By Amanda Flower
Five Star Publishing
Publication Date 6/16/10
Amanda Flower certainly picked out the right publishing company for her “Five Star” Cozy Mystery, Maid of Murder. Plan on taking this fun novel, due out in June, with you on vacation or for a weekend you plan to “gift” to yourself!
I guarantee you’ll not only enjoy the whodunit, you’ll also be smiling often as you enjoy the characters, including two fighting felines and a nosy neighbor.
This is an India Hayes mystery, which, to me, means that we can plan on meeting her again in the future. Let me warn you now, India doesn’t get along too well with her parents, who have never grown old enough to give up picketing for any cause that comes along. In fact, when India’s brother is accused of the murder, they picketed!
Let me tell you a little about Mark. When India was a child, she became friends with Olivia Blocken and therefore Mark was around them quite often. Mark fell in love with Olivia early in their lives; however, Olivia never returned his feelings, although she never actually spurned him totally. However, when she comes back to her hometown to marry, she not only asked India to serve as a bridesmaid, but finds that Mark still loves her and wants to convince her not to proceed with the wedding.
Olivia agrees to meet to talk to Mark, but is murdered immediately before that meeting. In fact, Mark finds her in a water fountain display on the Martin College campus where both he and India works, he pulls her out and works to save her life! Naturally, he quickly becomes a prime suspect, is arrested, and India finds herself trying to solve the murder!
Town-gown issues and family problems abound—Mark is suspended and India’s job is being threatened because her parents have been picketing on campus. India also finds out just how much Olivia’s family disliked her family, finally being kicked out of the house by Mrs. Blocken.
Little by little India pulls together evidence to help clear Mark; and even if she doesn’t immediately share it with the police investigator, Detective Mains, she sees him enough to realize that he just may be interested in her. Well, after all, she’s been a bridesmaid six times, so she can’t afford not to notice!
The whole storyline worked for me. It took me back to the politics on a college campus, had a couple of fascinating cats as delightful characters, and a promise of romance for India in the future. The parents in the story were real—hateful and funny, respectively. I’m already looking forward to seeing the Hayes family in action in the next book.
This is a series I suggest that you start right at the beginning. If my review sounds like your kind of cozy mystery, then "Trackle" Amanda Flower today so that you’ll receive notice when Maid of Murder is out this June! A promising first book! Highly recommended!
(Visit Amanda's Site by clicking title of this article...)
G. A. Bixler