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Maggie Bishop, Mystery and Romance Author

Reviews of Murder at Blue Falls

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Reviews of Murder at Blue Falls

An established must-read romance author, Maggie Bishop has crossed into the mystery genre with finesse. Her latest novel is packed with suspense around a tightly-woven plot which begins with the poisoning of dogs and escalates to the murder of a local man. Throughout, she deliciously teases the reader with the bristly attraction between the investigating detective and the woman who found the dead man's body and who just might be a suspect. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Boone, North Carolina, with engaging characters, red herrings at every turn, and a galvanizing story line, this is a must-have, must-read. Highly recommended.

            ---- Christy Tillery French, Midwest Book Review

"The rural hilly setting in which Maggie Bishop sets her mystery becomes one of the characters.  The central character (Jemma) is a sympathetic character, and her interest in the forensic science on television gives a plausible reason for her to investigate -- and it is difficult to give the amateur sleuth a legitimate reason for his/her connection.  The touch of romance is a delightful touch.  Please continue to send us review copies of books of this caliber!"
    --   Margaret Baker, Director, Glencoe Wordsmithing

Romantic Suspense

Blue Falls Guest Ranch, near Boone, North Carolina, the Present

Jemma Chase's life is going through a directionless patch. After her last relationship went bad, she moved to her parent's guest ranch in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains. She leads trail rides, is the resident handy-person/carpenter and a talented photographer. Because of her beef with a neighbor whose son is tearing up the horse trails with his four-wheeler, she becomes the number one suspect when the neighbor's dog is poisoned. To top that off, her horse Brandy acts up on a trail ride and leads Jemma to a dead body. As a fan of TV's CSI, she knows just what to do...take a lot of pictures and don't disturb the evidence.

Detective Tucker of the Sheriff's Office is a dedicated peace officer, single and prone to working long hours. He interviews Jemma Chase about the dog poisoning and decides she is just too calm and her answers too ready to be completely innocent. Then crime in the area escalates, leading to arson and murder.

Jemma figures the only way to prove her innocence is to solve the crimes herself. She begins her investigation by doing as CSI Sara would do. By this time, she and Detective Tucker have called a truce. He might as well go along with her; she'll just go ahead on her own anyway. But someone doesn't want Jemma snooping around.

MURDER AT BLUE FALLS is a light, easy read with lots of local color. The daily workings of a dude ranch are portrayed in a manner both interesting and realistic, and so are the folk, good and not so good, who inhabit the area. Besides a mystery story with no lack of suspects, there is the beginning of a relationship. Jemma and Tucker are mature, likable characters who could very well become a team in future mysteries set in the high country. If that weren't enough to entertain readers, Maggie Bishop has used some actual people as minor characters and included pictures of some of them and many of the horses. All of this is explained in forewords and afterwords, and, as a result, this reader felt very much as though she'd visited Blue Falls and come away a friend. Two previous books by Ms. Bishop were set in that beautiful area, APPALACHIAN PARADISE and EMERALDS IN THE SNOW.

For a fresh, enjoyable read with a homespun flavor, try MURDER AT BLUE FALLS.

                 --Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today

Maggie Bishop's latest romance, Murder at Blue Falls, is also a murder mystery. Bishop has chosen a new kind of setting-a dude ranch in the western Carolina mountains-and all of her real-life characters are in attendance.
Five years before, Jemma Chase had come back to Blue Falls Ranch, the dude ranch her parents had set up in the Carolina mountains. Now, dogs around the Watauga County community are being poisoned. Almost immediately, we discover an unorthodox side to Bishop's engaging heroine: on the way into the sheriff's office to answer questions about the case, she thinks,"It's one thing to poison a person - but a dog?"
Standing six feet tall, Jemma intrigues Detective Tucker when he finds that he can look straight into her eyes. During her interview, Jemma reveals that, years before, she was arrested in Colorado on a drunk driving charge. Bishop loses no time in providing the conflict between these two well-matched protagonists: Tucker's pet abomination is drunk drivers.
The dog-poisonings quickly fade to the background, when, during a ride up a steep trail, leading a passel of guests, Jemma's horse reacts to a peculiar stench. Jemma, not one of those shrinking-violet heroines, immediately ties her horse and goes into the bushes to investigate.
You guessed it-a body. Now Tucker is a part of Jemma's daily
life, and Jemma finds herself enthusiastically (and somewhat to Tucker's dismay) finding a CSI side to her make-up. As they combine their assets to investigate, Tucker (whose first name appears to be Detective) and Jemma find that their styles are not so incompatible after all. In a rip-snorting action scene,  the murderer is discovered and bagged, the remaining dogs in the valley are safe, and Tucker and Jemma join Bishop's endearing circle of interrelated romance protagonists in Bishop's loosely linked series of Appalachian adventure-romance novels.


         schuyler kaufman for Carolina Mountain Living

Review by Nora Percival of Murder at Blue Falls by Maggie Bishop

Maggie Bishop’s new mystery romance is another delight, in the same breezy style as the two previous novels which have made her popular with whodunit fans. This time she gives us a dude ranch in the High Country of North Carolina, where the reader shares the tourists’ fun as well as the escalating dangers from a situation fraught with peril. As the intrepid heroine fights to prove her innocence by finding the real villain, we are also treated to her budding romance with the detective who suspects her. Hard to put down, this book will surely expand the author’s popularity.

– Nora Percival, author of Weather of the Heart and Silver Pages on the Lawn

"Maggie Bishop's Murder at Blue Falls will send chills down your spine as cold as the North Carolina Mountains in February."  -- B. J. Foster, award winning author of Bayou Shadows.

"As I read through, I've become aware of how well she's built Jemma's character -- particularly the visual aesthetic sense and sense of adventure that makes her a keen observer, both as a photographer and a sleuth...It's very well done and I'm impressed." -- Judy Geary, author of Getorix, a mystery in Ancient Rome

Order Murder at Blue Falls, ISBN 1932158758, $12.00 + $3.00 shipping = $15.00

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Copyright@ since 2002 by Maggie Bishop, Author
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