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Julia Snowden returned to her hometown of Busman’s Harbor, Maine 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 Julia Snowden returned to her hometown of Busman’s Harbor, Maine 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.


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Julia Snowden returned to her hometown of Busman’s Harbor, Maine 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 Julia Snowden returned to her hometown of Busman’s Harbor, Maine 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.

30 review for Clammed Up

  1. 5 out of 5

    audrey

    Holy placeporn, Batman. This book is a serious mini-trip to the coast of Maine, and it's the perfect read for when you're sitting in your back garden, unable to journey Mainewards. The main character has a valid and well thought out motivation for investigating the murder: it may well shut down her struggling family business. And she works hard at keeping that business afloat, letting investigating take a back seat to Getting On With It. My kind of protagonist! The plot had it on point, but the Holy placeporn, Batman. This book is a serious mini-trip to the coast of Maine, and it's the perfect read for when you're sitting in your back garden, unable to journey Mainewards. The main character has a valid and well thought out motivation for investigating the murder: it may well shut down her struggling family business. And she works hard at keeping that business afloat, letting investigating take a back seat to Getting On With It. My kind of protagonist! The plot had it on point, but the writing easily steals the whole show, with long, immersive passages describing what it's like to run a small business or take a trip to an island or just try and get service at the local coffee shop: Gus's restaurant had an old gas pump with a round top out front, like something out of an Edward Hopper painting. Inside, you climbed down a long set of stairs into the main room, where you found a candlepin-bowling lane on your left and a lunch counter on your right. In back was a dining room with the best view of Busman's Harbor anywhere. Gus looked up from the grill when I walked in and growled, "Get out. No strangers." The ending was a little abrupt and untidy for my liking, but still: sign me up for this series, please.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    Book one in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia has been forced to return to her hometown in an effort to save the family island/clambake business that is on the verge of being taken form them by the bank. She set up a firm business plan that allows for so many days of them being closed but will let them make the payment at the end of the season. Things are looking up until a dead body is found on the island and more events keep happening after that to make things even worse. This book is f Book one in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia has been forced to return to her hometown in an effort to save the family island/clambake business that is on the verge of being taken form them by the bank. She set up a firm business plan that allows for so many days of them being closed but will let them make the payment at the end of the season. Things are looking up until a dead body is found on the island and more events keep happening after that to make things even worse. This book is full of well written characters placed in a setting just full of little details. The clambake sounds awesome with lots of organization and activities planned. I think I would enjoy paying for that myself. As things go wrong it starts to look like they will lose it all until Julia finally figures out what really happened which I did not see coming at all. This is a well written cozy mystery that I highly recommend to fans of the genre. I really enjoyed it so it gets 4/5 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Reviews

