Who Killed Maggie Swift?
Review: Frank May is a lawyer specializing in business law, that is wills, trusts, and the like, with a small office is in San Mateo, California. Because of some incidents in the past (which he doesn't want to go into), he does have a reputation of being a bit of a private investigator, which, of course, he is not. On the morning of an appointment with his dentist Dr. Caleb Colegrove, he learns his was cancelled due to the untimely death of the receptionist, Maggie, who was a woman “everybody loved”. She was a “mother” to all who needed her. She helped when she was asked and she knew and kept to herself many secrets that were told to her. But Maggie was murdered! Although the police are called in and an official investigation begins, Maggie's daughter contacts Frank and asks if he might consider looking into the case. He explains to her that he is not an investigator, private or otherwise, he is a lawyer. But he agrees to ask some people some questions, in Who Killed Maggie Swift?, the fifth book in the Frank May Chronicles by Lawrence Friedman.
He quickly learns there was lot more to Maggie than anyone knew. For starters, she had a lot of money in her savings account, which really wasn't hers. She was apparently saving it for someone else. And then there is the suicidal death of Dr. Colegrove's ex-partner Dr. Sylvester, who had originally left half of his valuable estate to Colegrove, but then amended his will leaving him nothing before dying. And there is also a strange young man, who is a gofer for a nearby company called Xyloquex, which Maggie visited from time to time. But he does not know — or more likely, will not tell — what the company does. It is rumored that Xyloquex is a front for some organization that hires mercenaries and bought and sold weapons, all completely illegal, of course. Maybe Maggie had stumbled on something there that she wasn't supposed to see. Too, her killer could have been a drug addict searching for drugs in the dental office, or a crazy person who just broke in and Maggie happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Three mysteries. Could they be connected? So many rumors, theories and angles. Frank is dizzy just thinking about them. Is he able to use his investigative powers to solve this crime, or should he heed his wife's advice to let the police handle the case?
Written in first person, Frank May tells of his investigation in his own rather modest manner, which adds a sort of agreeable charm to the story. The primary mystery and its subplots are well-constructed and play out in a credible manner. A quick, pleasant read, Who Killed Maggie Swift? is an enjoyable cross-genre mystery, a cozy-style PI investigation with a legal twist.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Who Killed Maggie Swift?.
Acknowledgment: Quid Pro Books provided a copy of Who Killed Maggie Swift? for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Death of a Wannabe
Quid Pro Books (Trade Paperback), August 2011
ISBN-13: 9781610270953; ISBN-10: 1610270959
Location(s) referenced in Who Killed Maggie Swift?: San Mateo, California
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Who Killed Maggie Swift? by Lawrence Friedman — The Frank May Chronicles
Publisher: Quid Pro Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2014
List Price: $15.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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