Address to Die For
By Mary Feliz
Maggie McDonald Series, #1
For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .
Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn’t confined to her clients’ closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she’s shocked to discover the house’s dilapidated condition.
When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it’s the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large—exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can’t help but clean up . . .
Address to Die For by Mary Feliz is one of the most enjoyable cozy mysteries I’ve read recently. It has that special “something” that pulled me in from the very first page, something that simply clicked with me. The first book of a series can sometimes be a little slow in places as characters are being introduced, but that was never the case here. Address to Die For is an intelligent story with interesting characters, gentle humor, and well-developed plot. I loved that the lead character is a happily-married wife and mother of two sons, ages 14 and 12.
The small-town setting of Orchard View in the hills above Silicon Valley is vividly conveyed, and it is populated with some delightfully quirky characters. Moving into this community is Maggie McDonald, a professional organizer who just happens to have a good nose for clues that are out of place. I was fascinated by the house Maggie’s husband inherited – a 100-year-old California Craftsman worth more than 15 million dollars – and loved how it seemed like a major character.
From Maggie and her family, to a strong supporting cast, character depth is one of the story’s strengths – especially police consultant Stephen and real estate agent Tess. It was fun getting to know the various characters as Maggie developed relationships with them. I anticipate some great reading as these characters are fleshed out through the series. Max’s job took him out of the country during most of this story, so I hope we see more of him in the next book.
Mary is good at creating visual images that stay with you, one of which I’d like to share. When “grapevine communications” spread the news of sudden death, everyone waited “in chattering groups like clusters of carnivorous crows aching for more details and pecking at the information they had. It was disturbing. Disturbingly human.”
And so very appropriate are the well-placed organizing tips that begin each chapter. As one who constantly struggles with organization, I especially appreciated these words of wisdom: “Sometimes, life gets in the way, and there are other things far more important to attend to than being organized.”
The mystery itself is well thought out, not easy to deduce, and I enjoyed the step-by-step gathering of clues. For Christian fiction readers, although this is a general market book, I’m impressed by how clean it was. There may have been one or two instances of mild profanity, but I really don’t remember any. I’m certainly eager to continue with this series.
Highly recommended to fans of clean cozy mysteries.
Book #2, Scheduled to Death, will be released January 17, 2017. The third book in the series will be released July 17, 2017.
Address to Die For can be purchased at Amazon.
Mary Feliz has lived in five states and two countries, but calls Silicon Valley home. Traveling to other areas of the United States, she’s frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest of the country. A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, Mary strives to bring these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take these elements to a whole new level.
She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and National Association of Professional Organizers. Mary is a Smith College graduate with a degree in Sociology. She lives in Northern California with her husband, near the homes of their two adult offspring.
Thank you to Great Escapes Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.