Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Serena Jones Mystery #3

Over Maya Dead Body

Rate this book
FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha's Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn't take a vacation, and she's soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.

When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications--and even a secret or two?

352 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sandra Orchard

43 books263 followers
Sandra leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet.

When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby along the escarpment, near their home in Niagara, Canada.

Her novels have garnered numerous awards, including the National Readers' Choice Award, a Holt Medallion Award of Merit, an RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Daphne DuMaurier Award of Excellence and five national Canadian Awards.

Learn more about Sandra’s books and fun bonus features at www.sandraorchard.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
162 (44%)
4 stars
123 (33%)
3 stars
62 (16%)
2 stars
19 (5%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 117 reviews
Profile Image for Melanie Kilsby.
Author 2 books274 followers
October 29, 2017

Excellent plot pacing and dynamics through out the entire manuscript. I really had a hard time guessing who did it!

*pulls hat off head and bows to Sandra*


I have to admit this was by far the best in the whole series. Normally, a series tends to get weaker into the third book. That is definitely not the case. A brilliant end!
Also, the love triangle did wrap up, all-be-it interestingly and not what I expected at first. I still hate love triangles but it was a good read none-the-less.
I love seeing how the plot affected Serena Jones more so in this book than in others. I also enjoyed getting to know all of these characters even more.

... even some of their darkest secrets :D

I really hope we get a book 4--just saying!

Highly recommended as an Adult Christian suspense novel.
Profile Image for Cara Putman.
Author 63 books1,625 followers
July 6, 2017
Ever looking for a book that will keep you guessing, and do so with a bit of humor? Over Maya Dead Body is just that kind of book...and I love that it wraps up the question of which romance Serena will choose. Serena's latest mystery is told in the perfect first person voice. There's humor, emotion, and just enough lack of self-awareness to keep her truly lovable as a heroine. She's overwhelmed trying to solve a murder that is personal and the hits keep coming. Add in two hunky friends who both want to more and a gal who's not sure she trusts herself to read either guy right, and it's a sweet romance. This book has it all. A great twisting mystery, building promise of romance, and sweet time with characters I've come to love in the series.
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,596 reviews3,485 followers
July 3, 2017

About this book:

“FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha's Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn't take a vacation, and she's soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.
When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications--and even a secret or two?”

Series: Book #3 in the “Serena Jones Mystery” series. Review of Book #1 Here! and #2 Here!

Spiritual Content- Prayers; Talks about God; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of talks about God & witnessing; Mentions of prayers, praying, thanking God, & blessings over food; Mentions of churches, clergymen, & religious artifacts; A few mentions of a time when Serena & God weren’t on speaking terms (an uncle noticed and talked to her about it); A few mentions of faiths; A couple mentions of a hymn; A mention of a youth group; A mention of Precious Moments figurines;
*Note: A few mentions of statues of Maya gods; A couple mentions of luck (which Serena really doesn’t believe in); A mention of a fertility-goddess pendant.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘dimwit’, a ‘shoot’, two ‘idiot’s, three forms of ‘dumb’, and four ‘stupid’s; Mentions of curses (said, not written); Eye rolling & a bit of sarcasm; Being tasered, being kidnapped/stuffed in a trunk, being choked, fighting, gunfire, pain, & passing out (semi-detailed); Gunfire, screaming, pain, blood/bleeding, & injuries (up to semi-detailed); A fire, smoke, flames, bombs, & gunfire (up to semi-detailed); Cut brakes & a car crash (up to semi-detailed); Guns are aimed; Tackling someone; Throwing up; All about mentions of antiquities smugglers, looters, a smuggling ring, stolen antiquities, thieves/criminals, & crimes; Many mentions of murders, deaths, dead bodies, how they happened, & the killers/attackers (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of drugs, dealers, smuggling, a drug lord, & drug rings; Mentions of a car hitting someone, a hit-and-run, gunfire, injuries, pain, blood/bleeding, bloodstains, needles, & passing out (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of being attacked/hit, injuries, a fire, bombs, gunfire, shooters, bullets, & nearly being shot (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of the mafia, mobsters, mobs, & ties to a mob; Mentions of foul play, enemies, bruises/marks, blackmail, & threats; Mentions of a plane that was shot down & pain; Mentions of terrorists; Mentions of robberies & break-ins; Mentions of jail & arrests; Mentions of dirty cops; Mentions of bars/pubs, drinking, & drunks; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of throwing up; A few mentions of a fire that took a set of parent’s lives; A few mentions of possible kidnappings; A few mentions of setups & stings; A few mentions of a car hitting a deer; A couple mentions of a car accident & deaths; A couple mentions of World War II; A couple mentions of being hit (Book #2); A couple mentions of carbon monoxide poisoning; A mention of children dying from malnutrition; A mention of poison; A mention of poker; A mention of bird pooing on someone’s head;
*Notes: Mentions of singers, songs, actors, actresses, characters, movies, & TV shows; Mentions of a brand name (Land Rover).

