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Available 4.15.24

Murder Most Owl

Murder Most Owl, April 2024
Magical Menagerie Mystery 1
by Sarah Fox

Severn House
Featuring: Georgie Johansen; Callum McQuade; Ed Grimshaw
224 pages
ISBN: 1448312302
EAN: 9781448312290
Kindle: B0CKWB1FDS
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List


"A new Oregon coastline mystery series"

Fresh Fiction Review

Murder Most Owl
Sarah Fox

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted March 29, 2024

Mystery Woman Sleuth | Mystery Pet Lovers | Mystery Paranormal

Georgie Johansen returns to her childhood home to help her aunt Olivia, but Twilight Cove, Oregon, is no longer so peaceful. MURDER MOST OWL is a slightly paranormal cosy mystery – with no ghosts, but some unusual occurrences. Since Olivia broke her leg, she’s glad for any help around the house and at the animal sanctuary she now runs.


An older lady called Dorothy Shale, who lives simply in a woodland cabin nearby with a great horned owl called Euclid and two well-trained springer spaniels, Flossie and Fancy, becomes friendly with Georgie. Then, just like that, she’s dead. The dogs come to the animal sanctuary to fetch help, but all Georgie can do is phone the police and wait at the cabin until their arrival. After a short time, she’s told by Chief Stratton that suspicious circumstances are under consideration. And she’s a suspect.


While a Los Angeles screenplay writer might seem like a fish out of water, Georgie isn’t the gregarious type, and never once misses freeways, Rodeo Drive and opening nights. She intends to stay for six weeks, but it’s easy to see that she’ll probably prolong the stay or move back permanently. Callum McQuade, who has been taken on to work at the sanctuary, seems like a nice practical man, loving animals and being helpful. On the other hand, he seems to be up to something shady at night.


Other townsfolk feature a developer, Ed Grimshaw, who persisted in trying to buy Dorothy’s pristine woodland near the shore for housing. Roxy Russo, a teen girl from a troubled background who hangs out with the animals, might be a witness. Marlene Hooper from the cosmetics shop, and dogged reporter Byron Szabo of the Twilight Cove Gazette, might have had motives to kill Dorothy. Some more pleasant people include Georgie’s old friend Tessa Ortiz and well-to-do Avery Hembridge who’s visiting an elderly, ill relative. Maybe they know something that could put them in danger. I had a good time spotting clues, and while my early suspicion was justified, the whole adventure was such fun I’d read it again.


If you are not used to paranormal tales, don’t worry, this is a minor part of the adventure and it just serves to speed the investigation. Working dog breeds are intelligent, and Flossie, Fancy, and Euclid make a helpful team. Other sanctuary friends include alpacas and tiny goats. MURDER MOST OWL by Sarah Fox, a Vancouver author with three previous crime series, is a charming read for lovers of pets and mysteries alike. I’m hoping for more in the Magical Menagerie Mystery series.

Learn more about Murder Most Owl


The first in the enchanting new Magical Menagerie mystery series where things are not always what they seem. Georgie Johansen returns to the charming, coastal town of Twilight Cove and quickly finds herself in a whirlwind of romance, magic and murder!

It's been years since screenwriter Georgie Johansen last visited her Aunt Olivia's farm in the coastal town of Twilight Cove and things have certainly changed. First of all it's now an animal sanctuary, and then there's the new farmhand who's as mysterious as he is handsome. Her first day on the farm, Georgie encounters the eccentric Dorothy Shale, an older woman who lives in a cabin in the woods. There are rumours that Dorothy's a witch, but Georgie doesn't believe that. Although, Dorothy does have an unusual magical presence around her . . .

When Dorothy ends up murdered, suspicion falls on Georgie - she was the one who found the poor woman's body, and being new in town doesn't help with the suspicion. Things only get worse when it turns out that Dorothy left her valuable plot of land to Auntie O!

Georgie must act fast to clear her and her aunt's names by finding the real killer. But as bodies start to mount up, the pressure rises. With the help of the unusual powers of Dorothy's two dogs and great-horned owl, can Georgie uncover the truth before she becomes the killer's next target?

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