Genre: mystery / suspense
Molly Malone was driven from Washington, D.C. by political backstabbing, scandals, and personal heartbreak. But now she’s starting a new life in the one place she swore she’d never come back to.
When Molly’s only Washington job prospect falls through, her politico niece, Karen, sets her up with a position in the office of a freshman senator. As the former wife of a congressman, Molly is alarmed to hear that Karen is having an affair with her boss, congressional chief of staff Jed Molinoff. Just days later, Molly finds Karen shot to death. Discovering that Molinoff has ransacked Karen’s apartment, Molly investigates further – and finds herself in the crosshairs of a shadowy political group that’s killing anyone who gets in its way.
I’ve been reading Maggie Sefton’s Knitting Mystery books for a few years now, and thoroughly enjoy them. So when I found out she was writing a new series, I had to have it, even though the book was a bit too expensive. But well, that is what gift cards are for. I did expect some kind of cozy mystery, but that sure is not the case with this book. Nothing cozy about it. This is mystery, suspense even. So, be warned of that.
Molly Malone grew up with politics. Her father was a senator, and she was married to a congressman, both honourable men. Her husband committed suicide when his good name was slandered over and over by a political rival who was taking bribes, and Molly left Washington, pursuing a career in accounting.
Her job in Dallas has ended though, and as she desperately needs the money to keep her mother in a very expensive senior home, with her own private nurse, she has agreed to a job in Washington, DC. But when that job falls through, due to the bad economic times and an unsuspected setback for the company, she has no choice but to accept a job offer from the new Senator Russell of Colorado. They can’t match the salary she would have earned at the other job, but can provide her with free living space close by, which means no living costs and no commuting. She cannot keep on living with her friends or relatives. Her own children are grown up and have their own lives.
Only, the senator will want more from Molly than her accounting skills. She is still highly valued in Washington, and many thought of her as the power behind her husband. His charm and her brains. She will have to play the hostess to the senators get to gethers and parties, as he is inviting all the other senators and congressmen in groups, to get to know them. Molly’s take on them would be invaluable.
Starting over again is not easy, but Molly is enjoying it all, the adrenaline is flowing, and it is nice to meet old friends again. Only her niece Karen is cause for concern, she is working very hard, and is having an affair with a married man, her boss in the office. And he does not take it kindly when she tries to break it off. Karen is also researching a political group, making donations and who is very influential in international banking. But before Karen gets the chance to quit her job and find a new one, she is murdered in her car. Molly is devastated, and wants to find the killer. The police is at a dead end, they think it was just a crime of opportunity, a mugging turned murder. But Molly won’t give up, and with the help of Casey, the senator’s chief of security, and an old highschool flame, Danny, she sets out to find the truth. Danny, a retired army colonel, is making her feel alive again, even though she did swear off men after her bad divorce recently. One of Karen’s colleagues is trying to help her find clues, until she is threatened too much and flees Washington. Molly feels bad about that.
So, lots of political intrigue to wade through, which was unsuspected entertaining. I really did like Molly, who is middle aged, but certainly not old or staid. She is good at her job, and enjoys doing it. She is also relentless, and will pursue the truth. I liked Danny but I am also a bit suspicious about him and his vague consultancy job.
The end of the story made me go: WHAT?!? It can’t be finished, I need answers! Yes, this story is kind of wrapped up, or Molly thinks so perhaps, but the reader knows more. And I want … I need …. oooo when is the next book due?
So, yes, it is a really great story, I enjoyed it very much, but the ending left me hanging.
One other thing I did not like, was the enormous amount of alcohol consumed in this book, by Molly and her friends. At lunch, dinner, parties and everything. I guess that is normal for Washington, but still, drinking so much and then driving home is just wrong. And of course, another sign that this is truly not a cozy mystery.
Maggie Sefton’s writing is solid, the story is very believable, and of course you believe everything that politicians do for power and money. Which makes you think a bit more deeply about the story. It is fast paced, sometimes a bit too fast as I would have liked some time in between scenes. There is a nice cast of secondary characters, which I hope to see more of in the future, and a solid chance at romance.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian