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Death Tidies Up [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Colley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Between running her maid service (the successful Maid-for-a-Day) and fretting about her upcoming birthday (the dreaded 6-0), Charlotte LaRue doesn't have much time for gossip. But New Orleans's latest dust-up is hard to ignore--especially since it involves Marian Hebert, one of Charlotte's new clients. Turns out Marian's now-deceased husband once worked for his best friend Drew Bergeron's real-estate agency--and when the business deal soured, so did the friendship. The whole sordid affair came to an unfortunate end when Drew died in a plane crash--and Bill Hebert was killed in what some people insist on calling an accident. Others are convinced it was murder.

Pretty juicy stuff, right? Charlotte doesn't think so. She's trying her best to forget all the rumors--she has more important things to worry about these days. Like vacuuming, window-washing. . .and her new job at the old Devilier house. The gorgeous historic home is being transformed into luxury apartments, and Maid-for-a-Day is in charge of the cleanup. Should be easy enough, Charlotte thinks--until she finds a barely-cold corpse in one of the closets.

The police are sure the dead man is Drew Bergeron. Funny, considering Drew supposedly died years ago--and Charlotte distinctly remembers attending his funeral. Talk about messy. Suddenly all that gossip about the Heberts and Bergerons seems incredibly timely--and Charlotte wishes she'd listened just a little bit closer. . .

With old rivalries flaring--and past secrets suddenly back in the present--Charlotte has a feeling this job will involve some real dirty work. Good thing she has a knack for cleaning up crimes. . .

Product Description


"A pleasant, easy-paced narrative, familiar New Orleans surroundings, and an appealingly down-to-earth sleuth. Fans of Southern cozies will enjoy."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (1 Jan. 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TSEL28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #590,127 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good second book 22 Aug. 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is the second book in the charlotte larue series. a great improvement on the first offering. charlotte discovers another dead body and gets involved in the murder investigation which turns into a revenge/betrayal situation. although the murderer isnt revealed until quite near the end all the clues are there so it didnt come as a surprise only the details were.
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Format:Kindle Edition
This was quite a good book. I found the characters interesting, and although the murderer's identity was a little obvious, the back-story leading up to those circumstances was well thought out. I did find the constant harping on about Charlotte's age a bit wearing - she keeps reassuring herself that 60 isn't old, and then proceeds to act like someone 20 years older. I also found the description rather misleading - the book is supposed to be a 'cozy' (horrid spelling!), but doesn't really fit that format - rather than being the climax of a properly staged dénouement, the murderer's identity is revealed in a rather weak explanation by Charlotte and Marian. There are also several loose ends that are never really tidied up (what was Drew doing there anyway? what's the significance of the Roussels?), leaving me feeling somewhat unsatisfied at the end. However, it's certainly worth a read, and I'd definitely try the next book in the series, a chapter of which is included in this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A maid in New Orleans helps investigate murder 10 Feb. 2003
By Dawn Dowdle - Published on
Charlotte LaRue owns Maid For A Day in New Orleans, LA. Charlotte and Janet, Chere, and Emily, who work for her, clean the new apartments in the renovated Devilier house. Drew Bergeron is discovered dead in one of the apartments. Charlotte faints after he is found. Drew was supposed to have died 2 years ago.
Charlotte's niece, Judith, who is the detective on this case, encourages Charlotte to contact her son Hank who is a doctor. Judith calls Hank the next day. He sets up an appointment with a fellow doctor for his mother for a physical. She is feeling tired and forgetful. She begins worrying that she has some terrible disease. She is also very nervous about her upcoming 60th birthday.
Through families Charlotte cleans for, she gathers information and does some sleuthing. There are plenty of suspects. Charlotte believes in not gossiping about her customers, so she finds it difficult deciding when she should contact Judith with information and when she needs to stay quiet. Sometimes this puts her in dangerous situations.
This author has done a great job creating the characters in this series. I found myself really feeling for Charlotte in her concern for her health and her frustration with turning 60. It is all very believable and well constructed. This series is definitely a quick read. You will want to keep reading until you get to the end.
I like the relationship developing between Charlotte and Louis, Judith's soon to be ex-partner. I hope this will develop even further in future books.
This is the second book in this series. I highly recommend this series. It is definitely a great cozy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute Series 1 Feb. 2005
By A Reader - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a cute little series, which is good for a night of light reading. If you're looking for an in-depth mystery, then it's not for you.

The problem I do have with the series is that Charlotte constantly talks about not butting into the personal lives of her clients, and how confidentiality and discretion are so important to her that they're grounds for immediate termination of her employees. Yet she goes right ahead and sticks her nose into things and places where it doesn't belong, such as tracking down BJ at school and sneaking into Sam's bedroom to snoop while supposedly using the bathroom. The author should let up a bit on how goody-goody Charlotte is if she's going to do these things and get herself so involved with her clients.

