Murder and mystery along Maine’s coast

I have enjoyed all of Charlene D’Avanzo’s novels, set along the ocean and on a remote Maine island. But I have to say her novel Secrets Haunt The Lobsters’ Sea is now my favorite, and not just because there’s a quote from me at the front of the book about her novel Demon Spirit, Devil Sea.

Here’s my quote about that book: “Another great read… D’Avanzo writes compelling novels that take you to a wonderful ocean side places where terrible things happen.”

She certainly did that in her newest novel, which starts out with the discovery of a lobster man’s body under an agricultural raft. The main character, Mara, is a marine scientist who actually discovered the body under her cousin’s raft.

To help her cousin prove that he didn’t kill the man, Mara takes responsibility for investigating the death, including dangerous visits to the island where the man lived 20 miles off the coast to Maine.

There’s plenty of mystery and mayhem to keep you reading. I poured through the book in a couple of evenings.

D’Avazo does a great job describing the remote island and its people. But not only will you  enjoy the story, you will learn a lot because she includes details about everything from lobsters and other ocean fisheries to our warming climate.

Another of my favorite novelists, Paul Doiron, accurately describes Charlene this way: “Charlene D’Avanzo is a natural storyteller and a passionate scientist and she brings both aspects of herself to her novels.”

D’Avanzo is a marine ecologist and award-winning environmental educator who lives on a small island off Yarmouth, Maine. She really knows what she’s writing about. And she offers lots of interesting coastal information in her compelling novels.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.