Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower is the first book in the new “India Hayes” mystery series. Publisher: Five Star Publishing, June 2010

India Hayes is a lot of things … but she’s about to step into the most challenging role of her life: amateur sleuth.

Childhood friend and now knockout beauty Olivia Blocken is back in town to wed her bodybuilder fiancé with India as reluctant attendant because she’s betraying her brother. Mark still carries a torch for the bride who once broke his heart and sent his life into a tailspin.

When Olivia turns up dead and the evidence points to Mark, India must unmask the real culprit while juggling a furious and grieving Mother of the Bride, an annoyingly beautiful Maid of Honor, a set of hippie-generation parents, the police detective who once dated her sister and is showing a marked liking for her, and a provost itching to fire someone, anyone—maybe even a smart-mouthed librarian.

India’s investigation leads her on a journey through childhood memories that she’d much rather have left in the schoolyard, but to avoid becoming the next victim, it is a path she must follow.

This is a good debut novel introducing college librarian India Veronica Hayes. While looking for evidence that will clear her brother, India has her hands full with peace activist parents, an overbearing sister, a quirky landlord, and a best friend. I love the tone and the setting of the story which felt very comfortable. I had an inkling of who the killer was and I enjoyed watching India go through the paces in search of the killer, which kept me turning the pages because I wanted to know the motive. This evenly spaced story with eccentric characters was a joy to read. You can make book that we will see more of India and her exploits. My rating: 4 stars

*new-to-me author

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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