Dead Storage (A Maggie McDonald Mystery #3)4 Stars

Published July 18th 2017 by Lyrical Underground

Maggie McDonald is a professional organizer. She helps her customers put order into the unorganized. Each chapter begins with a helpful hint about keeping organized. This is the third book in the series, but can be read as a standalone. In this book, Maggie is planning to meet with her friend, Stephen and his mastiff, Munchkin to organize his house prior to beginning renovations. When Maggie and her golden retriever, Bella arrive at the house, Stephen is not there and Munchkin shows up injured and covered in something. Munchkin is Stephen’s therapy dog as he suffers from PTSD. Maggie is immediately worried and after taking Munchkin to the vet, begins making calls to see if anyone knows what has happened to Stephen. Unfortunately, Stephen’s partner, Jason, is off to Texas helping with the flooding situation there. When Maggie finds out that Stephen has been arrested for murder, she immediately tries to help him. The big problem is that Stephen won’t tell the police what really happened. Who is he protecting?

This is a well written and developed story. There are so many issues in this one, such as immigration, homelessness, gambling, small business issues, bullying and threats in schools, cost of education, therapy dogs, PTSD and natural disasters. The story deals with trust and friendship as well as the solving of a rather intricate and detailed mystery. There were many twists and turns in this story with a lot of red herrings. The characters are strong in this series. I enjoy Maggie and her family. With everything going on, she still makes sure she is there for her boys. Stephen is stubborn yet proud, and everything he does has a reason, even though some people do not understand what that reason could be. The suspense in this story builds gradually until coming to a satisfying conclusion, one that I did not expect. This was a great story that kept me hooked to the last sentence. I listened to the audio version of this book via hoopla and enjoyed the narration very much. I definitely recommend this book and series to cozy mystery lovers.

About the Book (From Goodreads): As a professional organizer, Maggie McDonald brings order to messy situations. But when a good friend becomes a murder suspect, surviving the chaos is one tall task . . . 

Despite a looming deadline, Maggie thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation. But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen’s injured mastiff limps home—and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through secrets and set him free—before she’s tossed into permanent storage next . . .

Mary Feliz, AuthorAbout the Author: Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Series of cozy mysteries featuring a professional organizer turned amateur detective and her sidekick golden retriever in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

Address to Die For, the first title in the six-book series, was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. All of her books have graced Amazon’s best seller list. A resident of Northern California for decades, she now lives on Monterey Bay, enjoying the area’s myriad natural treasures. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

Northern California is my home. I love its foibles and the easy access to some of the most beautiful coastal and mountain terrain anywhere. The traffic? Not so much. California hasn’t always been home—I’ve lived in five states and two countries. Traveling to other areas, I’m frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem freakish, odd, or even alarming to the rest of the country. (For instance, various readers have commented on how strange it is that Maggie’s children don’t ride to school on the bus—but most Bay Area communities haven’t had school buses since the 1970s due to the state’s unusual school funding system and the inevitable budget cuts.)

I’m delighted by irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, and I strive to bring these elements into my writing. My characters, however, tend to take my manuscripts in directions I’ve never imagined. It can be a wild ride, but I love it when Maggie and her friends take charge. For more information on Mary Feliz visit her website at: http://www.maryfeliz.com/