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Clammed Up

(Maine Clambake Mystery #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,501 ratings  ·  382 reviews
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 fam
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,501 ratings  ·  382 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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery, 2017
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
J.H. Moncrieff
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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)
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Nancy Narma
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Clams, Commitment and Crime—A Heady Mix"

Julia Snowden had a good job with a venture capital firm in Manhattan, when her Sister Livvie called, begging her to return to her hometown of Busman’s Harbor, Maine. The Snowden Family Clambake, a business her late Father had started, was in serious financial trouble and Julia’s family felt she was the one who could straighten things out and save, not only the business, but her Mother’s home, but also, the beloved site of the clambakes, Morrow Island. Af
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another 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 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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Mark Baker
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, mystery
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.
Edith Maxwell
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kirsten #EndGunViolence
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
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge, bingo
Easy and fun to read first book in the series. I can't wait for my next trip to the Snowden Family Clambake. This was a good mystery with an ending I didn't see coming that was exciting as well.
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very pleasant, clean mystery. The secret was well kept and the book engaging throughout. Definitely recommended!
Julia Snowden returns to her Maine hometown to help save the failing family business. Her brother-in-law has had a hard time handling things and now they are behind in their payments, with their family's land and home, as well as the future of their authentic clambake business, on the line. If they can't make money soon, it's good bye to all of the above. Julia is a business whiz and it takes her no time at all to come up with a sound plan to get the money the family needs to save the clambake. ...more
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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 69 129 Feb 10, 2014 10:49AM  

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Barbara Ross is the author of seven Maine Clambake Mysteries. The eighth, Sealed Off, will be released in December 2019. Her novellas featuring Julia Snowden are included along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in the anthologies Eggnog Murder, Yule Log Murder and Haunted House Murder.

Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody, the first book in a new mystery series, was released in June 20

Other books in the series

Maine Clambake Mystery (8 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)
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