Musseled Out: A Maine Clambake Mystery #3 by Barbara Ross

Oh this was a fun story, set in mid-coast Maine, Julia Snowden is on leave from her investment banking position to help out in the family owned clambake catering company.  The third in this series, but Barbara Ross has managed to present necessary information without overwhelming the reader, and the book reads well as a stand alone story.

Musseled Out

The summer season is wrapping up, and Julia has several decisions to make: her leave of absence is almost up, the original family home on the island where they have their clambakes was damaged by a fire and needs to be winterized to enable restoration and her relationship is at a crossroad.  But when a potential competitor turns up entangled in lobster trap lines under a boat with no crew, the questions of who did it start to run amok.

Along with the mystery is a truly honest portrayal of the life in small town coastal Maine, hardships, tiny squabbles and fishing territory disputes. Characters are wonderfully built, from Gus and Mrs. Gus who own the ‘locals’ diner to the elderly twin sisters that run the B & B:, the local police, the women who rally around to support one another and even Le Roi, the Maine Coon Cat that is laden with personality and pizazz.

Joanna is well built, with a line of insecurities and several questions. While an insider because of her family, she’s been away for a while, and this gives her a unique perspective and viewpoint on both the town and the mystery of missing men, murder and above all, her own future prospects in this small coastal town.

There is little to not like about this story, and with several potential suspects and an ever-increasing set of secrets the end is both satisfying and fitting, all while keeping the feel of a small town surviving on full-time residents and heart.

Musseled Out: A Maine Clambake Mystery #3 by Barbara Ross

Title: Musseled Out
Author: Barbara Ross
Series: A Maine Clambake Mystery #3
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Published by: Kensington
ISBN: 0758286899
Published on: 28 April, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 304
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 28 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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The busy summer tourist season is winding down in Busman's Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden senses trouble simmering for the Snowden Family Clambake Company. Shifty David Thwing--the "Mussel King" of upscale seafood restaurants--is sniffing around town for a new location. But serving iffy clams turns out to be the least of his troubles. . .

When Thwing is found sleeping with the fishes beneath a local lobsterman's boat, the police quickly finger Julia's brother-in-law Sonny as the one who cooked up the crime. Sure, everyone knows Sonny despised the Mussel King. . .but Julia believes he's innocent. Proving it won't be easy, though. It seems there's a lot more than murder on the menu, and Julia needs to act fast. . .

See the Maine Clambake Mysteries on GoodReads 

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries from Kensington Publishing. The first book in the series, Clammed Up, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer's Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth, and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Boiled Over was published in 2014 and Musseled Out is coming in May, 2015.

Barbara is a co-editor/co-publisher at Level Best Books, which produces an award-winning anthology of crime and mystery stories by New England authors every November. "Bread Baby" in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Barbara also blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers and with a group of writers of New England-based cozy mysteries at Wicked Cozy Authors.

Barbara and her husband own the former Seafarer Inn at the head of the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

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