Maggie Dove: A Mystery

Maggie Dove: A Mystery

by Susan Breen

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Overview

Maggie Dove: A Mystery by Susan Breen

Susan Breen introduces a charming new series heroine in this poignant and absorbing cozy mystery with a bite. Maggie Dove thinks everyone in her small Westchester County community knows everyone else’s secrets. Then murder comes to town.
 
When Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove finds her hateful next-door neighbor Marcus Bender lying dead under her beloved oak tree—the one he demanded she cut down—she figures the man dropped dead of a mean heart. But Marcus was murdered, and the prime suspect is a young man Maggie loves like a son. Peter Nelson was the worst of Maggie’s Sunday School students; he was also her late daughter’s fiancé, and he’s been a devoted friend to Maggie in the years since her daughter’s death.
 
Maggie can’t lose Peter, too. So she sets out to find the real murderer. To do that, she must move past the grief that has immobilized her all these years. She must probe the hidden corners of her little village on the Hudson River. And, when another death strikes even closer to home, Maggie must find the courage to defend the people and the town she loves—even if it kills her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399594892
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Series: Maggie Dove , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 236
Sales rank: 143,202
File size: 966 KB

About the Author

Susan Breen is the author of The Fiction Class, her debut novel that won the Washington Irving Book Award. Her stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, among them The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Compose, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. She teaches at Gotham Writers in Manhattan; is on the faculty of the New York Pitch Conference, South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the Women’s National Book Association; and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime. Breen lives in a small village on the Hudson River with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Her three children are flourishing elsewhere.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Maggie Dove wanted to be a beacon of light. She dreamed of being the sort of person who made others laugh, calmed crying babies, soothed wild dogs, inspired hopefulness. She wanted her life to be about something grand, yet every blessed thing that happened seemed designed to bring out all that was petty, cranky and small in her middle-aged self.

Take her neighbor, Marcus Bender. Maggie knew, intellectually, that he wasn’t an incarnation of Satan. He was just an annoying man. He was the sort of man who blew all his leaves onto her lawn each fall. He drove too fast down her quiet street, and once, when she had to jump out of the way of his car, she saw him laugh. He put a soccer net right up against her property so that every time his kids missed a goal, the ball went flying into her rosebushes. All of this, Maggie recognized, was insignificant. Petty. She tried to ignore it. She wanted to ignore it, and she might have succeeded had Bender not gone after her oak tree.

Maggie loved that oak tree. Her father planted it when she was a girl. She’d climbed on it. Her daughter had swung on its branches. She put ghosts on it for Halloween and lights on it for Christmas. Maggie loved the graceful shrug of its branches; she loved watching its little flowers unfold into leaves. She loved the little pods that floated over her lawn in the fall. Mostly she loved the way the tree linked her to her past and future. She would come and go, her daughter had come and gone, but the tree was as close to eternal as she was likely to see anytime soon.

Bender wanted her to move the tree. That was the sort of man he was. He thought you should move trees. It blocked his view of the Hudson River. He’d gone to considerable expense to remodel his house, which was the old Levy house, home of Maggie’s best friend growing up. He’d transformed the quiet little colonial into a Spanish-style atrocity that looked like it had a dungeon in the basement. He had an art studio on the top floor, though he wasn’t an artist. He was a lawyer, but he had an artistic bent and wanted to paint studies of the Hudson River, and he didn’t want those studies blighted, as he said, by her oak tree. Blighted!

Maggie said no.

He offered her money. He had a lot of money and was willing to use it to get what he wanted. He seemed genuinely surprised to find there was a person in the world who didn’t care about what Bender wanted.

“We’ll work this out, Maggie,” he said, grinning at her in that wolfish way he had. He was a very good-looking man—athletic, muscular, tanned. He wore suits to work and his broad chest bulged against the constrictions of his shirt. Winifred Levy, who had once been Maggie’s neighbor, but was now confined to a nursing home because of Parkinson’s, was convinced that the source of Maggie’s anger was sexual desire, a conclusion Maggie thought so far off the mark, she didn’t even argue about it. She wasn’t attracted to men who were like steamrollers. She liked gentle men, and gentle people. She loved her small town on the Hudson River and the people she’d grown up with and she loved that tree. There was no amount of money he could pay her to make it worthwhile to cut it down. She didn’t want to fight about it; didn’t want to talk about it. She just wanted to live her life and enjoy her tree.

