CAMDEN — Carol Chen has released her first novel, “Lobsters Without Borders.” She describes it as having just the right dose of evil, laced with humor, and guaranteed to make life happier.

In “Lobsters Without Borders,” rookie officer Jane Roberts must solve the freakish suffocation of a woman on St. Frewin’s Island in Maine. The state homicide team ferries over to prop up Jane’s efforts. But the island’s daily hiccups and Jane’s own prickly psyche get in the way. Runaway cows, juvenile clams, and a DIY crematorium are piling up on her blotter. Matrimony baloney clutters her heart. And what about the homicidal disappointments? Everyone’s alibi is sounding like a lullaby. Heavy rains have washed away all evidence from the crime scene. Surely there must be blood somewhere? Jane keeps digging, but she is far from solving this case…until the killer stops her cold.

“My mother raised our family in a warm and cozy world — strait-laced, middle-class, sheltered,” Chen said. “This could have meant death from boredom but for my father, a nutty, inquisitive Chinese radiologist, who didn’t know the word no.” So Chen’s youth ran the gamut from convent school uniforms and Ursuline nuns to a mad-scientist father, who baked circuit board transistors in their home oven.

When it came time for college, Chen wanted to attend a school in Mexico. “No one blanched; no one said no. But Dad suggested I apply to Stanford University because he had read the students sun-bathed topless on the clay-tile roofs,” she said.

Chen ended up graduating from Stanford and later Georgetown University Law Center, with a stint in the book publishing world in between. “I was drafted to help Allen Ginsberg, someone I had vaguely heard of, pull together his ‘Collected Poems 1947-1980.’”

Chen now lives in Camden, and after 30 years as a country lawyer and a marriage that lasted against all odds, she is thankful for the freedom to write. Two of her author heroes are P. G. Wodehouse and Colin Dexter. “If only I could channel them both when putting mystery and laughter on paper. We shall see!”

The book is available in paperback on Amazon and the Kindle format comes out Sept. 26.