By Jim Napier
Over nearly twenty-five years, Ottawa’s Mary Jane Maffini has been entertaining readers with her rollicking novels highlighting the lighter side of crime. A cursory look at a few of her titles (The Icing on The Corpse, The Dead Don’t Get Out Much, Lament for a Lounge Lizard, and The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder) reveals that Maffini has a rare talent for words as she effortlessly carries readers along through her most improbable and entertaining flights of fancy.
Maffini’s latest effort, titled Death Plans a Perfect Trip, features the travails of professional personal organizer Charlotte Adams. It is a journey that whisks readers from Canada through much of Europe as Charlotte tries to track down her flamboyant and elusive mother Esme, whom she believes to be in mortal danger. Along the way, Charlotte discovers the jeopardy extends to her own circle of friends and suspects that the cause of these troubling events might lie buried in her childhood. The journey leads back to Montreal and the organized crime scene, and before it is ended, Charlotte will be forced to confront her mother’s actions in decades past.
Drawing on her wry wit and fertile imagination, in Death Plans a Perfect Trip Maffini serves up a nicely paced, original flight of fancy that will entertain her many fans. Along the way, they will be treated to unique and engaging characters (not least Charlotte’s eccentric mother) in richly immersive settings, including Paris, Lisbon, and Milan. Despite the occasional act of mayhem, her tale provides a welcome escape to a lighter and more captivating world.
And good news for Maffini’s many fans: not one to sit idle, she has already followed Perfect Trip with her latest novel reprising another very popular series, this one featuring the redoubtable legal sleuth Camilla MacPhee, provocatively titled You Light Up My Death. Both will be excellent gifts for avid mystery fans on my Christmas list!
Death Plans a Perfect Trip is published by Beyond the Page Publishing.
In addition to being a reviewer with over six hundred reviews to his credit, Jim Napier is the acclaimed author of Legacy and Ridley’s War, in the British-based Colin McDermott mystery series. The third novel in the series is expected out in 2023.