There are so many mystery/crime series that I already read and ones that I want to start reading, I'm delighted when a new series starts and I can get in on the ground floor. Maddie Day, also known as Edith Maxwell, is a prolific writer who already has multiple series she authors. So, of course, the logical move is for Maddie to start yet another wonderful series. As I have a yearning to visit Cape Cod, I was quite pleased when I heard her new series, the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, would be set there, and I knew I had to catch this first book, Murder on Cape Cod, as hot off the presses as I could. As I anticipated, I loved the Cape Cod world seen in the small town of Westham, Massachusetts. Small local shops with a sense of real community amongst the people living there was just what I had hoped to find and did. Mac's Bikes with Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida at its helm provides a great base for the main character. We get to see Mac as an independent woman who knows how to take her skills and carve out a successful niche in an area where tourists drive the economy. Hers is a busy enterprise, and she has a good eye for hiring the right fit for jobs in it. This ability to get to the core of a person will both help her and endanger her when there's murder in the fresh, salt air.
After some years away, Mac Almeida returned to Westham to settle down and live in the comfort of her family and old friends. She is now ensconced into the area with her own business, a charming house behind the business, an African Grey parrot, the delectable owner of the local bakery as her boyfriend, and a cozy mystery book club she enjoys. Her parents are minutes away and her brother works in her bicycle shop. So, life is working out well for Mac in her chosen path. And, then another path, the one that runs beside her little house, throws her a curve ball. Mac is making her way home from a meeting of the Cozy Capers Book Club in a dense fog when she stumbles upon the body of local handyman Jake Lacey, only feet away from her home sweet home. It's not until the police arrive that Mac realizes just how bad the situation is, as turning the body over reveals a knife sticking out of the victim. And, the knife isn't just any old murder weapon. It is a custom-made knife that looks exactly like Mac's brother's fishing knife. Mac keeps that bit of information to herself for the time being.
When word gets out, which is quickly in a small community like Westham, about Jake Lacey's murder, the Cozy Capers Book Club members are both horrified and fascinated that a real murder mystery has presented itself, and that they have the inside track with Mac having found the body. Although Detective Lincoln Haskins has warned Mac to leave the investigation to the police, Mac feels that the knife is going to direct that investigation toward her brother Derrick, so she turns to the Cozy Capers to gather information and sift through clues and suspects. There's no shortage of suspects to consider, as several new faces have shown up in town before or on the day of the murder. But, Detective Haskins isn't the only one who doesn't want the Cozy Capers sticking their noses in where they don't belong. The killer is all too aware of Mac's interest in and poking around the clues, and Mac is putting herself in a danger that fictional scenarios don't prepare her for.
It looks like Maddie Day has yet another hit series in the making. Maddie Day/Edith Maxwell is a master at creating settings and characters that quickly endear themselves to readers. Mac is a great new character, with many interesting aspects to her life, the least of which isn't her adorable pet Belle, the African Grey parrot, asking for kisses and cuddling in boyfriend Tim's lap. This first book is a good introduction to Mac's family, too. Her brother Derrick and his four-year-old daughter Cokey have an intriguing back story that readers are given access to. Mac's father is a minister in the community and a seemingly well-balanced source of peace and wisdom. Mom is a free spirit who has found purpose in her life by reading people's astrological charts. And, Abo Reba, Mac's grandmother is a force all her own. Rounding out the regulars are members of the Cozy Capers, Mac's employees, and Mac's boyfriend, Baker Tim, all unique cogs in the wheels that keep this charming seaside town running. I already feel like Westham is a place I want to visit over and over again.