Monday, January 7, 2019

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross: Review and Giveaway!

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery)

by Barbara Ross

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1496717945
ISBN-13: 978-1496717948
Digital ASIN: B07BV3RCDG
It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

About the Author

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. The first book in the series, Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. 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

My Thoughts

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross has readers journeying to Busman’s Harbor, Maine in the height of tourist season in the month of August.  Julia Snowden is on the Jacquie II with the rest of the town for Heloise (Lou) Herrickson’s memorial service and to scatter her ashes.  Lou’s heir, Bartholomew Frick arrives at the last minute is a fancy new red Porsche.  Bart inherited Herrickson Point along with a privately owned lighthouse.  The next day, everyone is shocked when they arrive at the beach access road to find a newly installed gate.  The clammers and lighthouse enthusiasts are particularly upset by this afront. Since Snowden Family Clambake relies on the clams that the clammers find on that beach, Julia decides to visit Bart Frick and see if she can get him to change his mind (maybe he is not aware of the problem he has caused).  Unfortunately, there is no reasoning with the rude man and Julia soon departs.  When Julia returns to the pier that evening, she is greeted by the local police.  Bart was found stabbed in his home with a clam rake and Julia was one of the last people to see him alive (besides the killer, of course).  When Lou’s former housekeeper, Ida Fischer ends up at the top of the suspect list, the Snugg sisters ask Julia to don her investigator’s cap once again (not that Julia needs an excuse).  Bart may not have been in town long, but he quickly managed to anger a significant number of people.  Julia wades through the suspect pool to identify Bart’s killer while manages the clambake business and discovering what is bothering her boyfriend, Chris. 
A Maine Clambake Mystery (7 Book Series) by  Barbara Ross
Steamed Open is the seventh A Maine Clambake Mystery.  It can be read alone if you have not read any of the previous books in the series.  I enjoyed Barbara Ross’ conversational writing style.  It makes for a light, airy cozy mystery that is easy to read.  We get to experience the day-to-day running of the Snowden Family Clambake with Julia and her family.  It is interesting to learn more about Maine and the clamming industry.  I enjoy the descriptions of the area especially the beautiful home the Snowden’s own on their island.  The mystery is uncomplicated, and the killer is easily identified (might as well have been a giant neon sign over the persons head flashing “killer”).  There are several viable suspects including a couple determined to visit as many lighthouses as they can (they are not going to let a gate stop them). I am glad that we learned more about Julia’s boyfriend, Chris in Steamed Open.  His story is heartbreaking.  I did find his obsession with Vanessa a little odd despite the explanation.  I hope that Chris will be more open to talking about the future with Julia now (he really needs to get counseling).  There is repetition of information that I could have done without and lack of details about characters (i.e.—Chris’ last name, Livvie’s last name).  Steamed Open is an upbeat cozy mystery that will have you yearning for warm days and sandy beaches with a cool drink nearby.

You can find a complete list of the books in A Maine Clambake Mystery series here on Amazon.  Steamed Open is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. In honor of the tour for Steamed Open, there is a giveaway.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Please take the time to visit the other stops on the tour to check out recipe, guest posts and character interviews.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will feature Seasons of An Amish Garden by Amy Clipston tomorrow.  I hope you have a delightful day.  Take care of yourself and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


January 7 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW

January 7 - Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

January 7 - Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

January 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews -REVIEW

January 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 8 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW

January 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

January 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – Valerie's Musings – GUEST POST

January 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 11 – Rosepoint Publishing - REVIEW

January 11 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

January 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

January 12 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  

January 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

January 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW


  1. Thank you for your review on "Steamed Open" by Barbara Ross and for being part of the book tour.

    Love this author's books and can't wait for the opportunity to read this one. I know I won't be disappointed. Love the cover!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. This is a fun series & I'm excited for this new release!