Monday, May 19, 2014

Boiled Over

Author:  Barbara Ross
Genre:  Mystery

Four Stars

For Julia Snowden, the Founder's Day summer celebration in Busman's Harbor, Maine, means helping her family's clambake company to prepare an authentic taste of New England seafood. Any Mainer will tell you that a real clambake needs wood for the fire . . . so why is there a foot sticking out of the oven?
The townspeople want to pin the murder of the RV park owner on Cabe Stone, a new employee of the Snowden Family Clambake Company--who bolted from the crime scene and disappeared. Julia knows having another murder associated with her family's business is a recipe for disaster . . . but who is the killer? Cooking up a proper investigation doesn't leave much time for the rest of Julia's life, and this is one killer who'll do anything to stop her from digging up clues . . .

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Julia Snowden has returned from Manhattan to her home in Maine to help run the family's sea food business.  When her brother-in-law Sonny is preparing his "claminator" for the local Founder's Day celebration, body parts are discovered falling out of the woodpile used to cook the food.  Once it is discovered who the dead person is, Julia finds that she is in the middle of a murder investigation, due to the fact that the suspected murderer is an employee of hers.

Not believing the man guilty of such a crime, Julia sets out to clear him.  But an unforeseen chain of events makes that harder than she would ever imagine.  Even though her faith in his innocence never wavers, it seems everything keeps pointing toward him.  And the more she tries to prove him not guilty of the crime, more and more keeps pointing toward him.

Add to this the fact that her personal life is taking a hit as well: her relationship with her high-school-crush-turned-boyfriend is getting serious and she's not sure if she wants it to or not; she is finding out that she needs to make some hard decisions that may very well change the entire course of her life, something she's not sure she wants to do.

I found this book quite delightful to read, and even though I haven't read the first in the series, Clammed Up, I definitely plan to read it when I get the chance.  The characters are not one-dimensional, and the townspeople are exactly what you would expect:  they realize they live in a tourist town and that is how they make their living, but they keep themselves to themselves and have their own little camaraderie between them, silently loyal to each other while careful not to alienate the tourists (living in a tourist town myself, I can relate). 

At the last, I wasn't sure how to take the ending.  While the book itself is good, I never like it when I'm left "hanging in the air."  I know this is the author's way to ensure the next book gets read, but for me, I like resolution.  Which isn't to say don't read the book - I am sure you'll like it because it is written well, and I didn't put everything together at once (in fact, for awhile I thought someone might have been the killer but it was a red herring - and those are interesting themselves anyway).  I suggest you do read the book, because I fully intend on reading the next in the series.  I just wish I didn't have to wait for the next one to be published.

I was given a free copy of this in return for an honest review, but this in no way affected the above.

http://www.amazon.com/Boiled-Over-Maine-Clambake-Mystery/dp/0758286872/

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