THE BOOKS

 

A plucky 1950s homemaker, Margaret Spencer leaves boredom behind to create a new life as a private investigator. Over the course of six novels, Maggie becomes the self-sufficient woman most women of her generation could only dream of being. These cozy mysteries are set on the west coast and interior of BC Canada.

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DEATH PLAYS WITH FIRE

(The Margaret Spencer Mystery Series Book 6)

ISBN-9-781988-925523

A church on fire, a dead body, a mysterious cloaked figure seen running away, and the finger points to the obviously guilty person—the church organist. It’s September 1962, and Maggie Spencer is taking a few weeks holiday in the beautiful Okanagan Valley after a difficult year of sleuthing and family entanglements when she is called on to help exonerate the hapless organist. But when murder and kidnapping follow, Maggie is forced to call in Nat, her partner in Southby and Spencer Investigations. So begins a case that will take them up and down the valley and off into the hills, involving them with orchardists, migrant apple pickers, tent makers, church members, drug runners, and weird recluses. 

 

This sixth book in the popular Margaret Spencer Mysteries brings the series to an exciting but very satisfying close.

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DEATH AS A FINE ART

(The Margaret Spencer Mystery Series Book 5)

ISBN-978-1-927129-42-5

Journey into the fashionable art world of 1960s Vancouver as Margaret Spencer and Nat Southby return in Death as a Fine Art, the fifth book in the Margaret Spencer mystery series. The owner of the Silver Unicorn Art Gallery is dead, and Southby and Spencer, Private Investigators, are back at work in search of the killer. With plenty of suspects, and twists and turns along the way, Maggie and Nat have their work cut out for them.

The cast of memorable characters is no match for the investigators. Maggie trusts her instincts as they take her from the streets of Vancouver to Victoria, Galiano Island, and Mission. Meanwhile, her estranged husband continues his efforts to win her back, but even with plans for her daughter's wedding taking up all her spare time, Maggie knows there is no returning to her old life.

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DEATH AS A LAST RESORT

(The Margaret Spencer Mystery Series Book 4)

ISBN-978-1-926741-02-4

It is January 1961 and Margaret Spencer and Nat Southby are relaxing on a ski holiday when their vacation takes a bone-chilling turn. While cross-country skiing, the couple comes across the frozen body of Maurice Dubois, a man who went missing from a fishing resort the month before. When Maurice’s wife is also found murdered, the two Vancouver detectives are hired by the victims’ children to investigate. An energetic hunt begins, as Maggie and Nat find themselves involved in clandestine visits to a clothing factory on East Hastings Street, encounters at horse-breeding stables in Langley, a car chase to Lulu Island, and eventually a pilgrimage to the fishing resort at St. Clare’s Cove in Pender Harbour. 

 

In Death As a Last Resort, the fourth book in the popular Margaret Spencer Mystery series, our favourite Vancouver female sleuth Maggie Spencer and her partner Nat Southby continue their escapades as they track down the unlawful and dangerous.

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DEATH ON A SHORT LEASH

(The Margaret Spencer Mystery Series Book 3)

ISBN-978-1-894898-70-6

Margaret Spencer is embroiled in the case of a veterinarian's assistant whose body turned up in a cranberry bog. As details emerge about the victim's double life, a seemingly endless list of suspects forms. 

A long trail with a faint scent to follow leads Maggie and her boss Nat Southby to a strip club, a bogus religious sect, and a nursing home with a dark underlying secret.

With this third case, Maggie's skills are sharper than ever, and she affirms to Nat and herself that she has the deftness and determination to be a private investigator.

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IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH 

(The Margaret Spencer Mystery Series Book 2)

ISBN-978-1-894898-71-3

After a whirlwind year in the office of Vancouver PI Nat Southby, Margaret Spencer is in need of a vacation. She heads for a peaceful dude ranch in the Cariboo, but upon arriving, she is drawn into the area's unsolved murders and disappearances. Soon Margaret finds that the secrets of this remote and rugged terrain are closely guarded and her curiosity is unwelcome. As she pokes around a fresh crime scene, shots are fired at her and still, the local RCMP ignores her suspicious findings.

 

She and Nat unravel a wild story of betrayal, violence and broken promises.

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DEATH IN A FAMILY WAY

(The Margaret Spencer Mystery Series Book 1)

ISBN-978-1-894-878-72-0

This is how it all began—in Vancouver, in 1958. At 50, with two grown children, Margaret Spencer lives the vaguely dissatisfied life of a corporate lawyer's wife until one more vapid birthday greeting card from her inattentive husband sparks a search for new meaning in her life. She answers a want ad for part-time office help and is hired by Nat Southby, former cop and now Private Eye. An innocuous request to locate a missing cat brings the unlikely duo smack into the middle of a vicious murder and a series of disappearances of local teenage girls. 

 

This tightly woven story harkens back to a simpler time, when men believed that women's lib meant more labor-saving devices in the kitchen, and when wives were supposed to know their place.