Murder at Mother's
Determined, she strode back to the bed and reached out to shake herself awake, but, as before, her hands went right through the body. She couldn’t grasp anything. Panic like an icy waterfall flooded her being. Death couldn’t visit tonight! She screamed, sparks from her dream body exploding into the room. “No. This can’t be happening. Not now. Wake up, Martha. Wake up, you silly old fool.”
A dysfunctional family, shifty lawyer, and updated will are the perfect recipe for... murder. Coroner Dr. Cecilia Walsh and Detective Ian MacKellar need their considerable skills to find the killer before they strike again.
I hope that Author MacKay had fun writing this story, because I know I had a marvelous time reading her latest book. I have been looking forward to the release of Murder at Mother’s ever since the Author announced the title. Isn’t it the best? This book is a delightful hoot, that also gives you plenty to think about.
Mother is Martha, a matriarch in every sense of the word. She has gathered her somewhat odd family for an important meeting at her lovely estate. Can’t you already guess the problem? You’re right- Martha is changing her Will. And soon, Martha finds herself dead.
Martha is met by a Being, who is charged with bringing Martha “home.” Gladys is from a soul group, a team. No way is Martha going anywhere until she solves her own murder, so Gladys is a good sport and stays to help, too. Solving the murder involves lots of surreptitious spying on family members. “Martha and Gladys, cloaked as orbs of light, took up their spots in the drapes.”
Martha and Gladys are a hilarious team, but you will also be laughing at the antics of the family members. Most of the mystery tropes are here- the son who has married beneath him, the relatives who scheme for more money, the grandson who is a non-working Creative, and the hard-working grandson who loves his Grandmother. One of my favorites, was Vanessa, who appears to be a dim klutz, but who ends up being the most loving and perceptive. There are also the typical detectives. All the characters are given fresh and vibrant roles in Ms. Mackay’s care and they add to the enjoyment of the book. There is a hilarious scene in a walk-in closet. And just as I was thinking that this seemed to be a classic Agatha Christie story, one of the characters said that!
In addition to the humor and fun of trying to solve this mystery, we are also given some life lessons. Thanks to Gladys, Martha gets to review scenes from her past and she learns from these visions.
The mystery is solved in a satisfying manner, mostly due to Martha’s efforts to assist the detective. “Martha if that’s you can you bob up and down?” (that line still makes me laugh.) And at the end, Martha is given a new name to replace her title of “Mother”.
Gladys ends the book with the best line of all, “Sheesh! That’s all it took?”
The author explains that this novel is a work of Visionary Fiction. VF enlightens and encourages readers to expand their awareness of greater possibilities. “Love and hope are there, ready for anyone who will accept them.”
I know you will love this book as much as I did. Author MacKay- we want more Martha and Gladys.
Jena Henry, Author
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Good Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom
I'm not usually a huge fan of murder mystery novels, but the supernatural flavour of this one intrigued me and I had to read it. I wasn't disappointed either. Well written in a style that's easy to read yet still complex, this tale of who murdered the matriarch of the wealthy Bancroft family takes the reader through the mystery via the eyes of the spirit of Mother Martha herself and her spirit guide, Gladys. The characters are well constructed and thought out from the dizzy and much maligned Vanessa, her blustering husband Andrew, son to Martha, to the grasping egotistical Adele and her vacuous son, Percy. Inbetween, are detectives sifting through 'who dunnit' with some good twists and turns and a very satisfying, if slightly predictable, denouement. I particularly loved the insights into the workings of the spirit world. This book has good pace, excellent characterisation and enough twists and turns to keep you interested. There's humour too. If I have any gripes, it's that the final few pages weren't detailed enough and all happened a little too quickly...perhaps some more tantalising teasers to just keep the reader on the edge pf their would have been good. But that's more a wish than a criticism. Overall a ripping good read.