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Maggie Miller’s attempt to run from her troubles leads her to Table Rock, Arizona, her own beignet café . . . and disaster.
Welcome to Table Rock, Arizona, the place where folks who aren’t too keen on the ‘mainstream’ move to. Maggie Miller has come here to forget about her dead husband. OK, so he isn’t really dead. That’s just what she tells everybody. Recently divorced, Maggie flees Phoenix and the sight of her husband and his new wife and moves to Table Rock to be closer to her own family. She’s also planning on opening her own beignet and coffee business, Maggie’s Beignet Café.
But that dead guy in her storeroom might just put a kink in her plans. Unless she can figure out who killed him, and why, she might never open for business . . .
About the Author
J.R. Ripley is the author of the Tony Kozol mystery series and other novels. He has penned novels in various categories including literary, popular fiction, mystery and crime novels, YA and children's books. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel.
Read an Excerpt
‘She’s in shock.’ The blonde’s blue eyes flashed warning signals.
‘She’s a witness to a murder. Heck, she might be a murderer,’ he said, lowering his face to mine and searching my eyes as if a written confession might be rolled up in my cornea somewhere.
‘I didn’t kill anybody. I found him like that. Then I called Information.’
‘You called Information?’ The medic looked confused. I guess it was because she was a blonde.
‘Not on purpose. I got confused. Then I called you guys.’ I waved at Highsmith and the million-odd other men and women sucking all the air out of my storeroom. ‘The cops.’
‘Do you want to explain about this Clive person I found on the ground when I got here? What’s Clive’s relationship to you? How did he get hurt? Was there a struggle?’
I swallowed a couple of mouthfuls of air. I figured I’d better get a couple in before all these people used it all up. ‘In the first place, Clive was not on the ground. He was leaning carefully, neatly, against the counter.’ I was getting a bit hot under the collar from all this negativity. The infrared light that was supposed to be used to keep beignets warm but I was using for a work light at the back counter could also have been part of the problem. I was mad, though. And tired. And just a wee bit queasy.
Dead guy, remember?
‘In the second place, there was no struggle. Unless you want to count the struggle I had lugging Clive’s unconscious butt out of the storeroom.’ I glared at Highsmith. ‘After he fainted.’
The medic unwound the blood pressure cuff. ‘A little high,’ she said brightly. ‘But considering the circumstances,’ she glanced at the crime scene behind us, ‘not unexpected.’
‘What’s your name?’ she asked.
‘Maggie,’ I replied. ‘Maggie Miller.’
The medic turned to Detective Highsmith. ‘Miss Miller here has had quite a shock. She needs to be evaluated more fully. Shock can be dangerous if not treated.’
‘Dangerous?’ I squeaked. What was the worst that could happen?
She nodded sagely. ‘Hypoxemia, cardiac arrest, diaphoresis, poor end-organ perfusion.’ She paused, then added, ‘Confusion.’
Confusion was right. I didn’t know what most of that gibberish was she’d just spouted but fear of them was only serving to make my shock, well, more shocking.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the first book in the Maggie Miller Mysteries series and it is not what I was expecting at all. This is a cozy mystery, but it is funny, the characters are rather quirky and eccentric and the town is somewhat strange. Table Rock, Arizona, is where people move to get out of the "Mainstream". They are into aliens, yoga, healthy and organic foods or just plain hiding out. Maggie Miller has moved here to start a new life where her sister and mother live. She is trying to forget about her ex-husband who she tells everyone is dead. He recently remarried and she wanted to get out of Phoenix. She had always wanted to open a cafe serving beignets after her honeymoon in New Orleans, so this is her chance to open Maggie’s Beignet Café. Unfortunately circumstances delay her opening. The day before she is to open, she finds a dead man in a furniture box in her storeroom. Turns out he was killed by being bashed in the head with her marble rolling pin. Guess who is the number one suspect? Maggie decides she needs to investigate or she might end up being arrested and lose her dream business. There are so many suspects it is hard to narrow it down. It turns out that there are a lot of people who were upset with the murdered man and Maggie gets them all stirred up. Of course as in most cozy mysteries, the amateur sleuth puts themselves in danger and this book is no exception. Is someone trying to sabotage her dream? But who and why? Everyone in Table Rock is not who or what they appear to be. Will Maggie find out before her dream becomes a reality? As I said earlier, the characters are a little quirky. Maggie is clumsy and somewhat scatterbrained. She goes from one theory to another. She is likeable though as she is determined, funny and loyal to her friends. The owners of the bridal store are a hoot. There is the hairstylist whose haircuts are awful, the woman who owns the thrift store that can fix anything, the detective with the M&M brown eyes who is infatuated with the prosecutor VV and the doctor who it appears Maggie may be heading into a relationship with. I am looking forward to reading more about the group. If you like cozies with some humour and strange but endearing characters, then pick this one up. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.