Monster in Miniature

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REVIEWS

Once Upon A Romance's Review

Hi Readers,

A really interesting concept for a mystery story. Very appealing characters and a plot that will keep you on your toes.

Geraldine Porter is a retired teacher who is very into her hobby of miniatures and she also has extra time to spend with her granddaughter, Maddie. Maddie is also a miniature fan along with grandma and helps her out making doll houses and furniture for them. It's Halloween in Lincoln Point, CA and the holiday is celebrated in high style. There is one street especially where every house has something different and Gerry and Maddie go to see the displays on their way home from school on the weekend of Halloween. They reach a house where there is a scarecrow on the porch that wakes up and screams when people get close. Unfortunately, that straw scarecrow has been replaced by a bloody corpse. Gerry hopes to keep a safe distance from this death because she doesn't want to expose Maddie to this crime but gets pulled into helping to investigate it by the victim's sister, who is a member of the craft group. Also, Gerry's nephew is on the police force and finds clues that seem to involve Gerry's late husband. The investigation becomes a personal issue with Gerry and she, with Maddie along for the ride, has to uncover the truth.

This author has written four other books in this series and I'm planning to read them all. I was charmed by the concept and always knew there were people out there that made all these miniature houses and their contents but didn't think a lot about it. This is quite a hobby and there are so many things to learn. It seems like I went back in time to meet old friends again and get involved in a craft or two. I highly recommend this to all fans of cozy mysteries. This one isn't settled until the last page and I know that you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

I'll talk to you soon,

Mary

Sunday Salon

Geraldine Porter's hobby as a miniaturist has involved her in murder investigations in the past, but a current case is a little too close to home. Margaret Grace's Monster in Miniature takes Geraldine into her late husband's past.

Geraldine's beloved granddaughter, Maddie, is visiting just before Halloween, and they're working on a multi-story haunted dollhouse. Their excursion to a local street, famous for Halloween decorations, will leave Geraldine haunted for a long time. She and Maddie are checking out the Ferguson's exhibit, when teenagers discover the scarecrow on the porch is a dead man, not the expected scarecrow. As a former schoolteacher, and aunt of a homicide detective, Geraldine gathers the teens as witnesses, never expecting she'll be sucked deeper into the case. Eleven-year-old Maddie, on the other hand, is thrilled to be once more on "The Case" with her beloved grandmother and Uncle Skip.

If the dead man was going to be a witness against a big developer, why is Ken Porter's name on a list found in his possessions? Gerry knows her husband wasn't corrupt, but she begins to doubt if she ever knew the man when she finds personal items in the boxes in the garage. Now, she doesn't know if she cares about this case because a man is dead, or because it threatens the memory of her husband.

Monster in Miniature is an excellent example of a cozy mystery that works with an amateur sleuth. How would you feel if your husband's memory was threatened, if everything you knew about him might be false? Would you do a little sleuthing on your own? Geraldine Porter has capable help, with a homicide detective as a nephew, a computer whiz kid for a granddaughter, and a patient new friend in Henry Taylor. Margaret Grace's series continues to be delightful, both in the mystery itself, and the miniature craft.

Lesa's Book Critiques

http://lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com/2010/06/monster-in-miniature-by-margaret-grace.html

 

Fresh Fiction

When Geraldine Porter sets out with her granddaughter Maddie to tour the neighborhood Halloween displays, they are looking for inspiration for the haunted doll-house they are going to create together. They find themselves in the middle of a police investigation when the scarecrow on one front porch turns out to be a bloody corpse.

Gerry and Maddie wait with the teens who discovered the body until Gerry's nephew Skip, a local police officer, arrives on the scene. Thinking her involvement over, Gerry is content to let the police do their job, until a crafter friend seeks her assistance. The scarecrow is her friend Susan's brother, and Susan is convinced he didn't commit suicide. Though the local cops are leaning in that direction, Skip isn't sure of the conclusion and continues the investigation.

Then Gerry and Skip discover the victim had ties to Gerry's late husband, and she learns he kept some pretty significant secrets from her throughout their marriage. Determined to know the truth, and with a little help from her precocious granddaughter, Gerry begins digging into the life of the victim, and the life of the man she loved, hoping to clear both of any hint of scandal before the real killer strikes again.

MONSTER IN MINIATURE by Margaret Grace is in turns a funny, thrilling and heartbreaking murder mystery. Gerry Porter is a thoroughly likable amateur sleuth, determined to get to the truth regardless the cost. Young Maddie is laugh-out-loud entertaining in her efforts to be involved and help solve the mystery, providing several of the pertinent clues that lead Gerry and Skip in the right direction. The mystery is well-plotted and the tying together of the various loose ends is satisfying, making this a difficult to put down page-turner!

Reviewed by Paula Myers

http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=26127

 

TwoLips Reviews

Retired schoolteacher and widow Geraldine Porter is thrilled whenever her granddaughter Maddie comes to visit, loving when they spend time together on her passion—creating miniature dollhouses. Since Halloween is just around the corner, Maddie persuades Gerry to assist her in building a spooky, multi-storied dollhouse with a haunted theme. As they stroll around her neighborhood hoping to get inspiration for the various rooms, they get the shock of their lives finding a dead body. When the dead person turns out to be a relative in Gerry's crafting circle, she just has to get involved. Will Gerry find the culprit or be the killer's next victim when she gets too close to solving the crime?

Be prepared to smile a time or two when you read Margaret Grace's Monster in Miniature because Gerry and Maddie make a perfect sleuthing team. Who can blame Gerry for being a bit overindulgent at times with her only granddaughter, the very wise pre-teen Maddie. She's a product of two very affluent parents and has more knowledge than most children in her age group, having eclectic tastes. Maddie loves spending time with her grand mom and is a much welcomed member of Gerry's miniature crafting group. It's no surprise when Maddie proposes they make a multi-level Halloween-themed dollhouse, Gerry happily agrees. The two have fun collaborating on all the little details necessary to make her dream come alive and then decide to take a walk around Gerry's town to get more creative juices flowing.

Never in their wildest dreams would the pair think they'd find a dead body amidst their travels. Gerry should have realized her inclination to shield Maddie from the awful sight would spur her to want to find out who killed the man. When Gerry is approached by one of her miniature crafter friends to help the police solve the crime, she agrees. Soon into her investigation, she wonders if this time she's gotten way over her head as she uncovers a hidden secret from her late husband's past that may impede her progress. I enjoyed the way Ms. Grace handled this very delicate situation within Monster in Miniature as Gerry wonders why her husband could have kept such a secret within their marriage.

Have I mentioned before I simply love the interaction between Maddie and Gerry? This team is so unique that as soon as I finished Margaret Grace's Monster in Miniature, I felt compelled to read her previous Miniature Mysteries to see how these two have solved crime before. I look forward to this amateur sleuthing duo's next venture as they continue to craft and solve crime together.

Reviewed by Victoria