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Posted July 5, 2010
In a Northeastern Ohio town that "connected itself with civilized New England and distanced itself from its Midwestern-ness," a wedding and murder threatens to tear a liberal activist family down to its very foundation. India Hayes' childhood friend returns home to get married and instead meets a terrible end at Martin University's campus. And, all fingers point to India's brother, Mark.
India is the middle child of Presbyterian Reverend Lana Hayes and the wheelchair bound Mr. Alden Hayes. Along with her older sister, Carmen, and her younger brother, Mark, she has spent her entire life in the Akron suburb of Stripling. Working as a librarian at Martin University where her brother is a member of the mathematics faculty, India spends her free time indulging in her painting and pampering her cat. That is, until Olivia Blocken, her estranged best friend (and her brother's unrequited love), blows into town on the 4th of July with an arsenal of emotional fireworks. Suddenly, India is plunged right in the middle of a murder investigation, desperately trying to clear her brother's name and find justice for her erstwhile friend.
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower is a riveting tale of murder and family dynamics. Permeating throughout the story are unforgettable, eccentric characters, amusing anecdotes of Northeast Ohio life, and tongue-in-cheek humor that captivates the reader in this page-turning mystery. Amanda Flowers truly captures the essence of traditional mystery writing; complete with an ending that leaves the reader saying, "Why didn't I see that coming?"
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Posted May 3, 2010
In Stripling, Ohio, Martin College librarian India Hayes also works as a struggling artist. When her longtime friend Olivia Blocken asks her to be a bridesmaid, India agrees though she fears how her brother Mark will react as he still loves Olivia. Mark suffered a nervous breakdown when Olivia left Stripling to go to college so her trepidation is jusrified.
As Mark hides himself in math and in teaching at the college, India conceals from him that she is a bridesmaid at Olivia's nuptials. When someone shoves Olivia to her death, the police suspect Mark as the prime culprit with the motive being unrequited love based on the fact he broke down once before when Olivia left him so if he can't have her no one can have her. India investigates believing Mark would never kill anyone let alone the woman he loves.
This is a lighthearted fun amateur sleuth cozy due to the eccentric support cast (human and feline). India feels a deep need to prove her sibling may have suffered from unrequited love, but was not a jealous killer as sulking and weeping is more his style. Since she does not trust the cops to look elsewhere though she admits this might be a throwback to her 1960s hippy activist parents, she makes inquiries. Readers will enjoy Maid of Murder as the amateur sleuth uses her librarian research skills to land in trouble as she investigates who killed Olivia.
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Posted June 10, 2013
Witty Debut Mystery!
India Hayes is an artist who makes her living as a campus librarian in a small college town. She and her pampered cat reside in a duplex owned by an eccentric Irish landlady who lives in the adjoining unit. Olivia Blocken was India's childhood best friend who insisted India act as a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. India's brother, Mark, is a depressed and rather pathetic individual who is a local college math professor. Just days before the wedding Olivia died from traumatic head injuries sustained as a result of being pushed into a fountain on the college campus near Mark's office. Mark was discovered holding her after pulling her from the fountain. Due to circumstantial evidence he was ultimately taken into custody for the suspected murder of Olivia Blocken, his old high school flame. The fires are still smoldering where Mark is concerned as he'd never stopped loving Olivia.
Amanda Flower has written a cozy mystery with unexpected elements of humor, suspense, and chaos. Her characters are as diverse and capricious as the weather. This witty mystery is well written with character and humor, as well as suspense and mystery. The fur flies between cats, sisters and liberal activist parents. Eccentricities prevail and tempers flare as Mark's family attempts to prove his innocence. Maid of Murder is a well written and humorous story of tempestuous proportions.
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author for the purpose of my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received as a result of this review.
Posted August 25, 2010
India Hayes is a librarian at Martin College in Ohio. It's a small campus, but prone to lots of action. When her brother Mark is accused of a crime against an old high school flame, India steps in and investigates to help her brother. Being a small town, everyone seems to know each other or has dated each other in the past. Her age-defying hippie parents are fun, as is her leprechaun loving neighbor Ina. A nice start to a new mystery series.
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Posted October 10, 2012
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