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Murder at the Maples: Cozy Private Investigator Series (Flora Lively Mysteries Book 1) by [Phillips, Joanne]
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Murder at the Maples: Cozy Private Investigator Series (Flora Lively Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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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: 1326 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mirrorball Books (January 14, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 14, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F2I2GVQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,839 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. The best part is, there's no descriptions of violence. For some reason, the authors of today seem to take a ghoulish interest in torture and violence. I would happily buy more books about the same main characters. The book somewhat reminds me of Agatha Christie's works.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well written murder mystery at the cozy end of the spectrum, but I didn't take to the characters. The constant bickering between the two main characters became annoying as it never changed through the book, and ultimately they came across as irritating as arguing children.
I enjoyed Ms Phillips collection of short stories, and would therefore read another of her books, but probably wouldn't recommend this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. The development of the characters was slow. I could not stay interested in them. I wanted to like this, really I did, but I just couldn't. I wanted to hear Joy's story, but it was just too much to try to read, again, slow character and story development. It took a lot of energy to read the portions that I did. Maybe I will be able to go back to it one day, but I don't think so.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A delightful cozy mystery tale of young Flora Lively, who inherited her father's flailing moving business. She cares deeply for the well-being the elderly clients she's moved to the Maples Retirement Village in rural Shropshire. Joy, in particular, who has become like a surrogate grandmother, reports back that a childhood enemy had moved in, he's there to do her in, and residents on the Third Floor wing are mysteriously dying off too soon. With the help of her manager, Marshall, Flora uncovers a crime ring, prevents a murder, and despite her bumbling ways, saves the day, and some lives.

A well written, witty, entertaining read, and a good, solid writer. I can almost overlook the fact that Joanne Phillips forgot to capitalize Dad when it was used as a proper noun. I think we will be seeing more of the Flora Lively character.

I was also delighted to find that Joanne Phillips also wrote another purr-fectly silly story, as told from a cat's point of view, Cupid's Way. Check it out.
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