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Edith here. Author Mary Feliz is a fellow Guppie and a Californian, and when I heard she has a new book out in her Maggie MacDonald Professional Organizer mystery series, I had to invite her onto the blog. Wouldn’t we all love a professional organizer to come into our houses and, well, get us organized? I know I would! I read book one, Address to Die for, and loved the tale of intrigue, family, and murder in the Silicon Valley area. Now Scheduled to Death is out, too. I’ll let Mary take it from here!
Thanks so much to the Wickeds for inviting me and my main character, Maggie McDonald, to hang out with the cool kids today.
Several of my local friends and fans have told me they’ve taken visiting family on the “Maggie McDonald” tour of Silicon Valley, pointing out locations that appear in the books.
I thought you all might like the armchair traveler’s version of that tour.
First up is the McDonald’s house, a Craftsman-style residence built in 1901. Their home was inspired by the Griffin family home which stands on what is now the Foothill College campus in Los Altos Hills, CA. It’s a beloved edifice, but interest in raising funds to restore it waned in the recent economic downturn. Each year it looks increasingly like a haunted house.
Next is a look at downtown “Orchard View” which is a mash-up of Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View. The downtown and ethos of Orchard View most closely resemble that of Los Altos, although all the characters and most of the locations are fictional.
One real thing in the books is the presence of Google, one of the area’s largest employers. Google bikes, the company’s Android dessert sculpture garden, and engineers testing self-driving cars all appear in one book or another.
The McDonald’s house backs onto lands belonging to the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District, which describes its land as places “where the din of urban life gives way to the soft sounds of nature. It is the serene, unbuilt, unspoiled earth that awakens all our senses and makes us whole again … it is room to breathe.” The first properties of Open Space District land were preserved by a voter initiative in 1972.
Edith: Thanks, Mary! That view of my home state is typical of my favorite parts of California – the golden rolling hills where nobody is. And I can’t wait to read Scheduled to Death.
Readers: Which tours have you taken of places you’ve read about in books? Would you ever take a vacation based on a book you’ve read?
Maggie McDonald organizes life between solving murders in Orchard View, California, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Find her adventures documented in the Maggie McDonald Mysteries published by Kensington’s Lyrical Press and available in paperback and all ebook formats. The series begins with Address to Die For and continues with Scheduled to Death (January 2017) and Dead Storage (July 2017). Organizing tips are in every chapter.
Mary records Maggie’s adventures and organizing advice. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust. She lives in Northern California. To keep up with the Maggie McDonald Mystery Series, sign up for Mary’s newsletter at http://www.maryfeliz.com/newsletter, or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.