Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mystery Mondays: Maid of Murder Blog Tour!

Welcome to the kickoff of Amanda Flower's blog tour for her mystery debut, Maid of Murder! I am excited to share with you my review of her cozy mystery and hope you'll give it a try, yourself! Let's start off with the basics, shall we?

Title: Maid of Murder
Author: Amanda Flower
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pub Date: June 2010, Cengage Gale
ARC, 280 pages
Book Source: Received my copy from Vera at Luxury Reading--many thanks for including me in this blog tour!

Synopsis

India Hays 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 fiance 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. 

My Thoughts

By now most of you who are familiar with what I review will know that I always enjoy picking up a mystery book! Whether it's a complex "whodunnit" that is sure to surprise or a cozy mystery with humor and other interesting tangential side plots, I can't help wanting to try to solve the crime before the culprit is revealed.

Amanda Flower's Maid of Murder certainly falls more into the cozy mystery category, with more than its share of quirky characters and amateur sleuthing by India Hayes. Sprinkled with humor and wit, this book tells the story of a tragic pre-wedding murder and shows you all sides of the crime and the people involved. A more varied group of suspects and supporting characters you'd be hard-pressed to find, from India's nosy Irish landlady, to the deceased bride's testosterone-filled fiance, to her liberal parents and their hunger for causes and demonstrations. And that's only the start!

The mystery itself isn't too complicated and naturally we are led to suspect several people before the murderer is revealed. The story is fast-paced, thanks to India's desire to pursue the investigating on her own--although her methods are at times more of a hindrance to her brother's case than a help. I really enjoyed reading this book--Flower's timely use of humor and dry with make for an entertaining read. My only disappointment was in how quickly the case wrapped up once we were hot on the trail of the murderer. I would have been happy with more fleshing out of that aspect of the storyline--and I have to admit I wouldn't have minded seeing more development of the budding relationship between India and Detective Mains. Oh, in case you are wondering, I did figure out who killed Olivia before it was revealed--it wasn't a huge surprise for more than one reason...

If you're looking for a quick read and a cozy mystery, you might like to pick up a copy of Maid of Murder and give it a try!

My rating: 4 stars

Other stops on the Maid of Murder Blog Tour:

Bookin' with Bingo - August 11th (interview)
The Lit Witch - August 12th
Just Short of Crazy - August 16th
Reading at the Beach - August 17th
Books and Needlepoint - August 18th
Books By Their Cover - August 19th
Luxury Reading - August 20th

For more information on Amanda Flower, please visit her website and look her up on Facebook! To purchase a copy of Maid of Murder, please visit Amazon.com!

2 comments:

  1. I would pick up this one. Great review =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for being on the tour Melissa!

    ReplyDelete

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