Maid of Murder

This past March I was fortunate enough to receive an advance review copy of a mystery novel by an author that I predict has a successful career in front of her.  Here's my review of Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower, on sale June 16th:

Mystery lovers, meet India Hayes: artist, librarian, friend, sister, daughter, bridesmaid, and soon to be amateur detective. After agreeing to serve as a bridesmaid (ugly dress and all) for her childhood friend Olivia, India is torn between family and friendship loyalties, as India's brother Mark still carries a torch for his ex-girlfriend Olivia. When the wedding is canceled and a funeral scheduled instead, the cops cry murder and Mark is the prime suspect. It's up to India to come to her brother's defense when the whole town turns against him...and her.

Author Amanda Flower does a wonderful job of bringing to life the town of Stripling, Ohio. The supporting cast - India's activist parents, the Irish landlady, Olivia's rebellious teen sister, a pair of ill-tempered cats, and many others - creates extensive realism to the backdrop of the novel. Instead of just hearing a story the reader feels introduced to the town's life with hopes that this will be the first of future adventures involving India Hayes. The mystery in the story was well-layered and Flower kept the pacing right to build intrigue throughout the book.

Maid of Murder is a charming and well-written book with a fresh plot and unique characters. It was great to encounter a novel centered around a woman that did not involve her quest for a man, and Amanda Flower has created a winner in the witty, smart heroine India Hayes.
Of course, the book also got me thinking about my own varied wedding experiences.  I've been a bridesmaid four times and though I haven't had any occasions to re-wear the gowns I purchased, I was very thankful that they were all in good taste - if not entirely comfortable.  Does anyone have any India-type wedding-craziness to share?

And coming soon, my blog interview with author Amanda Flower!
(This book was provided by the author in exchange for a review; 
this review represents my honest and unbiased opinions about this work.)

2 Response to "Maid of Murder"

  1. Greg McConnell says:
    June 7, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    I've heard at least one case where a bridesmaid changed out of the dress (after the wedding) for the reception -- and yes, that upset the bride!

  2. lisa :) says:
    June 8, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    The funny part about that is that it upset the bride. I just don't get the idea of needing to be that in control of every aspect of a wedding...but then I'm the girl that picked out colors and told my bridesmaids to pick whatever they would be comfortable in. :)

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