    Barbara Ross’s Clammed Up is a well-written and entertaining cozy mystery with a wonderful setting and great characters. Julia Snowden has recently returned to Busman’s Harbor, Maine. She has come back to her hometown from Manhattan to save her family’s struggling clambake business. But, a gruesome murder brings everything to a halt. While hosting a wedding party on the Snowden family’s beautiful Morrow Island, Julia stumbles across a body! It’s the missing best man and he’s hanging from the gra Barbara Ross’s Clammed Up is a well-written and entertaining cozy mystery with a wonderful setting and great characters. Julia Snowden has recently returned to Busman’s Harbor, Maine. She has come back to her hometown from Manhattan to save her family’s struggling clambake business. But, a gruesome murder brings everything to a halt. While hosting a wedding party on the Snowden family’s beautiful Morrow Island, Julia stumbles across a body! It’s the missing best man and he’s hanging from the grand staircase of the Snowden family mansion. Julia must find a killer before her family’s business dies too! I absolutely enjoyed this wonderful read! There’s a lot of action but everything fits well together. The mystery plot is well-written and nicely paced with great twists that I really didn’t anticipate. I love that there is a wealth of interesting and viable suspects. I didn’t figure out the killer until the very end. I was quite surprised but I think the resolution fits the book. However, I wish this part of the mystery had been better written and clearer because certain aspects are implausible. I also would have liked more substantial clues throughout. I like how realistically Ross handles the Snowden family’s financial problems and internal dynamics. I also love the picturesque small seaside town setting. It is such a beautiful and well-described place that I really feel like I was there! This book features quirky and memorable characters. They are all well-written and I had no trouble telling them apart. It took me a little while to warm up to Julia because I couldn’t connect with her at first. But, I really like her! She’s a great, smart, and relatable protagonist. I like her dedication to her family business and the town. Her sleuthing fits naturally with her characterization and her involvement in the mystery makes perfect sense. I’m really glad that the romance is barely there in this debut. The plot is busy with so many turns that a smidge more romance would have weighed down the book. However, I like the hints of romance that we got. I also like Chris, Julia’s crush, who is a suspect in the best man’s murder. Clammed Up is a great and quick cozy read that’ll have you longing for a Maine seaside adventure. This is a wonderful first book and I cannot wait to read the rest of this series! 🦞 🦞 🦞 🦞 ½ lobsters out of 5!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I finally got to start this series that I've been collecting and I really enjoyed this first book! I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest. I probably won't be caught up by the time the latest one comes out, but at least I have a start at it! Julia Snowden quit her job in Manhattan to come home and help her brother-in-law Sonny salvage the Snowden Family Clambake in Busman's Harbor, Maine. Her dad had passed five years ago but she found out after living with her mom after she got back I finally got to start this series that I've been collecting and I really enjoyed this first book! I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest. I probably won't be caught up by the time the latest one comes out, but at least I have a start at it! Julia Snowden quit her job in Manhattan to come home and help her brother-in-law Sonny salvage the Snowden Family Clambake in Busman's Harbor, Maine. Her dad had passed five years ago but she found out after living with her mom after she got back, that she hadn't really gotten over it too well. The new clambake season was just getting started with a clambake for a wedding when the body of the best man was found hanging in the mansion that stood on the island. Later, after being allowed to open in a day, a fire had started on the mansion's porch so they were closed again. Since the business was already on shaky ground and the police couldn't tell her when they'd be back open, Julia took it on herself to start investigating and hopefully find out who killed Ray the best man. If she couldn't do that soon, she had a feeling that the clambake would have to close for good. I really enjoyed getting to know all these characters! I think one of my favorites was Gus, the owner of the local diner who only allowed locals in. It didn't seem like a very profitable way to do business but I guess that was just Gus. He didn't have a lot to say but when he did, what he said was meaningful. I wasn't sure if I liked the character of Sonny or not (he's married to Livvie, Julia's sister) but by the end of the book, he did seem like a more friendly and likable person. Some people in this mystery weren't what they seemed to be at all as I found out towards the end which was pretty exciting. Everything was well-explained since it ended with a special clambake for all the local friends and police. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    Clammed Up by Barbara Ross was definitely an intriguing beginning to this new series. Normally a first book in a series starts out slow so that the characters and setting can be established but this was not the case in this book. It started off with the murder and I got to know the characters and the beautiful Maine setting while following Julia Snowden while she investigated. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more in this series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ronna

    I got the audio of this book free from the author. This is my honest review. This new Maine Clambake Series starts off with a hanging body at a wedding. Not a good thing for a wedding celebration or the Snowden Family Clambake Company. Julia Snowden has left her high power job in New York to try and keep her family's floundering business from going under. Everything has been invested to keep it going, including her Mom's house, their boat, and the island where they have their clambakes. I really e I got the audio of this book free from the author. This is my honest review. This new Maine Clambake Series starts off with a hanging body at a wedding. Not a good thing for a wedding celebration or the Snowden Family Clambake Company. Julia Snowden has left her high power job in New York to try and keep her family's floundering business from going under. Everything has been invested to keep it going, including her Mom's house, their boat, and the island where they have their clambakes. I really enjoyed this book as the mystery took a few twisting turns and the conclusion was different but very believable. Also enjoyed the emphasis on family sticking together--those by blood and those by long time friendships. The hints at future romantic entanglements between a few of the characters left me wanting to get right into the next book. Recipes were included, and the food descriptions in the book made me feel like I was right there at the clambake. Winning start to this new series! I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the added dramatics. I'm finding that cozy reads are really fun to listen to as well as to read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    3.5 stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Clammed Up by Barbara Ross is the first book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia Snowden returns to her home town of Busman's Harbor to help save her family's clambake business run on the family owned Morrow Island. Unfortunately the best man at a wedding to be held on the island is found murdered and Julia investigates to help speed up the business reopening.. An interesting, well written mystery with plenty of twists and red herrings. I was a bit let down by the ending, but otherwise t Clammed Up by Barbara Ross is the first book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia Snowden returns to her home town of Busman's Harbor to help save her family's clambake business run on the family owned Morrow Island. Unfortunately the best man at a wedding to be held on the island is found murdered and Julia investigates to help speed up the business reopening.. An interesting, well written mystery with plenty of twists and red herrings. I was a bit let down by the ending, but otherwise the location and food kept me engaged.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I was hesitant to buy this one because I had bought a few new cozy series over the summer and I didn't enjoy them at all. I put this on hold at the library and had to wait a few months for my turn to read it. This one was a very pleasant surprise though and I am glad I did read it. Set on the coast of Maine about a family that runs a clambake business, Clammed Up has an awesome small town / ocean setting where the readers can really smell the salty, sea air with characters that are vivid and wel I was hesitant to buy this one because I had bought a few new cozy series over the summer and I didn't enjoy them at all. I put this on hold at the library and had to wait a few months for my turn to read it. This one was a very pleasant surprise though and I am glad I did read it. Set on the coast of Maine about a family that runs a clambake business, Clammed Up has an awesome small town / ocean setting where the readers can really smell the salty, sea air with characters that are vivid and well-written. I did think that the family dynamics were a little strange when reading through them, so much conflict but overall, I liked Julia very much and I am interested in finding out more about her and how her story line plays out. The mystery itself was well-written and difficult to solve. Very intelligently played. I look forward to the next book in the series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Fun start to a cozy mystery series, but with a bonkers ending that I found a bit farfetched. Like but didn't love it--still I'm definitely going to read the next one and see where things go for these character. Fun start to a cozy mystery series, but with a bonkers ending that I found a bit farfetched. Like but didn't love it--still I'm definitely going to read the next one and see where things go for these character.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathania Ma

