Iced Under (Maine Clambake Series #5)

Iced Under (Maine Clambake Series #5)

by Barbara Ross

NOOK Book(eBook)

$6.99 $7.59 Save 8% Current price is $6.99, Original price is $7.59. You Save 8%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . .
Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . .
Praise for Musseled Out
“This cozy series continues to stand out with its exceptional plotting, intriguing storylines, and authentic detailing of the lobstering life.” —RT Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496700407
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/27/2016
Series: Maine Clambake Series , #5
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 31,647
File size: 946 KB

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.

Read an Excerpt

Iced Under

By Barbara Ross


Copyright © 2017 Barbara Ross
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0040-7


Everyone who could leave town had left. The summer people were long gone, from the day-trippers to the seasonal home owners. Those retirees who could get out had gotten. My landlord, Gus, had run the restaurant downstairs from my studio apartment, offering breakfast and lunch, seven days a week for over fifty years. But in the last decade, he and his wife, Mrs. Gus, had closed down for the month of February and taken off to warmer places, visiting their adult children first in Arizona, then California.

My boyfriend, Chris, was gone too, helping some buddies move a sailboat from Saint John to Key West, so the winter restaurant Chris and I ran together, serving dinners in Gus's space, was closed as well. Chris had invited me along. It would've been our first trip together, but I could tell it was a guys' thing and declined. When I told him, his voice indicated disappointment, but as I'd expected, his green eyes glowed with relief. Let him and the guys have their fun. I was sorry not to get away, but not sorry to miss that particular trip.

Snow pelted the huge, multipaned front window of my apartment. It had been snowing forever, or at least it felt that way. We were in a weather pattern of heavy storms broken by a few days of sun and minor melting. Then, just as our spirits began to rise, the clouds arrived and the snow began again. The blanket of snow from the many storms, at least eighteen inches and counting, muffled sound and made the quiet little town of Busman's Harbor, Maine, even quieter.

My cell phone rang. My mom.

"Hullo, Julia. I'm home and feeling a little cabin-feverish. Would you like to come over for lunch?" Mom normally worked at Linens and Pantries, the big box store over in Topsham, but the winter storms had slowed commerce to a crawl. The busiest days required a staff of only two, so Mom had more time off than usual.

Lunch with Mom — why not? It was a five-minute walk over the harbor hill to the Victorian sea captain's home where I'd grown up. "Sure. What do you have to eat?"

I heard her rifling through pantry shelves. "Soup. Tuna." The thunk of the refrigerator door opening followed. "Eggs. Milk. Some lovely cheddar. There's plenty." She paused. "But you could do me one favor. Could you stop at the post office? It's been a couple of days and I'd love to get my mail."

"Mom, there's never anything interesting in the mail. It's all junk and catalogs." The trip to the post office would add a triangular, half-mile-long detour to my mother's house. I didn't relish trudging all that way in this weather.


What could I say? She was offering a hot lunch and companionship on a cold winter's day. And she was, after all, my mother.

After we hung up, I sat on my beat-up, old couch and pulled on my L. L. Bean snow boots. Like many Mainers, I had Bean boots for every type of weather. Le Roi, my Maine coon cat, spotted the boots and vocalized his displeasure. Maine coons are doglike in their desire for human company. I dragged a knuckle across his jowl. "Sorry, old man. Duty calls."

The hike to the post office was as treacherous as I expected. Most of the sidewalks weren't yet shoveled, so I walked in the road. The snow coming down hid bits of ice inside each flake, which burned when they hit my cheeks.

The town common was an unbroken field of snow, windswept into rows of rippling ridges resembling the white caps on the harbor. No one had even attempted to clear the little skating pond. The sledding hill was completely deserted, eerily silent. It was February school vacation week in Maine, yet even that hadn't brought the children outside into the wet, yucky snow. Perhaps they were gone too — off to visit grandparents in Florida, if they were lucky, or anywhere south of here.

The town common wasn't the business center of Busman's Harbor. That was Main Street, one block closer to the water, where, during the short summer season, tourists shopped in the little stores and boarded the tour boats at the pier. Most of the buildings around the common were homes, along with two white, steepled churches — the Congregationalists and the Baptists — and the library and post office. When I reached the PO, a thin light shone through the glass front door. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night ...

