Happy Book Birthday Barbara Ross!

HappyYAY! The third Maine Clambake mystery is out! Happy Book Birthday Musseled Out.

Here’s a bit about the book: The busy summer tourist season is winding down in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden senses trouble simmering for the Snowden Family Clambake Company. Shifty David Thwing–the “Mussel King” of upscale seafood restaurants–is sniffing around town for a new location. But serving iffy clams turns out to be the least of his troubles. . .

When Thwing is found sleeping with the fishes beneath a local lobsterman’s boat, the police quickly finger Julia’s brother-in-law Sonny as the one who cooked up the crime. Sure, everyone knows Sonny despised the Mussel King. . .but Julia believes he’s innocent. Proving it won’t be easy, though. It seems there’s a lot more than murder on the menu, and Julia needs to act fast. . .

Wickeds, what do you love most about this series?

Julie: Barb really nails the setting in Maine, and I love that. It is such a unique part of the country, and I feel like she gives us a real taste of it. I also love the cover art. A LOT.

Sherry: They just keep getting better, Barb! I love Mussled Out — the climactic scene is so exciting I held my breath! And can’t wait for number four!

Edith: I love the characters. Julia Snowden with her conflicts about coming home. Gus and his no-nonsense approach to life. Her sister, Livvie, and their mom. The somewhat mysterious hunk of a love interest. And everybody else – deeply drawn, intriguing, everybody with some conflict. Just like real people. Can’t wait to read it, Barb!

Jessie: My great-grandparents were lobstermen and when I was a child we visited them once a month. They’ve been gone now for many years but because of the setting and the family focus,when I read these books I feel a bit like I am having a visit with them once more. Thanks, Barb!

Liz: I love this series!! I used to spend a lot of time in Maine and these books are like memories. Can’t wait to read it Barb!

Barb: Thanks all! I so appreciate your book birthday wishes, I really do. But my favorite, favorite book birthday wishes are from the little girl below. You can understand that, right?

Readers: What’s your favorite part of the series?

15 Thoughts

  1. What a sweetie!

    So many of the reasons I love this series have already been mentioned. The characters are rich and interesting. The setting is some place different for me. And the plots are great with twists and clues and a personal stake for Julia. LOVED the climax of this one.

    Congrats on another great book.


    1. Thank you so much, Mark. That climax almost killed me. I had it in mind from the first moment I conceived the book, but getting all the right people to the right place at the right time, with the right information, was a bear, not to mention the technical aspects.

      I’m also gratified you find the setting interesting, because when the series was initially rejected by many publishers, the feedback was it was “too regional” and wouldn’t be of interest to people in other parts of the country. The suggestion came back, “Why don’t you do something like cupcakes?” which is a great idea, but….

      I am so glad you think it paid off!


      1. Barb, regarding your comment to Mark… omg! “… when the series was initially rejected by many publishers, the feedback was it was “too regional” and wouldn’t be of interest to people in other parts of the country. The suggestion came back, “Why don’t you do something like cupcakes?”

        With the stories you weave and to be told such things, I can either feel that there is no hope for me or that there is. How did you manage to get past that?


      2. Hi Reine-

        My agent, John Talbot, really believed in the series and he kept the proposal moving, which kept my spirits up. (Though I did approach him–right before it sold–about starting on something else. He told me to keep the faith.) Sometimes that “too regional–send cupcakes”–response had more to do with the publisher than with the series. For example for a publisher just building a cozy line, they would be looking to cover the basics.

        But I do get a kick out of it when people from other parts of the country appreciate the setting.


  2. Maine, too regional!!! HAHAHA. That’s EXACTLY why I love this series, with the clams, the other food, the island, the intrigue… oh yeah!


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