Review: “Maggie Dove: A Mystery” by Susan Breen. Random House – Alibi

It all starts with Maggie Dove’s oak tree–the one her father planted when she was just a girl. When her unfriendly neighbor Marcus Bender starts pushing her to either chop the tree down or move it, gentle Maggie becomes very angry. But when Marcus ends up lying dead under that oak tree, Maggie’s world is turned upside down.

Maggie, 62, was a very successful writer of mysteries, but her writing career was cut short by the death of her beloved husband, followed by the tragic loss of her beautiful only daughter Juliet. Maggie retired, has a comfortable if circumscribed life in her village, shadowed for years by her grief and loss, although she continues to be a Sunday School teacher.

But Marcus’ death is found to be murder; life in the village becomes more complicated and even dangerous. Maggie’s dormant sleuthing instincts are awakened as she starts following lines of questions. One by one, potential suspects are reviewed and discarded, until only one remains. Maggie finds that her life is forever changed by her experiences as her cloistered life expands to embrace new friends and new challenges. This is an entertaining, intriguing, and ultimately heartwarming story.

My thanks to the publisher who made this advance copy available to me through NetGalley.

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