Book Review: Muddled Through by Barbara Ross

Finding the Book

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Muddled Through is the 10th book in Ross’s A Maine Clambake Mystery series, and I have been excitedly awaiting its release!  I discovered this series last summer, and as with most series, I went back and started with the first book to see if I wanted to read the entire series.

I did!  And I binge read it and then cooled my heels while I waited for this latest book.

It was so worth the wait!  Read on to see why I highly recommend this book, and series, to any cozy mystery fan.

This is one of my favorite series so it’s certainly included in my Beginner’s Guide to Cozy Mystery Series free download.  Grab it here to see all the series I recommend!

About the Book

What initially attracted me to this series was the Maine coastal setting.  For whatever reason, I am intrigued by coastal or island settings.  Maine is also something of a novelty setting to me; again, I have no idea why! 

From the first book I was enthralled with the main character, Julia, and enjoyed her even more in this installment.  You can read more about my thoughts on that in a previous book review of the first book in the series.

Julia’s curiosity turns into a murder investigation when a friend’s pottery showroom is first ransacked and then the scene of a murder.  She questions the focus of the investigators and doesn’t believe her friend capable of murder.

Plus Julia has time on her hands since she’s still healing from the break-up of her relationship with Chris.  There is definitely progress made in this area in this book!

I gave this book a 5 Star rating on Goodreads and Amazon because I couldn’t put it down and literally read it in a few hours.  This is one of those series that was so good from the first book, and just gets better and better with each new book!

From the Publisher:  Mud season takes on a whole new meaning in the coastal town of Busman’s Harbor, Maine, when local business owners sling dirt at one another in a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall. Vandalism is one thing, but murder means Julia Snowden of the Snowden Family Clambake steps in to clean up the case . . .

When Julia spots police cars in front of Lupine Design, she races over. Her sister Livvie works there as a potter. Livvie is unharmed but surrounded by smashed up pottery. The police find the owner Zoey Butterfield digging clay by a nearby bay, but she has no idea who would target her store. 

Zoey is a vocal advocate for turning four blocks of Main Street into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends. Other shop owners, including her next-door neighbor, are vehemently opposed. 

Could a small-town fight provoke such destruction? When a murder follows the break-in, it’s up to Julia to dig through the secrets and lies to uncover the truth . . .

What I Love

The Setting  

The Maine coastal setting is a huge draw for me.  Maybe it’s because Murder, She Wrote featured a Maine setting, and that was a big part of the beginning of my love of cozy mysteries.  I also like the Busman’s Harbor town setting with its mix of old school characters and those a bit more future oriented.  That’s always a mix ripe for conflict!

The Characters

The author’s ability to write characters so realistically is amazing.  I cried with the characters in this book, felt anxiety as they did, and felt all the feelings along with them.  That’s what I call great character writing! 

The Plot

I was so taken by this storyline from the first page that I read it fanatically within a few hours.  The plot was strong with a well-developed journey encouraging a speedy read-through to see what happens next.  

There was a great mix of obvious villains, aka red herrings, and more subtle possibilities that literally kept me guessing to the near end.  

I also enjoyed the balance of the main storyline with some supporting sideline bits, such as Julia’s working through life stuff, like family, business, and her love life.

Final Thoughts & My Star Rating

If you’re already a fan of this series or author, then I probably don’t have to tell you to read this book!  For those who are new to this series, I will suggest starting with the first book simply because of the development of Julia’s path, and more specifically her romantic life.  

I give this book a 5 Star rating!

Get the Book

A Maine Clambake Mystery Series

Here are all of the books currently in this series.  I have tried to insert the novellas, both stand-alone and those included in anthologies, into the series in the order that I think they would be in chronologically.  The ** indicates it is a novella.

Nogged Off (A Maine Clambake Mystery)**

Clammed Up (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 1)

Boiled Over (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 2)

Musseled Out (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 3)

Fogged Inn (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 4)

Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 5)

Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 6)

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 7)

Logged On (A Maine Clambake Mystery)**

Sealed Off (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 8)

Hallowed Out (A Maine Clambake Mystery)**

Shucked Apart (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 9)

Scared Off (Part of Halloween Party Anthology)**

Muddled Through (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 10)

Perked Up (Part of Irish Coffee Murder Anthology)**

 Follow the Author

You can find Barbara Ross, the author of Muddled Through here:








I would love to hear your thoughts when you read Muddled Through and if you enjoyed this cozy mystery book review!  Please post in the comments, and if you enjoy following cozy mystery series, be sure to grab your free download with 45 cozy mysteries below!

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