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After her philandering husband died and left her penniless in Prohibition-era New York, Lola Woodby escaped with her Swedish cook to the only place she could—her deceased husband’s secret love nest in the middle of Manhattan. Her only comforts were chocolate cake, dime store detective novels, and the occasional highball (okay, maybe not so occasional). But rent came due and Lola and Berta were forced to accept the first job that came their way, leading them to set up shop as private detectives operating out of Alfie’s cramped love nest. Now Lola and Berta are in danger of losing the business they’ve barely gotten off the ground—work is sparse and money is running out. So when a society matron offers them a job, they take it—even if it means sneaking into a slimming and exercise facility and consuming only water and health food until they can steal a diary from Grace Whiddle, a resident at the “health farm.” But barely a day in, Grace and her diary escape from the facility—and Grace’s future mother-in-law is found murdered on the premises. Lola and Berta are promptly fired. But before they can climb into Lola’s brown and white Duesenberg Model A and whiz off the health farm property, they find themselves with a new client and a new charge: to solve the murder of Grace’s future mother-in-law. Teetotaled, Maia Chance's sparkling new installment in the Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries will delight readers with its clever plotting, larger-than-life characters, and rich 1920s atmosphere.
Former socialite Lola Woodby, not-so-discreet private eye in Prohibtion-era New York City, along with her grim Swedish sidekick, Berta, take on a piece-of-cake job: retrieving a rhinoceros trophy from the Connecticut mansion of big game hunter Rudy Montgomery. After all, their client, Lord Sudley, promises them a handsome paycheck, and the gin and tonics will be free. But no sooner do they arrive at Montgomery Hall than Rudy is shot dead with a houseful of suspicious characters standing by.Lord Sudley ups the ante, and Lola and Berta take the case. Armed with handbags stuffed with emergency chocolate, gin flasks, and a Colt .25, Lola and Berta are swiftly embroiled in a madcap puzzle of stolen diamonds, family secrets, a clutch of gangsters, and a flapper who knows her way around a safari rifle. Gin and Panic continues the Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries from beloved crime writer Maia Chance.
31-year-old society matron Lola Woodby has survived her loveless marriage with an unholy mixture of highballs, detective novels, and chocolate layer cake, until, her husband dies suddenly, leaving her his fortune...or so Lola thought. As it turns out, all she inherits from Alfie is a big pile of debt. Pretty soon, Lola and her stalwart Swedish cook, Berta, are reduced to hiding out in the secret love nest Alfie kept in New York City. But when rent comes due, Lola and Berta have no choice but to accept an offer made by one of Alfie's girls-on-the-side: in exchange for a handsome sum of money, the girl wants Lola to retrieve a mysterious reel of film for her. It sounds like an easy enough way to earn the rent money. But Lola and Berta realize they're in way over their heads when, before they can retrieve it, the man currently in possession of the film reel is murdered, and the reel disappears. On a quest to retrieve the reel and solve the murder before the killer comes after them next, Lola and Berta find themselves navigating one wacky situation after another in high style and low company. Charming, witty, often laugh-out-loud funny, Maia Chance's Come Hell or Highball is the first in the Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries and introduces a sparkling new voice in crime fiction.
When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list. The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie's sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they're soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team's and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane. In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes & Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home.
Miss Ophelia Flax is a Victorian actress who knows all about making quick changes and even quicker exits. But to solve a fairy-tale crime in the haunted Black Forest, she’ll need more than a bit of charm… 1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady’s maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up dead—poisoned by an apple—the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene. To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she’ll have to break a cunning killer’s spell before her own time runs out…
From the author of Cinderella Six Feet Under, a beauty must solve a beastly murder. Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax knows how to win over an audience. That’s why she’s accepted the marriage proposal of the brutish Comte de Griffe to nettle her occasional investigative partner—and romantic sparring partner—the pompous if dashing Professor Penrose. But with his boorish table manners, wild mane of hair, and habit of prowling away the wee hours, the comte has shredded Ophelia’s last nerve. She intends to disengage from her feral fiancé at his winter hunting party—until Penrose, his lovely new fiancée, and a stagecoach of stranded travelers arrive at the comte’s sprawling château. Soon she can’t tell the boars from the bores. When one of the guests is found clawed and bloody in the orangerie, Ophelia is determined to solve the murder before everyone starts believing the local version of Beauty and the Beast. But until the snows melt, she can’t trust her eyes—or her heart—since even the most civilized people hold beastly secrets...
Switzerland, 1868. Resolute variety hall actress Ophelia Flax has spent the last several months performing in a traveling circus, settling into the gritty camaraderie of circus life, and—almost, anyway—forgetting all about Professor Penrose, love, enchantment, and bunkum generally. When Ophelia breaks her arm in a trick pony-riding accident under the big top, she is whisked away by a guilt-ridden benefactor to convalesce in the Waldsanatorium, a grand hospital perched high over a valley. Soon after her arrival, she discovers that one of the patients, the young American Imogen Melchor, is trapped in a morbid lethargy from which she cannot be woken and which—so her parents insist—was caused by the prick of an enchanted spindle. Ophelia is not one to twiddle her thumbs, even though she’s discomfited by the sudden reappearance Professor Penrose, whose head is turned by rumors of magical spinning wheels. Inquiring together into Imogen’s plight, they uncover a wicked plot concerning medical theories, a pagan goddess, and a contested will . . . and, along the way, perhaps reawaken their own slumbering hearts.

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