Sexual Content- three hand/wrist kisses, two finger-to-lips touches, a hair kiss, an almost kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, and an semi-detailed kiss; A few talks about kissing, a kiss, & staring at lips (barely-above-not-detailed); Touches, Embraces, Warmth, & Butterflies/Shivers (up to semi-detailed); Some Noticing & Smelling; a ‘hot’; Many mentions of dating, dates, boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, exes, lovers, & being interested in someone; Mentions of remembering a kiss (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of staring at another’s lips; Mentions of kissing & kisses; Mentions of public displays of affection; Mentions of honeymoons; Mentions of winks & flirting; Mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of other couples kissing; A couple mentions of having a type; A mention of hooking up with someone; A mention of an illicit rendezvous (that didn’t happen); Thinking about love, falling/being in love, & romance; Some love, falling/being in love, & the emotions;
*Note: A mention of hormones; A mention of testosterone; A mention of a man noticing a woman’s tight pants; A mention of someone trying to cover their butt (not with clothes, but with an alibi).

-Serena Jones, age 29
1st person P.O.V. of Serena
349 pages

Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star (and a half)
Early High School Teens- Three Stars
Older High School Teens- Four Stars
My personal Rating- Four Stars
I’m an emotional mess right now. I really don’t want to say much for spoilers—if you’ve read this book, feel free to message me—but I did really, really enjoy this trilogy. I’m also having a hard time being very vague in these final thoughts were nobody can guess (based my reactions) to who Serena picked. I don’t want to spoiler that for anyone.
There were many parts I loved and parts I was so excited about being right on prior guesses. The action and plot kept me guessing on who did the crime and why. I so enjoyed this novel along with the previous two in the series and plan on reading whatever this talented author puts out next. :)

Link to review:

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Revell) for this honest review.
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews831 followers
June 1, 2018
Well then! I am satisfied with the ending. :D

A star off because the love triangle got a bit over the top for me, which is to be expected considering it's the last book. That and some romantic\violent content that made me a bit uncomfortable, and a rather unrealistic plot twist that was annoying.

Orchard definitely keeps you on your toes throughout this book, just like the last one. Lots of crazy plot twists and turns.

I really liked how the Christian themes came through a lot more in this book than the others. I rather missed it in the first two books, as it was very back-burner, but it was really well done in this one.

All in all, though, I greatly enjoyed this book!
Profile Image for Amanda Tero.
Author 27 books525 followers
December 19, 2022
If you're wondering if this book can be jumped into without the other two books having been read...read the others first. I'm not going to give anything away, but a lot of things in this book would have a more powerful punch if you've gotten to know some of the characters in previous books.

That being said, yes, I read this book without having read the other two Serena Jones books. I picked up on the threads that I likely missed (so it CAN be read as a stand-alone, but references to past books make me want to read them) and enjoyed the book overall.

As a mystery... five stars hands down! My brain was swirling with the "whodunit" and I didn't piece together things as quickly as Serena did (which I liked; I like a good mystery that has me puzzling all of the way through).

As a Christian book... eh... it is very, very clean. There were no parts that made me cringe, no unacceptable language. God was mentioned, prayer was said. But overall as a Christian book, it wasn't a very strong one. What stood out to me far more was the romance.

As a romance... there was a love triangle (hides face). I don't like love triangles! But, this one ended happily for me, cause she ended up with the guy I shipped. That being said, there was a kiss, and almost-kiss. There were a LOT of feelings. I mean, Serena has two guys she likes and they both definitely like her, and she's confused as to which to choose. So yeah. If you don't like love triangles, you may not want to read this.

