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Clammed Up

(Maine Clambake Mystery #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,760 ratings  ·  408 reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 378 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,760 ratings  ·  408 reviews

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Jessica Robbins
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Rebecca Reviews
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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.
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
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 ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
I'm not quite sure, but from reading and watching detective stories - (view 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 ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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 ...more
Vicky Marie
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
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)
Mark Baker
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2014
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.
J.H. Moncrieff
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
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
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cosy-mysteries
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
Meg Mims
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery readers
Recommended to Meg by: ARC provided by author
Shelves: mystery
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 ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jessica Wilhoite
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait to continue this series!
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
❂ Jennifer
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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
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
Edith Maxwell
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Barb Ross' launch of her new Maine Clambake series is spot on. As the cover says, "Murder is a hard shell to crack." But she pulls it off with flying colors. From Gus' diner to the smell of salt air on the island, I knew I was in Maine. Her characters -- from Julia and her family to police officer Jamie and hunky Chris -- intrigued me and made me want to keep hanging out with them even after the story ends. And what an ending! I was genuinely surprised. Highly recommend this book and can't wait ...more
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This was most definitely a first-rate tale and it's hard to believe it's just the first in the series! Very well constructed mystery and one I had no clue as to who the perpetrator was. There are some great characters with some excellent potential here and I'm very much looking forward to the next one. RECOMMEND!
This was a very pleasant, clean mystery. The secret was well kept and the book engaging throughout. Definitely recommended!
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
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Cozy Mystery Corner : Maine Clambake by Barbara Ross 17 46 Jul 08, 2017 02:34PM  
Reading in Maine: "Clammed Up", by Barbara Ross 1 6 Mar 04, 2014 01:00PM  
Cozy Mysteries : Featured Author - Jan 2014 - Barbara Ross 69 130 Feb 10, 2014 10:49AM  

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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 Maine Clambake novellas are included along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in three holiday anthologies from Kensington Publishing. Barbara a ...more

Other books in the series

Maine Clambake Mystery (9 books)
  • Boiled Over (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #2)
  • Musseled Out (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #3)
  • Fogged Inn (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #4)
  • Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #5)
  • Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #6)
  • Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #7)
  • Sealed Off (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #8)
  • Shucked Apart (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #9)

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