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Murder at the Maples: Flora Lively Mysteries Bk. 1 Paperback – 6 Sep 2013


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Murder at the Maples: Flora Lively Mysteries Bk. 1 + The Reluctant Detective (A Faith Morgan Mystery) + The Advent of Murder (A Faith Morgan Mystery)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Mirrorball Books (6 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957309422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957309425
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She's the author of romantic comedies Can't Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of contemporary mysteries. Can't Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She's a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Visit www.joannephillips.co.uk to say hello.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kate Frost on 11 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A cosy mystery is not a genre I would normally choose but I jumped at the chance to read Murder at the Maples because I'd thoroughly enjoyed Joanne Phillips' debut novel, Can't Live Without, and I very much like her writing style.

Murder at the Maples certainly didn't disappoint. The novel focuses on Flora Lively, a likeable and interesting character battling to keep Shakers Removals, the business she's inherited from her father, afloat in a male-dominated world. The mystery comes in the form of dubious goings on at the Maples Retirement Home where Flora is friends with Joy, one of the Maples' residents. The voices of all the characters are authentic, the dialogue realistic and Joanne particularly captures Joy and the older generation well.

Joanne Phillips has an easy and appealing way of writing and she successfully drew me into the story. Murder at the Maples is well written with a cast of great characters and a good plot with just enough twists to keep a reader's interest yet also remain within the realms of believability. It's the perfect novel to curl up with on the sofa in winter (or a chilly summer's evening for that matter) and lose yourself in Flora Lively's escapades.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Young on 15 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I came to this book having enjoyed Joanne Phillips' first two novels - intelligent, entertaining tales in the women's fiction category - so I was interested to see whether she could also pull off a shift into a different genre: the "cozy mystery" as people seem to call it these days (I SO want to spell "cosy" with an s!)

I discovered a slick transition, retaining many of the characteristics of her previous books - assured writing, strong sense of place, evocative description, clearly defined and likeable characters - while adding the eponymous cosy mystery to solve (ie death without grisly details - I don't read violence or gore! - and a happy ending.)

I particularly like the way she celebrates elderly people in this book (echoes of her book "The Family Trap"). She turns expectations/prejudices upside down from the first page, with an elderly lady proving far more adventurous than her younger (29) friend. There were far fewer laugh-out-loud moments than in her other novels, but still a great sense of fun and of the ridiculous. I guess this is the right balance for a book that features murder.

I'm a big fan of M C Beaton,Dorothy L Sayers, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and I have also read quite a bit of Agatha Christie, who together set the highest standards in this genre, so for me at least Joanne Phillips had a hard act to follow. But by the end of this story, I had the same sense of urgency to read the next one, just as I do with Beaton et al. The highest compliment a proposed series can hope to achieve!

What I particularly liked about it is that there is much more to the story than a mystery to solve. The mystery is underpinned by important and thoughtful considerations of the nature of love, loss, grief and old age - much more so than, say M C Beaton.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Tasker on 16 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really good read.
One can easily relate to the characters in the story. Simple plot layout......you think.......but like all good murder stories there is always a twist.
Not everyone enjoys blood & gore in a story ( well not ALL of the time )

Agatha Christie brought up to date....and that is a complement!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roses are Amber on 8 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fun book, not a heavy murder mystery, but one written around a retirement home. I do enjoy books which include the older generation they are full of wit and wisdom which the younger generation have yet to experience. In this book young Flora owns a removal business which has the contract to move people into the retirement facility. Flora makes friends with the residents and finds herself embroiled in accusations against the staff and the mysterious Mr Felix. Flora's friend Joy believes all residents who get moved to the special care unit, don't last longer than three months after the move, and she thinks Mr Felix is capable of murder. Stretched between an ailing business, dog-sitting and trying to calm Joy's stress levels, Flora tries to unravel the real story behind Maples.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aurora TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book at a time when I was desperate for something to read and there was nothing else appealing on the free downloads list. Being busy with the Christmas preparations I didn't want anything heavy or so absorbing as to engross me beyond the bounds of my sparse free time. This book was perfect, a murder mystery but light reading. The characters are well drawn and mostly likeable although there are one or two whom I did not take to but I think that was the aim. Sometimes the things which seem very obvious and to which our attention is drawn, are not all they seem to be and those which we might overlook are of greater importance. In this story however, both are equally important. Having visited some of the places described in the book, reading the descriptions of them enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
Whilst not taxing, this story is an enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Percival on 15 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I don't read a lot of cosies as I often find them a bit lame and woffly but Murder at the Maples was a real treat. It was funny as well as intriguing - I often laughed out loud at the thoughts and actions of the 'sleuth' of the tale, Flora Lively.

Joanne Phillips writes a good story in a smooth and easy manner. I look forward to the next book in the series!
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