Realtor Maria Sebastian had not wanted to take the trip north to Auraria, Georgia with her realtor partner Bonnie Keen but she had to do it. As it happened, both real estate agents had been independently working to sell the same 95 acre wooded tract in northern Georgia for different members in the same investor consortium. Her contact had not told her of the involvement of the other agent and Bonnie’s contact had apparently failed to tell Bonnie that Maria was working on the sale. Now, despite their thirty year age difference and the fact that neither wants to work together or even trust each other, they are forced to do so in order to salvage the sale. With a commission for both of them at stake, they simply have to work together. This mild November day finds them about to walk the property.


Maria always walks the property she sells and the fact that Bonnie does not want to do so is not going to stop Maria from doing it. Bonnie ends up coming along and clearly is not happy about it. The heavily wooded site is a pretty one with plenty of hills, trees, plants and at least one apparently injured rabbit. Bonnie’s attempt to rescue the rabbit results in Bonnie needing a rescue herself and medical attention. Her actions also result in the discovery of a skeleton that may or may not be someone from Maria’s past.


In between trying to sell the parcel of land despite learning of more and more obstacles for the sale, going home to see her parents for Thanksgiving, and a host of other problems including resolving the identity of the skeleton, Maria maintains a romance with Mason. But, unlike her crazy cousin Emily who has now decided she wants to make clothes and have her own fashion line while telling Maria every thought that ever comes through her head, Maria’s very level headed boyfriend apparently has been keeping secrets from her. The fact that Mason is not the only one she loves that has been doing so does not make her life easier. When you can’t trust the ones you love—what do you do?


Secrets drive these romantic cozy mystery steadily forward the full 290 pages.  Filled with interesting characters, several different mystery storylines, a romantic angle that has its own mystery, and plenty of observations about real world behavior, this recent publication from Wolfmont Press is a good one. Not only does author Melody Scott bring the cast of characters alive, she throws in plenty of twists and turns to keep readers involved all the way to the end that many won’t see coming.


While being a realtor is a major part of the Maria Sebastian character, the read is not bogged down with real estate terms and technical jargon. What little is included is limited and easily explained for the reader. The focus is on the character relationships, the numerous mysteries, and her everyday real world life elements that most, if not all readers, will relate to easily and enjoy.


The result is a solid comfortable read with quite a few twists and turns and a heroine readers care about. Hopefully, “Auraria Dead: A Maria Sebastian Mystery” is the start of a new series. If so, it gets off with a great rock solid beginning.


Auraria Dead: A Maria Sebastian Mystery

Melody Scott

Wolfmont Press

April 2011

ISBN# 978-1-60364-038-1

290 Pages (also available as an e-book)




Material supplied by publisher in exchange for my objective review.



Kevin R. Tipple © 2011

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