Also, one discrepancy from the first book bothered me. In Book 1, Judith didn't want Charlotte to let the victim's wife know that she's her niece. In this book, when Judith shows up at the house where Charlotte is working to talk to the owner, the owner stares at the two of them and Charlotte comments on how she probably recognized the resemblence between them, since she and Judith are often mistaken for mother and daughter. Shouldn't the wife in Book 1 have noticed this same resemblence if it's so strong, considering she had much more dealings with Judith than the homeowner in Book 2?

I look forward to Book 3.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Mess To Clean Up 25 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charlotte LaRue, owner of Maid For A Day in New Orleans has two problems. One is that she hasn't been feeling too well lately and the other is she's about to turn the big 60.
But both of these seem unimportant when while cleaning the old Devilier House, which has been converted to apartments, her cleaning crew stumbles across a body.
Being braver than her crew, Charlotte goes to the closet to check and realizes that the half-dressed man sitting on the floor is indeed dead. And even though he's wearing a purple Mardi Gras mask, there's something familiar about him.
But even she was shocked to hear that the dead man was Drew Bergeron, who supposedly died in a plane crash years before. Where had he been, and why had he come back.
Charlotte couldn't help wondering if his death had anything to do with the "accidental" death of Bill Hebert, husband of Marion Hebert, one of her clients. Bill had been fired by Drew years before and had fell into a depression over it. Marion still blames that firing for Bill not paying as close attention as he should have to his new job and that was what caused the accident.
Or maybe it was the secret that Marion, Bill and Drew shared, going back 20 years which was the real problem.
Charlotte tries to solve the mystery, before the killer can kill again.
I really like the relationship between Charlotte and her family friends, especially her niece, Judith who's a Police Detective and her son, Hank, who's a doctor.
She has a great just beginning, but not quite a romance, yet starting with Detective Louis Thibodeaux, who is getting ready to retire and is living in the other half of Charlotte's Duplex while he's building his new house. If you read the first book in this series, "Maid For Murder" these two would have been the least likely people to have ever gotten together.
The mystery. I figured out who did it and why halfway through the book and then spent the rest of the book, thinking, it must be a red herring because it can't be that easy. But it was.
Too many loose ends. Why did Drew leave. You have theories, but no one ever comes right out says this is why Drew disappeared. How did he do it, and why did he come back?
There are several things the killer does that don't make sense and they're not explained, I can't say what they are because it would give away who the killer was.
Overall it was an nice read. Nothing that makes you really excited to get the next book in the series. But good enough that you want to read the next one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Such a Disappointment 21 Jun. 2012
By Nancy - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Such a disappointment. The first third of the book I spent counting how many times Ms Colley used the same word in a paragraph and spent little time following the very thin plotline. By the middle of the book, I mind blanked because I remember neither multiple word usage nor a plotline. By the end, whole paragraphs could have been removed and the overall storyline, what there was of it, could have held. As I said, the book was a letdown.

Begrudging her upcoming sixtieth birthday, Charlotte LaRue, owner of Maid For A Day, grabs her cleaning supplies and heads out to her next major project, an older home in the Garden District of New Orleans that has been changed into individual apartments. When she hears the screams of one of her employees, she runs to aid only to discover a body in the closet dressed in boxers and a mardi gras mask.

Not that that scene was strange enough, but under the mask was a man that was declared dead two years prior. How can that be? Charlotte's company rules of not messing in her client's business and her need to meddle conflict as she helps her niece, the police detective, and Louis her next-door neighbor solve this mystery.

I recall the first book, Maid for Murder being much better so I am not sure what went wrong. The storyline was too slow and meandering with no real direction until the last 15 percent of the book where presto-chango, the murderer was discovered and they all lived happily ever after.

I hope that the remaining books in this series are better, but I was so turned off by the book that I do not think I will be rushing to the next in the series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good mystery, heroine needs fleshing out 27 Dec. 2010
By jrv - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is the second mystery in the series that i have read. i like the mysteries fine, but i find charlotte a bit smug and self righteous. she seems overly concerned with her age and going senile and with all her preaching and rules, seems quick to judge others and seems to utterly lack any joy in her life. my main criticism would be for charlotte to loosen up and enjoy life. the other one would be to flesh out the secondary characters a bit more - especially louis. great mysteries - but please give charlotte a sense of humor, get her off her high horse and give her a little romance in her life. truthfully, she is dull as dishwater. however, i truly enjoy the mystery and will continue the series while holding out the hope that charlotte will improve with age.
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