Address to Die For (A Maggie McDonald Mystery #1) by Mary Feliz
Rating: Very Good
Description: For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the tp-do list...
Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn't confined to her clients' closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plans to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she's shocked to discover the dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it's the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large - exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can't help but clean up... (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: A professional organizer and a 100 year old house! I couldn't resist it!
My Impression: Last time we moved I swore I would never do it ever again. I was 7 months pregnant which meant I could do just about nothing which drove me crazy. J spent every night after work cleaning up our old house so we could turn it into a rental and that was first priority as we wanted to be paying 2 mortgages for as short of time as possible. In the meantime I tried to do what unpacking I could at home which wasn't very much because my doctor kept threatening bed rest as it was. But my move was a vacation compared to the mess Maggie McDonald lands in!
For starters the house that was promised to be turnkey ready isn't and what's weird is that it was 5 months ago when Maggie and her husband had done a walk through. How could it have gone to great shape though a little dusty to looking like a tear down in 5 months? When the caretaker is found at the bottom of the basement stairs deceased and the police investigation turns up evidence that the state of the house is more due to vandalism than dilapidation it becomes very evident that the move isn't going to be the organized calm that Maggie had hoped for.
I really liked Maggie. She's in a situation that has spiraled out of control - especially when Max ends up halfway around the world for a few weeks thanks to his new job - and is trying to keep her footing to keep things moving forward and provide her kids with some kind of routine. She feels like a real person with kids, a husband who travels a lot, and just too much to do. I've been in her shoes and think she and I would get along! I liked her children too. They're good kids but they read pretty true. They're trying to be helpful and responsible but sometimes they really just need that permission slip signed and turned in yesterday and go into full meltdown because it didn't happen because they didn't actually mention it to anyone. I loved Tess too with her dual personality wardrobe and her matter of fact view of her surroundings and the people that inhabit them. It's obvious that the author has spent her share of time on the school volunteer circuit. While the bulk of the characters are likable people even if they have their quirks there's always a few that just make things harder than they have to be or have their own inflated view of their own importance. It was fun to watch Maggie try and establish her place in her new community. I also enjoyed hearing about Maggie's job as an organizer. While she isn't actively working because of the move she does rely on her skill set quite a bit and each chapter is headed with an organization tip or reminder from her notebook.
I also really enjoyed the mystery and there's a lot going on! There's vandalism, murder, arson, and any number of things that may or may not be connected. This is a full book as Maggie tries to figure out what's going on, get to know her new community and try and protect her family. The mystery itself made sense as did Maggie's reasons for investigating. This was a great introduction to the series and to Maggie McDonald. I'm already looking forward to my next visit to Orchard Valley and seeing what trouble Maggie gets into next!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! I can't wait for the next book! I'm looking forward to spending more time with Maggie and her friends.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you like cozy mysteries this is a great one to pick up. While there is a lot going on it never once was confusing and I just loved getting to know Maggie, her family, and Orchard Valley.