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 . . .
Praise for Iced Under
“Ross knows her Maine coast and her snowstorms. Both provide an atmospheric backdrop for a cozy that . . . picks up its pace when its focus returns to the living and the newly dead.” —Kirkus Reviews
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"Dead weight is the worst." I dropped my end of the picnic table on the flattest spot I could find.
My boyfriend, Chris, wiped his brow with a tan forearm. It was early June, but he'd been landscaping, one of his three jobs, whenever the weather cooperated. I was lucky to have snagged him, just for the day, to help on Morrow Island.
Opening day for the Snowden Family Clambake was one short week away. While I had Chris with me, one of our projects was to move half the picnic tables out of the dining pavilion where they'd been stored for the winter and place them around Morrow Island. The spots had been picked by my parents thirty years earlier, intended to maximize the glorious views across the Gulf of Maine, or provide a cozy spot surrounded by flowers where our guests could eat lobster and toast a special occasion. Moving the tables was hard physical work. I'd been laboring under the delusion that I'd stayed in great shape during the off-season, but every grumbling muscle told me I'd been fooling myself.
I stared at our dock and the navy blue North Atlantic beyond it. "What time do you think it is?"
I pulled my phone from my pocket. Cell service didn't reach the island, but the device was keeping time. "Amazing. One fourteen and thirty seconds." Chris's ability to tell the time within minutes, day or night, based on nothing more than his internal clock, never ceased to amaze me.
Chris grinned, crinkling the skin around his green eyes. "It's a shame my only superpower, as you call it, can't earn me a dime."
I fell in step beside him as we walked back to the pavilion. "Still, it's a pretty impressive trick."
He smiled. "Glad it makes you laugh. When did Quentin say they'd be here?"
As we grabbed another picnic table, Mom stepped out of the gift shop that was tucked in a corner of the building. She hadn't worked on the island in six years — since the day my dad had been diagnosed with the cancer that killed him — but this season she'd already given notice at Linens and Pantries, the big box store where she worked, she'd be taking the summer off to run the Snowden Family Clambake gift shop. Seeing her petite, blond figure in the gift shop entryway, in a cardigan, cotton dress, and tennies brought a wave of nostalgia for the island summers of my childhood. People say I look like her, and they're mostly right.
"What time are they coming?" she asked.
"Soon," I answered. "Quentin's usually right on time."
"Be sure to call me as soon as they get here." She gave us a smile and turned back toward the gift shop.
Quentin Tupper was a family friend, a mentor, and as a result of an investment made to rescue Morrow Island from foreclosure the previous summer, a partner in the Snowden Family Clambake Company. He was also a major proponent, perhaps the most vocal proponent, of fixing up, rather than tearing down, the old mansion that sat on the island's highest peak. Windsholme had been built by my mother's ancestors with money earned shipping ice from New England to warm places like Calcutta and Havana. It was a formidable house, architecturally significant, as Quentin kept reminding us, but it had been abandoned as a dwelling place in the 1920s and damaged in a fire last summer. I understood my mother's love for and loyalty to the place, but I couldn't think of a single, practical reason for repairing it.
It wasn't about practical, Quentin hastened to add whenever the subject came up. It was about history, and architecture, and art. To move the discussion along he'd found an architect, an expert in early examples of Shingle-style homes in Maine, and today he was bringing her to Morrow Island to walk through Windsholme and offer her educated opinion.
Her name was Wyatt Jayne and I'd researched her on the Internet. She had both architecture and landscape design degrees from Harvard and a string of academic articles and stories in glossy magazines featuring breathtaking photos of homes she'd renovated. While I was against spending the money on Windsholme, I had to admit Quentin had found a highly qualified person. At least on paper.
The Flittermouse, Quentin Tupper's sailboat, motored into our dock. A slender woman stood on the deck behind Quentin. She wore large dark glasses and a scarf over her head, Jackie Kennedy style.
