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Publisher's Summary

Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.

Fiona’s not convinced. She’s determined to find the author of the enigmatic notes and uncover the truth about a man who had many secrets and countless enemies, including Fiona’s mother and former suspect Nancy Quinn!

Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder! 

©2020 Cindy McDonald (P)2020 Cindy McDonald

What listeners say about Taking Notes on Murder

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing cozy mystery

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I have read several of the Fiona Quinn Cozy Mysteries and they have been so very good, and Taking Notes on Murder is that same so very good! Fiona is always finding herself in the middle of a murder case, and this time someone is leaving notes on her desk in her kindergarten classroom. Could someone be so brave?

So the search is on and Fiona is trying to pull her now husband (shhhh nobody knows she’s married), Detective Nathan Landry into the case. Nathan really tries to keep Fiona from taking the case but it didn’t work so here both of them are with a case that’s re-opened and going strong, if they could just get some good clues. And I don’t want to give anything important away so I’ll stop at this. If you enjoy a good clean cozy mystery, you will be delighted to listen to this fun, interesting and enjoyable read.

This was an audiobook that I reviewed and I enjoyed the voice of Maren Swenson Waxenberg as she so expertly reads the narration. Waxenberg has the perfect voice for this cozy mystery. Her expressions and voice changes for the characters kept the interest in wanting to finish listening to this book. If you have been wanting to try an audio book, this is a great one to try. You will enjoy several hours of reading fun. I give Taking Notes on Murder Five Stars!

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Great

Taking Notes on Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery #9 was the perfect length audio book for my recent vacation trip that involved about five hours of driving. The audio quality was great and it made for a much less boring drive than just listening to music. The claim of a 2005 suicide having been a murder made for a gripping premise that kept me interested until the end trying to guess if it was murder or suicide and if it was murder then who the murderer was.

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Very good mystery


I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I loved the narrator. Fiona Quinn is a wonderful character and I love her boyfriend, Nathan Landry. It is fun to learn about Fiona, Nathan and the mother of Fiona. I love many of the scenes that take place in the school where Fiona teaches. I received a copy of this audiobook from ireadbooktour for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

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Suicide or Murder?

3.5 stars

Following their cruise in the last book, Fiona and Nathan are back home, keeping the secret that they got married. Fiona is once again in her kindergarten classroom and it isn’t long before she’s enticed into investigating another death, prompted by a series of notes claiming that a suicide from years ago was, in fact, not a suicide. Fiona needs nothing more to start snooping but her detective husband, Nathan, says the notes alone are not enough reason to re-open the case. Naturally, he changes his mind when Fiona herself is threatened.

As it turns out, high school teacher James Arnold was a most unlikeable man, a real creep, so there’s no shortage of suspects including his own family and colleagues. Fiona and Nathan have enough investigating to keep them busy but they also have to contend with the latest shenanigans of her unseen but present ghostly grandmother. Those interludes are refreshing and funny, helping to break the tension.

In my earlier review of the previous book, I mentioned that I was undecided as to whether I liked the narration of the audiobook. Unfortunately, this entry confirms my thought that the main character’s voice is really annoying—Fiona sounds like an overgrown version of one of those kindergartners she teaches. She plucks my last nerve but Ms. Waxenberg does a nice job with the other characters and maintains appropriate pacing so I was willing to overlook the distraction. All said, Taking Notes on Murder is a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

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A good read

This is the second audio book I have listened o by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. I commented on Maren before but will briefly mention again that she does a very nice job of narrating books. Book eight is my first experience with this series. So now with book nine I am two books into this series. This book kind of picks up from the prior book but it does not mean you have to listen/read the prior book to jump right in.

Fans of this series will be happy with the direction that Fiona and Nathan's relationship is heading. Which already I like them both. They work well together as a couple and solving cases together. Speaking of cases...the victim in this one had a lot of enemies. Thus there was a lot of characters introduced into this story in a fairly quick manner.

Again, I did like this story but not as much as the prior one. Although, I would continue with this series and do want to go back and start with book one.

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Good cozy mystery!

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I recently listened to another Fiona Quinn mystery, Bon Voyage to Murder, and I thought it was okay. Thankfully, I enjoyed this book a lot more.

Fiona teaches kindergarten, and she starts receiving notes that claim that a 2005 death that was ruled a suicide was actually a murder. Of course, she has to investigate. I like her tenacity as well as her husband’s willingness to accept her as she is, even with the ghost living in the upstairs apartment.

The case gets dangerous but it’s not so easy to solve. There are many suspects because the victim was not a nice person, and he made many enemies. The murderer wasn’t a surprise but since there were multiple suspects, I wasn’t sure how it would all come out.

The narrator’s voice took a little getting used to. It’s not as soothing as some of the audiobook voices I’ve heard, but once I got used to it, I was fine. Her timing and inflection were very good.

