(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti
About the Book
As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
3rd in Series
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B
In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.
But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.
The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.
As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.
From Big Pharma to small-town pharmacy.
Cozies, like real estate agents, are known for their adherence to the adage “Location, location, location.” Because I write traditional mysteries rather than cozies per se, I thought I was exempt from this focus on locale.
My books do have a have a strong sense of setting, of course. Maggie’s rooted in the Midwest. Depending on the book, she’s nestled in a small town or making her mark in a thriving metropolis. The series’ most important location, however, isn’t bordered by city limits or announced by a “Welcome to ___________!” sign. It’s in Maggie’s workplace.
In Protocol, my Agatha-nominated debut, Maggie finds a home in the shelter of a laboratory at Rxcellance, an up-and-coming pharmaceutical development firm. Big Pharma plays an important role not only in the book’s plot but in her life as she goes from fledgling scientist to full-fledged hero.
Unfortunately, the constancy of her work home doesn’t last. In 39 Winks, the series’ second book, Maggie transitions out of a job and into a new town. By the time As Directed (releasing March 12) gets underway, she finds herself working behind the counter at the corner drugstore.
It’s this change of employment locale in which Maggie undergoes the greatest transformation. No longer defined by the work that she had prepared for her entire life, she must figure out where she belongs not just in the workspace but in the world at large.
Fate is there to challenge her, every step of the way.
Just as she begins to feel comfortable in her new lab coat and stretch her professional wings, things go terribly wrong. Customers she’d helped fall ill and die. The specter of poisoning arises. No one is exempt from suspicion, especially Maggie who’s recovering from a head injury and can’t quite remember who she helped or if she mated the right label to the right bottle.
Hailed as “A gripping tale of malice and deceit” by Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish, As Directed is about more than solving a string of murders. It’s about uncovering the mystery of where we’re going. As Maggie struggles and grows and learns, she discovers that where she belongs is less about addresses and more about being with the people she loves. And who love her right back.
About the Author
Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.
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