Then, one April morning, Maggie went outside to see if any new leaves were starting to form. She loved those wispy little clusters that blossomed for a short time each spring, but as she neared the tree she was struck by a sharp odor. She saw a strange dark puddle at the base of the tree; bent down to sniff it, and her nostrils burned. Poison. Bender was poisoning her tree. Maggie called the police and they came over, and were sympathetic, but there wasn’t much they could do. They had no proof it was Bender. After the police car went away, Maggie went over to Bender’s house, certain he’d been watching the whole scene and laughing.

She pounded on his front door, which had been taken from a castle. Literally. It was like something you’d find in Disney World, or England. It belonged in front of a moat, not a small street in Westchester, New York, she felt, and when he opened the door she was stunned to see behind him a cavernous hallway paved with stone. In its earlier incarnation, when her friend Winifred’s family had owned it, it had been a 3,000 square foot center hall colonial.

“Stay away from my tree,” she’d hissed. She felt anger burning her face.

“I know how important that tree is to you,” he’d said, speaking soothingly, as though talking her down from the roof. “There has to be a way we can work this out. I want to do right by you, Maggie. Maybe if I made a donation to charity. Do you have one already set up? For your daughter?”

She’d felt herself gripped by a sensation so severe she could only compare it to giving birth, but without the payoff. Had she a gun she would have been severely tempted to shoot him, but in that moment, all she could do was hurl her words at him. Her last words to Bender were, “Don’t you ever set foot on my lawn again. Not you, or your wife, or your children, or I swear to God I’ll kill you.”

Stalking back to her house, she’d paused to pick up a rock. She brought it inside and took a seat by her window. If he dared! If he dared to come near her tree again, she would throw it at him. She wanted to strike him in the head. She wanted to mark him, so forever after he would have a scar. She wanted to shatter that smug visage of his. She sat there for hours, watching, waiting, hating. She didn’t even have dinner. She didn’t move. She watched the sun set. The sky darkened and it was night, and then she felt afraid.

Not of Bender, who was, after all, just a thoughtless man who would get what was coming to him one way or the other, but of herself. She felt something had changed inside her. That because of him, because of what she’d said to him, she was less than what she had been. She was letting hatred get the better of her. She looked at the rock that she’d been clutching in her hands all these hours, and she felt sick, and got up, and set it on her desk.
She stared out at the tree for a long time that night, admiring its elegant lines and thinking about all the joy it had brought her. She watched its graceful dance under the moonlight. She thought how many times she’d hugged it, pressed her face against its sturdy, ridged bark. She felt something inside her unclench. She felt peace and closed her eyes for a bit and when she opened them, an hour or so later, she noticed something lying under the tree. It was too dark to be sure, but it looked like a doll. With an orange dress. She put on her sweater and sneakers and picked up her flashlight and went outside and that was how she discovered Marcus Bender, dead, lying under her tree, manicured fingers stretched toward her house as though pleading for help.

