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Clammed Up (A Maine Clambake Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – September 3, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 322 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel.

Nominated as a Reviewer's Choice Best Book of 2013--Amateur Sleuth, RT Book Reviews.

Finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction.

"
Clammed Up is a terrific start to what promises to be a top-notch series, with a cast of characters I look forward to knowing better." Suspense Magazine, September, 2013

"☆☆☆☆½ This first installment in a new series is a real treat...The story flows effortlessly, and the setting is a character on its own..." Romantic Times Book Reviews, September 2013.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Maine Clambake Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758286856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758286857
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first in what I hope will be a long lived mystery series. Julia Snowden's task of saving the family clambake business from foreclosure (along with her mother's home and the island where the clambakes take place) is compelling from page 1. The stakes get even higher and her plans go awry when the best man at a wedding they're hosting turns up dead on the island and the clambake is forced to shut down. With the clock ticking until the bank calls the loan and a not so subtle push from the local curmudgeon, Julia's focus shifts to finding out whodunnit.

Ross's story is well crafted. The small town Maine setting is welcoming and the characters are well developed "people" you will like and dislike as you might friends and family - and many of them will surprise you before you reach the last page. I enjoyed this book and almost wish I'd discovered the series a few books down the line so I could continue reading the Snowden Family Clambake mysteries. For now, I'll give some of the recipes at the back of the book a try. They sound as satisfying as the story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a delightful semi cozy-semi because there is quite a bit of excitement, and not just an intrepid heroine. Julia is trying to save her family's Clambake business and encounters what seems to be a haunted house and a murder that is puzzling. The unwinding of this tale is delicious. The food in this book showcases Maine's lobsters and clambakes; Ms. Ross makes it all come alive. If you haven't been to Maine, this book will take you there. If you have, you will want to go back. I look forward to the next book in the series for my next trip.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author writes this story of a Maine clambake business teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, which a murder almost pushes over the edge, with a sure and authentic hand. Such is the sureness and authenticity in this story that I think some will feel an irrational resistance to the author--this thought was confirmed for me when I read some of the low-starred reviews which seemed to say, I don't know why I didn't like it, I just didn't!

Personally, I was convinced from the first chapter that this was going to be an intelligent, well-crafted and skillfully told mystery, and I wasn't disappointed. This was a relief to me because so many cozies these days are frivolous to the point of being ridiculous. I like frivolity and a light read sometimes, but I want the mystery and the characters' motivations to make sense. This story gave me that.

For instance, many cozies don't give us a strong enough reason for the main character to become an amateur sleuth. It's as if we're just supposed to accept that they do because, after all, they're starring in a cozy. But Barbara Ross doesn't leave us in any doubt of what's at stake for her sleuth, Julia. Everything in her life is at stake! I was so convinced of her need to find the murderer that I was almost having panic attacks along with Julia when the clues didn't happen fast enough and yet another day went by when her business wasn't allowed to open.

Another thing that impressed me about this story was the complicated lives of the characters and the way they kept important things to themselves, just as would be the case in real life. Everyone had their own angle, their own messed up life and past that interfered with the investigation. I loved how I was continually kept guessing and surprised.
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