There’s no business like a family-owned business. Just ask Julia Snowden, part-owner of the Snowden Family Clambake business in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. In this first installment of Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mystery series, Julia has reluctantly left her high-powered job in New York City to return home to Maine and put her financial expertise to work in the family business, which is in big financial trouble and facing bankruptcy, partially due to bad decisions and the quick temper of Julia’s brother-in-law, Sonny.
Julia is thinking positive when Snowden Clambakes is booked for a wedding at the beginning of the tourist season. But the wedding is suddenly cancelled due to the unfortunate demise of the best man, whom Julia finds dead the night before the ceremony—on Morrow Island, which is also owned by the Snowden family and the site of all the clambakes. The police rule the death a murder and shut the clambake business down indefinitely. The bank is threatening to foreclose on the business and shut it down permanently.
Julia realizes she has no choice—she has to figure out what really happened to the deceased best man as soon as possible—tourist season in Maine is short and the clock is ticking.
“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. I loved it!
Reviewed by Susan Santangelo, author of “Class Reunions Can Be Murder” for Suspense Magazine