Customer Reviews

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Maggie Dove: A Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
ethel96 More than 1 year ago
MariaD1 More than 1 year ago
Strong Start for New Cozy Series I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 Stars. An oak tree, a dead neighbor and a small town full of secrets take center stage in Susan Breen’s new cozy mystery, Maggie Dove. Set in a small Westchester County community, where residents can look down the Hudson River to where the Twin Towers stood, this cozy is full of colorful characters, an elderly heroine and plenty of emotional angst. If you’re looking for a new cozy to read, you’ll want to give Maggie Dove a try. Ms. Breen did a good job introducing Maggie Dove, the sixtyish central character of the story, right from the start. A mystery writer who “retired” when both her husband and only child, a daughter, passed away within 12 months of each other, Maggie has lived in the same house and town almost her whole life. When a new neighbor, from out of town, requests she cut down the oak tree in her yard so he can have a better view of the river, Maggie emphatically says no. While Maggie is mostly a nice person and very agreeable, she has an emotional attachment to that tree and nothing is going to get her to cut it down. Not even when that neighbor winds up dead under that tree. As Maggie tries to figure out what happened to her neighbor, and why he was on her lawn, she discovers that not everything is quite as it seems in her small town and finds herself drawn into a murder investigation. The secondary characters are also well developed and I enjoyed getting to know Peter, the young man who Maggie always thought would end up being her son in law, and her best friend Winifred, who has problems of her own and almost always challenges Maggie's viewpoints. The people in her small town provide a lot of color, secrets and potential suspects. Turns out there were plenty of people who wanted her neighbor gone or dead. The mystery is well written and takes several twists and turns. Just when I thought I might know the identity of the killer, Ms. Breen threw in a twist to make me change my mind. The story’s pace is fairly even, though the story does begin very slowly, and I enjoyed Ms. Breen’s voice as an author. My only complaint was that I thought Maggie seemed to “wallow” in her grieving process, which was way too long, it was perhaps just a bit too much emotional angst in my opinion. Will Maggie discover who really killed her neighbor and why? Will she be able to save Peter from his self-destructive behavior? And just how many people will the killer manage to kill before Maggie discover their identity? You’ll have to read Maggie Dove to find out. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the next book in this series, Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency, which will be released later this fall.
ScotsLass More than 1 year ago
Maggie Dove by Susan Breen is a wonderfully warm and entertaining cozy mystery that takes place in a small town in Westchester County. Maggie Dove is a former mystery writer and a Sunday school teacher. Her unlikeable next-door neighbor, Marcus Bender has been after Maggie to cut down her favorite oak tree that blocks his view of the river. Since she won’t cut it down, Marcus decides to poison the tree. All this makes Maggie consider what rather un-Christian like acts she can do to Bender. Only she finds him dead under the tree on her front lawn. Peter, her dead daughters former fiancée is accused of poisoning Marcus Bender. Peter has been like a son to Maggie since the accidental death of her daughter. He has a rather difficult past but Maggie swears he could not be the murderer. Like any small towns, this town is full of interesting people and gossips, all with their opinions on what has happened. Maggie sets out to clear Peter and discovers there are others who disliked and wished Bender dead. Soon victims of the murderer are piling up as Maggie races to find the answers and how all the seemingly unrelated murders are tied together. This is a cute and simple mystery that kept me guessing until the end. Maggie’s character is so well developed that you think you know someone just like her. She is witty and fully acknowledges her flaws. Peter is a young man caught up in his grief without direction, the perfect fall guy. There is an underlying story of coming to grips with an unexpected loss and moving on with your life. That adds warmth to the story. Overall, a great book for the summer. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group-Alibi in return for a fair and honest review.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
"Maggie Dove" by author Susan Breen is the beginning of what looks to be a great new mystery series. Maggie Dove is happy until someone is murdered. She is of all things a Sunday School teacher and is totally shocked when her rotten neighbor is found dead. Of course everyone is looking at someone Maggie knows and cares about. Peter Nelson was supposed to marry her daughter, but she passed away. She makes up her mind that she is going to solve this. Will she be able to? Will she find the killer before someone else gets murdered? I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book by House Party Chatterbox and all opinions are mine/
nice49erfan More than 1 year ago
This was a relaxing cozy read and at times fast paced such as when she pondered on sampling bread pudding that may be poisoned. I like how she changed her views towards her neighbours. This was nice and I can relate to this too. It reminds me a little bit of Agatha Christie mystery. #RHMysteryPack #Sponsored I like to read and also watch a variety of mysteries by various authors. Sometimes I like high action and a very fast plot. At other times I settle down with a cup of tea and enjoy a cozy and relaxing read or mystery movie. Often there is a big variety especially I find with female authors and female heroines in the books. Just as in life there are different people and beliefs you may encounter. I look forward to reading more books by Susan Breen.
TeeNJ More than 1 year ago