    Story: 1 / 5 Characters: 1 / 5 World-building: 3 / 5 Romance: 1 / 5 Overall: 1 /5 --------------------------- As a book about managing a private island and a clamming business, I guess this book is alright, but as a mystery, this book is HORRIBLE, for the following reasons: 1) The ending: One vital aspect of a mystery is a LOGICAL ending, one in which an experienced or /and an intelligent reader can deduce from the facts in the plot. UNFORTUNATELY, this book uses one of those cheap formulas cozy my Story: 1 / 5 Characters: 1 / 5 World-building: 3 / 5 Romance: 1 / 5 Overall: 1 /5 --------------------------- As a book about managing a private island and a clamming business, I guess this book is alright, but as a mystery, this book is HORRIBLE, for the following reasons: 1) The ending: One vital aspect of a mystery is a LOGICAL ending, one in which an experienced or /and an intelligent reader can deduce from the facts in the plot. UNFORTUNATELY, this book uses one of those cheap formulas cozy mystery authors tend to use these days, a.k.a. A plain (but intelligent) woman between 25 and 50 + an interesting occupation where she has to make plenty of career choices + encounters one or more gorgeous men in a short time span + a mystery with a convenient ending = cozy mystery The ending here is completely UNINTERESTING because MAJOR SPOILER (view spoiler)[ the murderer is a mad woman who simply throws a guy (weakened by the drugs in his system) and breaks his neck (hide spoiler)] . When you have built up so much suspense, why kill the book with such a crappy ending? 2) The romance: I care little about romance as long as it's not one of those boring love triangles, but the romance in this book is more amazing than that, the romance POPS OUT OF NOWHERE! Well, it's hard to explain without spoiling the story so go ahead if you have already read the book. (view spoiler)[ The romance stems from a heroine who has been working for over 10 years and yet acting like a middle school girl with a major crush and the guy seems uninterested in her all the way until the final pages of the book!) (hide spoiler)] 3) The heroine: Sorry, but this heroine is so cold-blooded I have a hard time finishing the book! She doesn't care for her family, is whining all the time about how she gives up her successful life in Manhattan to come home to SAVE her family business, acts like she is the one making sacrifices when it's her sister and her husband who has been there all the time. Never even bothers to say hi to her childhood friend, but suddenly treats him as a "friend" when she needs information from him. YIKES. Overall, I really regretted reading this book and I hope mystery writers will stop using such stupid formulas when they are writing mysteries. Agatha Christie is the QUEEN OF MYSTERY because she observes people and use her detectives little grey cells to solve problems, not through whining, kisses, and convenient endings.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chaitra

