Maia Chance books in order
Maia Chance is an American national bestselling author of cozy mystery and historical mystery books.
She is best known for creating the Discreet Retrieval Agency, Agnes and Effie, and Fairy Tale Fatal mystery series.
A finalist for the 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, Maia is writing her dissertation on ninenteenth-century American Literature.
She currently resides in Vashon Island, Washington with her husband and two children.
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery, Mystery
- The Trophy Wives of Alpenrose (2017)
Agnes & Effie Mystery
- Bad Housekeeping (2017)
- Bad Neighbors (2018)
Discreet Retrieval Agency Mystery
- Come Hell or Highball (2015)
- Teetotaled (2016)
- Gin and Panic (2017)
- Naughty on Ice (2018)
Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery
- Snow White Red-Handed (2014)
- Cinderella Six Feet Under (2015)
- Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna (2016)
- Sleeping Beauty, Borrowed Time: A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery Novella (2017)
- Joy to the Worlds (2015)
Detailed book overview
It’s 1965, and small-time American con artist Daisy Mattson considers herself more of a survivalist than a gold digger. But when her new husband, Count Burkhart of Switzerland, dies, she suddenly becomes the head of an international luxury hotel chain, heiress to a fortune...and the prime suspect for murder.
Daisy’s sister, seventeen-year-old Jo, has chunky thighs, a penchant for wool cardigans, and a weakness for chocolate. In short, she’s the polar opposite of her glamorous elder sister. Pent up in an elite finishing school, Jo discovers a group of distinctly creepy girls who look straight out of Vogue, secretly speak Russian, and who just might have something to do with Count Burkhart’s death.
Enter a butler who’s more James Bond than Jeeves, a sexy Swiss ski instructor, a legendary monster in the decrepit villa across the lake, and a world-famous plastic surgeon who specializes in transforming women into living dolls. In the charming alpine village of Ober Spyri, the Mattson sisters race to clear Daisy’s name before she becomes the next one laid to rest in Château Burkhart’s family crypt.
Agnes & Effie Mystery
The dorky and determined Agnes Blythe and her glamorous Great Aunt Effie form an unlikely team to save a crumbling inn and crack a murder case amidst the small-town charm and intrigue of Naneda, NY.
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.
Agnes Blythe and her glamorous Aunt Effie must take a break from restoring their inn to rake in the clues when a local mechanic is murdered...
It’s leaf-peeping season in Naneda, New York, and Agnes Blythe has settled into helping her eccentric Great Aunt Effie restore the Stagecoach Inn. It seems nothing can shatter the golden idyll—or the ka-ching of cash registers—until a mechanic at Hatch Automotive is found bludgeoned to death with a wrench.
Sweeping into action, Agnes and Aunt Effie are on the scene, when a tourist-laden motor coach breaks down outside of town. The Stagecoach Inn isn’t exactly ready for guests, but Agnes and Effie agree to take in a group of seniors while they wait for repairs. But then, Agnes finds herself pulled into the investigation when she learns her new boyfriend, gorgeous Otis Hatch, is the Naneda Police Department’s prime suspect.
With bodies falling faster than the foliage, Agnes must leaf through the more viable suspects and clear Otis’s name of murder in Bad Neighbors.
Discreet Retrieval Agency Mystery
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.
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.
Former socialite Lola Woodby is now struggling to make ends meet as a not-so-discreet private eye in Prohibtion-era New York City, along with her stern Swedish sidekick, Berta.
When they’re offered a piece-of-cake job—retrieving a rhinoceros trophy from the Connecticut mansion of big game hunter Rudy Montgomery—it seems like a no-brainer. After all, their client, Lord Sudley, promises them a handsome paycheck, and the gin and tonics will be plentiful and free. But no sooner do they arrive at Montgomery Hall than Rudy is shot dead.
When the police arrive to examine the scene, they conclude that Rudy had actually committed suicide. But Lord Sudley can’t believe his friend would have done that, and there’s a houseful of suspicious characters standing by. So Lord Sudley ups the ante for Lola and Berta, and suddenly, their easy retrieval job has turned into a murder investigation.
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 plenty of suspects who know their way around a safari rifle.
The Discreet Retrieval Agency is doing a brisk holiday business of retrieving lost parcels, grandmas, and stolen wreaths. But with their main squeezes Ralph and Jimmy once more on the back burner, both Lola and Berta pine for a holiday out of New York City. So when they receive a mysterious Christmas card requesting that they retrieve an antique ring at a family gathering in Maple Hill, Vermont, they jump at the chance. Sure, the card is signed Anonymous and it’s vaguely threatening, but it’s Vermont.
In Maple Hill, several estranged members of the wealthy Goddard family gather. And no sooner do Lola and Berta recover the ring—from Great-Aunt Cressida Goddard’s arthritic finger—than Mrs. Goddard goes toes-up, poisoned by her Negroni cocktail on ice. When the police arrive, Lola and Berta are caught-red-handed with the ring, and it becomes clear that they were in fact hired not for their cracker-jack retrieving abilities, but to be scapegoats for murder.
With no choice but to unmask the killer or be thrown in the slammer, Lola and Berta’s investigations lead them deep into the secrets of Maple Hill. In a breathless pursuit along a snowy ridge, with a lovelorn Norwegian ski instructor and country bumpkin hooch smugglers hot on their heels, Lola and Berta must find out once and for all who’s nice...and who’s naughty.
Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery
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…
Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax’s plan to reunite her friend Prue with her estranged—and allegedly wealthy—mother, Henrietta, is met with a grim surprise. Not only is the marquise’s Paris mansion a mouse-infested ruin, but Henrietta has inexplicably vanished, leaving behind an evasive husband, two sinister stepsisters, and a bullet-riddled corpse in the pumpkin patch decked out in a ball gown and one glass slipper—a corpse that also happens to be a dead ringer for Prue.
Strangely, no one at 15 rue Garenne seems concerned about who plugged this luckless Cinderella or why, so the investigation is left to Ophelia and Prue. It takes them through the labyrinthine maze of the Paris Opera, down the trail of a legendary fairy tale relic, into the confidence of a wily prince charmless, and makes them vulnerable to the secrets of a mysterious couturière with designs of her own on Prue’s ever-twisting family history.
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.
What do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky, Victorian villages, time-travelling detectives, Krampus, eerie bell spirits, and more–this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!
This collection stars four authors, each with their own distinct style. National bestselling mystery author Maia Chance, who is famous for her cozy mysteries, dazzles with humor and folklore. IPPY award-winning science fiction author Janine A. Southard beguiles with unexpected time-travel science. Science fiction and fantasy bestseller Raven Oak offers a look into the gothic past. And for a whole new perspective, debut fiction author and art expert G. Clemans dives into the intersections of creativity and mystery.
Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries across time and space. Ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate worlds into something everyone will enjoy.