Maid of Murder

Maid of Murder

3.6 5
by Amanda Flower
     
 

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India Hayes is a lot of things . . . starving artist who pays the rent as a college librarian, daughter of liberal activists, sister of an emotional mathematician, tenant of a landlady who has kissed the Blarney Stone one too many times, and a bridesmaid six times over. But she's about to step into the most challenging role of her life: amateur

Overview

India Hayes is a lot of things . . . starving artist who pays the rent as a college librarian, daughter of liberal activists, sister of an emotional mathematician, tenant of a landlady who has kissed the Blarney Stone one too many times, and a bridesmaid six times over. But she's about to step into the most challenging role of her life: amateur sleuth.

Childhood friend and now knockout beauty, Olivia Blocken is back in town to wed her bodybuilder fianc with India a reluctant attendant . . . not just because the bridesmaid's dress is a hideous mess, but because she's betraying her brother. Mark still carries a torch for the bride who once broke his heart and sent his life into a tailspin.

When Olivia turns up dead in the Martin College fountain and the evidence points to Mark, India must unmask the real culprit while juggling a furious and grieving Mother of the Bride, an annoyingly beautiful Maid of Honor, a set of hippie-generation parents, the police detective who once dated her sister and is showing a marked liking for her, and a provost itching to fire someone, anyone--maybe even a smart-mouthed librarian.

India's investigation leads her on a journey through childhood memories that she'd much rather have left in the schoolyard, but to avoid becoming the next victim, it is a path she must follow.

Maid of Murder is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud mystery set in an amusing world of academia. Readers will fall in love with India Hayes's fierce loyalty and wit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flower’s breezy debut introduces a quirky heroine—India Hayes, a librarian at Martin College in Stripling, Ohio, who’s also an artist. India agrees, yet again, to be a bridesmaid, this time for her childhood friend, Olivia Blocken, for whom her brother, Mark, an assistant professor at Martin, still carries a torch. After Olivia left Stripling for college elsewhere, Mark suffered a breakdown and buried himself in mathematics. Not wanting to upset Mark, India doesn’t tell him she’s a bridesmaid in his lost love’s wedding. When someone pushes Olivia to her death in the college fountain and Mark becomes the most likely murder suspect, India turns amateur sleuth in an effort to prove her brother’s innocence. Warring cats and distinctive characters, like India’s “everything Irish” landlady and her bizarre ’60s activist parents, will appeal to cozy fans. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Some tales of murdered brides are pretty grim. Not this one. Martin College librarian India Hayes is surprised when her childhood friend Olivia Blocken asks her to be a bridesmaid. She's even more surprised at the horrifying bridesmaid's dress her old friend has picked out. The pair's friendship has been cool ever since Olivia dumped India's math-whiz brother Mark in high school, but India feels a sense of duty to Olivia despite that dress. She also knows that, as a bridesmaid, she has a way to keep Mark away from the wedding-an important office, as he's never really gotten over his feelings for Olivia. When Olivia is murdered days before her nuptials, Mark is the obvious suspect-obvious to everyone except India, who's certain that her brother would never hurt a fly. As the Blocken family pushes hard for Mark's arrest, India turns amateur sleuth in pursuit of evidence that will convince Detective Rich Mains of her brother's innocence. Added to this are the complexities India has to deal with in her family: her liberal parents, throwbacks from the '60s who want to stage a demonstration; her pregnant sister Carmen, who's a bundle of combustible hormones; and Mark, who may be his own worst enemy. The first bud in a new series that fans of Donna Andrews's lighthearted Meg Langslow mysteries will be eager to see bloom.
. - Gillian Roberts
"Author Amanda Flower juggles it all with style and charm, making this a most welcome debut."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594148644
Publisher:
Cengage Gale
Publication date:
06/16/2010
Series:
India Hayes Series, #1
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan. www.amandaflower.com

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Maid of Murder 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Erin_N More than 1 year ago
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?"
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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. Harriet Klausner