This is the ninth book in the series but it stands alone. At the end, there was author information that was very interesting. If you like cozy mysteries, I definitely recommend Taking Notes on Murder.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Great Fiona Adventure

Murder and mayhem has followed Fiona to work this time! When a fellow teacher is murdered, Fiona is attacked in her classroom, and anonymous notes are being left around for her to find, it's obvious that someone has it out for Fiona and she'd better solve the mystery before she shares her colleague's fate.

If you check my Goodreads reading history on this one you'll see I put in an update at 2% just to note that this book already deserved at least 4 stars because Fiona compared one of her kindergarten students to Junie B Jones. Yes! I grew up with Junie B Jones books, I have a few of them tucked into my daughter's closet waiting for her to get to that reading level, and my mom and sister teach that age group. That reference was PERFECT and it really set the scene for "Fiona in the classroom" for the rest of the book.

This book is exactly what I've come to expect from Fiona Quinn books. It's fun, you predict most of it but still get a bit of a surprise at the end and enjoy the whole ride despite the predictability, and ghost granny provides excellent comic relief by way of absurdity. I really would like to know who's she's having coffee with, though...

As usual, Maren Swenson Waxenberg's narration is impeccable and a pleasure to listen to.

If you love cozy mystery and you haven't read these books yet, what are you waiting for? Read Murder on Pointe first so you meet all the key characters as intended and then enjoy the series in any order you wish!

I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Taking Notes on Murder as part of my participation in a blog tour for Maxed Out with iRead Book Tours. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

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Fiona Quinn is back with another mystery to solve!

Fiona Quinn is back with another mystery to solve! In Taking Notes on Murder, Fiona and Nathan try to discover if an old case was suicide or homicide. The cast of characters is entertaining and there aren’t so many that they become confusing.

I am really enjoying Fiona and Nathan. I’ve only read two books in the series them (so far) but each of them can be enjoyed as a standalone, in my opinion. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t read the previous books (yet.)

With this being an audiobook, I want to comment on the narrator, Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Her voice inflections are great, and even her male voices don’t distract me from the story. She does a fabulous job.

I enjoy the author’s writing style, storytelling sense, and story flow. She keeps a steady pace from start to finish. This is twisty-turny keep-you-guessing who-dun-it story with an intermingling of humor, ghosts, and romance. A fun, light mystery.

Dɪsᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇ: I ʀᴇᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏᴘʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Mʏ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴡᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ɪɴғʟᴜᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ

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Fun bit of cozy mystery

Taking Notes on Murder
A Fiona Quinn Mystery #9
By C.S. McDonald
Narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg

Fiona Quinn has a secret she's been secretly married to Nathan Landry since they took a cruise that was anything but relaxing. But keeping her marriage a secret from her mother is starting to be a problem. Nancy Quinn is determined to see Fiona happily and blissfully wed sooner than later and she has just the solution - a wedding planner!

But Fiona has even bigger concerns - someone is leaving notes on her desk at school. And these anonymous notes hint at a suicide that may have been murder. There's just one little problem the notes offer no proof, no clues, nothing to go on. What's a kindergarten teacher to do? Well, first off find out the who and go from there.

And then there is grandma - she's starting to get a little more active and she is most definitely letting Fiona and Nathan know her opinion on the blending aspects of their home. Especially an heirloom lamp that comes with all the bells and whistles (literally all the bells and whistles).

Fiona is still totally Fiona and she has her work cut out for as she tries to find out just what happened in September 2005 and get Nathan involved as Detective Landry. But this cold case has more questions than answers and even more suspects, including,, once upon a time Fiona's mother Nancy. Was the death of this high school teacher suicide or murder? Only time will tell and the persistence of everybody's favorite sleuthing kindergarten teacher.

The narration by Maren Swenson Waxenberg is well presented. Each character has a unique voice so one can easily follow shifts in character voice. The pacing is good and at 5 hours a perfect length for commuting or a day of cleaning. I think Maren perfectly presents this book.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Fast paced witty mystery

When notes begin showing up in Fiona's Kindergarten classroom about a decades old suspicious death, and no one, including her mother, wants to even discuss it, Fiona's curiosity is piqued.
When more notes arrive, some threatening her to mind her own business, Fiona and her (secret) husband, Detective Nathan Landry, investigate mainly to keep Fiona safe.

This book is witty, with many outright funny moments. Assisted by her ghostly grandmother, who always has Fiona's back, will they find out the truth about a teacher's death?
Speaking of her grandmother, the readers, as well as the newly weds, are discovering Grandma has a few more tricks than preciously disclosed.

I believe readers will enjoy this series best if read in order, but each book is satisfying on its own.
I appreciate watching the characters develop and relationships unfold and mature.
The narrator of the audiobook series is fantastic and adds something special to each character.