Address to Die For

Address to Die For

by Mary Feliz

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Overview

Address to Die For by Mary Feliz

For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .

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 . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601836649
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 07/19/2016
Series: Maggie McDonald Series , #1
Pages: 252
Sales rank: 300,244
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Address to Die For

A Maggie McDonald Mystery


By Mary Feliz

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Mary Feliz
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60183-664-9


CHAPTER 1

When moving or traveling, pack last the things you'll need first.

From the Notebook of Maggie McDonald Simplicity Itself Organizing Services


Thursday, August 28, Morning


"Awesome! I bet it has bats!" My fourteen-year-old son, David, exploded from the car and mounted the steps of the old house three at a time. He peered through the grubby porch windows.

"Is it haunted?" Brian, my twelve-year-old, leaned into my side as we stood in the front yard. I eyed the dust motes cavorting in a light beam that had escaped the shrubs and overgrown trees surrounding the 100-year-old California Craftsman house. I put a reassuring hand on Brian's curly mop of hair. "I doubt it, honey." I hoped it was true.

I swallowed hard and watched my husband, Max, ease his long legs out of his Prius. Like my minivan, Max's car was overloaded. We'd packed both cars with everything too fragile to transport in the moving van. In among the breakables, our two kids, one golden retriever and two cats, we'd tucked picnic food, cleaning supplies, and sleeping bags.

Today was Thursday. The plan was simple. The movers would arrive tomorrow. Since Monday was Labor Day we'd have four days to get settled. The kids would start school on Tuesday, and Max would begin his first full day at the new job the same day. I was giving myself a month to focus solely on house and family. After that, I was determined to restart my career as a professional organizer.

Two minutes into the plan, it was unraveling.

"Max, didn't Aunt Kay's lawyer say the house was in turn-key condition? Is this the same house we looked at in February?" I stared at the weedy front yard, dusty porch, and drooping gutters. I wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into and what had happened to the spotless house and garden I'd last seen five months earlier.

Max's feet crunched dead leaves that covered ruts in the gravel drive. Belle, our two-year-old golden retriever, bounded to him.

"Hmm." Max tilted his head and squinted at the house. "His exact words were 'shines like a showpiece.'" He scratched his head. "A handyman was supposed to be coming a couple of times a week to fix things. The house looked perfect when I saw it in April."

Max picked up a dead branch from the walkway and swiped at a weedy flowerbed, beheading some wild carrots. "Needs a little work, doesn't it?" He took my hand and squeezed it gently.

"A little work? I'm not sure it's safe." I looked at the house again in professional terms, calculating how big a team I'd need to whip it into shape. At first glance, I could tell it wouldn't be easy. A film of silt covered everything, but that was normal for a dry August day in Northern California — nothing a hose, broom, and some window cleaner couldn't fix. But I counted three broken windows.

David poked his battered sneaker at a gaping hole in the floor of the porch — a hole that begged to break the leg of an absentminded new homeowner. I wanted to gather the kids, jump in the car, and hightail it back to our plain vanilla split-level in California's Central Valley. I was scared. Afraid of spiders, bats, and the huge to-do list this ancient house presented. I was even more terrified that Max and I had made a terrible decision and were in way over our heads.

Max put his hand on my shoulder — his calming gesture. "Maybe it's better on the inside and the problems are superficial. It was fine a few months ago. How bad could it have gotten? Let's wait, take a breath, and check things out before we panic."

That was Max. Always confident that things would work out. My approach was the opposite of his. I tried to anticipate problems and organize my way out of them.

I took a deep breath and pulled my shoulder-length hair into a ponytail. I should have checked the house out more recently myself. We'd peeked in the windows in February before we had the keys, and Max had done a walk-through in April. Both times, the house looked fine. After that, wrapping up Max's work, my business, and everything else had consumed every spare minute. Pressed for time, we assumed our earlier examinations of the property would suffice. It looked as if we'd been wrong, but there was nothing we could do about it now.