    I'm not quite sure, but from reading and watching detective stories - (view spoiler)[isn't a broken neck from the noose different from a broken neck from falling down off the railings (hide spoiler)] ? Why would the cops not know that? Or maybe I missed something? I spent way too long on the book, much more than a book of this type warranted, alternating between wondering at Julia's martyr complex and feeling nostalgic about beautiful Maine. About Julia's martyr complex: she left a successful car I'm not quite sure, but from reading and watching detective stories - (view spoiler)[isn't a broken neck from the noose different from a broken neck from falling down off the railings (hide spoiler)] ? Why would the cops not know that? Or maybe I missed something? I spent way too long on the book, much more than a book of this type warranted, alternating between wondering at Julia's martyr complex and feeling nostalgic about beautiful Maine. About Julia's martyr complex: she left a successful career in NYC to come save the family clambake, sure, but she'd been AWOL for 10 years before that when the other members of her family were working like dogs. She comes to her senses, but it was too little too late - I was already quite ticked off about her self absorption. The mystery was a bit off, see above, and it seems that Julia did everything a beat after the cops did and the cops still didn't get the right answer. Well, neither did Julia. In true cozy mystery fashion, the killer just happened to be doing murder-y stuff when Julia traipsed along. I did like the Maine described in the book, since I really liked Maine when I went there on a week-long vacation a couple of years ago and this was a nice refresher. I don't have an opinion on the recipes, since I'm a vegetarian (what was I doing in Maine, right?) and would have no idea if these are good recipes or not. Not much was said about clambakes, considering this whole thing was about clambakes in the first place - Julia isn't a bake master, neither is she any kind of cook. They spend most of the time closed, and when they are open, one day, Julia spends most of the time wandering around the place rather than pulling her weight. From this book, I have only the barest of ideas of what it means to have a clambake experience. Anyway, the series does have potential, since Julia's whining about herself seems to be at an end. I can't find the second book, but I have the third one on Kindle courtesy the publisher, and I hope that book is better than this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is the first book in the Maine Clambake Series. It starts off with a wedding party heading off to Morrow Island for a wedding and when they arrive, they find a hanging body in the mansion. Not a good way to begin a wedding celebration. Julia Snowden, the main character, has left her high powered job in New York finance to try and keep her family's floundering business, The Snowden Family Clambake, from going under. Everything has been invested to keep it going, including her Mom's house, th This is the first book in the Maine Clambake Series. It starts off with a wedding party heading off to Morrow Island for a wedding and when they arrive, they find a hanging body in the mansion. Not a good way to begin a wedding celebration. Julia Snowden, the main character, has left her high powered job in New York finance to try and keep her family's floundering business, The Snowden Family Clambake, from going under. Everything has been invested to keep it going, including her Mom's house, their boat, and the island where they have their clambakes. Julia was called home by her sister to come up with a financial plan to renegotiate their loan and save the family business and properties. What she did not count on was the island being closed for business for several days while the police investigate the death/murder as well as an arson investigation. I really enjoyed this book as the mystery has several twists, as well as several suspects. The conclusion came as a total surprise, but it definitely fit the story. The family was easy to like, Julia, her sister Livie, her husband Sonny and daughter Paige as well as her mother. They stuck by one another, has their quirks, were hard-working and loved each other despite their disagreements. Their was also Gabrielle and Etienne, her father's best friend, who worked with the family running the clambake. They has some problems of their own, which made for a story within the story. The small town atmosphere of Busman's Harbour added to the story as well. Everyone knew one another, and outsiders were tolerated "in season". The hints at a future romantic relationship between Julia and Chris simmered throughout the story with ups and downs. We will have to see where that goes in the next book. As with a good cozy, there are recipes included, which based on the descriptions in the book make me want to try them. This was a great start to this series and I am ready to start on the next one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Marie

    I'm very disappointed with this one. In fact, I'm a little angry. Clammed Up had quite a few flaws (self-righteous mc, weak romance, weak mystery, etc.) but I could overlook that since this is the first in a series. What really irked me was the reveal of the killer and their reasoning. (view spoiler)[As someone suffering anxiety, I'm extremely sensitive to the representation of mental illness. I'm tired of mystery writers depicting all mentally ill people as lunatics who have lost their mind. Th I'm very disappointed with this one. In fact, I'm a little angry. Clammed Up had quite a few flaws (self-righteous mc, weak romance, weak mystery, etc.) but I could overlook that since this is the first in a series. What really irked me was the reveal of the killer and their reasoning. (view spoiler)[As someone suffering anxiety, I'm extremely sensitive to the representation of mental illness. I'm tired of mystery writers depicting all mentally ill people as lunatics who have lost their mind. That's not how it works. Yes some people can lose control, but that is not how every single one of us are. I'm not going to snap and kill the nearest person. My condition makes me too cowardly to do that. The worst thing I might do is have a panic attack in public, curl into a ball and cry uncontrollably. No killing. No craziness. I hope writers like Ross can start doing some research into the matter, because I'm sick of seeing this. Metal illness is not synonymous with crazy. (hide spoiler)] I want to continue on with the series because I do see the potential in it. The setting was wonderful and Julia does have some development that I hope will help me in liking her more. The problem with this one was simply the reasoning behind everything. I want to urge writers to stop this misinformed trend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Julia has returned to her Maine town to try to save her family's clambake business. However, when the best man at the wedding they are involved in dies, it might shut the business down for good. I found the first quarter a bit slow, but once the story really got going, it took off and didn't stop until it had reached the end. Along the way, I cam to truly care for these characters. The result was well worth reading. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers. Julia has returned to her Maine town to try to save her family's clambake business. However, when the best man at the wedding they are involved in dies, it might shut the business down for good. I found the first quarter a bit slow, but once the story really got going, it took off and didn't stop until it had reached the end. Along the way, I cam to truly care for these characters. The result was well worth reading. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  16. 5 out of 5

