SHUCKED APART, the ninth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross, is another delightful return to Busman’s Harbor, Maine. As with the previous books in the series, the author does an admirable job in building on the strengths of her character development while interjecting an aspect of Maine’s industry which I find thoroughly captivating! Each book can easily be read as a standalone, but be prepared to want to backtrack and devour the previous books. In this newest release, protagonist Julia Snowden finds herself helping out her boyfriend’s friend, Andie, an oyster farmer, after someone stole mind boggling expensive buckets of oyster seed from her. It doesn’t take long for the same oyster farmer to be found murdered and Julia feels a sense of responsibility in finding the killer. I was fascinated by the oyster farming industry as described in the book. I had absolutely no idea how extensive it was or the dedication it entailed to bring oysters to market, and Ms. Ross effortlessly weaves those details into the plot without slowing down the pace of the mystery.
As the mystery unfolds and Julia begins delving into the bitter feelings between oyster farmers and lobster fishermen, a slew of suspects crop up. The clues strongly point in their direction since Andie’s oyster farm had been sabotaged several times in the weeks and months leading up to her death. Thrown in for good measure is an ex-husband, wealthy summer residents who don’t want any type of industry in their backyard, and rival oyster farmers. Julia is a deliberate amateur sleuth and I appreciated the care she took when asking questions around town and talking to potential suspects. It was enjoyable watching the scenes unfold and following the clues, and while I didn’t guess correctly, I was thoroughly gratified with the way the threads of the plot came together in a cohesive reveal.
Another delight of this series is the way the author showcases recipes containing Maine’s agricultural ingredient featured in the book. There have been blueberries, clams, lobsters, and of course this book contains oyster recipes. I’ll admit… I am not a fan. However, the author’s descriptive language concerning this bivalve makes me tempted to try them again, provided I have the opportunity to get to Maine one of these days. While we may have some type of oyster here in California (not that I’ve paid attention to the availability) I opted to skip the oyster recipes (if you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy the offerings) and make Ms. Ross’s mother-in-law’s recipe for Banana Bread – always a hit in my family! Easy to mix up, the moist sweet bread is delicious all on its own or slathered with sweet cream butter. Perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert!
The Snowden Family Clambake Company has a beloved reputation in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Almost as famous is the sleuthing ability of proprietor Julia Snowden, which is why an oyster farmer seeks her out when she’s in trouble.
When Andie Greatorex is robbed of two buckets of oyster seed worth $35,000, she wonders if somebody’s trying to mussel her out of business. Could it be a rival oyster farmer, a steamed former employee, or a snooty summer resident who objects to her unsightly oyster cages floating on the beautiful Damariscotta River? There’s also a lobsterman who’s worried the farm’s expanding lease will encroach on his territory and Andie’s ex-partner, who may come to regret their split. Before Julia can make much headway in the investigation, Andie turns up dead, stabbed by a shucking knife. Now it’s up to Julia to set a trap for a cold and clammy killer . . .
A special thanks to Barbara Ross for providing a winner with a print copy of SHUCKED APART. Contest ends Monday, March 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
From Barbara Ross: This is my late mother-in-law's recipe for banana bread. She never really adjusted when all her kids grew up and moved out. She shopped, until she died, for a family of eight. As a result, she always had way too many bananas to consume before they went soft, and therefore, she almost always had banana bread on hand when her grandkids came to visit it. They loved the banana bread and I love that they still make it according to her recipe.
Serves 6 to 10.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1 cup mashed bananas (3 large, ripe)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons light cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Cream butter and sugar and add eggs.
Add cream and lemon juice to mashed bananas, then combine with the butter, sugar, and eggs mixture.
Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and finally the nuts. Stir only enough to blend.
Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 45 - 55 minutes. A wooden skewer inserted into center should come out mostly clean.
Cool in loaf pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I do not like oysters. Tried them,not for me.
No to Oysters. Yes to Banana Bread.
Not a fan of oysters, BUT I am a fan of banana bread! That recipe looks so yummy! And I love the ‘Clambake Mystery series’ . Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win!
Not really a fan of oysters, but I enjoy other seafood. And banana bread!