Overall though, I'd give this book 4.5 stars. I enjoyed the style (first-person contemporary is something I'm finding I enjoy), the mystery, and the cleanness of this book (I've read some more strictly "Christian" books that made me cringe more than this book).

*I received this book from Revell books and happily provided my honest review*
Profile Image for Staci.
1,705 reviews517 followers
July 3, 2017
What a fun conclusion to the Serena Jones Mystery Series!

Aunt Martha continues to be a riot. She is so eager to be a part of the action and sticks her neck out routinely in search of clues.

The author takes Serena, Nate and Tanner out of St. Louis in Over Maya Dead Body. This forces Serena to see Nate and Tanner at the same time and in a different environment. I was thrilled with who she ends up with at the end of the novel.

Speaking of the ending, the final pages were spectacular. I was smiling ear to ear as I read the conclusion and epilogue.

I look forward to what the author offers next.

My gratitude to publish Revell for a complimentary Net Galley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Wendy Sparkes.
Author 4 books20 followers
October 27, 2017
#3 Serena Jones Mysteries

I'm struggling with this review - how do I review it without giving away spoilers?

Well, let's start with Aunt Martha. She's as delightful as ever...and of course is always right there to help solve the mystery and help Serena out.

Now on to Tanner and Nate. Honestly, there were a few times I wanted to bang their heads together as they tried to one-up each other! The other problem? Well, only one of them was going to win Serena. I seriously do not like love triangles, especially when I happen to like both of them and you know one is going to be disappointed. In both my previous reviews I said I really hoped the author was going to have another girl ready for the one who loses Serena, and was a little apprehensive that it wasn't going to be the case. Fortunately, there is a girl, and also I liked her, so thank you for that, Sandra Orchard!

Then there's the setting. What a great place to set this story, and was definitely the right move so that Serena could see the guys outside of the "normal" day-to-day routine. I happen to like beach/coastal settings anyway, and it was also the perfect place for this murder mystery to unfold.

While I can't completely say I'm overjoyed with how it ended, it's definitely an ending I can live with and was sweet in it's own way.

Favourite Quotes:

“Whenever Ben used to complain about not being cute enough to get the girls to notice him or Ashley used to complain about being mediocre in everything she tried, Jack would show us a piece of sea glass. He would remind us how it had once been ugly and unwanted—useless—but in being pushed around by the waves and roughed up by the rocks and sand, it was transformed into a beautiful, sought-after treasure.” ~ Serena Jones

After my grandfather’s death, Jack had been the one person who’d noticed that God and I were no longer on speaking terms. Only, Jack hadn’t given me the usual pat answer about the price of free will. Instead, he’d shared the story of a family he’d met in Africa who’d lost two children to malnutrition and struggled to meet their daily needs. Then he said something to me I’d never forgotten: Not one person in that family ever asked me how God could be so loving and still let them suffer. Jack figured it was because they’d always clung to God. And for them, God hadn’t changed, only their circumstances had. Whereas I’d never really needed God, so I hadn’t turned away from Him so much as I’d come to realize I’d never been all that close to Him in the first place. ~ Serena Jones

Finally, this series has been one I've enjoyed and will want to revisit at some point. A big "Thank You" to Staci for recommending this series to me! I've enjoyed spending time with the intrepid Serena, the delightful Aunt Martha, the intriguing Carmen, the mysterious Nate and the teasing "Which movie star do I remind you of?" Tanner!

#1 A Fool and His Monet (Serena Jones Mystery, #1) by Sandra Orchard #2 Another Day, Another Dali (Serena Jones Mystery #2) by Sandra Orchard #3 Over Maya Dead Body (Serena Jones Mystery #3) by Sandra Orchard
Profile Image for Jazzy.
202 reviews63 followers
October 4, 2017
READ FULL REVIEW HERE: https://thrivinghope.blogspot.com/201...

initial reaction: WOW WOW WOW WOW WOOOOOW. RTC!!

my review - 5
I received an ARC of this book from INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS in exchange for my review. (sorry this is so late, I got totally caught up in school. but it's here now!)