This book was much different than any others I have read. It takes some time to get into but the characters are well developed. The characters are kind of dark and mysterious and really keep you guessing on who the murderer could be. I really enjoyed the main character, Maggie and hope to see more of her in the future! I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley& Houseparty in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
JennMcConnell More than 1 year ago
This book was a delightful read! The author Susan Breen has created interesting, believable characters who are engaging. The main character has to solve a murder mystery when her would-be son in law is accused of murdering her awful neighbor. This book will keep you turning pages until you find out who the killer is! I received this book from House Party/Chatterbox in return for my honest review. Can't wait to see what's next in the series from this author!
Debragg More than 1 year ago
Author Susan Breen has started a new mystery series about a Sunday School teacher named "Maggie Dove". Maggie has not had an easy life. Her daughter was supposed to get married to a man named Peter Nelson but she died before she could. Peter has always been a very good friend to her. Now he is in trouble and she has made up her mind to help him. Maggie has a horrible neighbor named Marcus Bender who has been found dead by her in her yard. He was always mean and rotten. She thinks he died of a heart attack but finds out that he was killed. Now it looks like Peter is one of the people that they think killed him. Maggie has her work cut out for her. It is going to be very dangerous for her, ever more so when another person is found dead. Who is behind these murders? I cannot wait for another book by this author. I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book for a review by Chatterbox, House Party Reviews and all opinions are mine.
ToniSheldon More than 1 year ago
Maggie Dove was a fun and interesting "who done it" mystery that kept me guessing until the end! Every time I was sure I knew who the real killer was, Susan Breen would give us a new twist and keep me guessing! Looking forward to reading more in this series when it comes out. ARC received through Netgalley through #RHMysteryPack #Sponsored.
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
Well. I must say that Maggie Dove was not a book I would normally pick up and read on my own. It is pretty far out of what I would normally read. Maggie Dove is a cozy mystery about...Maggie Dove. She lives in a small town, is a widow, and her daughter died young as a result of a car accident. Maggie Dove is one of those ladies that is a strong member of the community. She knows and talks to everyone. She once upon a time was a murder mystery author (she gave it up when her daughter died). She had few grievances with other members of her community, save her neighbor. Her neighbor wanted her to move a much beloved tree in her yard because it was in his view from his house of the Hudson river - and he wanted to paint the river without the tree in his way. And that is where the story starts. Maggie's neighbor took it upon himself to try to poison her tree because she wouldn't move/remove the tree. And then, shortly after, he was found dead underneath her tree seemingly from a heart attack. Now, as I have already stated, this is a book that I normally reach out and grab. While I like mysteries, I do tend towards those meant for younger audiences - YA, NA, MG...or I like them to have some sort of paranormal aspect to them. Maggie Dove was none of the above. The main character was 62 years old, much older than characters that I normally read and I found it hard to connect to her. She and I had little in common, so I wasn't able to relate to her very well. Also, the story line seemed rather one dimensional. We followed along with Maggie as she was trying to figure out what happened to her neighbor. I felt like we were categorically looking at each individual character in the story. One at a time. And I would have liked a few more twists and turns in the story....and that the ones that were in it...I wish they had been more twisty and turnier. The whole story just felt like it was on the same pace the whole way through. While I found it pleasant enough to read, I also don't think I would have finished it except for the part where I wanted to know the "who done it and why." I had committed enough time to it, that I decided that I needed to know and I didn't want to cheat to find the answer. And while I wasn't surprised, I still was at the same time. So I will give Maggie Dove that. My Rating 3 Stars This review was based on an eARC copy provided by the publisher through House Party/Chatterbox in exchange for a fair and honest review. Find more of my reviews here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/
Charon_Moon More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in what I hope will be a successful new mystery series. As with most first books in a series, this one is a little slow to get through, because it provides a lot of background on the characters. The main character Maggie Dove reminds me a bit of Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote and I wonder if the series will be similar. She is 60-something widow, who happens to write mystery novels, and manages to find herself smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation. The story line left me guessing, but was not so suspenseful that I was on the edge of my seat, so to speak. It was by no means a thriller, but I still think it is a nice mystery for those of us who are not into the extreme violence and action that so many mystery/crime novels seem to have now. I received an advance copy of this book as part of a Chatterbox™ Chat Pack in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book for free through Houseparty.com for a fair and honest review. Mystery is probably the genre that I read the least in, but I like a mystery every once in a while. This book was just ok. I liked the characters, but I felt like it jumped around a bit, so I didn't relate to any of them much. It was an easy, quick read, but I wouldn't jump at the chance to recommend it to friends.