When I started to read The Message, I really did not know what to expect as I had never read any of Mary A. Berger’s novels before. However, this is the third book in her Mattie Mitchell series. It won the Pinnacle Achievement Award for the Best in Category in the Autumn of 2014. I am not surprised. This novel is an excellent example of Mystery Chick Lit. A genre I enjoy.
The author’s background in English at Schoolcraft College in Michigan is certainly in evidence. The book is well written, with vivd descriptions and crisp, realistic dialogue.
The Message revolves around Mattie Mitchell and Clare Tibbitts who are older ladies. They are friends who work in a thrift shop in a little town in the mountains to the West of North Carolina, USA. When a broken lap top is found amongst items donated to the thrift shop, the ladies discover a mysterious message on it. Mattie’s is curious and she decides to ask her nephew Scott to fix the machine.
In The Message, Mattie discovers a slick operator who runs on an online dating site. They try to talk lonely widows into parting with their money on a dating website for his own purposes.When Mattie learns of this Internet scam on a dating services site, she becomes enraged. She feels that, as someone has been wronged and Mattie is determined to make things right for them.
So, with Clare’s help, Mattie decides to contact the operator. She joins the site, but soon fears she might be in over her head. However, fate works to her advantage and Mattie shows her true metal. There are some surprises in the story that I do not want to give away. Suffice to say that Mattie’s plan backfires! She also discovers that her new friend, Angela, is not all that she thought.
The Message is an easy read. It is a mystery story wrapped up with humour. The story is told with a deft touch and I highly recommend it. I now plan to read the other two books in the series.