I don't normally do mysteries, but YOU GUYS. I literally got hooked the first page. Maybe it was her writing? Or Serena? Or maybe it was dinner... food can put me in certain moods. Whichever was the case, I could hardly put it down once I started it (which OF COURSE) I had to because I'm a senior and us seniors gots lots of thingies we need to take care of in school. *dramatic eye roll* Blast you, education and numbers. Blast you.

READ FULL REVIEW HERE: https://thrivinghope.blogspot.com/201...
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,402 reviews1,336 followers
June 18, 2019
A very good ending to the Serena Jones Mystery trilogy. I'm not ready for it to be over; I wish there was a whole other trilogy of Serena novels! (At least three more, maybe more) The light-hearted humor in these books, contrasted with the solemnity of some of the crimes, with a really confident lead, sparkles with life and draws in the reader.

In this one, we finally have the end of the famous love triangle, where the author actually let her readers have some input on who Serena ends up falling for. I dislike love triangles in particular, but since both guys are worthy suitors and the outcome isn't a known thing from page one, it didn't bother me too much, though it was my least favorite part of the books. I actually like Nate better in this book, but she always should have ended up with Tanner from the very beginning, you know? Or a dark-horse candidate that was better than both would have been a fun twist...

The mystery strikes close to home (an honorary relative and a vacation to Martha's Vineyard) in this one, and I loved how it was all-hands-on-deck in trying to solve this mystery. Aunt Martha is a huge favorite of mine, and she was her normal bigger-than-life self here, including a big surprise from her near the end that had me grinning and chuckling.

Thanks to the publisher for a free reading copy. A favorable review was not required.
Profile Image for Alicia.
329 reviews70 followers
September 26, 2018
This series was entertaining, suspenseful and so hard to put down! I liked pretty much all of the (good) main characters, and Serena Jones was a fun, regular person with the intense job of an FBI agent. I also really enjoyed the first person point-of-view take on a mystery, and the mysteries had me guessing the whole time. I have to mention Aunt Martha, Serena’s eccentric and adventurous aunt who had a few tricks up her sleeve- she was awesome!

The one thing I did not like was the love triangle. I get nervous reading books with them, and I was seriously worried in certain parts throughout the third book that she was going to end up with the wrong guy. BUT THE ENDING. 😍 Phew! That last chapter and the epilogue were so worth it and wonderful!! Bumping up from 4 to 5 stars just for that ending :)
Profile Image for Caitlyn Santi.
Author 4 books76 followers
July 3, 2017
I have loved this series since I read book one, needless to say I was super excited for this one! I had exceedingly high expectations for this book, and it met and surpassed every single one! I loved that so many of the loose ends that have trailed throughout the series were perfectly tied up, I also loved that there were two big developments that I had predicted since book one that I was actually right about!
I enjoyed this book so much, I hated to set it down and even when I had to my mind still kept spinning trying to figure everything out! I love Serena as a character so much, she is just so fun and such a great main character!
Eep, I just loved this book so much! Especially that ending, ahh pure bliss!
I truly loved everything about this book, it will definitely have a spot on my favorite books of 2017 list and I foresee rereading Over Maya Dead Body as well as the first two books many times in the future!
I highly recommend this book, though I would recommend starting with A Fool and His Monet, I think the awesomeness of this series is best read in order! I can't wait to see what Sandra Orchard writes next!

I received an ebook copy of this book from Netgalley. No review required. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
Profile Image for Mikayla.
922 reviews
September 22, 2017
I would just like to clarify really quick that the two star rating is not from any bad content. This book is extremely clean. The rating is only based on the ending.

