In this slow meandering book, Maggie Browne and the ladies of the St. Rose Quilting Bee, set out to find the killer of Jon Hunter the lead in the traveling company of Phantom of the Opera that is currently playing at Arizona State University. Jon grew up with Maggie's sons and she felt as if he were one her very own. Yet everything wasn't as it appeared in their tight desert community and Maggie finds out interesting things about her neighbors. First in the Arizona Mystery Series. Unfortunately this book did a lot of repeating and was quite slow in spots. If she would of just kept the book moving forward it would have been very good - even though the ending was predictable. Secrets Buried in the Desert http://tinyurl.com/38bnos
You know me-- when I hear of a mystery series set in Arizona, I have to get my hands on it. Annette Mahon's setting was a familiar one. I could picture myself traveling the streets of Scottsdale with Maggie, as well as on out into the desert where the ever present land sharks are buying up as much land as possible to turn into cookie cutter housing for the rich and not-so rich. Also easy to envision was Maggie's quilting group, which is filled with a variety of characters sure to play featured roles in future books. I liked the way quilting really played a part in events and felt as though I learned a good deal about how a quilting group works. But my enlightenment did not stop there. I also became acquainted with the theater through reading Mahon's book.
An excellent setting, the imparting of knowledge-- and a darned good cast of characters. Between Maggie's sons and their families and the "Phantom of the Opera" cast, Mahon has plenty of scope to flex her characterization muscles, and she does without getting me tangled up in names once. Maggie is a strong, intelligent, caring woman who's the heart of her family and also has a busy role in her community. She's perfect as the main character.
For some reason, I knew the identity of the murderer almost immediately. I'm not sure why because I don't think the author made it that obvious. (Perhaps I wasn't wearing my tinfoil hat as I read the book?) I enjoyed reading about this group of older (mostly retired) women solving crime on my own turf, and I look forward to reading more of their adventures.
When the lead in a local production of Phantom of the Opera is found bludgeoned to death beside a huge saguaro in a remote, undeveloped area of Scottsdale, it's a shock to ranch owner Maggie Browne, who knew the actor as a boy. She's further drawn into the mystery when the victim's mother asks for her help in solving her only son's tragic ending.
Enlisting the aid of her friends, the women of St. Rose Quilting Bee, Maggie begins to sort through the pieces of the dead man's life, wondering if one can ever truly "know" an actor. What was he doing in the desert late at night? While police suspect a carjacking turned deadly, Maggie explores some strange doings in the life of Jonathan Hunter's nearest and dearest, exposing dangerous secrets meant to stay buried in the desert...and in the past.
A cozy set in an opera company in Arizona