Chris ran to help them in. My mother came out of the gift shop and walked with me to the dock. Quentin threw Chris the lines and turned back to help his guest. Her dress, an elegantly cut shift in bright pastels, wasn't built for stepping off a sailboat. As Quentin handed her off to Chris, she fell into his arms. He danced a two-step before setting her down carefully on the wide planks.
"Whoa, thank you!" She smiled her approval at Chris, who smiled back.
Quentin disembarked immediately behind her. He was a big man, sandy haired, and dressed as always in his uniform of khakis, tailored blue cotton shirt, and boat shoes, sans socks. Ten years older than me, he was forty-one to my thirty-one.
"Hullo," he said, beginning the introductions. "Wyatt, this is Jacqueline Snowden, the owner of the island and its magnificent home, her daughter, Julia Snowden, and Chris Durand, a friend of the family." The woman took off her sunglasses and kerchief as Quentin continued. "Snowdens, this is —"
"I know exactly who she is," I cut him off.
"Julia Snowden!" the woman cried.
"What a funny coincidence. I had no idea. All the paperwork Quentin sent me said 'Jacqueline Snowden.' I never put two and two together," she said.
"Neither did I. Especially because Quentin told me your name was Wyatt."
"It's Susan Wyatt Jayne. I use Wyatt professionally."
"You two know each other?" Quentin couldn't have looked more delighted.
I gave him a tight-lipped smile. "We went to school together."
Wyatt nodded her agreement. "We were a pair, weren't we? I was editor of the yearbook and Julia was editor of the newspaper. I was captain of the debate team and she was —" Susan looked around, suddenly out of parallels.
"On the debate team," I filled in helpfully.
"An alternate on the debate team," Wyatt corrected, once and apparently still a stickler for detail. "I heard you'd gone to business school. We all expected so much from you. We thought you'd be running Wall Street by now."
"Yes, well." I looked down at my jeans and work boots, covered in dirt from a day of hard physical labor. "It hasn't turned out that way."
"I can't wait to hear all about it." Wyatt grabbed me by the arm and then pivoted to my mother, extending her hand. "Jacqueline. May I call you Jacqueline? What an honor and a privilege it is to view this magnificent home."
"We hope it will pique your interest sufficiently that you'll do more than view it." My mother gave Quentin a conspiratorial smile.
Wyatt turned to Chris. "And what is your role?"
Quentin jumped in. "Chris is a skilled home renovator who aided me in my initial assessment of the damage to Windsholme. He helped me believe it could be brought back to its former glory." Quentin paused and cleared his throat. "And Chris is a particular friend of Julia's."
That last statement caused Wyatt to give Chris another look. I watched her take him in, from the tousled light brown hair, to the arresting green eyes, the dimpled chin, the broad shoulders, and the muscled chest barely disguised by the navy T-shirt.
"Indeed," Wyatt said.
I was used to the reaction. Chris was, if anything, "too handsome for his own good," in my mother's early-on assessment. He'd won her over, eventually, and it didn't look like he was going to have to work hard to capture Wyatt's approval either. This despite his jeans and work boots, as dirty as my own. Or maybe because of them.
"Shall we see the house?" Quentin suggested.
We walked up from the dock to the wide, grassy plateau that had been known as the great lawn when Windsholme was built, a place for genteel games of croquet and badminton. It still served some of those functions, with a volleyball net and a boccie court, but now it also housed the warren of connected buildings — dining pavilion, gift shop, bar, and kitchen — that formed the heart of the clambake operation. I'd seen photographs of Windsholme in its prime and I knew the impression it must have made on people as they gazed up from the lawn.