Today, my job was to move my family into this house and get started on our new life in Orchard View, a small town in the hills above Silicon Valley. Efficient organization is my passion and my profession, and I was eager to get started.

I clutched my binder filled with the phone numbers I'd need to set up the phone, Internet, cable, electricity, and gas. It held the kids' birth certificates and school records and my growing list of the things we needed to accomplish in the next few days. It was my security blanket.

"Honey, wait," I called to David, who tugged at the windows and searched for a way in. "Dad's got the key. Let's go in together."

Max patted the pockets of his rumpled jeans like a caricature of the absentminded professor he'd been until a few weeks ago. He held up the key, tied to a grubby cardboard tag with gray twine. The steps creaked as he joined David on the porch. Sidestepping the hole in the floorboards with a dance move worthy of Fred Astaire, he brandished the key and flung open the door, bowing low and waving his arm to invite us in. This house — Max's great-aunt Kay's home — featured large in stories from his childhood. He'd grown up here and loved every inch of the house, the grounds, and the surrounding countryside.

I squeezed past Max and peered up at the oak-beamed ceiling and the fireplace that dominated one end of the expansive front room. I hoped the skittering noises I heard were dry leaves and not mice. From Max's stories and from our earlier sneak peeks, I'd imagined the house with polished wood paneling and comfortable, welcoming rooms that were free of rodents and insects. I shivered. I hate spiders. One encounter with a web makes my face itch for a week — or a couple of minutes, at least.

I crossed my arms, gripping my elbows with my palms. This was the first room we'd seen. What lurked beyond? If the visible parts of the house were this neglected, what did that say about the parts we couldn't see, like the electricity and the plumbing? I needed a house inspector. I needed to find a hardware store. I needed my head examined.

"Max ... honey? Didn't the title company require an inspection?"

"The lawyer said he'd be out of the office the rest of the week, but I'll call him. We'll straighten this out."

I took a deep breath to center myself and stall my runaway thoughts. We had to make this work. There was no going back. Max had left his job at the university in Stockton to take an upper-level management position in software engineering at Influx in Santa Clara. He'd worked part-time from home since wrapping up his teaching responsibilities in May.

This move was a dream Max and I had shared for ages: Getting away from Stockton. Leaving the university community where I'd lived all my life and Max had lived since his freshman year in college. Where my parents were part of the fabric of the university and everyone knew me and still thought of me as a child. Max wanted proof that his knowledge base wasn't ivory-tower nonsense and was valuable in the global technology marketplace.

Max grew up in Orchard View, a small town straddling the freeway between San Jose and San Francisco. He'd always wanted to go back. For years, his only relative had been his reclusive great aunt Kay. She'd died in her sleep just shy of her 100th birthday in February, and left the house and the rest of her estate to Max. At Silicon Valley property rates, the house, barn, and two acres of land backing up to an open space preserve were worth more than fifteen million dollars. Without Aunt Kay's generous savings we wouldn't have been able to afford the taxes, let alone the house.

As soon as Aunt Kay's house was officially ours, we'd put our Stockton house on the market. Max resigned his job at the university and I stopped taking on new clients. Once launched, the plan took on a life of its own. Our belongings were sardined into a moving van that would groan up the hill tomorrow.

I rubbed what I hoped was an imaginary spiderweb from my nose, turned to Max, and gave him the best smile I could muster.

"Are you going to introduce us to your dream house?" I said. The only time I'd been inside for any length of time had been years ago, before we were married. I'd been preoccupied with wedding plans and meeting Aunt Kay and barely spared the house a glance. After that, knowing how busy we were with kids and work, Aunt Kay had come to visit us. Before we knew it, years had passed and she'd moved to assisted living. A Stanford professor had rented for a while, but the house had stood empty for several years since then.

"I know this isn't what we expected, Maggie," Max said. "But it's got good bones."

