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You can find several of Maria's short stories online in such fine magazines as: Coyote Wild Magazine, www.AnthologyBuilder.com, TownDrunkMag.com and Over My Dead Body.
She writes cozy mysteries, fantasy, paranormal mysteries and has her pen ready to write a ghost story in the near future.
Visit Maria at her blog: www.BearMountainBooks.com.
on April 24, 2011 :
Maria Schneider is one of the independent authors that make the others look good. Her books have been proofread and they are very reasonably priced. Her books are all good with interesting characters, lots of action, nice dialog and funny circumstances.
This book, the third about the former IT girl O´Hala, is among her best and I recommend it to everyone interested in crime/comedy/romance stories.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 05, 2011 :
I have truly enjoyed all three books in the cozy Executive/Sedona O’Hala mystery series, and hope there will be more books in this series. I am a big fan of the author’s writing style and her creativity, including Sedona’s humorous internal dialogue, her quirky family, and all the different side characters in each of the stories. In Executive Sick Days, I was surprised to discover that the plot revolved around a hospital setting instead of an IT company, and found it a nice change of pace with even nuttier side characters and their related antics. As always, Sedona is likeable, engaging, and believable, and it made me happy to have the romance portion of her story expanded upon in this installment. I did figure out the “why/what” aspect of the mystery and more or less, the “whodunit”, but was still surprised by something I missed, despite the included clues and hints. More importantly, I was laughing out loud (or otherwise smirking) from start to finish while reading this book, and I even forgive the author for making me read about a snake (eek!). This 3rd installment of the Executive/Sedona O'Hala mystery series does not disappoint!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on March 02, 2011 :
"Executive Sick Days" is the third book in Maria Schneider's Sedona O'Hala series, and in my opinion, it's the best so far. Once again, Sedona is working for Steve Huntington, this time to find out who is "cooking the books" at Crestwood Hospital and profiting by it. The answer may lie in the hospital records, so Sedona becomes an unpaid volunteer at the hospital so that she can go undercover to solve the mystery. Sedona's former coworker Radar is working at the hospital as an IT professional, but he's also working undercover for Huntington.
As usual, there's no shortage of possible suspects as Sedona, Radar, and Mark Huntington (Steve's brother) try to sort out the evidence - incomplete medical files, overnight hospital stays that don't appear to be warranted, and missing or messed up entries in some records. As they get closer to some answers, the unknown perpetrator fights back, and it becomes clear that the stakes are high enough to kill for.
There's lots of action in "Executive Sick Days," but it's not quite as frenetic as the first two books in the series. Sedona, Radar, and Mark do some solid investigative work to root out the culprit, although they're not above bending the law a bit to get the information they need. There are plenty of laughs too, as Sedona confronts despotic head nurse Sally Rendal, who she nicknames "Attila." When a patient brings his pet snake into the hospital, Sedona has an opportunity to get back at Attila, and she makes the most of it. And Sedona's sister-in-law Brenda, who's a nurse at the hospital, is still wearing her comical outfits to try to keep her pregnancy from showing.
And I should mention that Sedona is more romantically involved this time around. She's hopelessly head over heels in love, but to say any more would be a spoiler.
The author, Maria Schneider, is hitting her stride now as a writer of cozy mysteries. This one was first rate.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on March 02, 2011 :
Sedona’s back, and she’s working with the Huntimgdon’s again … Well that should mean a safe peaceful dull job right? Not another dangerous assignment surely,
And surely working undercover as a Hospital Volunteer, cleaning up “Brown Outs” and having your lunch stolen from the rest room refrigerator can’t be dangerous right?
And what about Mark Huntingdon? Is he interested in Sedona? Will they ever have a proper date?
Well most of us can’t see any danger there, not even when someone is charging for scans and procedures that never happen,
And even a Rattlesnake in the hospital can’t ruin Sedona’s day,
So who is copying x-rays, labelling them with wrong patient’s names, and pocketing the ill-gotten gains?
Will Sedona’s parents ruin the day, and Why is her brother Dean hiding news from their parents and his siblings, Will Sean stop his wife seeing Sedona as his sister is such a bad influence when Brenda is in her state, Is it Sedona’s fault Brenda dresses like a demented Santa?
Ok so maybe at first the story looked to be rather tame, but it soon hot’s up,
I had thought Maria had removed the danger, removed the interest, but as usual Sedona is never far from trouble, and as usual the story and the characters are well crafted, the dialogues realistic and appropriate to the setting,
As for who done it, well I guessed at several likely candidates, but no, I got it wrong, and kicked myself, the clues were there, and no the demented Santa didn’t do it !
If you’;ve read the first two books, this one lives up to the standard, even betters it, if however this is your first meeting with Sedona you’re in for a treat, and won’t find it too hard to get into the story which could easily be a standalone,
The books nicely formatted and there are no glaring errors anywhere, It’s worth the price three or four times over,
Will Sedona be back for number 4 or will she retire into obscurity? Any clues Maria?
(reviewed within a month of purchase)