Now the view was a decidedly mixed bag. The old rose garden and its surrounding hedges were long gone. The part of the lawn that once stretched between Windsholme and the playhouse, a miniature version of the mansion, had gone to woods. Most disturbing was the house itself. For ninety years it had received the minimum of maintenance required to keep it standing. Then, last summer, fire had destroyed its central staircase and burned a hole in the roof. That hole, along with the huge window over the stairs, and the windows on either side, had been covered with boards to keep out the winter while my family decided what to do. The entire house was cordoned off with a bright orange hazard fence, designed to keep curious clambake guests from stumbling into the property and falling through the floor. Windsholme looked like an heiress whose photo had been snapped mid-kidnapping — disheveled, eyes and mouth taped shut, and bound at the ankles. I wanted to cry every time I looked at her. And not, as people supposed, because I'd been there when the fire started, but because the house looked so sad, so wounded.
At the bottom of the stone front steps, Wyatt paused and looked up. She didn't move for a full minute, taking in Windsholme's beautiful lines. "Hmm," she said in a tone I couldn't read. "Hmmm."
We let ourselves in to the house through the French doors to the dining room, since the front door now led to a burned-out hole in the floor. We entered into the beautifully proportioned room. There was enough light to see the hand-painted mural, the oak wainscoting, and the stone fireplace, all damaged by soot and smelling of woodsmoke, but otherwise okay.
In the low light, Wyatt examined the mural intently. "Ridley?"
Quentin nodded. "Attributed. It's unsigned."
Wyatt pulled a smartphone from her big leather bag and turned on the flashlight, training the light along the chair rail. "Shame," she said, when she'd walked the three walls the mural covered. "You're right. No signature."
"Wait until you get a load of this." Quentin stepped through a small galley next to the fireplace and pushed open the swinging door that led to the balcony surrounding the two-story kitchen in the basement. The wooden cabinets lining the balcony on all four sides were intact. There were glass-fronted cabinets for china and crystal, drawers for silver, cupboards for table linens. The contents were long gone, dispersed along with the family fortune during the 1920s. The kitchen below was empty except for a soapstone sink, iron stove, and a wooden icebox. Wyatt snapped photos like crazy.
When she was done, Quentin led us back through the dining room. He opened the door to the center hall and pointed to the burned-out floor. "No way to get through," he said. "If you want to see the rooms on the other side, we have to go outside and come in again."
Wyatt stared at the charred hallway, lips pursed in a hard, straight line. "Is there any way to get upstairs?"
"Back stairs," Chris said, turning around to lead us the other way, to the servants' stairway off the kitchen.
"Interesting," Wyatt said as we entered the narrow passageway. "Lots of these Maine island summer houses were considered to be rustic, casual retreats for the homeowners and a bit of a break for the staff. People mixed more freely. Not socially, but it wasn't a big deal to see a maid on the front stairs. This house, on the other hand, is designed to keep interactions between staff and the family to a minimum. More like Newport or Bar Harbor than a wild island."
It was the most she'd said since we'd been in the house, but I didn't know how to interpret it. Was the house's formality a good or bad thing?
We looked at the master bedroom, which ran from the front to the back of the house, with its two adjacent bathrooms.
"Original?" Wyatt asked.
Chris answered. "The house was built with indoor plumbing."
"Unusual for the period," Wyatt said. She pulled a leather-bound journal from her bag and made a note.
"Especially on an island," Chris agreed.
"You say it's attributed to Henry Gilbert?" Wyatt asked. I didn't miss the "attributed." She pointed to the large steam shower and leaned in to whisper something to Quentin, bringing her lips so close to his ear, he must have felt her breath.
Unless I was very much mistaken, she was wasting her efforts with Quentin. He lived alone in houses all over the world, including the modern marble and glass edifice across from Morrow Island on Westclaw Point that I called his Fortress of Solitude. He was disinclined to let anyone close, but if he had chosen a romantic partner, I was pretty sure it wouldn't be anyone of Wyatt's gender.
"And the grounds are, uh, attributed to students of Frederick Law Olmsted." I repeated to her rumors that had been repeated to me all my life. I'd never thought to question them, but now I did, as Wyatt furrowed her brow and wrote in her notebook. Perhaps things would go my way in the argument with Mom and Quentin. Perhaps Windsholme was not worth saving after all.