"Even good bones get broken," I muttered under my breath. I tried to drum up something more positive to say to Max. Tried and failed. I sneezed. The house was stuffy, dusty, and smelled as though a squirrel, rat, or bird had died somewhere. I crossed the room, unlocked a window, and struggled to push up the sash. Max helped open the rest of the many windows and a pleasant breeze wafted into the room. Chalk one up for old houses. In the absence of air-conditioning they relied on thick walls, graceful porches, and cross-ventilation that worked whether we had electricity or not.

"Mom, Mom, Mom," called Brian, rubbing at the tiles on the fireplace, his hands and face covered in greasy soot. "There are knights!" Nearly a teenager, he was still 85 percent small boy.

"Nights?"

"Knights! With lances! On horses! Fighting!"

Max dashed across the room, knelt next to Brian, and rubbed at the copper tiles himself. Sure enough, armored knights on horseback charged full-tilt across the top of the fireplace.

"I'd forgotten about these guys," Max said. "Aren't they great? In the firelight, it can look like they're moving."

Brian beamed at Max and Max grinned back. I knew that if there were knights on the fireplace, the house undoubtedly had other hidden treasures, and I'd need a lance and armor of my own to get anyone out of here tonight.

Belle barked in the back of the house. Her insistent, needing-to-go-out bark. I remembered the cats in their carriers in the car had similar needs.

"Brian, can you find a room upstairs where we can get the cats settled?" Brian leapt up from the floor and wiped his hands on his jeans, smearing black handprints the length of his thighs. With feet huge like a growing puppy's, he clomped up the stairs to join his older brother. David, running from room to room over our heads, sounded as though he'd invited a herd of elephants to help him explore.

"This is going to be my room," David called down the stairs. "It's got its own fireplace. How much you wanna bet it's got bats?"

I looked at Max, still gazing at the knights. I could tell that he wanted to show me the world that encompassed his childhood dreams, but we had a ton of work to do.

"Max, can you check on the electricity? And see if we've got hot water or any water at all? I need to let Belle out and I want to clean at least one room to sleep in."

"Yes, m'lady," said Max, still inhabiting the world of Camelot. "I'll see if I can round up the knights-errant and arm them with brooms, mops, and paper towels."

"I brought some of that stuff in the car," I said. "I think it's close to the top layer. Don't bring anything else inside until we've got a clean place to put it down."

Finding my way through the gloom to the back of the house, I opened windows as I went. I felt overwhelmed. Fixing up this house would be the largest project I'd ever undertaken, and the condition of the house had shaken my confidence in my ability to get it all done. My Stockton organizing business had been busy, but my projects were small — bringing order to the offices of absentminded professors. They were nothing like this house with its dignified historical significance and rapidly expanding list of renovations.

The dining room had nice windows, a built-in sideboard and china cabinets, and a long oval table surrounded by a dozen chairs. To my right was a swinging door that I expected led to the kitchen. I pushed the door, which opened halfway and stopped. My forehead wrinkled and my mind scurried in wild directions as I imagined what I might find on the other side of the door.

Get a grip, Maggie! You've watched too many episodes of Masterpiece Mystery. I peered around the door, relieved to find an innocent pile of old newspapers. I'd heard they were good for cleaning windows, so we were set if we ran out of paper towels. I was working hard to stay positive. As soon as I'd scooted the newspapers out of the way, the door swung open into a narrow pantry connecting the dining room to the kitchen. Each wall was lined with cupboards and a long counter. I'd dreamed of having a room like this for projects and homework and storage. No one designed houses like this anymore.

The kitchen was well lit with windows over the sink and across the south wall, opening the room up to the vista of a sloping lawn, an old red barn, a creek, and golden rolling hills. The gnarled trunks of coastal oaks dotted the hillside. The view was drop-dead gorgeous. Soothing. A red-tailed hawk soared and glided on thermals. A breeze started at the house and moved downhill across the grass, rippling it like someone shaking out a silken roll of fabric. No wonder Max loved this place.