    J.H. Moncrieff

    While I'd thought this was a cozy mystery, there were some significant differences. For one, the protagonist grapples with some serious issues, complications, and challenges. It didn't have that lighthearted cozy feel. Julia also isn't that cozy trope of a female who has nothing to do with law enforcement, but then finds herself thrust into a mystery and suddenly morphs into a seasoned detective, relentlessly interrogating family and friends. If anything, Julia's questioning is pretty feeble and While I'd thought this was a cozy mystery, there were some significant differences. For one, the protagonist grapples with some serious issues, complications, and challenges. It didn't have that lighthearted cozy feel. Julia also isn't that cozy trope of a female who has nothing to do with law enforcement, but then finds herself thrust into a mystery and suddenly morphs into a seasoned detective, relentlessly interrogating family and friends. If anything, Julia's questioning is pretty feeble and doesn't get her too far. She doesn't solve the mystery so much as stumble upon the truth. I wasn't sure if I liked her or not, but I didn't dislike her, and she didn't annoy me--as so many cozy protagonists do--but being a nosy busybody who inserts herself into everyone's business. I agree with other reviewers that the romance angle feels weak and tacked on at the end, but otherwise, I enjoyed this book. The descriptions of living in Maine, trying to save a struggling small business, and the clambakes--oh, the clambakes!--were authentic and interesting. It really makes me want to go try the one the author recommended. I ended up ordering the best clam chowder I know of in order to tide me over. The recipes look amazing too. While I'm not sure I was hooked enough to continue with the series, it was an enjoyable read with a lot more depth than the typical cozy. I'd consider this a straight-up mystery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Kovaleski

    Good start to another Maine series. Julia is struggling to find out what is important to her. She knows that she must help her mother, do her best to save the family business, not kill her brother-in-law, and dodge the bank! If that's not enough to have on her plate, there's a murder. Of course on her family's island no less. It takes perseverance, and a determination to not let her family down to find the killer herself. Unfortunately, her romantic attraction to a high school crush is right in Good start to another Maine series. Julia is struggling to find out what is important to her. She knows that she must help her mother, do her best to save the family business, not kill her brother-in-law, and dodge the bank! If that's not enough to have on her plate, there's a murder. Of course on her family's island no less. It takes perseverance, and a determination to not let her family down to find the killer herself. Unfortunately, her romantic attraction to a high school crush is right in the middle of the murder. How can things get worse! Before she gives up and decides to run back to NY and never look back; she is reminded this is not just a job, but her family; and she cannot turn her back on them now. Good red herrings, kept me guessing till the end!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Can one make clam chowder with lobster? This started off slow to the point where I was regretting reading this. But each chapter was short and long enough for me to continue reading. I had to warm up to Julia and the tone of the narrative because it came across as flat. But, as usual, once I got into the story and warmed to the characters, things picked up.   The killer came out of left field for me because I was so focused on the other characters. Once it was revealed who dunnit, it made sense. N Can one make clam chowder with lobster? This started off slow to the point where I was regretting reading this. But each chapter was short and long enough for me to continue reading. I had to warm up to Julia and the tone of the narrative because it came across as flat. But, as usual, once I got into the story and warmed to the characters, things picked up.   The killer came out of left field for me because I was so focused on the other characters. Once it was revealed who dunnit, it made sense. Nice way to throw me off Ms. Ross!   And what in tar-nation was up with Chris and that ending? I sat on my porch staring at the wall with a scowl on my face thinking, "WTF?"   For the love of all things covered in bacon, please don't let this series turn into a lesson in Love Geometry.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Julia comes home from New York City to save the family business, her mother's house and her boat. By renegotiating the business load and sinking all her own assets into the business, Julia vow's to make good on the money but to do so can only be closed 5 days in the season. Her first opening wedding day finds the best man murdered in the mansion on the clambake island. The local police close the island for a couple days to resolve the murder. Then another disaster happens on the island and the S Julia comes home from New York City to save the family business, her mother's house and her boat. By renegotiating the business load and sinking all her own assets into the business, Julia vow's to make good on the money but to do so can only be closed 5 days in the season. Her first opening wedding day finds the best man murdered in the mansion on the clambake island. The local police close the island for a couple days to resolve the murder. Then another disaster happens on the island and the Snowden Family Clambake has to close for more days. Can Julia save the business? Read it and find out. I thought this was very well written with a surprising twist at the end. Lots of suspects and well laid out but Julia was just a bit annoying with her I have to save everything attitude. I am hopeful that the next book does not have that same tendency.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meg Mims