In the attic, Wyatt turned her charm on Chris. "Will you look at this?" She pointed to the place where the eaves were joined to the floor joists. "Pegs."
Chris nodded. "The house was probably built by men who had more experience working on ships than houses. There wouldn't have been enough construction back then for the trades to be separate."
Did she have attic dust in her eyes or was she batting her eyelashes at Chris? Did women really do that? Unlike Quentin, Chris had been all too susceptible to pretty women's charms, as the string of ex-girlfriends I constantly ran into in the harbor reminded me. Or at least he had been, until me. His devotion made me feel warm and loved. The women who constantly approached me to send him their greetings made me uneasy.
"This is it," Quentin said. "If you want to see more of the upstairs, we have to get a ladder on the outside."
Wyatt wasn't dressed for ladders. "I've got enough. Why don't you two men take me on a tour of the basement?"
"That puts us in our place," I said a few minutes later as I sat on a porch step next to Mom. She hadn't said a word during the tour.
"Really, Julia, what great insights could you have offered about the cellar?"
"None," I admitted, but I didn't like being excluded.
"What is up with you and Wyatt? You act funny around her."
"Long story," I answered.
"Long ago story," my mother said, "if you're referring to something that happened at school. I hope it isn't going to be a problem."
"Of course not. If she's the right person for the job, she's the right person."
"She is," my mother said confidently. "I can feel it."
The merry band returned, appearing from around the corner of the stone foundation. Wyatt sat down on the porch step on the other side of my mother, smoothing the pastel shift.
"What do you think?" Mom asked. The spot over her nose creased with anticipation. The stakes were high for her.
Wyatt cleared her throat delicately and gave Mom a megawatt smile. "I think your project requires more research." She spoke slowly, as if weighing her words. "I want to check some sources."
"Will that take long? I know you're based in New York."
"I'm staying here in the harbor. My boyfriend is in town, waiting with his yacht for a refit at Herndon's. Can we meet tomorrow?"
Mom perked up. "My house in the harbor? Ten AM?"
"Perfect. And you all should come for dinner aboard tonight."
"Where's his boat?" Chris asked.
"At Blount's. It's called the Garbo."
Chris's eyebrows shot up. There'd been a mega-yacht anchored in the marina at Blount's Hotel for days. Even though we were used to seeing yachts in Busman's Harbor, its size had everyone in town talking about it.
"We'd love to come," Quentin said, apparently speaking for all of us.
"I'm sorry. I can't make it." Mom sounded regretful. "I'm babysitting." My sister Livvie and her husband had a four-month-old, and a ten-year-old who wasn't quite up to caring for her brother.
Wyatt must have been disappointed. My mom was the potential client, and therefore probably the person she most wanted to accept, but she didn't show it. "The rest of you then?"
"Sure, Julia and I would love to," Chris answered, without so much as a glance at me.
I smiled. Wyatt was attractive, but what Chris really wanted was to see that boat.
"Great!" Wyatt said with more enthusiasm than I thought the occasion required. "I'll send a text and let him know there'll be three guests for dinner. I'm sure he'll be interested to meet you, Julia. He's never met any of my school friends."
He wasn't going to tonight either.
As she pulled out her phone, Chris said, "You won't get service out here. You'll have to wait until you're closer to the harbor."
Excerpted from "Stowed Away"
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Ross.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great series, a couple of plot twists and room for more!
I have read all her books in this series and this so far is the best! Never saw it coming!
Love this one cannot wait to try some of the recipes
Wonderful! Could not put it down!
A silly, CLEAN murder mystery. Light reading. Enjoyed the whole series so far.
