Iced Under by Barbara Ross is the fifth book in the “Maine Clambake” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, December 27, 2016
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 . . .
Love, love, love this book. Everything about this book garnered my attention from the moment Julia learned about the necklace and her mother’s family history. To bring closure to the story, Julia traveled to Boston only to find herself yet involved in another murder investigation, and this time the suspects are her long-lost relatives. This brilliantly executed drama was staged perfectly and the narrative put me in the middle of all the action. The mystery kept me intrigued in all that was happening with the cast, from the death of cousin Hugh, to who sent the package, to who was trying to put the kibosh on family members and to why. I liked that with each turn of a chapter, I got to know more about the Morrows and watch the family dynamics play out as their exploits led to the person responsible. This is all happening as back home, the family is awaiting an arrival. The ending was priceless, leaving me with tears in my eyes and a warm-felt heart. With a great cast of characters and engaging conversation, this is the best book in this terrific series and I can’t wait for the next book with Julia and her friends.
FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.