross
About the Book
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?
Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.
About the Author
Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. The first book in the series, Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She is co-editor/co-publisher of Level Best Books, which produces anthologies of crime stories by New England authors. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. Readers can visit her website at MaineClambakeMysteries.com.
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