Stowed Away is the sixth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery Series. Although this is part of a series, this book can certainly stand alone. The summer tourist season has once again begun in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, where Julia Snowden operates the family business. In this edition of a Maine Clambake series we are introduced to an eccentric billionaire and an old high school nemesis, who take center stage in this engrossing mystery. The suspects include several people Julia knows, so she feels compelled to get to the bottom of this whodunit. As a cozy mystery, Stowed Away does not disappoint! The plot takes several surprising twists to keep the reader guessing. The town of Busman’s Harbor is idyllic, the main characters are well developed and the plot is well conceived. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley, but this did not affect my rating. I have provided an unbiased and honest review. Shelly9677
This is a great addition to a truly wonderful series !
I love that the book pulled you in from the beginning. It wasn't gruesome and the mysteries and all the little stories within the story were intriguing. The characters didn't overlap, each was unique with their own backstory. I also enjoy that the author included recipes for some of the dishes at the end. I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
I have been reading this series since the beginning and I enjoyed this visit to Busman's Harbor. In this one a classmate of Julia has arrived on a mega yacht she is redecorating. When the reclusive owner is found dead on board Wyatt is the main suspect. Every one asks Julia to help solve the crime and clear Wyatt. The author does a very good job with the Maine background. The Snowden Family Clambake business is getting ready to open and recipes are included in the back. The mystery was OK. There were not a lot of suspects and it was easy to solve. In this book I enjoyed visiting the family more than the mystery. This series should be read in order. Enjoy
I have really enjoyed all the books in this series, and Barbara Ross has penned another winner. I loved that this book went back to Busman's Harbor, Maine. It’s June and the Snowden Family Clambake on Morrow Island is getting ready to open for summer season. When Julia's mother got her share of the sale of an antique piece of jewllery, she is considering either renovation or restoring Windsholme, the family home that is on the island. Quentin Tupper brings in Architect Wyatt Jayne to look it over and estimate the costs to renovate. A yacht belonging to billionaire recluse, Geoffrey Bower has anchored in the marina and it seems that Wyatt is in a relationship with the owner. Once again, there is a murder and Julia is asked to help investigate to clear certain people. The usual characters are once again around including the rest of the family, Chris (Julia's boyfriend), the police investigators that we have grown to know and love and some of the local townfolk. It makes me feel like I have gone home again. This story had Julia, Chris and Quentin opening up and sharing some secrets that give us more information about their backgrounds and how that has affected who they have become. This was a good story that had a lot of surprises that I never would have predicted. I did figure out who the murderer was before the end of the book, but not much before. This was a well plotted story with great pacing and characters. I recommend this story to any and all cozy mystery lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
I like this author and she never disappoints.
The family is back to work getting ready for the new summer season for their clambake business but when a murder occurs they have to take a step back. Will Julia be able to figure out what is going on before it affects the business. Her rival from school is the main suspect, does she still have competitive feelings towards her and does she really want to help her out? Follow along with Julia as she answers the questions and more. If you love Maine or want to get to know more about it these are the books for you. The recipes at the end are also a wonderful way to get a taste of such a terrific series.
I was intrigued with the cover. The location and the setting took me back to my visits to Maine and enjoying a clambake with business associates. It was easy for me to envision the story. The author did a great job of making the characters and the locale come to life. I enjoyed the characters Julia and her family were close-knit . . . as close probably as any family that works together could be. I did feel a little dis-jointed with the characters because Stowed Away is book 6 in the series. I didn't really connect with Julia's family members and the whole plot of the burned family home that Julia's mother is considering rebuilding with income she received from an inheritance. The inheritance which mom sold previously is the main plot of the story. This reader was left wanting more and wanting the whole experience of the entire series Stowed Away is written as a stand alone. I had no problem catching on to what was going on and who was who like Genevieve the chef on board the yacht that apparently was accused of murder previously. Poor Genevieve can't seem to get a break as it seems to the victim her boss is poisoned. It doesn't take long to clear Genevieve but to Julia's dismay her ex-room mate from boarding school becomes the main person of interest and Julia is asked to snoop around and find out who really did the guy in. As everyone family and friends practically beg Julia to help with the investigation she struggles because of her past relationship with Wyatt who wasn't such a nice teenager. And then Julia is a little anxious about her growing relationship with her boyfriend Chris who isn't quite up front about some things from the past. There are twists and turns keeping the reader interested all the way to the end to find out 'who dun it'. And how Julia figures it out! The author also includes recipes at the end! If you like a good clean cozy this one is for you! There is no language and no bedroom scenes. Stowed Away is the first book I've read by Barbara Ross. I looked forward to completing the series and reading more. I received a complimentary copy from Great Escapes Tours.
