Act Two: Magnolia Steele Mystery #2 by Denise Grover Swank

Act Two: Magnolia Steele Mystery #2 Book Cover Act Two: Magnolia Steele Mystery #2
Magnolia Steele Mystery
Denise Grover Swank
Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Contemporary Women's Fiction
Create Space Independent Publishing Platform
September 13, 2016
Kindle, Paperback, Audio CD
432

For as long as Magnolia Steele can remember, the past has had its hooks in her. Her time as a Broadway actress in New York City was an escape that ended in public humiliation, but now that she’s back home in Franklin, Tennessee, she’s feeling the grip of the two incidents that stole her innocence. The first was the disappearance of her father when she was a teen, who left home for a meeting and never came back. The other incident...well, her memories have returned, but it's best left where it belongs—in the past.

Hoping for closure, Magnolia decides to look into her daddy’s cold case. Though the town gossips are convinced he ran away with his client’s wife and money, she has always suspected foul play. Talking to a few of his old acquaintances seems harmless enough—until the man she’s arranged to meet turns up dead. There’s evidence someone murdered him to keep him quiet, and she realizes that whatever conspiracy her father was mixed up in is far from over; it’s entering its second act.

If Magnolia keeps digging, she's not sure she can trust her own momma to help her, let alone her new friends and the police detective who’s eager to woo her, but after years of running, she’s ready to stand her ground.

free copyHow to look for a good murder mystery…

Clue #1

Know the whole story.  Act Two: Magnolia Steele Mystery #2 is (as the title indicates) the second book in the series.  I started reading this series out of order and I wish I would have had time to read Center Stage first. cart before horse This backwards approach resulted in me not fully understanding a lot of the background information that is referenced from book #1.  The 4 stars it was given is in part because it took me a few chapters to get up to speed and hooked into the story.  I hope to go back and read Center Stage so it can properly lead me into Act Two as Denise planned for it to do.

Clue #2

Be constantly off guard.  Denise has written a solid story with some interesting characters, but more importantly, she seamlessly weaving two mysteries together throughout the book.  I’m suspicious that there is a connection between the two besides the fact that they both involve Magnolia. Even when the story climaxes to a resolution that supposedly “solves” the mystery, I was still looking critically at a number of the characters. I truly doubt we have uncovered the real answer to the mystery.  cliffhangerThe story ended with the right amount of suspense and questions left unanswered, plus the connection between Magnolia and her love interest, Brady, appears to have strengthened.

 

 

 

Clue #3

Have so many unanswered questions that you have to read the next book.  Denise did a great job of getting me committed to Magnolia and to finding out the actual answers to who killed her father and who, to this day is threatening her to keep her silent.  Call Back, book #3 in the  Magnolia Steele Mystery Series is scheduled for release February 28, 2017.  The series is worth seeing through to the end and I look forward to it being published.

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