By Barbara Ross
A Maine Clambake Mystery #6
It’s June in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are working hard to get their authentic Maine clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor in the harbor—and delivers an unexpected dose of murder . . .
When Julia’s old prep school rival Wyatt Jayne invites her to dinner on board her billionaire fiancé’s decked-out yacht, Julia arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two—and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt, and Julia’s quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed.
What a great mystery to start the new year off! If only all cozy mysteries were this good. Stowed Away is #6 in the Maine Clambake series and can stand alone, but this series has me hooked and I’m eager to read the previous stories.
I love New England settings, which is what initially drew me to this story, and let me just say that Barbara Ross excels at vividly conveying the feel of Maine’s coast, making me feel as if I was actually there. And what could be more representative of Maine than the Snowden family clambake business? Julia and her family are easy to connect with, and it’s obvious that there’s good character development throughout the series.
The mystery itself is very well crafted and easy to follow. Suspects are plenty, but not too many to keep up with. I felt sympathy toward to murder victim, a billionaire who made money on the country’s banking collapse, only to become a recluse or self-imposed prisoner of his wealth. Add a yacht named Garbo after the actress Greta Garbo into the mix, and you’ve got a fascinating plot. Rather than being scary or suspenseful, the pace moves steadily along with a solid investigation that held my interest constantly. There’s also a little romance between Julia and one of the characters, but I felt her connection was stronger with a certain police detective and wondered if there might be a change coming for Julia.
Windsholme was built as an exclusive retreat for a
small family. My parents had made it available to thousands
of people a year for the cost of a boat ride and a meal.
Sharing was always better than hoarding.
I was provided a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries
She is co-editor/co-publisher of Level Best Books, which produces anthologies of crime stories by New England authors. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. Readers can visit her website at MaineClambakeMysteries.com.
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