First Line: "Awesome! I bet it has bats!"
Maggie McDonald's husband Max has a new job that's required the family to move to Orchard View, California, and into the 100-year-old house Max has inherited. It's been a couple of months since Max and Maggie have been to see their new home, and they are shocked at its rundown condition. They are even more shocked to find the caretaker dead in the basement.
While the police are conducting their investigation, Maggie has no time to lose. She's got to get 14-year-old David and 12-year-old Bryan enrolled in school, she's got to keep food on the table, she's got to get their belongings unpacked and in some semblance of order-- and she's got to do it alone because Max's new job has sent him out of town. Then everything about the investigation unravels, and Maggie decides to give the police a little helping hand. After all, she wants her family life to be normal and she needs a chance to get her Simplicity Itself Organizing Services business up and running again.
The first word I would use to describe Maggie is "Mom." And since she's a professional organizer, the second word would be "organized." With a dead man in the basement and their new home being targeted for unknown reasons, she's still got to get stuff unpacked and her two sons as settled as is humanly possible. In between errands and trips back and forth to the boys' schools, Maggie makes the time and effort to get acquainted with her neighbors. This is when readers learn that Mary Feliz has created a multi-faceted cast that should work well in a long-running series (as I hope this will be). The author has also written a strong mystery with a fine sense of misdirection that kept me guessing throughout.
There are a lot of things that happen to Maggie's new home. A lot. Each chapter begins with a quote from her own professional organizing business, and these quotes make sense-- especially the ones that advise people to know when to ask for help. I only had one problem with Maggie asking for help. All those things that happen to Maggie's house need fixing. Many of them could be done by homeowners with time and varying amounts of elbow grease. With Max gone and all these crazy things going on, Maggie didn't have time so she pulled out her checkbook and had other people take care of everything. Why did I have a problem with that? Because most of us don't have checkbooks that can withstand one expensive hit after another. (Okay, color me envious and call it a day!)
And once you've called it a day, you'll find that I really enjoyed Address to Die For. I want to see that house get finished. I want to see how Maggie solves more mysteries once Max is back in town-- I already know she can take care of things on her own. I want to see her get her business up and running (because "organized" is a word that most people use to describe me). I like Mary Feliz's mystery and her characters, and I'll definitely be back for more!
Address to Die For by Mary Feliz
Lyrical Underground Books © 2016
eBook, 246 pages
Cozy Mystery, #1 Maggie McDonald mystery
Source: Purchased from Amazon