Start of Tourist Season Derailed by Murder Each series author is different in their timeline. Some authors let us pop into the lives of their characters so far apart that the characters age in roughly real time. And some authors set their books close to each other time wise. That’s what Barbara Ross does with her Maine Clambake series. Stowed Away is the sixth book in the series, but it’s been a very murderous year for main character Julia Snowden since it opens just about a year after the first in the series. It’s June once again, and Julia and her family are getting ready to reopen the Snowden Family Clambake for the season. They are also discussing what to do with the ruins of Windsholme, the mansion that is on the island where they take their customers for the clambake. Julia’s mother wants to rebuild it, but Julia thinks they’d be better off tearing it down. Julia is surprised to discover that the woman coming in to consult on the project is Wyatt Jayne. Wyatt was Julia’s first roommate at her high school prep school, but their shared past makes Julia wary of the woman. Wyatt is in town thanks to billionaire Geoffrey Bower, a man who lives on a yacht. Geoffrey is having his yacht completely updated, and Wyatt is overseeing that project as well. However, when a dead body shows up on the ship, Julia finds herself being drawn into the case for a very personal reason. What happened on board the yacht? This book features several sub-plots that weave in and out of the main mystery. Unfortunately, I felt like they took too much of the focus early on in the book, delaying the murder. Now, don’t misunderstand, I found these stories just as interesting since they concerned Julia and the other series regulars, plus we were meeting the suspects during this time. Once the dead body is found, things do kick into high gear. I was very intrigued by the twists that happened along the way, including a couple that really surprised me. The ending was satisfying, which is an amazing feat considering some of the twists along the way, and how Julia arrived there showed some great deduction. There is a reason that I mentioned the series timeline at the start of this book. It is very interesting to watch the series regulars’ relationships develop as the series goes along. In this case, I’m definitely glad that each book is only a month or two apart because it allows us a chance to really see these relationships grow. We get a few surprises in the supporting characters in this book as a result of the subplots, which is something I truly loved. And have I mentioned yet how much I love this cast of characters? They are so real and so much fun to visit. We get plenty of time with the suspects, of course. They all get their moment to shine and therefore confuse us until the very end. The book features three recipes at the end, two that will have seafood lovers’ mouths water, and one for those of us who don’t enjoy seafood. Watching these characters grow and change is always a delight, and fans of the series will be happy to visit them once again in Stowed Away. And if you haven’t yet found this delightful series, you really do need to fix that today. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
Stowed Away by Barbara Ross is the sixth book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia Snowden is getting ready for another tourist season in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Julia and her family own the Snowden Family Clambake Company. They host authentic Maine clambakes on Morrow Island. Windsholme, the old mansion on Morrow Island, suffered severe fire damage and Quentin Tupper is bringing an architect to provide an evaluation on the house. Wyatt Jane, the architect, went to prep school with Julia (Julia is less than pleased to see her). Wyatt arrived on the reclusive Geoffrey Bower’s yacht, Garbo. She invites them to dinner that night to see some of her work and they are surprised to see their friend, Genevieve Pelletier who is the chef for the yacht. The next evening, Julia gets frantic call from Wyatt. Julia races over and Geoffrey Bower is dead in the dining room with a strange grimace