Okay, so the first two books were cute. They were clean mystery's. For the most part, this one was pretty good.
I was excited there was a tiny bit more spiritual content in this one. The problem is that even though Serena struggles with some things, she never resolves them. I really didn't like that.
The main thing I hated about this book was the ending. Just.... no. I got so mad I nearly didn't read the last few pages. It completely soured the whole series for me.
Overall, I really hated how this series ended. I will most likely not be reading anything else by this author because there really are not strong messages, and apparent her idea of a good ending and mine differ a lot.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a clean mystery series.
Profile Image for Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...).
1,499 reviews439 followers
March 31, 2021
This third book fit in perfectly with the first two, offering the trademark sleuthing and love triangle romance that I enjoyed so much. I've been on pins and needles waiting to see who Serena would end up with, since both love interests are equally fun and desirable, but in different ways. I appreciate how the author keeps me guessing as the mystery unfolds with several twists, turns, and surprises. The suspense and action is well balanced with Serena's working the clues and inner musings about life and love. I especially liked the parts that revealed secrets of the characters who have been in all three books, and the ways some little things and mannerisms began to make sense. Highly entertaining and a wonderful conclusion to the series! I'd love it if the author wrote more Serena Jones mysteries!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.
Profile Image for Maureen Timerman.
2,817 reviews469 followers
July 9, 2017
Just finished the third book in this series, and it sure didn’t disappoint, and can be read by its self, but you don’t want to miss the other two!
Of course, bodies seem to follow our FBI agent Serena around, and going to Martha’s Vineyard is not exception for her, and this is sad for her family at the same time.
You will be changing your mind as to who is involved from page to page, and just when you think you know for sure, guess what! There is a lot of action too, firebombs, break line cuts, gunshots, etc., better duck.
Our girl ends up with both of the guys who have their eye on her, they come to be of help, but will she ever choose just one? They actually both sound perfect!
Of course, darling Aunt Martha is here, and who does she not know? She is one amazing woman, and we are about to learn more about her, and she seems to have access to all kinds of help.
I adored the epilogue at the end of the book, and maybe there will be another novel in the offing, we can hope!
I received this book through Revell Publishing Book Bloggers Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
2,908 reviews1,727 followers
July 11, 2017
Campy and quirky and sooooooo much fun. The author's devious plotting leads Serena and company on a merry chase around Martha's Vineyard as they work on solving a very personal murder mystery. Madcap mayhem guaranteed! Aunt Martha is in her element and even Harold the Cat gets to pack his bag and cone holidaying.

The mystery is brilliant. I think I suspected nearly every secondary character at some point in my read. And I was all too gullible in places, willing to be reeled in by multiple red herrings. I might just have to turn in my armchair sleuth credentials after finishing this novel!

This is the third and final book in the Serena Jones Mystery series and, honestly, I think it is best to read these books in order. That's because of the developing romantic entanglements that carry over from one book to the next. And, hallelujah, we finally find out who Serena will spend her happily ever after with!

In fact the author did something rather outrageous and totally intriguing -- she let readers vote for who Serena would choose as her Mr. Right. Fans quickly divided into teams -- Nate vs Tanner -- and all bets were off. Even Sandra Orchard didn't know what the romance outcome would be as she was writing this third book. Talk about gutsy. But she pulls it off brilliantly.

I have to admit to falling hard for both heroes -- wisecracking FBI agent Tanner and there's-more-than-meets-the-eye neighbour Nate. My heart feels rather pummeled now that I've watched it all play out to a stunning conclusion. And I loved every minute even though I'm not a fan of love triangles as a rule.

Clever from the unique cover art to the tongue-in-cheek title to the compelling story within. I loved this book so much that I savored it over a period of three days! (I usually read a book in a day or day and a half.) But I didn't want this one to end even though I wanted to know how everything turned out. So I doled out my reading time in short installments and then giddily created my own spin offs scene by scene before picking up with the story once again. Reading Over Maya Dead Body was such a blast! I'll admit to feeling a bit melancholy now that it's all over.

Book provided courtesy of the author and Revell Publishing
Profile Image for Kelly Bridgewater.
1,012 reviews36 followers
July 12, 2017
Romantic suspense is a great genre filled with a little bit of romance between the hero and the heroine and a non-stop action story usually filled with a hunt for a murder or justice. With Sandra Orchard's story Over Maya Dead Body, she brings in repeatable characters like Serena Jones and her two sidekicks Nate and Tanner who both choose to like Serena. The romance picks up as the story moves along, bringing me along for the ride as Serena has to choose between two men who make her heart thump. One more than the other.

As for the plot, it is different by the type of mystery it is. It is predictable in the romance and the mystery solving aspect. I knew there would be a point where Serena's life would be in danger about ninety-five percent into the novel. The man she choose would be the one that she would be excited that saved her. The plot is very formulaic for this type of novel, which is fine because a lot of readers like their story to fit a certain formula when reading a novel. The plot read like a mystery with Serena hunting for clues and interviewing different people to try to solve the mystery, but the art aspect didn't seem to be all the important to the story, at least in my humble opinion.

