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Barbara Ross Books In Order

Publication Order of Maine Clambake Mystery Books

Clammed Up (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Boiled Over (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Musseled Out (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fogged Inn (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Death of an Ambitious Woman (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Being part of a burgeoning scene of artists and authors from the New England area, Barbara Ross writes with a style that reflects the northeastern coast. You can almost smell the ocean and the clam chowder just from reading the pages of one of her mystery novels. In fact, you can immediately discern the New England influence of her books simply by reading the titles. Mystery novels like Clammed Up and Mussled Out speak volumes about the kind of writing that Ross does.

The Maine Clambake Mystery series is what Barbara Ross is best known for. She is the sole author of the series and it marks one of the more successful solo writing ventures Ross has undertaken. The short stories of Barbara Ross can also be read in anthology titles like Best New England Crime Stories 2013: Blood Moon which is a collection of mystery stories written by authors from all over the Northern Atlantic area.

Barbara however, was not always a writer. She studied English at the University of Pennsylvania and soon after graduating, began a career that seemingly had nothing to do with literature. Although she always had a passion for writing, in her earlier life it was only a hobby of hers. Her former profession involved a couple of successful start-ups in the educational technology industry She co-founded both of these start-up companies and served as the Chief Operating officer of both. One of these star-ups was sold to the BlackBoard Corporation that produces online learning tools for schools all around the nation. Eventually, Barbara pursued her hobby more vehemently and in 2010, her first novel was published. It was called The Death of An Ambitious Woman which follows the exploits of an acting police chief investigating the murder of a local businesswoman. The story takes place in a suburb of Boston and is a gripping tale of murder and the fulfillment of personal goals. Ruth Murphy is the main protagonist of the tale who is in essence has something to prove. The acting police chief is trying to demonstrate her value to the department by taking on a very complex case that ends up yielding multiple suspects. The story features an interesting juxtaposition of characters and traits. The deceased Tracy Kendall who dies in a car accident is very similar in nature to Ruth Murphy. They are both driven, goal-oriented women. When the rest of the department urges Murphy to drop the case, she is compelled to investigate the “car accident” further since she sees so much of herself in the victim. As the investigation unfolds, Murphy is beset by perplexing suspects and a DA who does naught but get in her way. It is a gripping, no-frills police mystery that was well-received by readers. Currently, The Death of An Ambitious Woman holds a 4.1 star rating (out of 5) on GoodReads.com. It was Barbara Ross’ first success as a mystery writer.

The first entry into the Ross’ Maine Clambake Mystery Series was also a well-received mystery novel that kicked off the series in true New England fashion. Clammed Up is the story of Julia Snowden who leaves her high-powered job in New York to come back to Maine to try to save her families homegrown clambake business only to get much more than she bargained for. The family business is hired to cater for a wedding but something terrible happens: the best man of the wedding is found dead, hanging from the ceiling of the Snowden home. An immediate investigation gets underway but suspicion is piling high on an old flame of Snowden’s. Soon the plot turns into an entangled conflict of interests. Julia Snowden must find the culprit of the murder not only for the sake of justice but for the sake of her family’s livelihood as well. The heroine, Julia Snowden grows in the process of the investigation; learning more about herself than she ever expected she could by coming back to her home town. The story features very well developed characters and, as is the hallmark of any Barbara Ross mystery novel, a great insight to the culture of the Atlantic north coast. Aside from being a murder mystery, coming of age and somewhat of a cute romance novel, the book also emphasizes the bond of a close family and the relationships that make up such a unit. The book has met with success and launched the entire Maine Clambake Mystery Series which has 3 entries and is currently the main literary focus of Ross. Clammed Up was even nominated for an Agatha Award in the best contemporary novel category. The novel was also nominated for other prestigious literary awards.

Barbara is still writing and will have another entry in the Maine Clambake Mystery Series for fans to read very soon. She is married with two children and is officially retired. Her and her husband own what use to be the Seafarer Inn, a bed and breakfast which was actually formerly owned by her mother-in-law, Olga Carito. She and her husband bought a two-family home so that they could live with Olga Carito and be close enough to the Seafarer Inn to keep it in the family.

Ross has been able to enjoy the monetary success of selling her successful start-ups and pursue a writing career that is clearly on the upswing. Aside from their home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Barbara and her husband also have a home in Somerville, MA. Barbara Ross draws inspiration from the Maine area for her novels which is what makes them so real and insightful. All of her novels thus far have been well-reviewed by readers and she has become a fixture of the Maine writing scene. Her writing has been praised for excellent character development, true to life depiction of Northeastern Atlantic culture and of course, gripping mystery prose that engages the reader from start to finish. Her published works can be purchased on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites in print, digital and audiobook formats. Love or hate, Rose is still a force to be reckoned with.

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