By Mary Feliz
Maggie McDonald Series #4
Lyrical Underground, 2018
Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .
With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband—whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?
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My thoughts ...
I have been privileged to read each book in the Maggie McDonald series by Mary Feliz, and it just keeps getting better. Disorderly Conduct is a strong book in itself and can stand alone, but following the series and getting more and more familiar with the main characters makes for such a satisfying reading experience.
Disorderly Conduct is a serious novel – cozy, yes, but with realistic themes. Maggie’s home is in an area of California being threatened by a wildfire, forcing them to temporarily evacuate to a friend’s home, that of Tess and Patrick. The author has the distinctive ability to pull readers into the scene, vividly conveying what something I’ve only read about or watched on the news must feel like, and I have a new appreciation for what these homeowners go through. I’m angry at the carelessness that is often the cause of these fires, and angry at the illicit use of natural, protected lands by drug cartels.
Maggie is easy to like. She’s intelligent, caring, and goes out of her way to help people, reflecting the way the small community of Orchard View takes care of its own. With her professional organizing skills, she could easily come across as some sort of super woman, but she’s just as human as the rest of us. Focusing on the evacuation theme, each chapter begins with a help organizing tip in preparing the family and pets for leaving. Many of these tips are worth making personal note of.
Suddenly, in the midst of worrying about the wildfires and working to carry out evacuation plans, Patrick’s body is discovered and Tess is arrested. The endearing characters of Jason, Stephen, and Paolo play key parts. I enjoyed every step of logical crime solving. Disorderly Conduct is in a cozy mystery class all by itself and I highly recommend it.
I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms, mom and pop enterprises, competed in whaleboat races, and done synchronized swimming.
She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.
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