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Tracking Magic (Max Killian Investigations Book 1)

Tracking Magic (Max Killian Investigations Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Maria E. Schneider

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Product Description

Product Description

"Get Smart" meets "Ghostbusters!"

A humorous urban fantasy collection. Five case files from Max Killian Investigations:

Haunting Clues -- Max is hired to expel a ghost from a mansion. To deal with the dead, though, he must first uncover the secrets of those still alive.

Curses! -- Some days you curse, some days the curse gets you.

Dearly Departed -- Max investigates a graveyard, but when it comes up empty, it's his job to find the body-dead or alive.

Roadkill -- Max can smell the dead long after they are gone. Of course, it's not too hard to smell the ones that just died, but it could prove to be more dangerous.

Privy to Secrets -- Some secrets are worth dying for. The trick is to know which ones make life worth living.

Haunting Clues was first published at in 2007.

Each story contains an illustration optimized for Kindle reading.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 409 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bear Mountain Books; 3 edition (13 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003H4QZAU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #608,320 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Maria Schneider grew up in New Mexico where the desert environment required that she embellish the landscape with her imagination. After working in the computer industry for twelve years, she decided technology moved too slowly, and again put her imagination to work, creating messes and then inventing characters to handle all the clean up. She currently resides near Austin, Texas.

"Executive Lunch" is the first in the humourous Sedona O'Hala mystery series.

"Under Witch Moon" is the first in an urban fantasy series and was released October 2010.

For more information about Maria visit:

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading and recommended! 21 Nov 2010
By Jackie-the-Greyhound - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a short book (1700ish locations but the end of the Max Killian content is at around 1560) with 5 stories of varying quality. I found the "Roadkill" story to be my favorite which featured the investigation as to why a 15 year dead ghost had started removing a class ring from his father's house and placing at the site of his demise. Most of the stories have a funny twist or just funny details (which I enjoy) but oddly my favorite had the least amount of humor.

I like the premise that the author has created--the post Oil apocalypse/financial meltdown where the world has returned to the gold standard, and the people of myth have returned (now that money is something real). The main character is a human PI with the minor ability to smell magic and death. Unfortunately in the new world order apparently anyone with an extra 'talent' gets taxed more, so Max has had to hide his 'edge' which, coupled with the Elven investigation agency across the street, has limited his ability to get new work. I like how the main character has a small talent, but really is a regular joe who needs to get by.

As each story is a short, only small aspects of the world can be introduced at a time. Overall this is handled well, but at the individual story level l was left wanting a little more, hence my 4 stars. (The true 5 star shorter story or stories have to be a good read of course, but not leave me feeling like there is too much left out)

On the other hand, a novella or even a novel in this world would be quite welcome (hint, hint to the author) and I enjoyed this collection enough I am going to download another by this author.

Definitely worth the read, and handy for times when you need to sneak something quick in.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly fun! 26 April 2010
By J. Chambers - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Tracking Magic (Max Killian Investigations)" is Maria Schneider's second foray into fantasy, and I'm happy to say that she's batting a thousand. Like her first fantasy work, "Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom," "Tracking Magic" is a collection of short stories, but that's where the similarities end. "Sage" is set in an unstated time and place where everyone has some kind of magic power, whereas "Tracking Magic" is the Earth in the future after fossil fuels have been exhausted. With few conventional energy sources remaining, it's now safe for supernatural beings such as witches, elves, and fairies to come out of hiding and offer their unique and powerful services to humans.

"Tracking Magic" is a collection of five short stories about the exploits of Max Killian, a private detective who, as a human, has no magic powers, but his remarkable perceptiveness and ability to work with supernatural beings earn him a decent living. I enjoyed each of the five short stories in the collection. In "Haunting Clues," a wealthy thief learns the hard way that there are consequences to his thievery, even when the stolen property is only a bunch of rocks. "Roadkill" shows how dangerous even cold cases can be. "Privy to Secrets" was my favorite story. It's a very creative story combining humor, witchcraft and black magic, and even a little romance for Max.

Ms. Schneider amazes me with her creativity and originality. "Tracking Magic" is the third book of hers that I've read, and each one has revealed more of her talent and her ability to combine genres. She describes "Tracking Magic" as "Get Smart meets Ghostbusters." That's an apt description. Max is a funny guy, but his business is serious, and he knows that just being around magic can get him killed at any time or place with no warning.

As a bonus, "Tracking Magic" includes samples from some of the author's other works.

Bottom line: two thumbs up and five stars.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read! 19 July 2010
By Stacy L. Daniels - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Tracking Magic contains five easy to read short stories featuring detective Max Killian. Each case is separate and distinct, told from Max's perspective. Throughout the five stories, I was able to get a good understanding of Max's world and his personality. What I really liked about these stories was that while they all had paranormal elements (curses, ghosts, fairies), each case was actually solved by good old-fashioned detective work. My favorite story was Dearly Departed; it showcased Max's investigative skills, his quick thinking, and his sense of humor.

