Tag Archives: Maia Chance

A day in the life of Agnes Blythe by Maia Chance

The problem is, there are no ordinary days in Bad Housekeeping. Each day is its own unique fiasco.

My name is Agnes Blythe and sure, I may have neglected to do any exercise since I completed my high school P. E. requirement, but I’m in the prime of life. I’m twenty-eight years old. I have a college degree. I am in perfect health if you don’t count cellulite as a medical affliction (I don’t). I can take care of myself. Okay, maybe not in like a bar brawl in Honduras, but every day I pull on the big girl pants.

Which is why after moving back to my hometown, the idea of starting over basically from scratch was alarming. To say the least.

And helping Great Aunt Effie salvage the horror movie-grade wreck that was the Stagecoach Inn? Inconceivable.

Let’s set the scene. My hometown of Naneda (pop. 13,721) in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is a picture-perfect college town. Trees arch over big lawns and lovely homes. Think prize-winning roses, picket fences, porch swings, and lifetime subscriptions to This Old House magazine for every mailbox, and you’re on the right track. Main Street is like a television sitcom set thanks to the Naneda Historical Society and its draconian ordinances. In leaf-peeping season the entire region blazes with Technicolor nostalgia, inspiring even the grimmest city-slickers to buy pounds of maple fudge and drool over the real estate listings in the Naneda Realty window.

Honestly, Naneda is too perfect. Creepily perfect. It’s just asking for trouble.

Bad Housekeeping is my sleuthing initiation story, I guess you could say. Before I tripped on my first dead body, my detective work was confined to playing CLUE and rolling my eyes at Magnum, P. I. reruns.

Hey, things change. People get framed. Seemingly ordinary townsfolk hide hideous secrets. And nerds like me get to save the day.

Booyah.


You can read more about Agnes in Bad Housekeeping, the first book in the NEW “Agnes and Effie” mystery series.

When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list.

The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie’s sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they’re soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team’s and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane.

In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes and Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home.

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About the author
Maia Chance writes mystery novels that are rife with absurd predicaments and romantic adventure. Her first mystery, Snow White Red-Handed was a national bestseller. 2017 titles include Bad Housekeeping, Gin and Panic, and The Trophy Wives of Alpenrose. She lives on a soggy island in Washington State, where she plays laundress and cook to two imperious children and a cat, and takes secret solace in chocolate, amusing books, and vintage cocktails.

Visit her at maiachance.com and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

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My Musing ~ Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance

Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance is the first book in the NEW “Agnes and Effie” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, June 13, 2017

When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list.

The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie’s sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they’re soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team’s and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane.

In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes and Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home.

Agnes and Effie are on the case when they become prime suspects after quarreling with the deceased. The fun begins as they set out to clear the name and the town of Naneda will never be the same.

The was a fast-paced and light-hearted whodunit that kept me entertained from beginning to end. The mystery was nicely done with a slew of suspects and it was fun watching this animated duo ferret out a killer with the situation that they found themselves ensconced in. Every scene had me chuckling at their efforts and the author did a good job in visually describing these interactions which enhanced the telling of this tale.  I especially like the portrayal of Agnes who like me in times of stress goes for what comforts her and made her seem more real to me as a character. With a lovable cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a small-town atmosphere, this was very enjoyable and I can’t wait to read the next book in this delightfully charming series which is a welcomed addition to the cozy genre.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A Day in the Life of Ophelia Flax by Maia Chance

Beauty, Beast, and BelladonnMy name is Ophelia Flax, and there is no ordinary, everyday life for me anymore. Not since the fateful steamship voyage that took me from America to Europe, anyway. Things are peculiar here on the Continent, and folks don’t always stick to the facts . . . especially where their precious fairy tales are concerned. Oh yes, and there is a prodigious number of villains lurking about the castles, cities, and chateaux here. Even, I’m sorry to say, murderers.

But perhaps I ought to start at the beginning—my beginning. I was born in 1841 on a farmstead in New Hampshire, the daughter of a maid-of-all-work and a schoolteaching father who scarpered when I was small. Growing up lowly like that had its benefits. I learned how to scour pots, tend goats, hoe beans, darn socks, weave rush chair seats, and cure a rash with apple cider vinegar—and how to spot a fibber a mile off.

After Mother died I took myself south to a woolen mill. The wages were good there, but the work was maddeningly dull and the overseers didn’t keep their hands to themselves where the factory girls were concerned. So, when P.Q. Putnam’s traveling circus set up its tents in town, I jumped at the chance to run away with them. I traveled all about the Northeastern United States with the circus, learning to ride trick ponies and coax a poodle through flaming hoops, and making friends with everyone from the Bearded Lady to the Astonishing Aerial Twins. The circus taught me that the world is chock-full of illusions—and that deft balancing acts can sometimes get a lady out of a pickle.

The War Between the States broke out and the circus folded. Times were lean, but I found work as an actress in Howard DeLuxe’s Varieties in New York City, performing roles such as Pocohantas, Cleopatra, and a naughty nun in red stockings. (Beggars can’t be choosers, I always say.)

It was with the Varieties that I boarded that steamship bound for England, on the way to perform shows on the Strand. But I lost my job shipboard, fast-talked my way into a post as a lady’s maid for an American millionaire’s bride, and, well, things have been mighty strange ever since. I’ve collared two murderers so far, with the help (and sometimes the high-handed interference) of Professor Penrose, the fairy tale scholar.

And now that I’m facing yet another inexplicable murder in this magnificent, out-of-the–way chateau in France, I’ll collar this murderer, too . . . you can bet your boots on it.


Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna is the third book in the Fairy Tale Fatal mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime in February 2016.

Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax knows how to win over an audience. That’s why she’s accepted the marriage proposal of the brutish Comte de Griffe to nettle her occasional investigative partner—and romantic sparring partner—the pompous if dashing Professor Penrose.

But with his boorish table manners, wild mane of hair, and habit of prowling away the wee hours, the comte has shredded Ophelia’s last nerve. She intends to disengage from her feral fiancé at his winter hunting party—until Penrose, his lovely new fiancée, and a stagecoach of stranded travelers arrive at the comte’s sprawling château. Soon she can’t tell the boars from the bores.

When one of the guests is found clawed and bloody in the orangerie, Ophelia is determined to solve the murder before everyone starts believing the local version of Beauty and the Beast. But until the snows melt, she can’t trust her eyes—or her heart—since even the most civilized people hold beastly secrets.

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Meet the author
National bestselling author Maia Chance writes mystery novels that are rife with absurd predicaments and romantic adventure. Her latest releases are Come Hell or Highball (St. Martin’s Minotaur) and Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna (Berkley Prime Crime). Maia lives in soggy Bellingham, Washington, where she plays laundress and cook to two imperious children and takes secret solace in vintage cocktails. She blogs at maiachance.com and loves to socialize on Facebook.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 23, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.