Marley Parker, a stunning young woman with a passion for uncovering the truth, is a journalism student at Greenbriar University. Her mother mysteriously disappeared when she was a young girl, leaving her sister and her to be raised by their father, Sheriff Tony Parker. As the novella opens, Marley is about to receive an award for Excellence in Journalism for a video report on a local girl’s disappearance. At the award banquet, wealthy financier Dean Cummings drops dead—the victim of poisoning. Suspects are many, but Marley Parker is on the case.
Marley Parker was Maria Sigle’s first young adult novel. Released in July 2014, the book is 208 pages, is available in print and digital formats, and retails for $9.89. It is a mystery with some supernatural elements. The second book in the series, A Rumor of Ghosts, promises to delve deeper into that theme. “I just love the idea of a series centered around a young, strong, beautiful female who seemingly has it all,” she told MysteriousHeartland. “Then once you dig deeper, you discover that what you see on the surface is a completely different story than what that girl actually consists of.”
In the beginning, Marley Parker seems to have overcome her childhood trauma and has it all—good looks, an influential father, a home on the lake, a promising future career, and a wealthy love interest. Over the course of the book, all these things will be tested, and Marley will have to fight for her life to hold onto everything she has, all while unraveling a mystery with connections to her past.
The author relied heavily on her own experiences to craft this tale. “Much like Marley, when I was 19 years old, I wanted to be an investigative reporter. When I was at Sophomore in college, I began working for a local FOX Television affiliate full time, as the sole on-air talent. It was difficult at the time, juggling full time school and a full time job but it was well worth it.”
Marley Parker keeps the reader guessing from one chapter to the next, and delivers a surprise ending that neatly ties everything together in an unexpected way. One of the most interesting aspects of the main character is her devotion to her family. Marley Parker is no lone sleuth–she frequently helps (and is helped by) her father, Sheriff Parker, and her sister Jade. In one chapter, Marley takes a break from the main mystery to help discover who is stealing personal items from the girl’s locker room in her sister’s private high school, putting herself in harms way in the process.
A former model and TV spokesperson with a degree in psychology, Maria Sigle drew from a wealth of personal experience to craft this fiery tale. Her characters are well-fleshed out and full of ambiguity. The reader cannot help empathizing with the young protagonist, since she is very human and her motivation is deeply personal. It is easy to see how the loss of her mother at a young ages drives her to help others, even at great risk to herself. It is a story that young women will especially enjoy. For more information, including how to order, visit www.marleyparker.com