First Line: "Maggie, we've got a crisis," Jason had said the last time I'd talked to him.
Even with deadlines looming, professional organizer Maggie McDonald believes she can help friends Jason and Stephen get their large Victorian home decluttered before its scheduled renovation. However, she hasn't even filled one bin with junk before Jason leaves on an emergency business trip, Stephen's injured mastiff limps home... and Stephen himself winds up in jail charged with murder.
Stephen was caught at the crime scene covered in blood and is the number one suspect, but he refuses to talk to anyone but Maggie. It's time to set aside the decluttering and start sorting through secrets to save her friend.
Mary Feliz has created a good strong mystery that will keep readers guessing as to what is really going on in that area of small businesses where the murder occurred. She also addresses such issues as homeless people, immigration status, and PTSD with sense and sensitivity.
But what she's done that I appreciate the most can all be found in the character of Maggie, and of her family, too. She and her family honestly try to do good for their friends, their neighbors, and their community. Maggie, her husband Max, and their two boys are also intelligent and filled with common sense. When one of the boys is threatened at school, it's handled swiftly and appropriately. Maggie is not the type of amateur sleuth who takes chances with her family's lives. She's also not the type of person who takes ill treatment like a doormat. Her response to an obnoxious lawyer had me laughing and cheering.
Maggie also does what so many other amateur sleuths don't-- she keeps in close contact with local police, and any time she finds something pertinent to an investigation, she shares it with them immediately. This means that the dangerous parts of the case are handled by the professionals... and that the reveal is not done onstage with the heroine narrowly escaping with her life. We learn what's happened by sitting down with Maggie, her friends, and family at her kitchen table and talking it all over. This is something that not all cozy mystery fans are going to appreciate, but I certainly do. Intelligence and common sense go a long, long way with me, and this means that I'm looking forward to visiting with Maggie again soon.
Dead Storage by Mary Feliz
Lyrical Underground © 2017
eBook, 241 pages
Cozy Mystery, #3 Maggie McDonald mystery
Source: Net Galley