on his face. Julia had noticed a diamond ring on the table which disappears before the police arrive on the scene. There was something about the diamond that looked familiar to Julia. Suspicion falls onto Wyatt and Quentin asks Julia to investigate the murder. Julia dives into her investigation and begins by chatting with the crew. She wants to see if any of them had a motive to kill Mr. Bower. But then Geoffrey’s attorney arrives with news that surprises them all and changes the focus of the investigation. Who is the killer? Will they find the culprit before the crew departs town? Stowed Away is nicely written and has a good pace. While Stowed Away is the sixth book in the series, it can be read alone. All the necessary details are included in the books. There are many cozy elements in the book. Getting the business ready for the season, Genevieve and her romance with Sgt. Tom Flynn, why Julia dislikes Wyatt, Page’s friend, Page’s friend Vanessa Bailey with green eyes just like Chris’, Julia’s romance with Chris Durand, whether to renovate or tear down Windsholme, and the upcoming Family Day clambake (for friends, employees, and family). The mystery is interesting, and many readers will not solve it before the reveal. Can it be solved? Yes. The clues are there to aid readers in solving the crime. There is a delightful twist that will surprise you (unless you paid close attention while reading the story). This is my favorite book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series. I especially appreciated the complex mystery and that the romance between Chris and Julia was in the background. Ms. Ross has created a lovely community of people in A Maine Clambake Mystery series. The main characters are smart, caring and friendly (instead of silly, bumbling fools). Fans of A Maine Clambake Mystery series will be delighted with Stowed Away.
Barbara Ross has once again written a stand out mystery. This series never fails to dissapoint! Ms. Ross truly is a master story teller. Every time I read one of her books, I am amazed at how she can continue to surprise me. These books always contain a mystery that is never what it originally appears to be. I liked that the book takes place right when the Clambake bussiness is getting ready to open for the season. It was fun to read about the preperations for the beginning of the season. The mystery did not dissapoint at all. It had more layers than one of the onions served during the clambake dinner! It also allowed us to learn much more about Quentin, a series regular. Quentin and Julia's interactions are always interesting, but they are really developing a true friendship. Plus, we get to learn a little bit about Julia's high school days. We also get to see a surprising amount of interaction between Julia and Flynn, who is with the state police. I really enjoyed their interactions, and I hope to see more like them in the next book. As always, we got to see plenty of interactions between Julia and her family. That is one of the things that never fails. Julia's relationship with Chis is still carrying on steadily. There is a speed bump for them in this one, but I am not going to give that away. This is most certainly another book in the win category for this series. I received a free copy of this book. I am voluntarily leaving a review of this book. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own.
A well-written, quick, enjoyable read! Busman's Harbor is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery: a small, quiet, seaside town in Maine where all the locals know each other and the Snowden family clambake draws visitors from all over. Julia Snowden helps run the clambake and has a history - and a knack - for sleuthing. When a newcomer is found murdered and two of her friends are potential suspects, Julia has to investigate. The plot is believable and kept me guessing until the end. Although Stowed Away is part of an awesome series, I think it easily stands alone for anyone who hasn't read the previous books. I love this series and hope it continues for a long time! I received an ARC of this book and happily provide my honest opinion of it.
