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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Miami criminal defense lawyer Mary Magruder Katz leaves Florida in a hurry with her German Shepherd, Sam, in tow. She has found her beloved fiance Carlos at a restaurant with his former wife. So she sends back the engagement ring that he gave her and heads to Vermont to her friend Lucy's home where she plans on healing her broken heart amidst the beauty of Vermont's autumn leaf season. But there are other things that are broken and Mary is there to fix them. Mary tries to find her way to Lucy's home in High Pines, Vermont, but ends up at a different house, that of murder victim Carolyn Brousseau. Carolyn's murder has never been solved by the local police department, headed by Sheriff Jimmy Parsons. Mary finally finds Lucy's house and local lawyer, Dash Mellman, who convinces her to help him with a local case. It seems that retired Connecticut law enforcement agent Ken Upham, who has moved to High Pines, is accused by his neighbor of uprooting trees, something that is against an old Vermont law. And Dartmouth student Sherry Yarmouth, daughter of one of Mary's Florida friends, is kidnapped. Will Mary Katz be able to handle all this?
"Outrageous October" by Barbara Levenson is the first book in the upcoming 'Mary Magruder Katz mystery series'. Mary is a delightful main character as she sleuths her way through several mysteries in this first volume. Local High Pines Vermont characters as well as Mary's family and friends in Miami add to the story line. The subplots of Sherry's kidnapping and Ken's lawsuit by neighbor Roland Behr work well with the story line. Further subplots such as attacks against the local synagogues could be saved for further Mary Katz mysteries. Levenson writes a good mystery and Mary Magruder Katz is a nice addition for mystery lovers everywhere.