Cliff Hanger (A Maggie McDonald Mystery) by Mary Feliz
5th in Series
Published by Lyrical Underground (July 16, 2019)


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 . . .

Cliff Hanger by Mary Feliz is the fifth book in A Maggie McDonald Mystery series. Maggie and her boys are heading to Monterey Bay for a job. Maggie is helping to organize a resort and in exchanged they get a three bedroom unit on the beach along with a small salary. This is a working vacation that started off badly, then went from bad to worse. With the boys assisting a young man who crashed his Ultra-Light, and calling 911, they are temporary heroes. When the young man dies, they are being questioned and possibly sued by the family for causing his death. Everyday of this job brings another disaster.

Cliff Hanger was a well-written story that moves at a good pace. It is the fifth book in the series, but can easily be read as a standalone. I have read all the books in this series and have enjoyed the development of the characters as well as the fact that the boys have grown up with the stories. They are older and actively involved in the investigations. Because this book was not in their hometown, some of the characters that I have enjoyed in previous books were not in this one, but others did make a guest appearance. This story has a complicated storyline with multiple suspects, many red herrings and lots of questions. I love all the scenarios that the boys come up with while trying to figure out what is happening. Although there appear to be many smaller crimes, the main one is the death of Jake, the ultra-light pilot. The action kept the story moving forward to a satisfactory conclusion that ties up all the loose ends.

I enjoy Mary Feliz’s descriptive writing. I could almost visualize the animals and sea life that were seeing from the beach. I like Maggie’s handy tips at the beginning of each chapter. Being a professional organizer, you would expect these to be organizing tips, but they are more than that. Based on the setting and situation in each book they vary, with these ones all about preparing for a beach vacation. Overall, this was a fun cozy mystery with a bit more adventure and complications. It took the whole family to solve this one and I look forward to seeing what is next for Maggie and her family. I definitely recommend this book and series to those who enjoy a good, clean, yet intriguing mystery. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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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.

Author Links: Website – Blog – Facebook – Twitter