Dollycas’s Thoughts Summer in Busman’s Harbor means a lot of work for the Snowden Family. Preparations for the summer clambakes are underway and a decision needs to be made about Windsholme, the home on Morrow Island that been empty since the 1920’s and that suffered additional damage in last summer’s fire. Do they update and renovate, restore the historic home to its glory or do they tear it down? Everyone has their own opinions but the decision is up to Julia’s mom. After her financial windfall last year she can afford to take on this huge project but a family friend, Quentin Tupper has brought in an expert to look over the home. Julia is shocked when she see’s the expert is her old roommate from prep school, Susan Wyatt Jayne, she just goes by Wyatt Jayne now. She is even more shocked to learn that the huge yacht docked in the harbor belongs to the woman’s “boyfriend”. When invited to meet the wealthy yacht owner Julia reluctantly accepts and finds she knows his chef too. The next day Julia receives a frantic call from Wyatt begging her to come to the yacht. When she arrives, she finds a table set for a romantic dinner and the billionaire dead at the head of the table. Everyone living aboard the yacht has become a suspect. Quentin asks Julia to investigate to help Wyatt but what she discovers is the most shocking thing of all. I eagerly picked up this book excited to return to Busman’s Harbor and I enjoyed every single minute of this trip. Chris and Julia are transitioning away from their winter restaurant and to their summer jobs. Julia managing her family’s clambake business and Chris back to his landscaping and bartending, meaning they are not going to see each other much. The whole Snowden family returns including baby Jack. Sonny, Livvie, and their kids will be moving to the island for the summer. Julia and Livvie’s mom will be taking a leave from her current job to return to work at the island gift shop, We meet several new characters including the crew aboard the Garbo and a mother and daughter that have moved to the area. This story takes place before the Snowden family clambakes begin giving Julia plenty of time to investigate. She has a bit of a vested interest to part of the mystery that adds a really cool element to the story. There is also a mind-bending twist that turn that turns the whole mystery on its ear. I really enjoyed when Julia paired up with someone unexpectedly as she started to form a theory about the murder. I also enjoyed that when she had more details Lieutenant Binder was willing to listen and then included her as they got closer to solving the case. The subplots fit nicely into the main mystery. Some secrets are revealed and decisions are made that may change some relationships. I am excited to see how they are addressed in upcoming installments of this fantastic series. A cozy escape to Maine always proves to be a good time. Great characters and the drama they create and that is created around them will grab you and hold on tight. The story is so well written and the dialogue realistic. Barbara Ross knows how to set the scene too. I was ready to dish up my plate at the friends and family clambake and relax on Morrow Island. The author does a wonderful job so that all her books can be read on their own, but I encourage you to read the series from the beginning. Be sure to check out the recipes too!
Stowed Away is the sixth book in the A Maine Clambake Mystery series. Julia and her family are busy getting ready to open Morrow Island for another season of authentic Maine Clam Bakes. A day or two before, everyone in Busman’s Harbor was in awe of the large private yacht of recluse billionaire Geoffrey Bower tied up at the pier. When a family friend, Quentin Tupper, stops by Julia’s mother’s house with the young lady that designed the refitting of the yacht, Julia’s heart sinks. The young lady, Wyatt Jayne, was a roommate from high school who had treated Julia very badly. Jayne is being introduced to Julia’s mother for possibly doing the design work to rebuild the family home, Windsholme. Julia decides to put the past behind her and accept that Jayne might be around for a while. A couple of days later, Julia gets a call from Jayne pleading with her to come right away to the yacht giving no other information. When she arrives Jayne takes her to the dining salon where the body of Bower is seated at the table with a terribly gruesome look on his face. Bower was to have had a quiet, intimate dinner with Jayne and the table was set as if that was still the plan. As Julia is waiting for the police to arrive, she does a quick scan of the room looking for anything unusual that might point to what had happened earlier. One thing she does notice is a beautiful diamond ring being held by a lobster claw. By the time she is interviewed and relays this information to Lt. Binder, the lead investigator, the diamond is now nowhere to be found. As it was rare for anybody to be aboard the yacht, the crew immediately become suspects. Especially Jayne and Julia’s friend, Genevieve the chef, as it will be determined that Bower was poisoned. Even with the past history with Jayne, Julia feels compelled to search out the murder and clear Jayne’s name. I’ve read all six of the books in this series and have loved them all. Ms. Ross does a wonderful job of storytelling, providing a few twists here and there and also provide an exciting and believable cast of characters. I will be definitely looking forward to the next exciting story on Morrow Island and around Busman’s Harbor.
Entertaining story, interesting characters, and a few good twists and turns. Enjoyed it entirely.