Clammed Up by Barbara Ross Clammed Up by Barbara Ross
Series: Maine Clambake Mystery #1
Published by Kensington on September 3, 2013
Source: Library
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 385
Format: eBook
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three-half-stars

Summer has come to Busman's Harbor, Maine, and tourists are lining up for a taste of authentic New England seafood, courtesy of the Snowden Family Clambake Company. But there's something sinister on the boil this season. A killer has crashed a wedding party, adding mystery to the menu at the worst possible moment. . .

Julia Snowden returned to her hometown to rescue her family's struggling clambake business--not to solve crimes. But that was before a catered wedding on picturesque Morrow Island turned into a reception for murder. When the best man's corpse is found hanging from the grand staircase in the Snowden family mansion, Julia must put the chowder pot on the back burner and join the search for the killer. And with suspicion falling on her old crush, Chris Durand, the recipe for saving her business and salvaging her love life might be one and the same. . .

Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!

In Clammed Up, Julia Snowden, our amateur sleuth, has a legitimate reason to investigate the crime. Her family’s business, the Snowden Family Clambake, was already having financial difficulties, but finding the dead body on the island has shut them down, and each day of business missed is one day closer to the bank calling their loan. Oh, and the guy she has a crush on seems to be one of the main suspects.

Julia and her family are easy to like. They stick together, even when they fight. The small town feel was well-done too. The locals all know each other and know how much the tourist season means to the town. Old friends are loyal, but know each other’s backgrounds too.

I also loved the Maine setting. It’s nice to visit other places while we’re all stuck at home. I went to Maine with my family once when I was younger. Pretty much all I remember was cold and gray, so maybe I’m better off just seeing it in books.

The only negative for me was actually the mystery. I was disappointed in who the killer was and the motive. The clues I guess led there, but really Julia wouldn’t have figured it out if she hadn’t, in true cozy fashion, walked in on the murderer doing something murder-y.

I liked the happy ending. This is not the first of the Clambake Mysteries I’ve read. I’ve read a couple of the seasonal novellas and enjoyed them, which is why I decided to pick this one up from the beginning. But that also means that I knew the sexy guy wasn’t the killer and that the clambake would be saved.

I didn’t try any of the recipes in the back of the book, although they did sound good.

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Barbara’s novellas are included in holiday anthologies from Kensington Publishing.

Barbara’s first mystery novel, The Death of an Ambitious Woman, was published by Five Star/Gale/Cengage in August 2010. In her former life, Barbara was a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of successful start-ups in educational technology. She and her husband live in Portland, Maine.

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