The spiritual element really isn't there either, even though it is published under the Christian genre, so if a reader is scared away by the title of Christian fiction, this isn't one of those books that the reader can shy away from.

Overall, with an original mystery and a predictable romance, the repeatable characters of Serena Jones will capture the hearts of Orchard's story with an ending begging to go forward with a fourth installment. I believe fans of cozy mysteries and romantic suspense would enjoy this novel. If you are a fan of Irene Hannon or Terri Blackstock, I believe you would enjoy this novel too.

I received a complimentary copy of Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 40 books630 followers
July 24, 2017
OVER MAYA DEAD BODY was just as fun and quirky as I thought it would be. Serena is an FBI agent who seems to about as clueless as they come, especially about the love stuff. I started to try to figure out who-dun-it, made my initial guesses, and then got caught up in the story and forgot to try and make my final guesses. I was admittedly more interested in who would win Serena's heart. Nate, the good ole boy who manages her apartment and has oh, so many secrets, or Tanner, her FBI co-worker who trained her for her job.

And while the romance was hot, the mystery was just as intriguing, but not terribly scary. In themes with the other books, this is an art mystery, this time with smuggled artifacts and people are turning up dead. I am pleased to say my initial guesses as to who-dun-it were spot on despite the numerous red herrings planted in the story.

The faith message is rather weak, but slightly present. There was one untied string which may or may not mean another book in the series--since it was alluded as to who the killer might be.

I enjoyed reading this book. I received a free copy of OVER MAYA DEAD BODY. All opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Jennifer Fluegge.
296 reviews
April 12, 2020
I’m sad this series is over! But I enjoyed it thoroughly. And I’m very happy with her choice for a boyfriend and with the fact that the author finally MADE her choose between the two!
Profile Image for Lillian.
117 reviews
July 27, 2020
Serena just can't get away from all the action, even when she's on vacation. I remember the first time I read this book, at the beginning I was feeling disappointed because with Serena leaving on vacation, how was I going to get my fix of Nate and Tanner? I didn't need to worry. And if you read it you'll see why. ;) This is a perfectly swoon worthy book, packed with action and mystery as well. The ending has me wishing there was another book, but at the same time I'm satisfied with how it ended.
Profile Image for Rachael.
Author 4 books10 followers
June 29, 2017
Wow, I was afraid this book was going to leave me hanging--it was getting right down to the wire when certain...[cough]...things I've been waiting on since Book the First were resolved. Both Nate and Tanner are great guys--if a little frustrating on occasion for needing to show the other up--and both make terrific heroes. The decision between them has been a long time in coming! And I think I'm satisfied with the result (though I confess I may have waffled back and forth a few dozen times during the series).

We finally get to find out more about Nate's past (and the past of a certain other character of whom I had been growing suspicious), which was quite satisfying. I love how Serena's quirky family plays such a large role in the series, especially nosy, old Great-Aunt Martha, and how she's become more of a side-kick to Serena than a liability. Well, mostly. There's no one who can find trouble like Aunt Martha, though Serena certainly takes after her in that regard. I love the stories more for the characters than for the cases they investigate.

I do recommend reading books one and two first--while not altogether necessary, there are a number of references to them in this book, plus they're plain fun. While this appears to be the final novel in the series, there's certainly room for more Serena Jones mysteries; I'd love it if the series were continued! While I enjoy the genre, I don't keep many mystery/suspense novels, but these are a permanent fixture on my shelf!

Thank you Revell for providing a free book; I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,461 reviews26 followers
July 25, 2017
I reviewed the first two books in this series, but somehow missed out on reviewing this one. Even though I had to purchase my own copy, I decided to review it since I did the other two books.

This has been an awesome series, and I am sad to see it end. Over Maya Dead Body may be the best book in this trilogy. It takes place far from home, and has quite the intricate plot with plenty of suspects to pick from. I was at a total loss at figuring out who was guilty and of what, and was very entertained as I read the exploits of those trying to solve the murders.

