HH Com 481

Meet the new Stephanie Plum…
Thirty two year old Maggie Phillips hasn’t had it easy. As the wife of retired Navy SEAL Neil Phillips, and the adoptive mother of two little hellions, Maggie is constantly looking for ways to improve her family’s financial situation. She accepts a cleaning position for her new neighbors (who redefine the term ‘eccentric’), never imagining she will end up as the sole alibi for a man with a fascination for medieval torture devices when he is brought up on murder charges.
While Maggie struggles to prove the man’s innocence, her deadbeat brother arrives, determined to sell Maggie and Neil on his next great scheme and to mooch with a vengeance. If that isn’t bad enough, her in-laws, (the cutthroat corporate attorneys) descend on the house, armed with disapproval and condemnation, for the family’s annual Thanksgiving celebration.
As the police investigation intensifies, Maggie searches for the killer among the upper echelon of Hudson, Massachusetts in the only way she can . . . by scrubbing their thrones.
Of the porcelain variety, that is…

If she's provided an alibi, why is he still charged with murder?

You've got a lot of characters floating around here in the SEAL tank, and not much plot.

Im not sure why you think this would be "the next Stephanie Plum" unless you mean something other than the one/two/three series by Janet Evanovich.


skybluepinkrose said...

Deja vu? Haven't we seen this one already? Or am I wrong?

Virginia Miss said...

I've seen this, or something similar, before. Was is on Miss Snark's blog? Or Evil Editor?

Author, why mention that Maggie hasn't always had it easy, if you don't give us convincing proof of that? I don't think that's a compelling lead. Also, do we need to know that her husband is a retired Navy SEAL in the hook?

Why does Maggie search for the killer?

please don't mention Stephanie Plum when you query.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be a rewrite of HH Com #44. I suppose it was resubmitted before the deadline :x

What does being a SEAL have to do with this, retired or not? Why are they barely managing? Did the Navy stop their pension plan while I was napping?

This really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me on many levels.

xiqay said...

I don't want an author to tell me that her character is the next Stephanie Plum. I'd listen if it's Booklist or the NYT telling me, but otherwise, let me decide.

I like murder mysteries of all ilk. I like the fact that the amateur sleuth in this novel "cleans thrones" (you don't need to tell me they're porcelain--I'm smart enough to figure that out, especially since you've already said she accepts a cleaning position...).

I don't mind the cast of characters-the deadbeat brother and the corporate attorney in-laws, the hellion children.

I want to know why she's financially strapped. Her husband is retired, so he must get some income. And if she's only 32, her husband probably isn't all that old, he could work. And his parents are corporate attorneys, so presumably they've got money (and have worked for a good long time, so they should be retiring soon). So I'm not buying the set-up.

I second the earlier question--if Maggie provides an alibi for her employer, why is she concerned about "who done it"? What makes her throw herself into the mystery?

Good luck sorting out your story and characters.

Anonymous said...

We had a Maggie who cleaned and was the wife of an ex-SEAL way early on, in the first 100 (I actually think it was in the first 50). She was dizzy and dumb and even the writer thought she was an idiot, calling her "poor Maggie".

Is this the same one? If so, this is a better hook, but...uh...you subbed two different hooks for the same book?

If it's different, somebody needs to change their book.

BernardL said...

Leave out the comparison to 'Stephanie Plum'. You would have to prove you can write with the talent and humor Janet Evanovitch does, not simply claim it. If you could work the humor angle a little more forcefully into the hook, your chances of getting noticed with this will escalate considerably.