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 . . .
I hate to move...almost more than I hate vacuuming steps. But I bet Maggie McDonald hates moving even more than I do. But sometimes you just have to up and move with your husband and sons to an old house in a small community. Then you discover the caretaker of the property (while it was vacant) dead in the basement - and not from natural causes. I would vote for maybe one more move ... like across the continent.
So, what's a wife and mother and small-business owner to do? For one, try to normalize things for your children ... as much as you can with having to live in the barn until the house is no longer a crime scene. So there are the schools to get them settled in. Except for the principal is like an educational administrator-Nazi from a climate a whole lot hotter than the hills above Silicon Valley.
I'd probably be a little less understanding than Maggie when it came to my husband being out of town for work when all these things were going down. Like the blowing up of the mailbox. "Oh no, honey, just a little hiccup. We're fine. Stay where you are." Or the finding of the second body, which Maggie got to do all on her own.
On the other hand, if Maggie every opened a Big, Bad, Mama Bear School as an adjunct to her organizing business, I'd be one of the first students enrolled!
Ms. Feliz's writing style is engaging and made for a most enjoyable read. I loved watching Mary and her family settle into the rhythm of their new community. And on more than one occasion, during a particular exciting bit of action, I caught my feet tapping on the floor.
If Maggie's business stays open long enough (i.e. - if the series continues), I may even take some of the organizing tips to heart. I'll definitely be reading about them. And that's high praise from a woman who would almost rather vacuum steps than declutter!
MEET THE AUTHOR
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. Visit Mary online at MaryFeliz.com, or follow her on Twitter @MaryFelizAuthor.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)