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Murder at the Maples: Flora Lively Mysteries: Book 1 [Kindle Edition]

Joanne Phillips
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
 
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Book Description

Contemporary mystery with a touch of romance ...

“A gripping tale filled with humanity and humor. Don’t miss this one!” Found Between The Covers

When twenty-nine-year-old Flora Lively loses both of her parents and inherits the family business, Shakers Removals, she tries hard to make a success of her father’s dream – even at the expense of her own dreams. Burdened with Marshall, her father’s handpicked American manager, Flora finds solace in her friendship with Joy, an elderly client she helped move into the Maples, the local retirement community. When strange and dangerous things begin to happen at the Maples, Flora finds herself conducting a private murder investigation.

Will Flora discover who’s behind the series of ‘incidents’ at the Maples? Will her newly inherited business be able to fight off their biggest rival? And just who is that mysterious stranger Flora keeps bumping into?

Described as ‘Bridget Jones meets Midsomer Murders’, Murder at the Maples is a new ‘genre-busting’ romance-mystery from the author of Amazon bestseller Can’t Live Without.

“An excellent start to a new cozy mystery series and a brand new amateur sleuth for readers to fall in love with.” Socrates Book Reviews

“There is much more to the story than a mystery to solve. The mystery is underpinned by important and thoughtful considerations of the nature of love, loss, grief and old age - this serious undercurrent adds depth to the book, likely to make the reader think about it for long after they've solved the mystery and read the final page.” Debbie Young

“The characters are lovely, and the mystery is top notch. Murder at the Maples is a wonderful start to a cozy series.” Brooke Blogs

“A quirky and well developed main character, strange and interesting secondary characters, and the question of whether there was, or wasn’t, a murder kept me turning the pages. If you’re a fan of Elizabeth Peters, Agatha Christie or Charles Todd, I think this is a book you’ll want to check out.” Queen Of All She Reads

“With her usual comfortable writing style, Joanne Phillips brings to the page a murder mystery full of intrigue but without the gore of the usual murder mystery. Her storytelling is a mix of Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle and M.C. Beaton.” Found Beneath The Covers


Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent start to a new cozy mystery series and a brand new amateur sleuth for readers to fall in love with." Socrates Book Reviews
 
"There is much more to the story than a mystery to solve. The mystery is underpinned by important and thoughtful considerations of the nature of love, loss, grief and old age - this serious undercurrent adds depth to the book, likely to make the reader think about it for long after they've solved the mystery and read the final page." Debbie Young
 
"The characters are lovely, and the mystery is top notch. Murder at the Maples is a wonderful start to a cozy series." Brooke Blogs

About the Author

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She's the author of romantic comedies Can't Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of contemporary mysteries. Can't Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She's a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Visit joannephillips.co.uk to say hello.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1176 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mirrorball Books (January 14, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F2I2GVQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,034 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Cozy! October 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
When Flora Lively inherits her father's business she's totally out of her depth. Shakers Removals is in trouble, and manager Marshall isn't helping one bit - the ex-pat American delights only in winding her up. But Flora has other things on her mind, like Joy: surrogate grandmother and resident of the Maples Retirement Village. When Joy's pet pug has a brush with death, Flora is pulled into a series of bizarre incidents at the Maples, where fear is starting to take hold.

Could harmless old Mr Felix really be the boy from Joy's past, determined to exact his revenge, or is it Joy's guilty mind playing tricks on her? And what about the Captain's death? Accidents happen, even to the most careful people, but Flora's not convinced the old man simply fell down the stairs ... Playing detective seemed like a good idea at first, but before long Flora realizes the stakes are far higher than either she or Joy imagined.

Dollycas's Thoughts
Joanne Phillips has laid a really good foundation to start the Flora Lively series.

Flora feels the family obligation of her inheritance but working with Marshall definitely makes her wonder what her father was thinking. The relationship she has developed with Joy shows Flora's caring heart. It is so hard for those in nursing homes with no family to visit them and I could see Flora easily "adopting" many surrogate grandparents.

The subplot surrounding a childhood incident added an extra dimension to the story. The main plot puzzle started to fall into place for me quite easily but the thought of Joy's past entering her life so many years later kept me guessing.

I think Flora is like a young Jessica Fletcher that just happens to find herself in surrounded by mysteries. There was hint of romance in her future and plenty of room for all the characters to grow.

This was a delightful cozy and I look forward to more adventures with Flora.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing October 11, 2013
By rhonda
Format:Paperback
4 STARS

It kept me in suspense of who was the bad guy if a bad guy existed. I did guess right but then I would guess again and again. I was not sure who to trust in the story.

