Monday, April 22, 2024

Book Review: Torn Asunder by Barbara Ross (Maine Clambake Mysteries #12)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters we love in a can’t put it down mystery
Cons: Nothing related to the story itself
The Bottom Line:
Death of a stranger
Who was he and who killed him?
Another great book

The Murder of the Uninvited Guest

Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mysteries have been one of my favorite series for the past decade.  I’ve enjoyed watching the characters and their relationships grow and change, and the mysteries are always top notch.  Torn Asunder, book twelve in the series, is another fantastic entry in the series.

Those who have been following the series know that Julia Snowden and her family have been working on Morrow Island, the private island where they have their summer clambake business, in hopes of adding weddings to the rest of their business.  Now, the first wedding is about to take place, the wedding of family friends Zoey Butterfield and Jamie Dawes.

The rehearsal dinner is also taking place on the island.  While Julia knows most of the guests at this event, there is one man she doesn’t recognize.  In the middle of the meal, the stranger collapses.  At first, it is assumed that he had an allergic reaction, but soon it looks like he was murdered.  Fortunately, Julia’s detective boyfriend, Tom, is on hand, but no one seems to know who the victim was.  If he was a stranger, who wanted to kill him?

Of course, it isn’t long before Julia and Tom begin to make progress.  I’ve got to say, I had definite Agatha Christie vibes from the story.  It seems that everyone actually had a connection to the victim once Julia starts to dig.  Additionally, there is a storm that traps them on the island and disconnects them from the internet for part of the book.  I’m not saying that is a bad thing.  In fact, I had a hard time putting the book down, which isn’t a surprise with this series.  There were so many revelations on the way to the logical climax.

As always, it was great to spend time with the characters.  Some of the townspeople we’ve gotten to know had more cameos than anything else because of how the book played out.  Yes, that was disappointing, but I was still happy to see them.  Julia and Tom just started dating in the previous book, so it was nice to see them as a couple in this one.  And the suspects are all strong, which made it hard to figure out what was going on.

Sadly, this is the final book in the series; Barbara Ross decided to end the series here.  There is some nice symmetry given how the series started.  While I am sad I won’t get to visit these characters again, fans of the series will be happy with how this book wraps things up for the characters.  There are some laughs along the way, and I may have teared up a time or two as well.  Truly, you couldn’t ask for a better final book.

We get another five recipes at the end of this book.  There are even a couple for non-seafood lovers like me.

Long time fans will be rewarded with Torn Asunder.  If you haven’t started this series yet, I envy you.  You have many fantastic books ahead of you.  Make a point of starting it today.

Check out the rest of the Maine Clambake Mysteries.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


  1. This series has been on my TBR for years. I really have to start it. It looks so good. Great review!

  2. One of my favorite series.

  3. Thanks Mark, this is a series I wasn't aware of, so now can start at the beginning.


Thanks for stopping by. In order to combat spam, I moderate most comments. I'll get to your comment as soon as I can.