    It takes a lot to keep me guessing about the killer/motive until the end. I met the author, Barbara Ross, at Malice Domestic 2013, and she gave me an ARC copy of her soon-to-be-released (September of this year) cozy contemp mystery. So here's my review -- PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK! If you love a great read, a great cozy with a gutsy but flawed heroine who learns more about what really matters along with solving a murder, this book is for you. I enjoyed the New England setting, the secondary characters It takes a lot to keep me guessing about the killer/motive until the end. I met the author, Barbara Ross, at Malice Domestic 2013, and she gave me an ARC copy of her soon-to-be-released (September of this year) cozy contemp mystery. So here's my review -- PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK! If you love a great read, a great cozy with a gutsy but flawed heroine who learns more about what really matters along with solving a murder, this book is for you. I enjoyed the New England setting, the secondary characters were also well-rounded and I am NOT one to spoil the chowder. I'm "clamming up" about the fabulous plot and wonderful twists--even on the very last page. Highly recommend!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    One of the best "cozies" I've ever read. In fact, in many ways, it really doesn't qualify for my definition of cozy. It's got far too much heft to it. First of all, it's over 300 pages long. I don't think I've ever read a cozy that big. Second, the characters are so well developed. And, not just the main/Maine ones. Third, it's not completely light-hearted. There's a fair degree of angst. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it not just to fans of cozies but fans of mys One of the best "cozies" I've ever read. In fact, in many ways, it really doesn't qualify for my definition of cozy. It's got far too much heft to it. First of all, it's over 300 pages long. I don't think I've ever read a cozy that big. Second, the characters are so well developed. And, not just the main/Maine ones. Third, it's not completely light-hearted. There's a fair degree of angst. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it not just to fans of cozies but fans of mysteries too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was a fun cozy mystery that left me guessing at who the killer was until the end. Great story, but a little slow at the start.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    This was a good mystery, very complex and with lots of twists. The family aspect was lovely, and I liked that the dynamics felt realistic. The first half (the set-up) was slow to me, but the second half of the book was super quick to read as things really came together well and kept me guessing until close to the end of the story. Content: expletives and profanity, alcohol (including a bar setting and drunkenness), drugs

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Wilhoite

    Can't wait to continue this series! Can't wait to continue this series!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    3.75 stars - rated heavy pg13 (see below) I haven't read a cozy mystery book in eons and this secular story was actually quite cute. It was a bit slow going, especially the first half. (Of course the slowness could have very likely been due to my crazy life whilst trying to read this book!?!) I wish the story had been faster moving; more riveting. But perhaps cozies are supposed to be more "cozy" than riveting (and in all truth my heart and mind just can't handle the truly riveting and frightenin 3.75 stars - rated heavy pg13 (see below) I haven't read a cozy mystery book in eons and this secular story was actually quite cute. It was a bit slow going, especially the first half. (Of course the slowness could have very likely been due to my crazy life whilst trying to read this book!?!) I wish the story had been faster moving; more riveting. But perhaps cozies are supposed to be more "cozy" than riveting (and in all truth my heart and mind just can't handle the truly riveting and frightening real-life suspense/crime novels that are out there!). I liked all the characters, but I never felt truly connected to any of them, including Julia, the main sleuth. My favorite was a secondary character named Gus, the grizzled old Mainer who ran the local hole-in-the-wall eating spot. The story may have been slow to get going. But. I loved, loved, looooved the setting!! I want to go to Maine. Right now. Or maybe tomorrow. Definitely soon!!! The small town coastal atmosphere was lovely. (Also, cute covers for all the books in this series!) This book had me craving some lobsters and a bowl of creamy clam chowder. And I don't really like either of those! --- I'm a Chesapeake Bay, Maryland girl so I'm gonna go have some Maryland steamed crabs and delicious cream of crab soup and pretend I'm in Maine eating lobsters and clam chowder!! The mystery kept me guessing and pointing fingers at everybody. The last third of the book was the best. I was sort of guessing in the right direction, but I got the final perp wrong. I seriously need to sharpen my sleuthing skills! And I intend to do so by picking up "Boiled Over", book 2 in this series, and going back to Maine and working on becoming a better detective. Plus this book ended on a romantic note for Julia, so I need to find out where that goes! (p.s. - Editing throughout the paperback was poor, and annoying.) (This is a general market cozy that would be considered "clean", but I would say it's not entirely wholesome. God's name was used as exclamation once/twice; mild cuss word - d___; no details but it was implied that non-married couple slept together; very subtle hint that a male character might be more interested in dating men then women; a bachelor party with alcohol in a bar)

