Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .
With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband—whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?
About the Author
Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises competed in whaleboat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.
Wildfires have been in the news a lot lately. They destroy everything in their path and seem to have a mind of their own. How frightening it would be to see the threat of a wildfire close to your home. Maggie is facing that very danger and decides it is time for action. She prepares her family for evacuation and I enjoyed reading how detailed she was about what to bring and how to prepare the home they were leaving behind. There must have been butterflies going their stomachs as they saw the fire rage closer to them.
When a body is found among the area where the fire is , it shakes the town up. Maggie's best friend, Tess is about to get some very upsetting news. I did like how detailed the author was when the body was identified at the morgue. We have all seen those shows where they pull the body out of a slot and the family stares at it. Technology has come a long way and I think it makes more sense to look at the body on a screen to soften the agony the family is going through. I wasn't surprised that Tess was arrested, but I was quite impressed with her son. He is one sharp teenager asking questions that the officers should have been asking others instead of his mom. The big question is why was Patrick up there near the fire and who wanted him dead?
The author gives us several suspects to consider and I tried really hard to figure out who did it and why. I was unsuccessful and pleased that the author had me guessing till the end. There are many twists in the story and I loved how Maggie was determined that her best friend would not be found guilty. It felt like a story that could happen in any neighborhood and of course there is always those gossipy people. I often wonder why people say unkind things when a family is going through a traumatic event. It makes me furious when the media interviews neighbors who want their fifteen minutes of fame.
The story is very well written and brings friends closer together while being able to depend on the truth to come out. Several of the characters were a challenge to like such as Robert Wu. He works with Tess and didn't hide his dislike for Patrick at all. Robert was rude in a way and hinted that Patrick was holding Tess back in her job. I found Robert to be very unpleasant and wanted to slap the smirk off his face. I enjoyed the different people Maggie interviewed to clear her friend's name. Each character seemed to have a reason to kill Patrick so my list of suspects was getting longer. The story gets more intense as Maggie digs further into what happened the day Patrick was killed.
The ending is quite explosive and really intense . I loved learning about the swat team and other law enforcement agencies involved. I didn't expect how in depth the mystery went. I was so engrossed in it, I didn't want it to end. I love how the story started as a murder but turned into so much more. At the end of the book the author has given readers information about emergency preparations. It is filled with helpful websites that readers should look into so they will not be caught off guard in an emergency.
I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.