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Executive Lunch: A Sedona O'Hala Mystery Paperback – April 18, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Maria is the author of the Sedona O'Hala mystery series, the Moon Shadow urban fantasy series and several short stories, including two anthologies for Kindle. She has published stories in Coyote Wild Magazine, TownDrunkMag.com and "Over My Dead Body."  Her latest novel is a fantasy adventure:  Dragons of Wendal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Bear Mountain Books (April 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615448747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615448749
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,562,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on November 21, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maria E. Schneider has a winner in "Executive Lunch," and hopefully this is just the first of a series of novels featuring the heroine Sedona O'Hala. In "Executive Lunch," Sedona is a "lab rat" at Strandfrost, a big technology company that is experiencing a baffling series of embezzlements and thefts of expensive equipment. Promoted to a management position and ordered to work with Steve Huntington, a mysterious new board member for Strandfrost, Sedona does her best to solve the mystery. There are plenty of potential culprits, including company insiders as well as some very dangerous criminals, and Sedona has her hands full trying to solve the case and stay alive.

Sedona O'Hala is a marvelous character. She's smart, fearless, and funny, and she's like a bloodhound once she's on the trail of the bad guys. She's a great character to build a series around, and I'm looking forward to seeing her in future novels where, hopefully, we'll learn more about her background and her family. Sedona's oldest brother Sean is an important character in "Executive Lunch," and her parents make a brief appearance, but there's plenty more to learn about Sedona's family. There's plenty of room for romance too. In "Executive Lunch," there's enough sexual tension between Sedona and Strandfrost board member Steve Huntington to heat things up and hint of future relationships, but it's clear that any man will have his hands full with the saucy Sedona.

Having read one of Ms. Schneider's previous works, "Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom," I thought she might be strictly a fantasy writer, so I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that she knows how to write a cracking good whodunit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have you ever worked in an office where the layout "...ensured that everyone was equally deprived of a window office with the exception of the managers"? Then you'll feel right at home at Strandfrost, the realistically exaggerated corporation at the center of Maria E. Schneider's delightful new mystery, Executive Lunch (A Sedona O'Hala Mystery). Schneider brings the reader face to face, and sometimes fist to nose, with a cast of diverse and interesting characters. The action starts inside the corporate corridors and soon spins excitingly into other equally bizarre venues. Even while you're chuckling, you'll realize you care what happens to the heroine, self described "lab rat" Sedona O'Hala. Whether it's fast moving action or dealing with a brother who threatens to rat Sedona out to their parents, Schneider writes skillfully and retains her sense of humor. This is Schneider at her best - funny, insightful, and exciting.
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This was the first book of Maria Schneider's I read, and I loved it. So much that I wrote my first fan letter to an author. Then I read everything else by Ms Schneider that I could get my hands on. I'm a cozy reader, so this series hits the sweet spot of my taste in books. I loved every one of them. But Maria Schneider is such a versatile author that she has books in multiple genres, some of which I'd never ventured into before. Even so, I've enjoyed every single one of her books. The characterizations, plot, locale, and pacing all carry your interest through the entire book. There is one scene in this book where Sedona first meets the bad guys that stands out in my memory as perhaps the best scene I've ever read in any book ever.

So if this is the first time you are picking up a Maria Schneider book, you are in for a treat. And better yet, you then have a bunch more treats waiting for you. I can only hope that Ms Schneider has a long, profitable, and prolific career so that she can continue to supply me with wonderful things to read.
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I enjoyed reading this cozy mystery. It was a light-hearted, fast read with elements of action, mystery, and witty, dry humor. The story moved at a very good pace; I never felt it drag on at any time. Sedona is likeable and funny, and a believable, fairly well-defined, down-to-earth main character. A lot of characters were introduced throughout the story, and while not all were necessary to the "whodunit," part of the story, some of their interactions were highly entertaining and will have you laughing out loud -- especially Sedona's family dinner and the "scene" that takes place in the limousine. If this is the start of a series, I will enjoy reading more "Sedona adventures" and, hopefully, seeing her and you-know-who (don't want to give spoilers) in a romantic relationship.
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A well-written high-tech cozy mystery!

A lot of writers get either the tech or the personalities of high-tech wrong - Maria gets both right on! You have to be a bit - OK, maybe a lot - crazy to want to spend your days staring at a computer program to figure out why it's not working the way it should. Maria captures both the nuances of not-working computers and their decidedly kooky humans in this cozy mystery.

I flagged "no sex" and "no violence" because although there's romantic tension and some adventurous excitement there isn't the extreme of, say, any modern-day PG movie. :)

Sedona is an engaging heroine, somewhat out of her depth but always game. I'm reminded of Lou Asner to Mary Tyler Moore: "You know, kid, you've got pluck. I HATE pluck!" Sedona is "plucky" too, in the same way.

Her later adventures - also worth reading - take her a little way from her native high-tech environment, and she becomes if not competent at sleuthing at least a little less confused. But actually I liked this first one best, because I could see Sedona bumbling - er, skulking - around the corridors of the companies I worked at. You always knew that any company charging along so quickly couldn't be universally on the up-and-up, but in general the staff were as puzzled by the execs as they were by the products they were building. Sedona would have LOTS to do anywhere in Silicon Valley or S. V. South (Austin) or East (Raleigh).

Long may she reign!
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