Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Cliff Hanger by Mary Feliz: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway!

Cliff Hanger

A Maggie McDonald Mystery
by Mary Feliz

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 215 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105303
ISBN-13: 978-1516105304
Digital ASIN: B07JLLRRT2
When a hang-gliding stranger is found fatally injured in the cliffs above Monterey Bay, the investigation into his death becomes a cluttered mess. Professional organizer Maggie McDonald must sort the clues to catch a coastal killer before her family becomes a target . . .

Maggie has her work cut out for her helping Renée Alvarez organize her property management office. Though the condominium complex boasts a prime location on the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, aging buildings and the high-maintenance tenants have Renée run ragged. But Maggie’s efforts are complicated when her sons attempt to rescue a badly injured man who crashed his ultra-light on the coastal cliffs.

Despite their efforts to save him, the man dies. Maggie's family members become the prime suspects in a murder investigation and the target of a lawsuit. Her instincts say something’s out of place, but solving a murder won’t be easy. Maggie still needs to manage her business, the pushy press, and unwanted interest from criminal elements. Controlling chaos is her specialty, but with this killer’s crime wave, Maggie may be left hanging . . .

About the Author

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She's worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character's stead, but Maggie's skills leave her in the dust. Her first book, ADDRESS TO DIE FOR, received a Kirkus Star and was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews.
The 'Big Little Lies' Guide to Monterey Bay

Author Links

Early Morning Ultralight Flight from Avia Club Nepal. Absolutely breathtaking mountains view of Pokhara Valley. Once in a life time experience. Just Do it !!!!!!! . Image by  : Gaurav Raj Manandhar || @grvrajmndr  . Tell your #Nepal stories with #yetautaa and get featured :) . #aviaclubpokhara #ultraflight #travelnepal #beautyfulnepal #wownepal #tourtheplanet #mountains  #nepaltourismboard #natgeoadventure #NepalPictures #MyGHT #nepal8thwonder #discovernepal #NepalNow #dktm #landscape #naturallynepal #traveller #wonderland #travel #instatravel #nepalgram #instatrekking #visitNepal #exploreNepal #visitnepal2020 #trekkinginnepal #photooftheday @nepal.gram @nepalpictures @discovernepal

My Thoughts

Cliff Hanger by Mary Feliz is the fifth A Maggie McDonald Mystery.  Maggie McDonald along with her two boys, Brian and David are heading to Monterey Bay for the summer.  Maggie has been hired by the management of the Heron Beach Resort to help the new complex manager, Renee Alvarez organize the office and the payment includes a condo for the summer.  David and Brian notice a downed ultralight aircraft pilot and quickly contact emergency services.  The distraught family lashes out by filing a lawsuit against the boys and has them the target of an investigation by local law enforcement.  The family rallies their resources and begins a deep dive into the victim’s life.  After noticing some suspicious activity at night, Maggie believes there is some foul play afoot.  I thought Cliff Hanger was nicely written, moves along at a steady rate and is just the right length.  While Cliff Hanger is the fifth book in the series, it can easily be read alone.  The characters are established, and I find them relatable.  Maggie has a good relationship with her two kids, and they have gotten the sleuthing bug from her. The complex crime was not what you typically find in a cozy mystery (I do not want to share too much and spoil it for you).  It is multifaceted with a handful suspects and misdirection. The family certainly came up with some unique theories regarding the crime. The action kept the story moving forward toward the conclusion.  There is a good wrap-up that ties up the loose threads.  I enjoyed the authors vivid descriptions especially those of Monterey Bay and the sea life (a blue whale and dolphins).  It was interesting to learn about ultralight aircraft and the regulations for them.  I enjoyed Maggie’s handy tips at the beginning of reach chapter to help people prepare for trips.  I thought they were clever, helpful and easy to implement. Cliff Hanger has an uplifting adventure with two teenage sleuths, stunning sea life, a malodorous condo, disorganized records, and one weary woman.
The pilot of an ultralight aircraft died in a crash near the Hesperia. Calif., airport, authorities said.

Excerpt from Cliff Hanger

The boys had changed into their wetsuits in the picnic area of the state beach. Now they were boogie boarding while Belle chased them and tried to catch waves in her teeth. I checked my phone and my watch. If I didn’t move I’d be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. I told the boys I’d walk down to the Heron Beach Resort property to check out our unit.

Brian and David had been thrilled when I told them they’d each have their own room for the summer. Our typical Spartan vacation budget meant they normally shared a tent or a room—with mixed results. When one wanted to sleep in, the other would be anticipating a dawn fishing trip. I’d enjoyed summers of overhearing laughter as they whispered to each other past lights-out. Rumbling older voices now conversed well into the night, replacing those early giggles. Mostly, they got along. But proximity also brought fights. Hurt feelings erupted regularly, particularly when they were tired. The three-bedroom condo was a luxury we’d all enjoy.

According to Tess, a third-floor ocean-view unit meant we’d wake up to share our breakfast with chance sightings of surfing dolphins, breaching whales, and playful seals and sea otters cavorting in the waves just steps from the building. It was my idea of paradise.

Wooden staircases over the dunes marked the beach-side entrance to each condo building, and I counted them off until I spotted the sign to Building F half-buried in the dune grass. I climbed the steps and looked for our unit. But when I took the stairs to the top level, the numbers were higher than I’d expected. I checked the key and the unit number again. There
was no third-floor, ocean-view unit that matched the key Vik had given me.

I trudged down the stairs, discouraged. Had Vik handed me the wrong key? Had Renée misrepresented the promised accommodations? Had a problem developed that she’d neglected to warn me about? Until Renée surfaced, there was no way to know.

Still, while the third floor would have been a dream, all of the condos were steps from the beach and within earshot of the waves. Living on a lower level would make it easier to unload the car, bring groceries in and out, and keep up with Belle’s bathroom needs. I tried to stay positive.

I hunted the shaded lower floors for the apartment number and found it on ground level, where the view would offer beach grass instead of open water. Disappointed, I quickly tried to adjust my attitude. Beach access was beach access. And most of the time we were indoors we’d be asleep.

On the first floor, I wouldn’t have to worry that the boys’ clomping feet would disturb downstairs neighbors.

But as I unlocked the deadbolt and pushed open the door, I feared we’d have to contend with something far worse than a second-rate view. The smell alone had me gagging, and . . .
A Maggie McDonald Mystery
Cliff Hanger is available at Amazon, B&NKobo, and Google Books.  For the complete list of A Maggie McDonald Mystery novels, click here. To win a print copy of Cliff Hanger (US only), click here or enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  Visit the other stops on the tour (schedule below) to see character guest posts, author interviews, an excerpt, guest post and reviews.  Thank you for paying me a visit today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on The Girl from the Corner Shop by Arlene Hughes.  May you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

July 16 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

July 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 16 – Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW

July 17 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT

July 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 18 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

July 19 – I'm All About Books - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

July 19 – A Blue Million Books  - AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

July 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  

July 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

July 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

July 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 22 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your review on "Cliff Hanger" by Mary Feliz and for being part of the book tour.

    Adorable cover! Enjoyed reading the excerpt and can't wait for the opportunity to read the book which is now on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net