This charming little series is great for when you are short on time but still want something light and entertaining to read. I liked the book summary in the beginning, but a clickable table of contents would be a nice addition. This is the first book I have read by this author and I like her witty and humorous style. I look forward to checking out her other books.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracking Magic by Maria Schneider, a delightful diversion. 6 Sep 2010
By Ricky Sides - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Tracking Magic. I found the collection of short stories to be a delightful diversion.

I love short story collections because they let me enjoy an entire story in one sitting, despite my busy schedule. I bought this book with that in mind. I thought I'd just open the book and read a story, and then resume my other planned activities for the day. But the book was so intriguing that I finished it in one sitting.

I loved the character Max Killian. I felt that he was well developed, and that's not always an easy task in the short story format. I found him to be a likeable character. I found all of the characters to be adequately developed, and that's not always the case in short story collections.

I enjoyed all the stories, but my favorite was "Roadkill." The ghost of Troy attempting to help the captive fairies really appealed to me as did what transpired in the end.

The author obviously knows her topic. That tells me she researched properly, and that is why limestone plays a role in this book. Bravo Ms Schneider! I appreciate proper research. It makes a book worth the time spent reading it.

I highly recommend this read to people who enjoy short story collections. This author produced a quality collection.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five short stories equal one great book. 17 April 2012
By Shane - AFR - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Even though this may be my first book by Maria E. Schneider, I can guarantee you it will not be my last. The easy flow of the writing makes for a comfortable read, most in-part because the author chose to use common vernacular instead of becoming dependent on a thesaurus to convey her story. To me the characters were well thought out and presented with good detail. I was thankful that the author chose not to present her characters through her narrative but rather to use the dialogue of the characters to describe themselves.

First story of the five in the book: Haunting Clues(which is the only one I will cover in detail)

The main character of the tale is named Max Killian. With shades of the infamous Harry Dresden, Max Killian's profession is the supernatural. Max, a moral yet no-nonsense investigator willing to tackle the toughest of tough cases, is approached by a paying customer to hunt down a rather pesky ghost.

The customers name is Paul Delan. Now Mr. Delan is one tough cookie, and not in a particularly good way. He is attitude wrapped up in a blanket of his own personal interest and even though he is willing to fork over some cash to rid himself of his unwanted guest he's not gonna shell out any more money than absolutely necessary.

As the story goes on the two main characters must not only deal with the task at hand but also with the struggles that each of their personalities present. Killian is more and more annoyed with Delan's boisterous demands and Delan is evermore impatient with the time it is taking to rid the ghost.

By the end of the story everything falls in place, although maybe not in the usual fashion. After reading the first of the three stories you will see the authors vision for the characters be fleshed out by how the story ends. The reasons she picked to convey the characters the way she did is integral to the endgame of the story.

Curses: The continuing stories of Max Killian as he is once again hired. In this tale Max is hired to investigate the contents of a mysterious box from a sunken ship. The box may seem innocuous to an average citizen but to Max it reeks of death and magic. After successfully opening it, Max is exposed to an ancient myth that he wants no part of.

This second short story is of great interest to me since I am a huge fan of the ancient society to which to which it speaks. An all around fun tale that only solidified my positive feelings described of the first tale.

Dearly Departed: In this, the third tale, Max is hired by an unlikely customer - well professional rival is more like it. But of course Max is a professional as well and business is business. After the threat of a lawsuit presses Max's competitor to hire him, Max sets out to clear his clients reputation. What Max finds during his investigation leads to an action packed and entertaining tale.

A great story that is full of twists and turns.

Roadkill: Max is on a stakeout, and one he's not to confident will pay off. But it's not long before an apparition appears and puts Max to work. As the story goes on it is made clear the Max's abilities will be put to the test as even he struggles to put this case to rest. By the end of the story you will be impressed by how much depth and effort the author puts into the story and the characters in it.

Privy to Secrets: In this story Max's fantasy realm approaches the science fiction realm as wormholes and time travel play important roles in his next case. Following leads connected to a missing child Max finds himself traveling through time in an outhouse, of all things. After landing heavily in Texas, Max pushes through those who attempt to stand in his way. As the story progresses the fantasy thread we know and love returns to expose us to some great writing.

Through all five short stories, Maria E. Schneider writes clearly and plainly and in so doing creates an entertaining and fun book. All five stories strive to create compelling characters that are both deep and relevant. I don't usually venture into fantasy tales often but if Maria E. Schneider continues to write stories like this I will have to pick up the genre much more often.


*I received a copy at no charge in exchange for an honest review.
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