Belle barked sharply. I unlocked the back door and pulled at the knob. The door didn't budge. I braced my feet and pulled, praying that the knob wouldn't come off in my hand and send me sailing across the room. The door screeched open as a jagged piece of flashing caught on the metal threshold. I added Get back door to fit to my growing mental list. But I pushed the list away for a moment and stood on the covered back porch, imagining bringing my coffee out here in the mornings and sitting with a blanket on a rocking chair while watching Belle explore. I had no rocking chair, blanket, coffee, or even a mug, but I enjoyed my delusional moment.

Belle raced through the tall grass, invisible except for her tail. I turned and went back into the house, enjoying the sound the wooden screen door made as it banged against its frame. It was an old-fashioned sound, straight out of The Waltons.

I pushed an early twentieth-century two-button switch on the wall and waited. Nothing. I pushed it twice more, whispering: "Please." It was a hope, prayer, or incantation, but I wasn't sure which.

"Max ... honey? Any luck with the electricity?" I tried not to panic. The electricity was probably fine. This light was the first I'd tried to switch on. It might have a burned-out bulb or be linked to a fuse that had blown.

I'd grown up as the daughter of professors in a house near the university campus. If we wanted electricity and didn't have it, we called maintenance. I knew how to change a lightbulb, but my electrical expertise dwindled to nothing after that.

Plumbing wasn't my strong suit, either. I turned the cold-water knob over the white farmhouse sink. Nothing. My shoulders drooped. I stepped away, rubbed the small of my back, and jumped as the faucet jerked with a bang. Swampy gurgles that sounded as though the house had severe intestinal issues erupted from the tap, and dark-brown water poured into the sink. Just when I was starting to think there was something about the innards of old houses that I didn't want to know, Max stuck his head through the pantry doorway. He carried a ladder and a bucket filled with lightbulbs.

"Oh, good," he said. "Leave the water running for a few moments until it clears. It's a bit rusty, but the plumbing seems solid. I'm taking the ladder up to David. He's going to check for burned-out bulbs and replace them."

"Good work. What's Brian up to?"

"He's getting the cats and their litter box organized."

I followed Max up the stairs and was delighted to find a built-in window seat and cupboard on the landing. Above the seat, the top of the windows held stained glass. Late-morning sun shining through the glass wisteria vines spilled lavender and green splotches of light on the stairs. The house was doing its best to charm each one of us.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Address to Die For by Mary Feliz. Copyright © 2016 Mary Feliz. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Address to Die For 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each chapter have a organization tips which are enjoyable. Often the case is over shadowed by the organization, but this is not some information this book. I will be buying the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book, the people, and the mystery. Can't wait for the next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, made me want to keep reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, clean clever read. I had everyone but the real murderer identified. Liked!
PammieJo-CozyQueen More than 1 year ago
Mary McDonald, a professional organizer, along with her husband Max, two sons, two cats and a dog have just arrived at the one hundred year old house that Max has recently inherited from his aunt Kay. Supposedly in move-in condition, the house when they arrive is anything but. Max, having grown up living in the house with his Aunt, had previously regaled the family about how wonderful it was to grow up in Orchard View , CA. Since they've left their old house & jobs behind, all they can do is try to make the best of it until they can find the caretaker to see what's going on. It doesn't take long to find the caretaker, however, but he's very dead. I found this to be a good, strong beginning to a new series. Although we don't learn much about her husband, Max, since he has to go out of the country for work shortly into the story, their sons David and Brian and especially Maggie are very fully developed. The secondary characters, including law enforcement, a neighbor, fellow parents and who will ultimately become Maggie's best friend, Tess, are as well. As a result, although there are quite a few secondary characters who I'm sure will pop up in the subsequent books, I will have no trouble remembering them or the roles they played in this one. The mystery aspect itself was well plotted and I enjoyed getting to know the people of Orchard View while wondering who was guilty of not only the deaths but the numerous calamities befalling the family. At times, however, I felt that some of the vandalism and scare tactics the family endures were a bit much for a cozy. There are of course several red herrings and some odd behavior on the part of more than one resident, so when at one point when it appeared to be pointing to the all too easy culprit, before I could even sigh in disappointment, they turned out not to be guilty after all. Well done. I look forward to the next book in the series, Scheduled to Death. As luck would have it, I only have until Jan 2017 to see what happens next. **Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts & comments included in this review are entirely my own.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Maggie and Max McDonald are moving the family to Silicon Valley. Max inherited a hundred year old house from his great aunt. They know that it's difficult to pack up and move to a new location. They didn't expect to arrive and find a body in their basement. Could things get worse for the McDonalds? In truth it can and does. Their house is being vandalized which leaves everyone on edge. Now Max has to go to Bangalore. His new employer needs him there ASAP. Maggie knows it will be difficult with her husband gone, but she and the boys can do it. I liked Maggie. She's level headed and determined to get through this. I wished that I had her skills with list making. She knows how to prioritize and how to get the job done. Unfortunately her inquisitive nature gets her in trouble, but she does get results. I liked Max and the boys. They are a loving family. I hated seeing them harassed, but I was glad that Stephen and Munchkin were at the house for protection. Orchard View and the Craftsman house provide the perfect setting for murder and mayhem. The people living here are all suspects which makes finding the murderer difficult. I didn't know until the very end who the perpetrator was. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. Mary Feliz has a wonderful writing style. I loved her characters, the setting and the dialogue. Her organizational tips at the start of each chapter are practical and helpful. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
Crazy4Cozy More than 1 year ago
A unique and entertaining first in a new series! This book stood out for a number of reasons. The main one being the story is very believable. There were moments where I felt like part of the family and wanted to protect the boys like they were my own. The author writes in a style that is very straight forward without overusing descriptions just to fill pages. The characters are unique and there are things that make each one special and different from your average cozy. The location is prime for a cozy and located in Silicon Valley which allows the author to include interesting tech references. The mystery element tugs at the heartstrings and wasn't solved by me until it plays out in the end. The teenage boys play a significant role in the story which I loved, and there are a bunch of different pets in the town. Action takes place all throughout the story and gives clues to help solve the mystery. I highly recommend this new series. The author did a perfect job of setting up many more adventures to come. I can't wait to find out how they settle in to their new life.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