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In Maggie Dove, author Susan Breen weaves an entertaining and fast-paced cozy mystery set in a small village in Westchester County, NY, that follows the amateur sleuth adventures of Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove. Maggie is investigating the murder of her hateful next-door neighbor, Marcus Bender, who was found lying dead under her beloved oak tree. The prime suspect is Maggie's young friend Peter Nelson, and she is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer, even when danger lurks around the corner. Maggie Dove is a great debut to the Maggie Dove Mystery Series. This well written story has enough quirky characters, intrigue, suspense, humor, and drama that easily draws the reader into Maggie's amateur sleuth adventures, and it will keep them interested and guessing the identity of the real killer until the surprising conclusion. You can't help but love Maggie and feel compassion for her loss, while also cheering for this spunky church lady turned amateur sleuth, who is determined to solve the murder mystery. I look forward to reading the next installment of Maggie Doves' investigative adventures! I really enjoyed the author's usage of her hometown to provide the reader with a rich description of the scenic Hudson River Valley setting in Westchester County, NY, it definitely makes me want to visit the area the next time I go to NYC. Maggie Dove is a delightfully eccentric whodunit tale that cozy mystery fans will want to add to their reading list! Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Camarogirl67 More than 1 year ago
I received this for my review as a part of a Random House Chatterbox chatpack. #RHMysterypack #Sponsered I love this book! This book kept me guessing the entire time that I was reading it! A great book by a great author! Thanks houseparty.com for the free ebook!
NatTheCat More than 1 year ago
I reviewed this book as part of a Random House Chatterbox assignment. #RHMysteryPack #Sponsored I really enjoyed reading this book. Maggie Dove has lots to offer readers. There is drama, crime, mystery, love and a who done it all rolled up into one cozy read. Maggie Dove is the main character and lives in a small town outside NYC that is a little too nosey for some, but just perfect for her. She lives alone in her family cottage with a new neighbor who drives her crazy. He winds up dead in her yard and this starts off the who/what/when/where/how of the story. Was it an accident or murder? Maggie must figure it out or die trying. As a former mystery writer, she puts all her knowledge to the test with the help of her best friend and trusted confidants in town. The problem is, is one of them a killer? Read the book to find out. :) You will be happy to find out the truth about everyone in town and how they interact with the story line.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Maggie Dove: A Mystery Novel Author: Susan Breen Published:6-14-2016 Publisher: Random House Publishing Group / Alibi Pages: 225 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Amateur Sleuths; ISBN: 9780399594892 ASIN: B018CHA26O Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . Maggie Dove, a Sunday School teacher who begins to suspect that everyone in her small town is hiding secrets that everyone but her knows. On ongoing fight with her neighbor the ornery and spiteful Marcus Bender, who dies under Maggie's beloved Oak tree which Bender wanted chopped down. Instead of the heart attack Maggie figured his meanness brought on it seems Bender was murdered. The prime suspect is none other than one of Maggie's former Sunday School students, Peter Nelson. Maggie sets out to prove the young man she looks on as a son innocents and finds she wasn't far wrong on everyone having secrets. Can she find the killer before Maggie needs last rites. The first in what I hopes is a long line of mysteries to come. Susan Breen has build the quintessential small town with a close knit community. The residents are well established and the relationships with one another feels natural. The story after setting up the basic information moves quickly. Ms. Breen gives enough clues and a few red herrings for the reader to stay invested in the story and keep their interest. Take a personal time out and enjoy the new series by a talented writer of the cozy mystery. Susan Breen is soon to become one of your favorite authors. I rated Maggie Dove 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I have been a part of the Random House Monthly Mystery for the past few months and this novel is the best mystery I have read so far. It had great energy, moving along quickly and although I was able to figure out the mystery, I still deeply involved in the novel until the final pages. Set in a small town, gossip is cheap and everyone’s business is out on the street but that is just how things occur in Westchester. Sides are taken for which they can change quickly depending on who is talking and just how trustworthy that person’s word is. People look out for one another, believing in each another while others only see what they want to see. It doesn’t pay to believe in individualism. Maggie is a changed woman. Her neighbor Bender, a painter, has been harassing her to move her tree so that he can paint a proper picture. It seems her tree is blocking his view of the water and his relentless badgering is bringing out the worse in Maggie. Maggie has no plans on moving her tree, resulting in countless face-offs between these two neighbors, threats and vicious words being exchanged until the day Maggie finds Bender on her property, dead. The rumors start immediately and Maggie tries to defend herself but her clash with the deceased brings her front and center as the killer. Maggie is not lying down on this charge; she’s pumped and ready to lead her own investigation. The police have their investigation started but Maggie is not happy with their results or their timeline. Previously a mystery writer, Maggie begins looking into Bender’s death. It was no accident, he was murdered and now Maggie needs to clear her name. Another death follows shortly thereafter and Maggie now must decipher two deaths. They seem to be related in nature but how can these individuals be linked? Maggie seems to be working harder than the police on this investigation and I enjoyed reading about Maggie as she made inquiries with individuals and tried to uncover the truth. The more she dug, the more she learned about the individuals she thought she knew. Small town people tried to keep their secrets hidden but Maggie was digging to discover the truth to save the people that she loved. She discovered facts and secrets that shed light on her investigation and opened the eyes of many. This was a fun and interesting novel, I really enjoyed it. Thanks Random House for introducing Susan Breen to me, I will be looking for her books in the future. “I listen. You’d be amazed what you can find out if you listen.” I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Random House Monthly Mystery in exchange for an honest review. #RHMysteryPack#