All through this series, the main character has had two guys vying for her attention: Tanner, her FBI partner, and Nate, her apartment supervisor. Both are in this book a lot, as they both help Serena solve the crimes in the book. I was pretty sure this was the last book and it would be decided which guy she would pick by the end of the book, and I was correct. Even though I am a guy, I was caught up in hoping which guy she would end up with. I won't say which guy did up marrying her, but I will say that the one I was rooting for all along was not the lucky guy..... so I was disappointed, if you're reading this Mrs Orchard. Though granted, both guys were very likable characters.

This was a very awesome and enjoyable book and series that I very much recommend. If you read it, you definitely need to read the books in order.
Profile Image for Kara.
756 reviews
August 6, 2017
Orchard does it again in this conclusion to Serena Jones! Really loved how the book started, but despite the constant action and, "What's going on now?!" scenarios throughout, the middle of the story slightly slowed down for me as Serena tries to navigate her personal feelings for Nate versus Tanner.

I have been rooting for one of them this whole series, but based on Serena's confused thoughts, I didn't know who would win her heart. Also, it was difficult to gauge which one really deserved her in this book. As intelligent and talented as Serena is at her job, she was completely oblivious to the tension around her as both men vie for her attention. As much as I love her character, she let me down trying to figure out her own heart during this non stop action. Love triangles are usually my pet peeve, but Orchard does a great job writing this one and it's surrounded by humor and crazy situations that are fun to read.

Love Aunt Martha, she's definitely a fave character! Also really enjoyed how the author refers to both characters (vocabulary neighbor) and situations from the previous books.

Truly loved the ending and I COULD NOT figure out who the culprit was!! Am rooting for one more book in this series, but even if if doesn't happen I'm highly satisfied where Serena lands and grateful she is surrounded by people who love her.

With thanks to the author and publisher for the book provided. I voluntarily reviewed it, the thoughts are my own.
1,624 reviews
July 17, 2017
Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard was a slight twist from the previous two books in the series. For one thing, it was something along the lines of a murder mystery along with the art caper. The other big difference was that Serena was on vacation and her time wasn’t split between her ‘shift husband’ and her ‘house husband’ as her mother called it, but was free game to the knights-in-shining-armor who rushed to her aid.

Lots of people complain about love triangles, but if they’re done right, they can be very interesting. As in emotional roller coasters as you hope against hope that the heroine will choose the one you’re shipping for. And Sandra Orchard definitely did a good job of showing that in this book!

Love triangle aside, the book also did a great job revealing a mystery like her previous two books, and the characters were quirky as ever. Another plus was that it was in no way preachy- but also didn’t leave out a slight spiritual thread.

Though the book might have been a bit abrupt near the end wrapping up, it was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to more Serena Jones mysteries.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Revell. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Natalie.
2,454 reviews53 followers
October 24, 2017
The mystery aspect of this was definitely not as good as the first two. There were too many characters and it was hard to keep them all straight at times.

I also once again found Serena to be very unprofessional. She tells her plans and theories about the murders to just about anyone she meets or talks to. It's probably just me because most other reviewers seem to love Aunt Martha, but I can't stand her. I found her to be annoying and nosy at best.

I can't talk too much about the romance without getting spoilery, but I will say I liked that both of them are good guys. Too many love triangles involve one guy that's nice and the other that isn't. In this one, they're both good.

And I did enjoy how the title worked into the storyline. These three have really fun, clever titles.

Overall I enjoyed the series.
Profile Image for Michelle Connell.
Author 3 books76 followers
September 27, 2018
Serena Jones, an FBI agent with the St Louis Art Crimes Division, is supposed to be on vacation on Martha's Vineyard. But when her dad's good friend is found dead, they aren't sure if he was murdered or if it was accidental. Events happen that put her in danger but she has help from coworkers and family. Who is behind the attacks and the antiquities smuggling in the area? Will Serena and her team find out in time?
Profile Image for Carol Lee.
610 reviews4 followers
August 1, 2017
A great mystery that will keep you reading and guessing. I love seeing what Serena is up to next as she tries to take a break from the rigors of the FBI only to find herself caught up in a death tied to a smuggling ring. She finds herself more deeply involved than she plans and then to complicate things, she finds herself the romantic target of the men in her life and she has to juggle them, the case, and her initial reason for being at Martha's Vineyard the celebration of an engagement.
A real page turner.
I received a copy from the publisher, the review is my own.
2,722 reviews31 followers
September 7, 2017
Special agent Serena goes to Martha's Vineyard to have some R & R while they celebrate an engagement. There is a suspicious death tied to An antiquities smuggling ring and Serena is put in danger. She needs to solve the case before anyone else dies. She is also balancing two men in her life so more complications. The book sounds a lot more interesting than it is, it seemed to drag on.
Profile Image for Debra B.
719 reviews14 followers
February 11, 2022
So good... pity there only three books in the series.

