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Maid of Murder (Five Star First Edition Mystery) Hardcover – June 16, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Flower's breezy debut introduces a quirky heroine—India Hayes, a librarian at Martin College in Stripling, Ohio, who's also an artist. India agrees, yet again, to be a bridesmaid, this time for her childhood friend, Olivia Blocken, for whom her brother, Mark, an assistant professor at Martin, still carries a torch. After Olivia left Stripling for college elsewhere, Mark suffered a breakdown and buried himself in mathematics. Not wanting to upset Mark, India doesn't tell him she's a bridesmaid in his lost love's wedding. When someone pushes Olivia to her death in the college fountain and Mark becomes the most likely murder suspect, India turns amateur sleuth in an effort to prove her brother's innocence. Warring cats and distinctive characters, like India's everything Irish landlady and her bizarre '60s activist parents, will appeal to cozy fans. (June)
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From the Inside Flap
India Hayes is a lot of things . . . starving artist who pays the rent as a college librarian, daughter of liberal activists, sister of an emotional mathematician, tenant of a landlady who has kissed the Blarney Stone one too many times, and a bridesmaid six times over. But she's about to step into the most challenging role of her life: amateur sleuth.
Childhood friend and now knockout beauty, Olivia Blocken is back in town to wed her bodybuilder fianc with India a reluctant attendant . . . not just because the bridesmaid's dress is a hideous mess, but because she's betraying her brother. Mark still carries a torch for the bride who once broke his heart and sent his life into a tailspin.
When Olivia turns up dead in the Martin College fountain and the evidence points to Mark, India must unmask the real culprit while juggling a furious and grieving Mother of the Bride, an annoyingly beautiful Maid of Honor, a set of hippie-generation parents, the police detective who once dated her sister and is showing a marked liking for her, and a provost itching to fire someone, anyone--maybe even a smart-mouthed librarian.
India's investigation leads her on a journey through childhood memories that she'd much rather have left in the schoolyard, but to avoid becoming the next victim, it is a path she must follow.
Maid of Murder is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud mystery set in an amusing world of academia. Readers will fall in love with India Hayes's fierce loyalty and wit.
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Top customer reviews
In this first novel of the India Hayes series, one of India’s childhood friends, Olivia, asks her to be a bridesmaid. She’s torn, because she’s tired of being a bridesmaid, and her brother Mark has loved Olivia since they were young. Olivia makes arrangements to meet Mark at the school. He goes to the meeting, sees her in the fountain, pulls her out and is found cradling her bleeding body. She later dies from the injuries and of course he becomes Suspect No. 1.
Olivia’s family is prominent in the town and India is afraid her brother will get railroaded by the cops, so she steps in to investigate.
This was an easy, engaging read for me. Cleanly written, well put-together, likeable main and secondary characters, interesting dialogue, good setting of place, and an ending I didn’t see coming until it was happening. I recommend this book as well as book 2 in the series, “Murder in a Basket”. I understand there might be a third on the way – I sure hope so, I want to know how things turn out with India, her wacky parents, the flawless sister, and especially what happens between India and the detective.
This book was plodding, dull, and had not one likeable character, including the "heroine," India Hayes. Ms. Flower also seems to have a real problem with parents, especially mothers. I have never read any other book where you couldn't decide which mother character was more despicable. Even the cats were not likeable.
India worked with a man who wouldn't give you sweat in July; had a landlady that trooped in and out of her apartment at will; the usual boss-from-hell, and a family that begged to be committed to an asylum for heavy medication and LONG term therapy.
I plodded through this mess of misery through a number of dentist appointments. It was a relief to get called by the dental staff.
Oh yes, and I guessed immediately who the killer was. Which was a good thing, because there were no clues, just a light bulb going on over India's head at the end.
Never again will I buy an India Hayes mystery. Ms. Flower's Amish books are in jeopardy now, too.
Our charming heroine, India Hayes, is a librarian at a college and an aspiring artist, who pays her rent on a small apartment rather than live with her parents. Mom is an ordained minister and Dad, now in a wheelchair because of an accident are former tree huggers who still like to be very politically active when a cause comes up. India, in a weak moment, agrees to be a bridesmaid at her former best friend Olivia's wedding. Said friend was a neighbor of India's family when the girls were young and India's brother Mark had a huge crush on Olivia which turned into an obsession and Mark had a breakdown because of it. He is now working at the same college as India as a Mathematics professor. India is upset because she feels that she is betraying her brother by being in this wedding but, Olivia had been her best friend so she is really between a rock and a hard place.
Sadly, Olivia turns up in a fountain at the college near Mark's office. She is taken to the hospital but passes away from her injuries. All evidence points to Mark as he is the one who pulled her out of the fountain and is a basket case because she had come to the college to talk to him. India works very hard to prove her brother's innocence with interference from her landlady, who is very Irish and has leprechauns all over the place, the very social
mother-of-the bride, a very annoying, but beautiful Maid of Honor, her parents and a police detective who had once dated her older sister. This great cast of characters are a help and a hindrance to India as she plows forward into uncharted territory to help her brother.
This book is so charming. The story and characters are believable even though a little quirky, and goes a long way to prove the adage "No good deed ever goes unpunished." I read it in one sitting and can hardly wait to see what India's next adventure will be. This is a debut novel and I wish the author much luck.
Mary Lignor, reviewer for [...]