Professional organizer Maggie McDonald and her family move to Orchard View, California for a safer and slower paced life, which turns out to be anything but. Their house has been vandalized, the moving van delayed and worst of all, there is a dead body in the basement -- certainly not the organized life Maggie was counting on. The vandalism continues, there are problems at the boys' new schools, and Maggie is determined, in an organized way, to find out who is trying to scare them into leaving town -- but who can she trust? The police want her to leave the investigation to them, but Maggie is determined to protect her home and family. I really liked this book, and the characters were all engaging and most felt like friends from the beginning, and I liked Maggie's family very much. Every chapter starts with an organizational tip, and I got a lot of insight into the professional organizing business just from reading them. This book is truly enjoyable, and I highly recommend it. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
291713 More than 1 year ago
Address to Die for is an enjoyable first book in the Maggie Macdonald Mystery series. The author made it easy to become engaged in the life of the main character, the historical house and the mysteries that unfold throughout the book. Character development was uniquely entwined in Maggie's investigation almost as if we were learning about the town and residents along with her. As we learned about the residents, the plot continued to take twists and turns with the culprit unable to be predicted, instead unraveled in the last few chapters. The organizing tips were an added bonus! Anticipation builds to learn more about Maggie, her next mystery and the entire town in the next book!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Address to Die For by Mary Feliz is the first book in A Maggie McDonald Mystery series. Maggie McDonald and her family have picked up moved from Stockton to Orchard View, California (near Silicon Valley). Max (Maggie’s hubby) inherited a beautiful old home from his Aunt Kay (a hundred year old California Craftsman). Max has fond memories of the house, barn, and property and is looking forward to moving in. Maggie is a professional organizer and believes she has everything in hand. Things do not go quite as planned (of course). Max goes down the basement to check on the electrical panel (the lights are not working) and stumbles over a pile (he thought it was laundry at first) at the bottom of the stairs. It turns out to be the dead body of the house’s caretaker, Javier Hernandez (which explains the dilapidated condition of the house). The police investigate and discover that the electrical panel was rigged to cause a fire when the family started using the electricity. To top it off their moving truck has encountered problems and has been delayed. Thankfully, they can stay in the barn (while the police process the house) since it has electricity and full bathroom. Then Max gets a call from his new boss and finds out that he has to leave for India (for a few weeks) on Monday (it is Labor Day weekend). When it rains it pours. Can the things get any worse? The family takes a walk with their dog, Belle and upon their return the mailbox explodes (not from a bomb). It turns out that Javier reported several incidents of vandalism since Aunt Kay passed away. What is going on and why is there house being targeted? Maggie is inquisitive and cannot help poking around (and asking questions). School opens for the year and incidents start happening at the middle school (nasty ones). Maggie has to run a permission slip over to the school one evening and finds the office door unlocked. She enters and finds the principal, Miss Harrier dead in her office. Miss Harrier was not well-liked which makes for a long suspect list (one way for Maggie to meet the townspeople). All of these incidents are not giving the McDonald family a good feeling about Orchard View. Why was Miss Harrier killed? Is the killer also behind the malicious mischief at the school and the McDonald House? Maggie wants to help the investigation, but will her inquisitiveness put her in the path of a killer. Address to Die For was a good first book. The town is unusual (the schools do not have buses) with quirky characters, the new home sounds gorgeous (just needs a facelift), and I liked the main characters/family (McDonald family). The mysteries are easily solved if you pay careful attention to the clues provided. The first half of the book is slow paced because of all the details (the family, town, house, etc.) which bog it down a little. The pace does pick up in the second half of the book. I found some of the vandalism offensive because it involved animals (I really wish the author had not included it), but that is just me. Address to Die For is easy to read and is nicely written. I give Address to Die For 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I will definitely be reading the next book in A Maggie McDonald Mystery series which is Scheduled to Death. I received a complimentary copy of Address to Die For from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. The comments and opinions expressed above are strictly my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cozy mystery, young family inherits house with dead body in basement. Decent character development.
tikinan More than 1 year ago
There is not a dull moment in this book! The pace is great, I liked the characters and the setting, and zipped through this story. I'll be reading more in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Maggie, Max, and the boys relocated, they had no idea what surprises awaited them: murder, vandalism, arson, and small town secrets. Once the crimes were solved, the family started to enjoy their new friends and adjust to life in Orchard View. Good read for middleschool and up.
