The first of 3 books about Detective Maggie Skerritt. Maggie grew up a debutante, and her mother definitely doesn't approve of her line of work. Maggie was supposed to be a librarian, until her fiance was killed. Don't worry she does have a new like/love interest, and of course there are murders to be solved.. A must read!!
Book 1 in of a 4 book series. Really enjoyed the story line.
Rating: 3.75* (round up to 4*)
Most mystery readers have never heard of this series before, I'm sure, because it was published by - of all publishers! - Harlequin. Harlequin is known for publishing romances, not mysteries! But they published this under their now defunct NEXT line, which was a line of books - small novels really - featuring more mature women in their 40's and 50's and the life issues they frequently face. And it's a shame that most mystery readers haven't heard of these books, because I really enjoyed them. Ahtough the fact that I AM a more mature woman in my 40's may have something to do with how well I related to the character of Maggie.
I really liked these books. They aren't really cozies, but they aren't hard-boiled thrillers either. I liked Maggie. She throws herself into her work - getting by on caffeine, very little sleep, and Benedryl - and solves the mysteries using dogged detective work. Although her mother seems a bit extreme, there probably really are people like her in this world. She seemed very real. In fact, everything in these books came off as realistic, which was a plus for me. There are three more books in this series and I'm looking forward to reading them.
P.S. The one thing that bothered me a little were Maggie's hives. They were pretty much constant throughout both books and Maggie dealt with them by taking large amounts of Benedryl and slathering herself with calamine lotion. Not only did I get a little tired of hearing about it, but I frankly wondered how Maggie could function this way. If I take even ONE Benedryl, it makes me so sleepy I'm thinking through a fog.
A good start to the Maggie Skerritt Mystery series. Douglas does a great job of writing about the good and bad of West Central Florida.
Living on the West Coast of Florida, I absolutely love this series as I'm familiar with all the landmarks in the story.
Pelican Bay is a fictitious name. Although there is a Pelican Bay down by Naples, but this is not where this story is set.
Maggie is a detective on this small community police force, after having enough of the high crime rate in Tampa. Suddenly this sleepy town has a string of murders that have her on the run day and night.