Introducing Maggie Dove

Welcome to my new blog. Thank you so much for stopping by.

On June 14, my first mystery is to be published by Penguin Random House’s digital Alibi imprint and I’m thrilled. I’ve been reading mysteries since I was a child, and I’m honored to be entering the official mystery writing world.

Let me tell you a bit about my mystery, Maggie Dove, which is being marketed as “a cozy mystery with bite.”

Maggie Dove is a 62-year-old Sunday School teacher who lives in a small village in the Hudson Valley. She loves her village, her church and her friends, but her life has been marked by terrible loss. Two decades ago, her 17-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident and Maggie has been unable to heal. She feels like she’s sleepwalking through her life, and she might have stayed that way except that a new neighbor, Marcus Bender, has moved next door and he’s driving her crazy. Suddenly Maggie’s beginning to feel the stirrings of life, though unfortunately they’re coming in the form of anger.

Marcus Bender wants her to cut down the oak tree on her front lawn. Maggie loves that oak tree. Her father planted it, her daughter played on it. She’s not cutting down the tree. Bender offers her money. She says no. Then, one day, she goes out to look at the tree and finds lye bubbling in its dirt. Marcus Bender is trying to kill her tree. She’s beside herself. Furious, she pounds on his door and tells him that if he sets foot on her lawn again, she’s going to kill him. That night, Maggie feels terrible. What’s happening to her? What sort of person is she turning into? She vows to try and calm down her temper.

The next day she finds Marcus’s dead body under her tree.

No one in her small village of Darby-on-Hudson seriously thinks she commited the crime, but soon a prime suspect emerges and Maggie’s horrified. It’s Peter Nelson, a man who was the worst of her Sunday School students. He’s grown to be a troublesome sort of man, but he was also her late daughter’s fiancé and he’s devoted to Maggie. He takes her to lunch. He visits her, he remembers her daughter’s birthday. She loves Peter Nelson and will do anything in the world to protect him. So Maggie begins investigating the murder.  But as she starts asking questions, she discovers something troubling: many of the people she knows are harboring secrets. Even more troubling is Maggie Dove’s realization that the murderer must be someone she loves.