The single public room of the post office was unusually empty. Along with Gus's restaurant, it was the place in town for news and gossip, catching up with old friends and making new, in the tourist season and the off-season. I stuck the key in my box and pulled out my mail. Nothing but junk, as I'd predicted. I stuffed the envelopes and catalogs into the Snowden Family Clambake tote bag I'd used as a purse since I returned to Busman's Harbor the previous spring. I went to the counter and called, "Barbara Jean? You here? I've come to fetch Mom's mail."

There was no response and I wondered where she could be. Then the back door opened and Barbara Jean McGonagle came in off the loading dock, boots wet, curly, brown hair covered with snow. "Sorry, Julia. I was helping Brett unload the truck. He got here late today because of the weather." She didn't ask what I wanted, but went straight to the back of Mom's box and emptied it. "This won't include today's. I haven't sorted it. Wait! I saw a package." She scurried toward a rolling mail cart that had high, dirty cloth sides. "I bet you're lonely with Chris away," she called.

I was saved from responding when she bent at the waist and dove so far over the cart I was afraid she'd topple into it. She emerged triumphant with a small package, which she handed across the counter to me.

The box was four-by-four inches square and about two inches deep, wrapped in brown paper and hand addressed to my mother in bold black letters. I looked for a return address. Nothing. Clearly, it wasn't from an online retailer. Had my mother been expecting it? Was that why she'd sent me on this otherwise foolish trip to the post office?

* * *

"No, I wasn't expecting anything. How intriguing." Mom deposited the little package on the kitchen counter. "I'll open it after we eat."

"You aren't going to open it right away? I went all the way to the post office in the snow."

She ignored my bid for sympathy. "It's probably nothing. You said so yourself. The mail is all junk." It was likely she was right. For many years, Mom had run the gift shop at our business, the Snowden Family Clambake, and vendors often tried to entice her with samples of their trinkets.

She'd already heated canned tomato soup and made up the grilled cheese sandwiches. My petite, pretty mother was many things. A cook was not one of them. Still, the meal she'd thrown together was better than I would have managed left to my own devices in my empty apartment. She had a particular twist on the sandwiches, which weren't so much grilled as broiled and included onion chopped and mixed with the grated cheddar. I bit into the gooey, tangy, crunchy goodness, and was warmed from the inside out — comfort food on a snowy day.

"Heard from Chris?" Mom asked.

"No, but it's only been a few days and I imagine cell coverage is pretty spotty where he is."

Mom nodded and shifted the subject. "I'm worried about your sister."

"Mom, all the worry about Livvie available in the universe is already being used by her husband." My younger sister and her husband Sonny were expecting a second child in two weeks, almost exactly a decade after the birth of their first, my feisty niece Page. Sonny was prepared, some would say obsessed. He had a plow fixed to the front of his big pickup truck and, ever since the string of snowstorms had started, he'd been hustling Livvie and Page out of the house for "practice runs," to the hospital. While weather was a factor, there was otherwise no indication that Livvie would have a problem with the birth. Despite the age spread between her children, she was only twenty-eight years old, two years younger than me, and in excellent health. She'd had some morning sickness in the beginning, but since then she'd had a model pregnancy.

"Livvie is fine," I assured my mother. "Can we open the package now, please?"

She sighed. "Very well."

I took our soup bowls to the sink and retrieved the brown-paper-wrapped bundle. When I picked it up, I ran my finger over the rough spot on the wrapping paper where the return address should have been. "You really don't know who it's from? A secret admirer?" I teased. "There's no return address."

My mother blushed. There hadn't been a man in her life since my father's death nearly six years before. "No, dear. I have no idea who it's from, but certainly no one like that."

"Open it." I jiggled in my chair with impatience. Her calm in the face of this mystery was driving me crazy.

Mom picked at the tape holding down one of the flaps and opened it.

"For goodness' sake, tear it," I said.

"Patience, Julia." She slid a box from the wrapping paper.

The box was generic, shiny and white, with no logo. Mom opened the lid to find a layer of cotton. She slid off the cotton and gasped.

The contents of the box glittered on a second bed of cotton — a necklace, judging from its length. The centerpiece was a huge black gem that looked like polished coal. It was surrounded by sparkling diamonds, and diamonds continued up the strand, at least two dozen total, though whether they were real or fake, I couldn't tell.

Mom pulled the necklace from the box and held it up. The diamonds sparkled, and light glinted through the huge black gem at the center. So much for my secret admirer theory. No one who knew Mom could think she would wear something so large and show-offy — or that she would have any place or occasion to wear it.

"Do you think it's real?" I asked, my heart beating faster at the mere idea. It couldn't be, could it? Mom's mouth hung open. She hadn't said a word. "Mom?"

"Yes, it's real," she answered. "The necklace is called the Black Widow. It belonged to my family."


"Oh, my gosh, have you seen it before?"

Mom shook her head. The color had drained from her normally pale face, and the slim hand that held the necklace shook slightly. "It's been missing for almost a hundred years."

I took the box and scrabbled through the cotton bedding, looking for a note. Underneath was a card, thick, off-white, and expensive. In black ink, in bold handwriting with squared-off letters, the note contained two words.

I passed it silently to my mother, who read aloud: "'For Windsholme.'"

Windsholme was the name of Mom's family's old mansion on the private island where we ran the Snowden Family Clambakes during the tourist season. While we'd continued to use the island, the enormous summer house had been closed up and empty for years. Last summer a big part of it had burned, including the grand central staircase. At the end of the season, we'd boarded it up to keep the winter elements out and put off deciding what to do about it for the future. I knew in my heart that despite my boyfriend, Chris's, optimism that it could be rebuilt, and despite my mother's heart's desire, the practical thing, the only thing, was to tear it down.

"Julia, you have to help me find the person who sent this." Mom's voice was even, but her bright blue eyes pleaded.

I took the necklace from her and held it in front of me. It was heavy. I imagined it would get tiring to wear. "Tell me what you know about it."

"Let's have some tea."

I couldn't tell if Mom craved tea or if she needed a moment to gather her thoughts, so I didn't badger her while we waited for the kettle to boil and she went through the ritual of pouring the cups. The tea made, Mom led the way to our infrequently used living room and settled on the couch. The gray skies outside the big windows let in little light, but she didn't turn on the lamps. I took the box, the wrapping paper, and the necklace and followed her, settling into the deep chair across from where she sat.

"I don't know much at all." Her statement didn't surprise me. Her mother, Ellen Fields, née Morrow, had died when Mom was five. Mom was raised by her quiet, distant philosophy professor father and a succession of housekeepers. Whatever family history his wife had passed on to my late grandfather, he hadn't passed any further.

"Tell me what you do know," I coaxed.

"This is the Black Widow, a necklace with a rare black diamond at its center, which belonged to my ancestors." My mother reached across the coffee table and took the necklace from me. "At least I think it is. It could be a copy, of course. The Black Widow may not have even looked like this. I've never seen a photo, only heard it described. It disappeared from Windsholme and Morrow Island sometime in the 1920s, I believe. A housemaid was suspected, because she had left the island the night it was last seen to visit her family on the mainland and didn't return to work the next day or ever again. But she was never charged and the Black Widow was never found. Honestly, that's all I know."

"Who told you this?"

"My cousin Hugh, though I believe there are many who know the story." She turned the necklace in her hand.

"Oh." The topic of my mother's cousin, Hugh, was not one I was anxious to explore. He, like the Black Widow, had disappeared off Morrow Island, though in his case it was in 1978, on the night of my mother's twenty-first birthday. Even after all these years, the mention of Hugh brought tears to Mom's eyes. I'd always assumed that he'd drunk too much at my mother's party and had fallen off the cliff face, though no body had ever been found. It was clear my mother felt somehow guilty about it, like having a twenty-first birthday party made her responsible.

I left the subject of poor cousin Hugh aside for a moment. "We'll keep everything, the box, the cotton, the wrapping," I said, "and see what we can figure out."

"Do you think your police friends can help us?" Mom asked.

"I don't know." Since I'd returned to Busman's Harbor the previous March, for reasons far beyond my control, I'd helped a team of state police detectives with more than one murder investigation. "Usually you contact the police when something is taken, not when something unexpectedly shows up. Let me work on it."

* * *

I climbed the main stairway to the second floor and entered the room at the front of Mom's house. Though I'd moved to the apartment over Gus's restaurant in the fall, this was the place where I ran the clambake business. The office had been my father's before it was mine and it still held his old metal filing cabinets and enormous mahogany desk. I went to the big front window and looked through the falling snow down the hill to the town pier and the Snowden Family Clambake ticket kiosk, standing at the ready, waiting for spring.

I fired up the desktop computer. It was old — I had a newer, sleeker laptop back at my apartment — but more than sufficient for my purposes. When the monitor sprang to life, I typed "Black Widow necklace" into a search engine.

There were no results, or at least nothing the least bit useful, just a lot of Halloween costume jewelry, as well as discussions about a necklace Scarlett Johansson's character had worn in the Marvel Avengers movies.