jcmonson More than 1 year ago
This was a cute little cozy mystery. It is the first in a new series, so it should be interesting to see where it goes. I enjoyed the character, Maggie. She has her flaws, and her grouchy days, but overall is a good hearted person. The mystery was pretty good, although the final reason for the murder took me by surprise. It seemed a little random. But the characters are great, and the series could grow into something great. I received a free ARC from NetGalley.
Arlene Rose More than 1 year ago
What a treat to have our Heroine Maggie an active senior in her early 60s. The Sunday School scenes are "delightful" with the unruly kids. The plot was very intriguing & original in concept. You were kept guessing to the end who was "guilty". Glad to see it's the beginning of a series that we are all going to enjoy, as Maggie plans to open her own Detective Agency
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
Maggie Dove has suffered loss in her life. She lost her husband, and then her daughter died in an accident a few years later. She finds comfort in her church family, her friends and the man that once was the boy her daughter loved. Living in her childhood home brings a type of peace and belonging to her. Until the neighbor next door decides he hates the tree in her front yard and wants to either cut it down or move it. That is the last straw for Maggie. She is willing to fight for her tree to the death. That is until her irritating neighbor is found dead under it. His wife blames Maggie, even though the cause of death is a heart attack. Or is it? She is even more upset when someone she cares about seems to be in the Police Chief’s radar as a suspect. When she goes to the nursing home to talk to her best friend, Winifred; Maggie gets a bit upset that she doesn’t even seem to be listening. To be fair, Winifred is having a bad time. The once vibrant woman, wife of no less than four husbands, has become so crippled with disease she cannot move without effort and pain. Even though the women have been friends for over fifty years, there were times they didn’t exactly see eye to eye, but this visit ends up being the bee in Maggie’s bonnet to do something about finding the real killer since the Chief doesn’t even seem to be looking for him or her. Maggie begins her own investigation by talking to people in her hometown that she thinks might have had a reason to kill her neighbor. She is comfortable digging around for clues since everyone knows her as well as she knows them. Unfortunately, she pokes more than one bear, but just can’t stop. Will she be the next victim? Maggie Dove is a great character. She is the kind of person you would want in your corner. She loves her Sunday School class. Most of them, especially the naughtiest ones, have been on the receiving end of her love and kindness. She professes her faith, yet struggles with doubts at times. Her imperfections are part of her charm. This is the second book Susan Breen has written. The first is a work of Literary Fiction entitled The Fiction Class. Maggie Dove is her second novel and first mystery. It reads like the first of a series of cozy mysteries so I am going to be watching for the next adventures of Maggie Dove. While it is fair to say the values of the characters are Christian based, this is not a religious book. I found it quite enjoyable and honestly did not know who the killer was until the last chapter. Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Random House Chatter Box Monthly Mystery that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great new series by Susan Breen. When Sunday school teacher Maggie Dove finds her hateful next-door neighbor Marcus Bender lying dead under her beloved oak tree—the one he demanded she cut down—she figures the man dropped dead of a mean heart. But Marcus was murdered, and the prime suspect is a young man Maggie loves like a son. Maggie decides to put her sleuthing skills to the test to find the real killer. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Luckybutterflybaby More than 1 year ago
I got this for free from chatterbox by house party. I loved the book it was hard to put down once I picked it up. It's a must read, fast pasted fun and exciting.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I got several chuckles out of this book and for the most part was entertained. However, I felt it did go on quite too long in several places almost to the part of redundancy. The writing was done well, the characters well developed and included many suspects. I didn't even suspect the true murderer! But I just got tired of reading it about 3/4 of the way through and was ready to find the culprit. I didn't need a description of everything in the room and everything they wore. That, for me, was just unnecessary fluff. Once you cut that out and got down to the nitty gritty, it was an enjoyable read. Thanks to Alibi Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review
cresotko More than 1 year ago
I received this book through Houseparty.com for a fair and honest review. This is the first book by Susan Breen that I have read. I feel that this book was designed to fill a gap in the mystery market: Christian fiction. The main character, Maggie Dove, is a religious woman who is dealing with 20 years of grief. She struggles with behaving the way God teaches while still being very upset by her neighbor who keeps wanting her to move/chop down the tree that reminds her of her family history. When that neighbor is found dead at the base of that tree and a family friend is accused of the murder, she jumps in to clear his name. Throughout, she goes through a lot of self analysis. The plot was good and the writing style was nice. I just couldn't connect with the main character. While I enjoyed the story, it isn't one I would go back to. I would recommend it to a Christian fiction reader as a gentle entry into the mystery genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good!