Dead on Arrival by Jackie Griffey is the first book in the new “Joe and Maggie” cozy mystery series. Publisher: Five Star Publishing, January 2010

Maggie’s husband Horace’s motorcycle accident leaves her a widow at twenty-four. Broke, lonesome, and unemployed. Her Aunt Myrtle talks their cousin into giving Maggie a job at his newspaper until his columnist Mr. Wartz (better known as Wartzy) comes back, sobers up or gets out of jail. It turns into full time when Maggie finds Wartzy’s mutilated body behind the office’s dumpster.

When detective Alan Hill and Joe Driver, a good-looking patrolmen, come to investigate, Maggie asks for Joe’s help in finding out what really happened to her husband and an attraction develops between them—monitored by Horace’s ghost . Both cases heat up along with Maggie and Joe’s relationship and with the dubious aid of Evil Elvira, a former slave who claims to be over a hundred years old; a co-worker named Fatima AKA Queen Ester Johnson; and Maggie’s Aunt Myrtle, who keeps a sharp eye on Maggie’s social life. It’s a merry southern romp with love, laughs, and danger as the Memphis PD, friends and the FBI all try to find out “who-all-done what.”

This was a very enjoyable read with mystery, romance, humor and light paranormal. When Maggie husband suddenly dies, she is left with no job but with the help of her aunt and cousin, Maggie soon lands on her feet with confidence and seeks clues as to who killed her husband and why. My rating: 3.5 stars

*new-to-me author

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