Review Of Downward Death

Downward Death

Magical Mane Mystery, Book #1

Stella Bixby

5 Stars


When it comes to dead bodies, yoga can only relieve so much stress.

Ellie Vanderwick’s life is perfect. Sure, she doesn’t have friends, family, or a steady job. But she does have her pet pig, Penelope, and her VW Microbus, Mona.

If only she could get her hair under control. Some might call it magic, Ellie just calls it annoying.

Mad, sad, happy, or scared—it always starts the same way: with a little tingle. That’s when she knows her hair is about to go berserk. Whether it pulls itself into curls, turns bright purple, or goes completely limp is beyond her control.

But when she gets a letter from her newly departed grandmother telling her she inherited a farm, she knows it’s time to get a handle on the hair situation. Especially, if she wants to find out why her mother left her at a fire station all those years ago.

Cliff Haven, Iowa is the perfect small town. Friendly people, warm smiles, and almost no crime.

Until Ellie shows up.

When she finds a dead body in her cornfield, the entire town seems to think she did it.

Will she be run out of town? Will her big hairy secret come out? Or will she be able to solve the crime and learn more about her family?

Meet Ellie in this first installment of the Magical Mane Mystery Series! (Goodreads)


The characters are well rounded and well developed.  Ellie has had a hard life but she is a survivor and she is getting by.  She has her pet pig, Penelope and her VW Microbus, Mona.  When she inherits a farm from her grandmother, whom she has never met, things are  beginning to look up.  Until she finds a dead body in a field on the farm and she becomes a suspect.  Now she has to figure out the murderer before she gets put away for life.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning.  I liked the way that Ellie’s hair changed colors and textures depending on her mood, it lent a bit of paranormal to this book.  The mystery was well plotted and had enough suspects to consider and  clues to sift through.  

This book was pleasantly different from the other cozies that I read.  I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a well crafted cozy.  I am looking forward to reading more about Ellie’s adventures.     

Downward Death: A Magical Mane Mystery (Magical Mane Mystery Series Book 1) by [Stella Bixby]