So I typed "black diamond" to see what I could learn. Black diamonds did occur in nature and were exceedingly rare and beautiful. There were some famous ones, though I didn't spot the central stone of the Black Widow among the images. There were also man-made black diamonds, still expensive, but a fraction of the value. And there were fakes, big black stones in costume jewelry, apparently favored by witches and Goths.

The Internet had gotten me nowhere. I went downstairs and put the box with the necklace in it, along with the wrapping paper, in my tote bag. Mom was in the kitchen when I brought my boots from the back hall to put them on. She said, "Are you going out? I'd hoped you'd stay for the afternoon."

"You want to know where the necklace came from," I reminded her. "I'll be back."

"It's getting worse." Mom inclined her head toward the kitchen window. The sky was a dark gray and the wind had come up, pushing the icy snow sideways against the glass.

"I won't be long."


Excerpted from Iced Under by Barbara Ross. Copyright © 2017 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Iced Under 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite series , and this installment is the best yet !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series continues to get more interesting! I recently discovered this author, and I'm thankful that I did! Well-written cozy mystery with no profanity and no explicit sex is such a joy to read. The plot grabs your attention, and creates a desire to know how the characters' lives will develop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just as good as the others. I am glad the author took the murder in another direction. But it is a fun, easy, type read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is now my favorite book in the series. I live in MA and adore books set in New England. Great characters. You truly care for them like family. I sure wish I could visit and have a real clam bake. Thanks for writing this book. P Beal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this a year or so ago. It is still as good as a re-read as it was this first time. A great series with wonderful characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Again this author tells her story that fills in the "missing links" ofher previous stories. I highly recommend this series and start with the 1st book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the twists and turns! Fascinating back story about the freshwater ice industry. So many suspects and loose ends;, the murder keeps you guessing a lot.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Iced Under by Barbara Ross is the 5th in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. Once again, Julia Snowden is involved in a couple of mysteries, but this time, not in Busman's Harbor. This is a fresh idea that really pulled me in to this story. It is February and there is an impending storm coming. Chris is off in Florida helping a friend set up his boat for the tourists so Julia decides to visit her mom. Jacqueline asks her to pick up her mail at the post office on the way. As well, Livvie is expecting to deliver the new baby anytime. When an anonymous, mysterious package that was in the mail is opened, a family mystery is revealed. As the story unfolds we learn about long lost relatives, family betrayals, tightly held secrets and a history that many would consider shady. This history helps us to understand Jacqueline and the life that shaped her. Once again, Julia uses her brain, her computer and her research skills to follow the clues and information to unravel the mystery of the "Black Widow". There is a murder in this book, but it is actually secondary to the family mystery. Julia's love for family and her moral compass push her to dig deeper to solve the mysteries. The new characters in this story are wonderful. They are accepting, honest and loving. The plot pulled me right in and I kept reading quite late in the night to finish this one and find out what happened. This book was much more emotional than the others in this series. When family is such an integral part of the story like it was in this book, it is easy to become more involved with the characters. The historical information imparted in the story was quite interesting and not something I had heard of before. I will definitely do a bit more reading to find out more. It was obvious to me that this had been quite well researched. This book took a different route than the others in the series, but was still just as good and entertaining as well. I am looking forward to what Barbara Ross has in store for us with her next book. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Iced Under is the 5th book in Barbara Ross's Clambake in Maine series. Everyone seems to have left town, including Chris, Julia's boyfriend. With Chris lending a hand to a friend, The winter restaurant that Julia and Chris is still closed. With the delivery of a small package, addressed to Julia's mom, things go from boring to mysterious. Of course with spare time on her hands, Julia is determined to discover who had sent it to her mom, and why. Julia finds out who sent it, why they sent it, and also finds relatives she never knew existed. A great add on to this series. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
SewWrite More than 1 year ago
Julia Snowden must look into her mothers family's past to figure out who sent a valuable family heirloom to her mother. A necklace that was stolen from the family many years before. This book was a great way to learn all about the family. I thoroughly enjoyed following Julia everywhere she needed to go to collect all the clues.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the fifth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series written by Barbara Ross. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy of this book. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Missisue4 More than 1 year ago