I loved this series... pity there are only three books . Tough call for Serena...both Have and Tanner were equally desirable.
Profile Image for Fiction Aficionado.
658 reviews83 followers
July 19, 2017
It’s here! The much anticipated conclusion to the Serena Jones series is fast-paced, full of twists, u-turns, and surprises, and crackling with romantic tension! I seriously thought I would be reading this one with my hands over my eyes, peeking through my fingers in some absurd attempt to thwart the nerves over how it would play out (if anyone says ‘it’s just a story’, I’ll throw the nearest object I can find at you!) but I was sucked in from the get-go, and my nerves gradually eased as the humour that has laced this whole series lightened the mood at all the right moments.

There’s quite a cast of suspects in this case, including Serena’s childhood bosom buddy Ashley, and Ashley’s brother Ben. Add in a bitter almost-step-daughter, her boyfriend, the deceased’s business partner, and a variety of law enforcement officers who may or may not be on the up-and-up, and you’ve got plenty of tails to chase. Aunt Martha, of course, throws her oar in, and when Nate and Tanner both drop everything to be by her side, Serena can no longer ignore their increasingly-less-subtle hints at their feelings for her.

For those who have been eagerly waiting to see who Serena ends up with, you will be holding your breath to the very end, but this series has still managed to avoid all the pitfalls that can so easily make stories with love triangles painful to read. There’s no angst, both Nate and Tanner are perfect gentlemen who retain their usual sense of humour throughout (with some moments of touching sincerity thrown in), and Serena is genuinely torn between two men who mean a great deal to her. Yet she never leads either one on, and really, she doesn’t get much opportunity to examine her feelings until the very end, when circumstances lead quite naturally to a moment of clarity for her.

This has become one of my favourite mystery series thanks to the intriguing plots, the gentle wit and humour, and the array of unique and down-to-earth characters. If only the series could continue!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Sara Wise.
403 reviews8 followers
July 10, 2017
Sandra Orchard’s “Over Maya Dead Body” is another fun whodunnit featuring FBI Art Crime Agent Serena Jones.

When Serena and her family travel to Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate family friend Jack Hill’s engagement, they find a shocking discovery — Jack is dead. Police rule his death an accident, but when Serena learns Jack had contacted the FBI about a potential antiquities smuggling ring on the island, she immediately becomes suspicious.

And when more and more strange and dangerous happenings occur — a missing friend and a hit and run accident, just to name a few — she knows she must look into Jack’s death and the alleged smuggling ring.

With the help of spunky Aunt Martha, her FBI partner Tanner and friend and apartment supervisor Nate, Serena and gang dive deeply into a tale of illegal activity, jealousy, betrayal and greed. They must sort through the clue, determine whom they can truly trust, and solve the case.

“Over Maya Dead Body” is full of great characters — Serena who is an incredible female lead; Tanner and Nate, who can both make a girl swoon; Aunt Martha, a plucky character we all aspire to be like; parents with the names of Ward and June; the is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-mobster Carmen; and the new and mysterious Winston.

And in Orchard’s latest novel, besides learning some shocking revelations about her loved ones, Serena just might finally decide which man she will giver her heart to — will it be Nate or Tanner?

This book has some mild religious theming — characters must put aside their pasts and relearn to rely on God and his help and protection. It also reminds us that God doesn’t change, just our circumstances change.

Overall this is a great story, full of romance and mystery. I will say I feel the ending was a tad rushed, and therefore a bit hard to follow as to the true “whodunnit” and their reasonings for the multiple situations going on. And for that reason I give it:

Four and a half stars out of five.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 117 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.