  26. 4 out of 5

    bella

    In Barbara Ross' debut mystery she takes readers right to the heart of the Clambake in her new series "Maine Clambake Mysteries". Julia Snowden has left her venture capitalist job in NYC to help her family in Maine and their Clambake business at Morrow Island, which is suffering. Iif she can't pull it out of the financial pit it is in, it will go under. Julia spent her summers at Morrow Island with her sister, Livvie. She's expecting a summer of fun with the Clambake activities but what she does In Barbara Ross' debut mystery she takes readers right to the heart of the Clambake in her new series "Maine Clambake Mysteries". Julia Snowden has left her venture capitalist job in NYC to help her family in Maine and their Clambake business at Morrow Island, which is suffering. Iif she can't pull it out of the financial pit it is in, it will go under. Julia spent her summers at Morrow Island with her sister, Livvie. She's expecting a summer of fun with the Clambake activities but what she doesn't bank on is murder. Barbara Ross' debut is a magical trip into the summers of my youth, spent with my feet firmly planted in the ocean water and enjoying seafood. Right from the first page I knew that this was a book that I was going to enjoy immensely, that would keep me up late at night, and I wasn't wrong. Clammed Up was an absolute delight!! With well-crafted characters and a fantastic mystery with more than it's share of red herrings, Clammed Up left me guessing and re-guessing as I tried to solve the mystery before Julia and the local police team. I loved Julia, our amateur sleuth. To begin with she seems like a simple person who has come back to help her family out. She isn't suffering some great big divorce or some pain in her life, she comes from a happy family. The only loss she has suffered is the death of her father a few years before to cancer. But under the surface she is more complicated, and I enjoyed watching her navigate her relationships with people she knew in her childhood, as an adult. There are a few hints at future romantic entanglements and I'm eagerly awaiting to see how these will play out in future books. Clammed Up was my favorite book of the September releases so far. It's a strong debut that will leave readers wanting more of this beautiful small town in Maine. With recipes provided at the back of the book, I will be trying to rediscover Maine in my own kitchen. I'm especially looking forward to trying the French Canadian meat pie - Gabrielle's Tourtiere.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Welcome to the Snowden Family Clambake Company. It is located in Busman, Maine. Julia Snowden has returned home to Busman to help save the company which is in financial trouble. This could mean that it would go out of business. Julia has taken a leave of absence from her New York job to sort things out. The Snowden Family owns Morrow Island on which the family mansion (although in disrepair) is located. This is where the clam bakes are held in season. The business charters guest out to the Island daily Welcome to the Snowden Family Clambake Company. It is located in Busman, Maine. Julia Snowden has returned home to Busman to help save the company which is in financial trouble. This could mean that it would go out of business. Julia has taken a leave of absence from her New York job to sort things out. The Snowden Family owns Morrow Island on which the family mansion (although in disrepair) is located. This is where the clam bakes are held in season. The business charters guest out to the Island daily. They set up to enjoy the clambakes right on the Island’s shore. Julie has repaired several rooms in the family mansion to use for guest especially in a wedding party to change. On this first season charter, a wedding party arrives at the Island minus a missing best man. The groom stays in Busman to look for him while the rest of the party goes on the boat. Julia goes to open up the family mansion. There she discovers the best man hanging from the grand staircase in the mansion. Now everyone must return to the boat until the police arrive and everyone is questioned. This shuts the family business down but for how long? How will this effect their bottom line?? Julia needs to start investigation to get back in business and clear a person, she knows is innocent. Come along with the feisty Julia who is supported by well written, vivid, colorful and quirky secondary characters. A fast paced plot with many suspects and plenty of twists and turns plus mouthwatering fresh seafood. Realistic description makes the reader feel that they are right there in Busman, on the boat or on Morrow Island. Get ready for good eating as recipes are included!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    The end of this book was tragic... because there were no more pages. However, I was quickly consoled by the collection of Maine recipes included after the story was complete. ;) Julia Snowden returns from NYC to coastal Maine to save the family's clambake business. Unfortunately, the first event of the season results in the clambake being shut down by the police for a murder investigation. The plot is fast-paced, the whole book takes place in about a week, and I clenched my hands and worried rig The end of this book was tragic... because there were no more pages. However, I was quickly consoled by the collection of Maine recipes included after the story was complete. ;) Julia Snowden returns from NYC to coastal Maine to save the family's clambake business. Unfortunately, the first event of the season results in the clambake being shut down by the police for a murder investigation. The plot is fast-paced, the whole book takes place in about a week, and I clenched my hands and worried right along with Julia. I was relieved with each new connection she made in solving the murder and frustrated right along with her when her logic proved faulty upon the introduction of additional facts. And the descriptions of the food? Oh, completely scrumptious. I don't even like lobster mac & cheese and I want some of Livvie's (Julia's sister) for dinner. There's a lot of Maine in this book, both in scene and character. Having grown up in Maine watching Murder, She Wrote, my expectations for Maine settings are high but my hopes are low. In this case, Barbara Ross successfully transferred a coastal tourist town, along route 1 of course, and its people to the page. There were so many characters I felt I'd meet wandering up the coast, and a couple I was pretty sure I already knew. I enjoyed this book immensely and will, in fact, be rereading it now that I know the outcome to see the characters and all the little details in the fresh light of knowing the outcome. If you enjoy mysteries steeped in local color and real characters or the Maine coast, you will enjoy this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ❂ Murder by Death