I want to live in Busman's Harbor and I want to be Julia's sister. I very much enjoy the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross. I love everything about it !! I love that while I am reading the story I feel like I am right there knee deep in the snow or sitting at the counter in Gus's listening to the local fishermen tell stories. As are books in a series, you develop "feelings" for the characters, you begin to understand how things are, you feel like you are a part of something..... In Iced Under you get to meet more of Julia's mother's side of the family and you leave Busman's Harbor and spend time in Boston with Julia. And of course, there is a murder thrown into the mix. But with this murder it is different. The individual who is murdered was presumed to be dead for many years. I really enjoyed Iced Under and I have to say that it was my favorite of the books in this series. It's hard to explain without giving away a lot of the book. It's like you were given a chance to meet a bunch of family members in a relaxing setting even though you were brought there by a death. And even though someone in the house is most likely the murderer it doesn't feel that way while reading it. Maybe it also helped that the clambake business is closed for the season..... Like I said its hard to put into words the full impact of the story. I can, however, tell you this.... If you haven't started reading this series yet I would highly recommend putting it on your TBR list. This is one town full of characters that you will want to get to know.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts It may be winter in Busman’s Harbor but Julia still has a mystery to solve. Her mom received a package containing a wonderful family heirloom, one the disappeared back in the 1920’s. The problem is they have no idea who sent the package. Julia’s investigation leads her to connect with family she didn’t know she had and she arrives at their door just in time to find out the person she hoped to meet died recently. Shortly after her arrival the family learns that the death was not from natural causes, it was MURDER! I really love these stories. So much happens in addition to the main mystery. In a subplot Julia’s sister, Livvie, is due to give birth any day and the snow coming could make getting to the hospital an adventure. This mirrors my daughter’s experience almost exactly 4 years ago. Her dad drove her to the hospital in the middle of a blizzard following a snow plow all the way. Babies seem to want to make appearances in reality and fiction at the most inopportune times. In the main mystery plot the author introduces many new characters enabling Julia to meet and learn about family members she and her mom didn’t even know existed. She also learns the truth about an event in the past that happened very differently than her mother thought. I enjoyed the history research and the stories told by these family members almost more than the mystery and it is a great mystery full of twists and surprises. The author provides enough background to allow this book to be read without reading the previous stories but I encourage you to read them all in order. The characters really grow and become more distinct throughout the series and each includes a stellar mystery.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Iced Under by Barbara Ross is the fourth book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series. It is February in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Julia Snowden is on her way to her mother’s house and stops to pick up the mail. There is a package for Jacqueline, Julia’s mother. Upon opening it, they discover a beautiful necklace inside with a note that states “For Windsholme” (the old family summer home that recently suffered fire damage). The necklace is called the Black Widow (contains a rare black diamond) and has been missing for almost a hundred years. There is no return address on the package and, as far as Jacqueline knows, she has no other family. Julia starts delving into her family history (hoping to find family for her mother) which sends Julia on a journey to Boston. It turns out that Julia and Jacqueline do have family, but one member just passed away. Jacqueline is to receive a nice inheritance from this lost relative (Hugh) but others are not happy about this revelation. Julia gets to meet new relatives, find out one of them is deceased, her sister is about to have her baby, a big snow storm is about to descent upon the area, and then the police show up. It turns out that Hugh did not die of natural causes. The suspect list is limited to the people inside Hugh’s home. Which one of them did in poor Hugh? Then an attempt is made on the matriarch’s life just after she stated she was going to change her will! Julia needs to flee and then find the culprit before the killer strikes again. Will Julia be successful? Join Julia on her latest escapade in Iced Under. Iced Under is my favorite book in the series. I enjoyed Julia’s search into her family history and how the Black Widow disappeared in the 1920s. I wish the mystery behind the matriarch’s attempted murder had been as puzzling (easily solved). Hugh’s death is also easily figured out (one question will give you the answer). Iced Under is well-written and has a good pace. While Iced Under is the fifth book in the series, it can be read alone. The author provides the needed information on the characters and previous books for the reader to catch up. I liked that we get to know more about Julia’s ancestors and her mother’s history. I found the history of ice very interesting (did not realize that it was such a cut-throat business). I found Iced Under a nice change of pace from the other books in the series. It was nice to get away from the family business. I give Iced Under 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I did feel that the ending was too abrupt. There needed to be a little more to the last chapter or an epilogue. I will be reading the next book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Family Secrets and Mysteries I hate winter. There is a reason I live in Southern California, after all. But I’m perfectly okay with reading a book set in winter, which is a good thing because Iced Under takes us to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, in the middle of a cold February. This is the fifth in the Maine Clambake