(A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
by Mary Feliz
About the Book
Cliff Hanger (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 215 pages
Digital ASIN: B07JLLRRT2
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 . . .
~ EXCERPT ~
A quick look round while holding my breath confirmed my initial impression. The now-empty condo had once housed a chain smoker and a slob. Flies circled plates half-filled with food. Untended garbage pails swarmed with maggots. The stench was overwhelming. Dust covered every surface. Piles of clothes or lengths of fabric lay jumbled at one end of a grubby sofa. Packages of fiber fill spilled from a cardboard box. Styrofoam balls and safety pins mingled with dust bunnies under the coffee table.
Someone was a crafter, but this apartment was no vacation rental.
Based on the smell and my past experience, I hunted for a dead body. Relieved to discover that the flies were chowing down on a rotting hamburger, rather than a corpse, I left as quickly as I could. I sat on the steps facing the ocean, sucking in fresh salt air to clear my lungs and calm my breathing before phoning Renée.
Was this the last straw? It came close. The apartment didn’t meet expectations in any way. Not in size, location, or basic standards of cleanliness. If this dreadful condo was any indication, the rental association needed to attend a customer-service boot camp. Renée was in way over her head and the organization’s problems were more than I wanted to tackle.
I was surprised the neighbors hadn’t complained about the stench from the apartment’s rotting garbage. Or maybe other owners and visitors had protested and management had failed to respond. Renée still hadn’t phoned me back. No part of this situation made any sense, and I wondered how hard I wanted to work to untangle the mess. I had plenty of customers at home I could be working with.
I looked up and down the beach for Belle and the boys, wondering how I’d break the news to them that our summer plans had tanked.
I couldn’t spot them anywhere, but my cell phone chirped before I had a chance to wonder where they could have wandered.
“Mom!” Brian yelled when I answered the phone. “Call 9-1-1. We’re okay, but this guy is in bad shape…” He wheezed, struggling for breath.
“Are you and David okay? Who’s hurt?”
“Hurt doesn’t cover it. We need an ambulance. Maybe a helicopter. It’s that guy we saw with the ultralight. He crashed.”
“Where are you?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know any of these landmarks. We’re up in the cliffs where it’s really steep, maybe half a mile north—towards Santa Cruz from the state park.”
“Are you near a lifeguard station? What can you see?”
“Mostly ocean and strawberry fields.”
“Did you try 9-1-1?”
“Of course,” said Brian. “I had a terrible connection. You may need to call on a landline. I don’t know if I got through. There was no voice response from their end. I told them everything I could anyway, in case they could hear me.”
“I’ll be right there.”
“Call for help first, Mom. This guy”—His voice broke. “He may not make it.”
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.
Follow the tour here!
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!
Blog tour organized by: