Welcome to one of the July 2nd stops on the blog tour for Maxed Out by C.S. McDonald with iRead Book Tours. (Tour schedule linked.) There are multiple books being reviewed on this tour! Today’s post is my review of Taking Notes on Murder, but you can come back on July 9th for my review of Maxed Out. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights and reviews on all included books, other bonus content, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
About the Book
Taking Notes on Murder
Fiona Quinn Book Nine
by C.S. McDonald
Published 19 May 2020
Page Count: 184
Published 9 September 2020
Narrator: Maren Swenson Waxenberg
Length: 5 hours
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.
Fiona’s not convinced. She’s determined to find the author of the enigmatic notes and uncover the truth about a man who had many secrets and countless enemies, including Fiona’s mother and former suspect Nancy Quinn!
Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder!
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads
I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Taking Notes on Murder as part of my participation in a blog tour for Maxed Out with iRead Book Tours. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Murder and mayhem has followed Fiona to work this time! When a fellow teacher is murdered, Fiona is attacked in her classroom, and anonymous notes are being left around for her to find, it’s obvious that someone has it out for Fiona and she’d better solve the mystery before she shares her colleague’s fate.
If you check my Goodreads reading history on this one you’ll see I put in an update at 2% just to note that this book already deserved at least 4 stars because Fiona compared one of her kindergarten students to Junie B Jones. Yes! I grew up with Junie B Jones books, I have a few of them tucked into my daughter’s closet waiting for her to get to that reading level, and my mom and sister teach that age group. That reference was PERFECT and it really set the scene for “Fiona in the classroom” for the rest of the book.
This book is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Fiona Quinn books. It’s fun, you predict most of it but still get a bit of a surprise at the end and enjoy the whole ride despite the predictability, and ghost granny provides excellent comic relief by way of absurdity. I really would like to know who’s she’s having coffee with, though…
As usual, Maren Swenson Waxenberg’s narration is impeccable and a pleasure to listen to.
If you love cozy mystery and you haven’t read these books yet, what are you waiting for? Read Murder on Pointe first so you meet all the key characters as intended and then enjoy the series in any order you wish!
About the Author
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
Enter to win: Autographed copy of MAXED OUT, plus other gifts (USA only) (ends Jul 23)MAXED OUT Book Tour Giveaway
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.