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  • How to harvest clams and find a murderer

    Great Cozy Series I learned about digging for clams in book 7! Very detailed relationship searches to find Lou's heirs was very interesting. Another season for Snowden Family Clambake and things are going well until Lou Herrickson's heir shuts off access to her beach for everyone, even Will Orsolini and the other clammers whose livelihood comes from gathering clams there and Will sells to Snowden family for their daily clambake excursions. When heir Bart Frick is murdered, Julia is asked to investigate by a neighbor to clear the Herrickson housekeeper. Julia's skills at uncovering clues from the smallest detail has her providing the police with new people to question. The Snowden family home, Windsholme, restoration project is discussed and plans are underway. Julia & Chris' relationship moves forward once Chris shares his family & dark secrets. I volunteered to read an ARC through Net Galley

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  • Will have you yearning for summer!

    Steamed Open by Barbara Ross has readers journeying to Busman’s Harbor, Maine in the height of tourist season in the month of August. Julia Snowden is on the Jacquie II with the rest of the town for Heloise (Lou) Herrickson’s memorial service and to scatter her ashes. Lou’s heir, Bartholomew Frick arrives at the last minute is a fancy new red Porsche. Bart inherited Herrickson Point along with a privately owned lighthouse. The next day, everyone is shocked when they arrive at the beach access road to find a newly installed gate. The clammers and lighthouse enthusiasts are particularly upset by this afront. Since Snowden Family Clambake relies on the clams that the clammers find on that beach, Julia decides to visit Bart Frick and see if she can get him to change his mind (maybe he is not aware of the problem he has caused). Unfortunately, there is no reasoning with the rude man and Julia soon departs. When Julia returns to the pier that evening, she is greeted by the local police. Bart was found stabbed in his home with a clam rake and Julia was one of the last people to see him alive (besides the killer, of course). When Lou’s former housekeeper, Ida Fischer ends up at the top of the suspect list, the Snugg sisters ask Julia to don her investigator’s cap once again (not that Julia needs an excuse). Bart may not have been in town long, but he quickly managed to anger a significant number of people. Julia wades through the suspect pool to identify Bart’s killer while manages the clambake business and discovering what is bothering her boyfriend, Chris. Steamed Open is the seventh A Maine Clambake Mystery. It can be read alone if you have not read any of the previous books in the series. I enjoyed Barbara Ross’ conversational writing style. It makes for a light, airy cozy mystery that is easy to read. We get to experience the day-to-day running of the Snowden Family Clambake with Julia and her family. It is interesting to learn more about Maine and the clamming industry. I enjoy the descriptions of the area especially the beautiful home the Snowden’s own on their island. The mystery is uncomplicated, and the killer is easily identified (might as well have been a giant neon sign over the persons head flashing “killer”). There are several viable suspects including a couple determined to visit as many lighthouses as they can (they are not going to let a gate stop them). I am glad that we learned more about Julia’s boyfriend, Chris in Steamed Open. His story is heartbreaking. I did find his obsession with Vanessa a little odd despite the explanation. I hope that Chris will be more open to talking about the future with Julia now (he really needs to get counseling). There is repetition of information that I could have done without and lack of details about characters (i.e.—Chris’ last name, Livvie’s last name). Steamed Open is an upbeat cozy mystery that will have you yearning for warm days and sandy beaches with a cool drink nearby.

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