The setting is in English care center or retirement center. There were lots of rumors about the place. When people got too sick to live in their own apartment and moved up to the third floor, they died within three months.

Joy was the main character who lived at the Maples. She had a little dog Otto who almost got killed by tangling in the blinds cords.
Joy was sure that Mr. Felix was a man from her youth she had wronged. She has been at the Maples for six month. Joy is hiding her bad health problems.

Flora is the owner of Shakers moving company. Her parents both had died and leaving her the company. Business has been pretty slow. Their contract for moving residents in and out of the Maples is keeping the business a float. Flora is good friends with Joy. Flora is looking into things to relieve Joy's mind and stress. Flora does not get along with her manager Marshall.

Marshall is the manager of Shakers. He has some ideas of where to take the business. He got the job because of his step-fathers connections. Marshall is from the U.S. He does some things that make him look shady.

Sometimes the story seemed to drag a bit. I did guess a few things right about the plot but don't want to mention what I got right and ruin the plot and what I did not see coming.

I wonder where this series will go to next?

I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review of it and be part of its book tour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A characterful mystery! October 11, 2013
By limey
Format:Kindle Edition
I had never read a cosy mystery before but had so enjoyed Joanne Phillips previous books that I had to give it a go.I wasn't disappointed! A great balance of interesting, well thought-out characters, humour and mystery kept me eagerly turning the pages until the end. I look forward to the next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deleting at 65% December 26, 2013
By pokey
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I tried to like this book; I really did and that is why I kept on reading it to this point hoping the star of the story would get some intestinal fortitude and stand up for herself. As a former businesswoman I cringed every time the "heroine" just let everyone override her input and actually made a habit of not recognizing her as the boss.....although, as this story was written, she is portrayed as a weak-brained woman who had no business being a boss. I didn't like the constant sniping between the main characters or the recurring theme of poor me - I don't know what I am doing; and all the while allowing herself to be bullied and spoken down to. Perhaps this all changes further into the book but because I read for pleasure, I have had enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to love it March 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First let me say that I received this book for free. I wanted to love it, I committed to reading and finishing it. it was well written but it just could not peak my interest. I struggled almost all the way through. At the 75% mark it did peak my interest a bit, however, at that point I was just happy the end was in sight.

i thought the beginning was choppy and the relationship between Flora and Joy a bit hard to understand and a bit unrealistic. The relationship between Marshall and Flora was a bit too sophomoric for their age
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK December 15, 2013
By Helle
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had never heard about this author previously but I will be sure to follow her now. This was an absolutely GREAT book with delightful characters. I am sure we are going to be following the two main characters on many new adventures. This was a book that I couldn't put down so I am writing this review at 3:00 a.m.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read
Kept my attention through the whole story. Characters were well developed and interesting keeping my attention through the whole story.
Published 1 month ago by Ctkaela
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fun entertainment.
Probably not an "unforgettable" book, but a rather light-hearted mystery that kept my attention. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nana Flutist
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Soft suspense book
Its a sweet, soft book. Characters are quite loveable too. It isn't the nail, biting kind of suspense book that steals away your night's sleep. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Righter
1.0 out of 5 stars I tried to finish it, I really did...
It took me five days to read five chapters. I decided to read "cozy" mysteries during the summer. I could not even finish this one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ocella0705
4.0 out of 5 stars i enjoyed this mystery
I enjoyed this mystery, especially the ending. The characters are very likable and real, and it is set in the UK so I enjoyed the local slang and expressions. A great cozy mystery.
Published 4 months ago by Chelsea
3.0 out of 5 stars The potential was there but,
I did enjoy this story but there were some problems with it. I am not sure just how to say what they were. The older lady was a interesting character. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. S. Jennings
4.0 out of 5 stars A Feel Good Story
I enjoyed this reading this story. I didn't know what to expect. Since it was a free story, I thought I would give it a read. What I liked about it was the characters. Read more
Published 5 months ago by donna levy
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and thought provoking.
This was indeed a cozy mystery but with the addition of inspiration and faith. The protagonist is committed to a life based on faith and continually assess how to handle each... Read more
Published 6 months ago by judynscott
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but not amazing
This is a well written murder mystery at the cozy end of the spectrum, but I didn't take to the characters. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Reader at large
4.0 out of 5 stars Goodreads
the main character was charming. I read the. look in one day easy read and fun brings the reader into the story. definitely an author to read again
Published 8 months ago by kimberly andrews
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More About the Author

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She's the author of romantic comedies Can't Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of contemporary mysteries. Can't Live Without was an Amazon top 100 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She's a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Visit www.joannephillips.co.uk to say hello.

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