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  • Loved it!

    oyster-culture, clams, Maine, law-enforcement, amateur-sleuth, murder-investigation, theft, greed, family-dynamics, friendship, tourist-town***** Julia Snowden was born and raised in the small tourist town but went away to college and then to Manhattan for a career in high finance until it got the better of her. Now she is back and is a major force in the family clambake business and is back with her old flame (Chris) who runs a landscaping business based on the desires of the summer folk. Chris introduces her to Andie who runs an oyster farm nearby and who has had $35,000 worth of "seeds" stolen in a hit and grab (the first mystery). While working on that, Julia finds Andie's body in the wet and wit an oyster knife in her neck. Being a small town, it's the state police who bring in detectives and forensics, but sifting through the evidence isn't as useful as it might be. Lots of twists and red herrings complete with a pair of familiar state cops, odd behaviors by main characters, and other peculiarities. I loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • Another superb entry in the series!

    Chris asks Julia to help a friend who was robbed figure out who has it out for her. Being a woman in a male dominated career, Andie believes someone was trying to stop her business, but doesn’t believe it is someone she knows. As Julia investigates, she finds me of the people closest to her and Chris popping up in her investigation. When Andie is murdered, Julia seeks justice for her new friend and digs even deeper and hopes she won’t meet the same fate in the process. This is one of my go to series and I am never disappointed. Barbara Ross knows how to weave a solid whodunit with a strong protagonist and enough red herrings to keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to solve things along with Julia.

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  • Nice read!

    I got a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Even though I’d only read the first book in this series, i wasn’t confused about who’s who in the story. This book has all it takes to make it a typical cozy mystery and it was fun to follow Julia in this investigation in what turned out to be a complex issue linked to a family feud. I also appreciated that Ms. Ross isn’t overdoing the romance side of things, I like a good mystery but have no patience for the cheesy romance some authors go for. Now, I want to read all the books between the ones I already read.

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  • Hunting for the Oyster Seed Thief

    Julia Snowden should be focusing on getting the last-minute tasks done to open the summer season of her family’s clambake, but when her boyfriend asks her to help his friend, Andie, Julia can’t resist. Andie runs an oyster farm not too far away, and someone has just stolen $35,000 worth of new inventory from her. Andie seems reluctant to give Julia any suspects, however, so it isn’t that surprising that Julia hasn’t made much progress when she finds a dead body. Is the robbery connected to the murder? This book does a great job of introducing us to oyster farming without slowing down the mystery itself. I learned quite a bit while also getting the foundation for the plot. The pace does build as Julia gets closer to figuring things out, and the climax wraps everything up for us perfectly. This series is often on the slim side, and this is no exception. While the suspects are strong and the mystery complex, the supporting players aren’t as prevalent as they might be. While I did miss them and wouldn’t have minded a sub-plot that could have included them, it’s a minor issue. The book leaves us with five recipes that seafood lovers will want to try. As always, this book left me anxious to find out what will happen to Julia next. Fans won’t be disappointed.

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  • Simply Brilliant!

    Shucked Apart is the 9th book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross. In this book I was pleased to meet the proprietor of The Snowden Family Clambake Company, Julia Snowden of Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Busy preparing and hiring staff for the new summer season, Julia helps out when her boyfriend, Chris, comes to her about poker friend Andie Greatorex, the owner of the Great River Oyster Farm in Damariscotta, not far from Busman's Harbor. Andie is having problems as $35,000 worth of baby oysters have been stolen. The police think its a simple robbery but Andie thinks it's an act to sabotage her business. Julia is shown around the Great River Oyster Farm the next day and learns a little about the other oyster farms and lobstermen in the area. But Julia barely gets the chance to start poking around as Andie receives a ransom note and when she next turns up at Great River Oysters, Andie's boat is nowhere to be seen. Then Julia makes a deadly discovery; Andie's body is bobbing around in the water. Although book 9 in the Maine Clambake Mystery series, this can be enjoyed as a stand-alone. With a compelling plot, drama aplenty, a great bunch of characters, and oodles of mayhem added to the mix, this was a fantastic read that kept me on my toes. The writing style of Barbara Ross was a good fit for me. Trying to unravel the mystery in the pockets of Julia was lots of fun and I welcomed the comfortable pace as well as the neatly packaged ending. I would like to backtrack and devour the eight books I've missed in this series as I thoroughly enjoyed Shucked Apart and I'm game to see what adventures befall Julia and the Busman's Harbor crowd, next. The book leaves the reader with five recipes that seafood lovers will salivate over, and I'm keen to try out the Lobster Mashed Potatoes. Very highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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