CasualUnclutterer More than 1 year ago
Address to Die For is the first in a series of Professional-Organizer-as-amateur-sleuth novels. My favorite genre is mysteries. My wildly quirky taste lets me enjoy everything from Rex Stout to Ngaio Marsh to Dorothy Sayers to Leslie Charteris to Mary Wings to Ellis Peters. This book was a little long – I’m not giving away anything to claim that the editors could have cut out an incident or two without causing even the slightest harm to the plot or character development. OK, I’ve just started with something negative to pretend to be objective and unbiased. I LOVED THIS BOOK. If our heroine, Maggie McDonald, hadn’t been a Professional Organizer, I would still have LOVED this book. Ms. Feliz does a great job of illustrating a full cast of nicely-rounded-out characters, in a first-person voice, which isn’t easy. I didn’t figure out the whodunit in the first chapter, which is often easy. And Ms. Feliz likes animals! And she’s got gay main characters. And for me personally, the fact that it’s set in Silicon Valley territory (which I didn’t know until I started turning the pages) is just whip cream and hot fudge sauce on the ice cream – I spent a wonderful year in that area a LOOOONG time ago. Ms. Feliz even did us “real” Organizers the tremendous courtesy of joining NAPO to get the details right. I wanna get this lady onto the NY Times Best Sellers List. Lauren Williams, Owner, Casual Uncluttering LLC
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
Maggie MacDonald appears to be a solid,complex cozy sleuth worth following. I liked that in An Address to Die For by Mary Feliz, the situations that presented themselves are very believable. A house that has continual mishaps, a school with a "sergeant" for a leader, a dad whose job takes him away from the family. All these are very plausible and lend credence to the storyline. I liked that the mystery was just that, tangled, not easily solved. I will be checking out more of this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and GoodReads GiveAway. My review is freely given and all opinions are solely my own.
Vicki_Goodwin More than 1 year ago
Meeting Maggie McDonald was a treat. She is a professional organizer and she offers tips at the beginning of each chapter. She is also the finder of bodies in the new town that she and her husband and two sons have relocated. They have become the owners of Max's Aunt's home and what they thought they were going to find was not exactly what they found. With vandals, break-ins, and a murder, Maggie McDonald begins to solve what looks to be a crime wave in her own new home. Great start for a series and I love the writing style of Mary Feliz.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Address to Die For - Maggie McDonald Book 1 Author: Mary Feliz Published: 10-19-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 252 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery; Amateure Sleuths ISBN: 13-978-1623156671 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4.5 Stars I was given a copy of Address to Die For by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Maggie and Max McDonald pull up stakes and move their family Orchard View. A picturesque town near the Silicon Valley. When they arrive Maggie can not believe the sight that meets their eyes, broken windows, unsafe wood on the porch, an over-grown yard and dust and grime every where. Where is the beautiful home that Max inherited that was in such great condition. Where was the caretaker that was suppose to do the minor repair and keep the yard in shape. Upon inspecting the inside they do find the caretaker, dead at he bottom of the basement stairs. Add in hostile neighbors, a principle with a superior attitude and vandals they seem to have targeted the McDonald's home and Maggie is stretched to the limit. Even her golden retriever Belle and her trusty to do list and notebook aren't keeping this organizer on track. Can she and her new friends get to the bottom of the mysterious events before someone else turns up dead. A fast moving story filled with believable characters. You are quickly drawn into the story and will not want to put this book down. A great start to a new series. My rating is 4.5out of 5 stars.
ethel96 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed very much
KatrinaWiese More than 1 year ago
This is Mary Feliz's debut novel and a whammy of one at that! I foresee this series being popular and longstanding! This book intrigued me and pulled me in right from the start with amazingly written characters and kept me reading long into the night to finish it in one setting because I was that drawn in to the story! The mystery had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing right up the end, even though I had a few inklings of the way it may play out. But the real star of this book was the characters. I adored so many of them and they were each written with such care and love that they really jumped from the page. I can't wait to dive back into two Maggie's world in the next book scheduled for 2017! I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.
momelaine More than 1 year ago
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. This is a very good start to a new series. Maggie and her family are moving into a new town and a new to them house, although her husband has been here before because it is a home from his past. It was a beautiful home when they first looked at it and has some very good qualities. But the body in the basement when they arrive is not good. Things do not go well as they try to get settled in before school starts. I pretty much liked the whole story but there were some unsettling things with the vandalism stuff. But most of the characters are quite likeable and I really did not know who the killer was until the end. There were some red herrings to throw me off. I think this is a very good start to a new series!
