Scheduled to Death
Author: Mary Feliz
Scheduled to Death is the 2nd book in the series. I haven't read the first book yet, but there is enough background information sprinkled in with the new plot to easily figure out the different characters and enjoy the mystery. Maggie is building her new professional organizing business. She's helping a professor organize his life. Linc wants to get married, but he's got to clean up his act first. Maggie arrives one bright cheerful morning to help him continue his progress, only to find something much worse than a messy desk. Linc's fiance and Maggie's good friend, Sarah, is dead on the floor. Something isn't quite right about the situation. Maggie finds herself teaming up with local police to find out what caused Sarah's death.
Each chapter of the book opens with an organizational tip from Maggie - a nice extra touch. The pace of the story is spot-on, and the subplots (organization, community gardening, etc) don't overwhelm the mystery. In fact, the organizational background of the main character helps to further the plot, rather than getting in the way of it. Romance is not a distraction in this cozy. Maggie is happily married with teenage children. I like all of the side characters. It's interesting to see how Maggie handles being friends with a suspect and the investigating officers. The way they all come together to help each other solve the case is another refreshing change from formula cozies where the police continually warn or even threaten anyone who tries to investigate. Nice change! I can't say there is no "dumb'' or annoying cop....but he is a side character that even the other officers can't stand. While reading, I found myself continually thinking if the characters were real people they would be enormously enjoyable as friends.
All in all, a great cozy mystery! There are plenty of suspects, interesting clues and plot twists. The idea of community gardening is intriguing. I'm glad that was a subplot intertwined with the mystery. The organization tips were helpful and I'm going to try to implement some of the suggestions.
Scheduled to Death will be released by Kensington on January 17th! Organized or disorganized, cozy mystery lovers will enjoy this one!
A third Maggie McDonald Mystery, Dead Storage, is coming out in July!