Hubby is the big oyster eater in this family. He loves them any way you can fix them. His favorite is oysters on the half shell. Few years back he was able to indulge to his heart content. He ended up eating SIX dozen as an appetizer before moving on to two complete king crab dinners. Hard to believe that a normal built man can eat all that and never gain an ounce while I just look at food and gain pounds.
I am not a fan of oysters. Thanks for the chance!
I love banana bread, but not a fan of oysters.
I like a good oyster stew but my favorite way to have them is Oysters Rockefeller.
Great series, don’t care for oysters but do eat other types of seafood.
Don’t care for oysters but love other types of seafood. I love banana bread too!
I am not a big fan of oysters but will eat fried oysters if they are on a seafood platter and I can’t substitute items.
Not a fan of oysters, but I love banana bread. I’ll have to try this recipe.
I face a conundrum about raw oysters – do you swallow them whole, or bite into them once, or do you really chew them? I still haven’t decided ~
Nope I dont like oysters. The only fish I will eat are breaded fish sticks with lots of tarter Sause.
Not a fan of oysters.
I’ve never had oysters.
I’ve never tried oysters. They look slimy.
Not my favorite but I will eat them.
RAW, on a half shell with a good, tangy sauce to dip them in. YUM Was a yearly treat on Christmas Eve when my Mom was alive and hosting Christmas Eve Dinner.
I used to make my grandma banana bread as she loved it and me being 15 it was easy to make out of the pkg. As far as oysters I lived in Ca for many years and never had a chance to taste them although I love crab and lobster so much. I love also the way they open oysters but wouldn’t be able to eat a slimy thing i would put it in a soup and try it maybe . Different coasts different fish! lol
No, I am not a fan of oysters.
Raw oysters, yick, but I like fried oysters. However, I love love love me some Banana Bread. I’ve been reading Barbara Ross’ books for a long time and I love them all. The way she describes Maine makes me want to go there some day. I’m super excited for this book. Thank you for the chance!
My husband and daughter love oysters. Me, I’m happy to skip them and let them have my share.
I like steamers, which are cooked oysters. I love banana bread. I cannot wait for my library hold of Shucked Apart.
I’ve never eaten oysters but love banana bread. Your recipe sounds delicious. Thank you for the chance I really want to read Shucked Apart!
I’ve never tried them. Thanks for the chance.
I’ve honestly never tried oysters, but since they look a bit slimy, I would try them fried.
Oysters – YUK! But would love to read Shucked Apart! 🙂
I love oysters (especially fried) – but rarely have them since hubby is allergic to all shell fish. On rare occasion I will get them as an appetizer or a poor boy sandwich if we are out – but I will not cook any shellfish in the house.
The nursing home I work at always makes oyster stew for Christmas Eve supper for the residents, but I’ve never tried it myself. I do really like seafood, someday maybe I’ll get to try oysters.
Not a fan of oysters.
I don’t like oysters.
I am not a fan of oysters.
I do not eat oysters because they are not kosher. I don’t eat any shellfish either, but I still love your books!
I love banana bread as well but not oysters. Especially not after going vegan 🙂
I am allergic to shellfish. I did try them, oysters Rockefeller, before I knew I was allergic. I liked the taste but hated what they did to me. At least it wasn’t anaphylaxis.
Not a fan of oysters! Thank you for the giveaway!
I don’t like oysters, but I love Banana bread!!?
I’m not a fan of oysters or any other type of sea creature or fish. I love the cover of this book. I do love banana bread. Thanks for your great generosity.
I love ANY OYSTER! Raw, smoked, steamed, you name it. I’m sorry I couldn’t pin it down!
I love oysters! Favorite way to eat is fried.
I am not a fan of oysters – I do love Banana Bread though.
I’ve never tried oysters.
No thanks on the oysters. I can eat 1 fried oyster….it’s a texture thing for me.
I have never tried oysters before. Are the similar to snails? I’ve never had them either but my brother-in-law absolutely loves them and I was too chicken to try it.
I have never eaten oysters and really don’t want to. they look bad to me
I have never tried oysters and all I have heard makes me so no way.
No, I am not a fan of oysters.
I have never tried oysters…not sure that anyone has ever offered one to me. I’ll try most things once. Lol
Have never tried oysters. Love banana bread
I’ll pass on the oysters!