Nate_Stolldorf1 More than 1 year ago
What a great new series! Maggie McDonald and her husband Max, sons David and Brian with their pets move from Stockton California to Silicon Valley. Max has inherited his aunts house which has been promised to be "turn key" it is anything but. Upon arriving they find the house in disrepair and to top it off a dead body in the basement! I fell in love with Maggie and her boys! I enjoyed reading a story about a mother and her kids. I also was obsessed with the character of Tess. Definitely a series I am excited to continue! I received a copy of this delightful mystery from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!
Nate_Stolldorf1 More than 1 year ago
What a great new series! Maggie McDonald and her husband Max, sons David and Brian with their pets move from Stockton California to Silicon Valley. Max has inherited his aunts house which has been promised to be "turn key" it is anything but. Upon arriving they find the house in disrepair and to top it off a dead body in the basement! I fell in love with Maggie and her boys! I enjoyed reading a story about a mother and her kids. I also was obsessed with the character of Tess. Definitely a series I am excited to continue! I received a copy of this delightful mystery from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!
LBD88 More than 1 year ago
In this first in a new series, Maggie McDonald, her husband and two sons are upending their lives to move to a new home in a new city they inherited from a relative. As with any move, there are snafus. In Maggie’s case, it just so happens that one of those snafus is a dead body. I cannot say enough how much I loved this book. There is just enough background to get to know and like Maggie before the first body appears. I felt vested in her family, and cared about them. This made it easier to understand why she did not leave the investigation to the police, and the reason makes sense. The plot was fast-paced enough to keep my interest during the entire book. The characters were very well-written. I find myself wanting to live in Orchard View, CA, and be friends with Maggie. I cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out. I hope Maggie and I will be friends for a long time.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This it the first in a new series (Maggie McDonald Mysteries) by Mary Feliz. The McDonald family has moved from Stockton California to small town Ocean View in Silicon Valley. Max, Maggie's husband, has left his University career behind to work for a tech company. He recently inherited his Great-Aunt Kay’s home and barn on a sprawling piece of property. It all sounds idyllic, but it does not turn out that way. When the family finally get to the new house, they see that the beautiful home they saw months before has fallen into extreme disrepair. Not only that, but they find the caaretaker of the house dead at the bottom of the basement stairs. Things go from bad to worse, when Max is sent to Bangalore, India immediately. When the moving van is delayed, Maggie and her two sons, Brian and David end up living in the barn. Maggie, being a stubborn person who will not give in easily, does not pack it in. She puts up with all kinds of vandalism, another dead body and risks to herself and her family while trying to investigate. The positive is that she gets to know the local police department very well along with several of the movers and shakers in the town. The supporting characters are all very fascinating and along with Max, I certainly hope we will get to know them all in future books. Address to Die For is an extremely well written story. The plot, the character development and the mystery all come together in an extremely appealing way that grabbed me from the first page. I wanted to know who the culprit was and what the motivation could possibly be. It kept me guessing until the end. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers or those who enjoy a well crafted mystery. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Dmaxtownsend More than 1 year ago
New home, new town, new schools, new jobs, new friends, and oh yes, a body in the basement. Such is the first day for Maggie McDonald and family as they try to settle into their new lives in husband Max’s home town. This first in the new Maggie McDonald Mystery series is engaging with a complex mystery readers will love. Feliz has created a comfortable northern California setting with a cast of characters who both are and are not what they seem. Maggie tries to determine who is threatening her family and home with vandalism and arson and potential harm, and in doing so, she meets the movers and shakers of this supposed quiet community. I like a strong female lead and Maggie is surely that. Finding a body while on the verge of a fresh start with high hopes for their new lives would have sent anyone running. But they camp out in the barn, get the kids into school and meet the neighbors (and police) as they look for their new normal. Some interesting characters in the mix: Stephen, a war veteran who seems to be overly helpful, Tess, a new friend, possibly, and the nasty neighbor, Dennis. A crew I plan to get to know better in the upcoming books! Trained as we mystery readers are to suspect everyone, I was on the wrong trail from the start. And am still unsure of whether I can trust my own suspect yet. But the author plays fair with us all along. Address to Die For is a solid mystery with rich characters. It is a cozy, but far from formulaic. I am so looking forward to seeing more of Maggie McDonald and company! I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.