series. Obviously, the clambake run by Julia Snowden and her family isn’t open for business. In fact, anyone who could get out of town for warmer climates has, including Julia’s boyfriend Chris. But that doesn’t mean Julia can’t find a good mystery to solve. Actually, this one finds her when her mother, Jaqueline, receives a mysterious package in the mail. Inside is a necklace with a large black diamond surrounded by many smaller diamonds. Jaqueline recognizes it as a family heirloom she’s heard of but never seen since it vanished in the 1920’s. But where did it come from? The package has no return address and a blurred postmark. Jaqueline’s mother died when she was a toddler, so she doesn’t know much about her family history. What little she does know, like the story of the necklace, came from her cousin Hugh, who vanished on Jaqueline’s 21st birthday and has been presumed dead for forty years. Intrigued by the necklace and the idea that there might be more family out there, Julia begins to investigate. What will she uncover? The plot of this book doesn’t feel like a normal cozy. In fact, I couldn’t help but compare it to a Nancy Drew storyline. Yes, there is a murder before we reach the end of the book, but if you sit down expecting a normal cozy plot, you will be sorely disappointed. Don’t let that stop you at all, however. What we do get is a very well done mystery that kept me turning pages. When Julia does uncover an answer, it only leads to more questions. There are some interesting twists and turns before we reach an ultimately satisfying climax. In fact, I was glad I finished the book on my couch at home instead of the break room at work since I couldn’t stop the tears in the last couple of chapters. (I was crying in a good way, trust me.) I love this series because I love the characters. We get to see most of the regulars, some in just cameo appearances, but the book is also filled with new characters. They were all fantastic and add so much to the book that I didn’t miss seeing as much of the regulars as we normally might. In fact, if some of these characters pop up again in future books, I wouldn’t complain at all. I mentioned the winter setting of the book earlier on purpose. Winter and cold infuse this book. I could feel the ice and snow when Julia was outside, and it really added to the feel of the book. It made me want to snuggle under a blanket and keep reading, which I did, reading just about half of it in one day. The emphasis in the recipes at the end of the book is on comfort food this time around. We get such tempting sounding dishes as beef stew, meat loaf, lasagna, and ginger snaps. And yes, if you want sea food, there are recipes for lobster fra diavolo and monkfish marsala as well. So pick up Iced Under. Time spent with Julia is always wonderful, and this book is no exception at all. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Iced Under is the fifth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series. As always, another enjoyable story from Barbara Ross. Winter has arrived in Busman’s Harbor, Maine and Julia and the rest of the Snowden family are taking a much-needed break from hosting Clambakes on Morrow Island. Julia gets a phone call from her mother who is having a touch of cabin fever and asks her to come over for lunch and ask Julia if she would stop at the post office and collect her mail first. Once they open the box, they find a beautiful diamond necklace and a handwritten note that only says: For Windsholme. From what mom remembers about the necklace, it’s whereabouts have been unknown for almost a hundred years. All Julia has is the postmark on the package as to who might have mailed the extremely valuable necklace. Her first stop is the local historical society to learn more about her family and a couple genealogical sites. She learns that Hugh, a cousin her mother hasn’t seen since one summer in her late teen years, might still be alive and living in Boston. Once arriving she finds more relatives that no one even knew about. Julia spends the time with the relatives filling in some gaps that were created in her early searches. Foremost on her mind is finding out who and why the necklace was sent to her mother and hopefully to find out where it has been some hundred years. Another well interesting, exciting and well-written story. Will definitely be watching for the next book in the series. 3 likes
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
Iced Under by Barbara Ross is a riveting story that will keep the reader glued to their seat! I've read all the books in the series so far and this one is the best by far. Julia Snowden is caught up in a family mystery full of twists and turns. When Julia's mother receives a mystery package in the mail, wheels are set in motion and Julia heads for Boston, determined to find her mom's family. Ms. Ross weaves a tantalizing tale filled with colorful characters and a plot deep and mysterious. I couldn't put this book down, I was captured from the beginning and found myself with Julia in Boston, trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. Fans of this series will be excited and thrilled with Iced Under. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, all thoughts are my own.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Iced Under - A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 5 Author: Barbara Ross Published: 12-27-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mysteries; Women Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781496700391 ASIN: B01DRXCGEE Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.5 Stars I received a copy of Iced Over from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description From the Publisher: The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . . Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . . My Review: Miss Ross continues to use strong characters,the good and devious that are well developed and believable. The author takes us to the snowed in cabin and we can feel the chill in the air as we read of Julia' search for answers and a murder. Can you find them before she does? My rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars.