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Maggie Dove: A Mystery by Susan Breen

Maggie Dove: A Mystery

by Susan Breen

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Maggie Dove is an older Sunday school teacher who lives in a small town I NY. In this story, Maggie becomes involved in finding the murderer of two townsfolk, who may have committed the two murders. Maggie’s neighbor wants to move or, worse still, get rid of, the big tree that is in her yard, because it obstructs his view of the Hudson. Maggie opposes this because she associates fond memories with the tree and is quite happy with its current location. This all comes to a head when Maggie finds this neighbor dead under this very same tree. Maggie is not sure whether this neighbor died of a heart attack or was poisoned, but, soon enough, finds out that he was poisoned. Unfortunately, the authorities suspect Peter, a close friend of Maggie’s now deceased daughter and a man who has become like a son to Maggie in the passing years. To complicate matters, Maggie soon learns that no one in the town cared much for this neighbor, so many people may have wanted him gone. Soon after, Maggie’s good friend, who had been suffering from a debilitating illness, is also found dead at the nursing home where she resided. Both she and Maggie’s neighbor have died from poisoning by the ecstasy drug. Peter, a town law enforcement officer, had ready access to this drug in his capacity as the town DARE rep, trying to help young people stay off or give up drugs and was often involved in confiscating this illegal drugs, both of which gave him ready access to this potent drug. Maggie does not like the fact that the town police chief, who is investigating the murders, has decided Peter is guilty and is not working very diligently to find anyone else who may have been responsible for the poisonings. Thus, Maggie becomes very involved in the investigations, her own parallel investigation and the official investigation, because she does not want to see Peter railroaded by this chief.

The story is actually not bad, though it moved rather slowly, as Maggie peeled away the many layers within the town and within the people who may have committed the murders. In addition, the characters, though developed well enough, seemed a little outdated and to be missing something, though I never could figure out what. Maggie is an interesting character, but I never was convinced she was a sleuth who could investigate murders on her own and ferret out pertinent information. Perhaps as the series goes on (and I think this is the start of a series), she will become more comfortable in and attuned to this role. This is a good first part of a series, but Maggie Dove and her PI modus operandi will have to improve a lot before it becomes a favorite of mine. I received this from NetGalley to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Jul 6, 2016 |
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. ( )
  MariaD. | Jul 1, 2016 |
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 via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2016/06/maggie-dove-by-susan-breen-boo... ( )
  JerseyGirlBookReview | Jun 17, 2016 |
This cozy is a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed the storyline and characters in the small town of West Chester,NY. Loved the undertones of hope and friendship above all else throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the Christian based themes that were cleverly placed in this story.
Maggie Dove hasn't had it easy. Her daughter pasted away 20 years ago and she has been on hold since. She does have wonderful friends that are there to support her like Winifred who used to be her neighbor and Peter Nelson. Peter is the Assistant Chief of Police for the village of Darby-on-Hudson who was her daughters best friend and love of her life. Winifred her other friend now lives in a nursing facility due to progressive Parkinson's. They are always there to lend an ear. Especially since Maggie has Marcus Bender (Satan) as a neighbor.
Marcus is out for one person and that is Maggie because her beloved Oak tree blocks his view of the Hudson River. She finds poison under the tree and goes to confront him. She has been a Sunday School teacher for 30 years but this man is pushing her buttons. After leaving his house she tries to stay awake to make sure he doesn't come back but sadly falls asleep. Next thing she knows she sees something under the tree and finds that it is Marcus DEAD!!!
Things go from bad to worse when they find out he was poisoned! Who and why would someone do this? Peter is determined to help Maggie until things go topsy turvy and Peter becomes the prime suspect. Maggie will do anything for Peter because he has always been like a son to her. Will she be able to help before she becomes the next victim???
I recieved this book from NetGalley for an honest review. ( )
  Penny_Burns_Marks | Jun 10, 2016 |
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