    This book started slow for me, and I was certain it wouldn't be a 4 star read. But it was well-written and something kept me from just putting it down and walking away. As I kept reading, the story built momentum, and I became more engrossed, more invested, with each chapter. The story takes place in Maine and the characters adhere to the stoic typecast of most residents of Maine. The result is not a light-hearted, humorous book or setting. The characters are likeable, but they aren't charming o This book started slow for me, and I was certain it wouldn't be a 4 star read. But it was well-written and something kept me from just putting it down and walking away. As I kept reading, the story built momentum, and I became more engrossed, more invested, with each chapter. The story takes place in Maine and the characters adhere to the stoic typecast of most residents of Maine. The result is not a light-hearted, humorous book or setting. The characters are likeable, but they aren't charming or witty or cheeky; it takes time to warm to them. There's also a fair amount of family drama to work through in this book, and that ratchets up the stoicism just that little bit more. Julia has just moved back to Maine from New York City in an attempt to save the family business, and has no real friends in town to speak of, so no opportunities for banter or for the lighter side of a personality to shine through. Quentin shows promise in the future for more levity, but he doesn't play a massive part in this plot and isn't seen very often. The plot itself was delightfully twisty and the ending was skilfully done; there was no guessing on my part - I hadn't a clue how the story was going to end. A few threads were tied up a bit neatly at the end, but none of them central to the murder and none of them a surprise. I will say the author knows how to end a book too! :) A very strong first, and I'm looking forward to reading the second.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Wow, I've had this book on my nook for about a year now, and I only just read it. I must say it was amazing and I am sorry that I hadn't read it before! Filled with wonderful twists and turns, great characters, and a wonderful setting, Clammed Up was a wonderful first book in this series that I hope to continue for awhile to come! The characters were wonderful. The reasons why the MC came back home were predictable but overall the MC was a delightful character. Her sister, niece, and most of the Wow, I've had this book on my nook for about a year now, and I only just read it. I must say it was amazing and I am sorry that I hadn't read it before! Filled with wonderful twists and turns, great characters, and a wonderful setting, Clammed Up was a wonderful first book in this series that I hope to continue for awhile to come! The characters were wonderful. The reasons why the MC came back home were predictable but overall the MC was a delightful character. Her sister, niece, and most of the other characters were also well-written. Her mother broke the cozy mold for most mothers. However, her brother-in-law, Sonny, was annoying and overall just a character I disliked. I hope he'll get better in the next book. The mystery simply blew me out of the water, so to speak. I thought I had it figured out a few pages before the end, but then the killer was revealed and I was shocked. However, it all fit together perfectly and I was surprised I didn't see it before. The ending was okay, but I wasn't happy with what happened with the love interest. However, this was overall a wonderful book. I'll read the next one!

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