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Maid for Mayhem (A Gretchen Gallen Mystery "Maid for Murder Series" Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Bridget Allison

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Book Description

When Gretchen finds herself flung off the corporate ladder she decides to relocate to an adjoining rural county. There she finds employment with a wealthy older woman and a home in the guest house.
Her plan is to live simply as she regains her footing and decides her future. But when her benefactress dies, suddenly Gretchen finds new friendships with hilarious women, unexpected beaus, and a true calling in a crime scene cleanup business.
When a serial killer starts to drop in the locals, Gretchen finds her hands full with new murder scenes to clean. On top of everything, her companion Mosey, a retired cadaver dog has begun to sniff out something oddly close to home. As the bodies begin to mount up, Gretchen soon realizes the killer has a type... and it fits her perfectly.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 535 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Graysea Publishing; 2 edition (16 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X2HN4M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #550,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth taking the time to enjoy this one... 29 May 2011
By Jackie-the-Greyhound - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I stumbled on this title in a somewhat obscure message board where the author was asking about reviews. I VERY RARELY find the titles of interest when I see such things and freely ignore them, however this one did somehow pique my interest. I did NOT avail myself of the author's offer for a free copy as I would rather just read it like any other story I would pick. Nope, cold hard cash was paid for this one (well, the electronic bits and bytes that stand for cash were transferred to Amazon), albeit a small amount. (Don't get me wrong, books do need publicity and the author was quite polite and within the bounds of reason with her posting--and it's not like the big publishers don't send out freebies to reviewers. It's just I'm nothing close to a professional reviewer and I just happen to prefer to buy what interests me and only review something if I feel like it).

The main character is Gretchen Gallen. She had been an up-and-coming worker in a big city financial firm, but left after unraveling subsequent to a traumatic event. She landed in a small city living in a cabin and working to help her older landlord with the lady's daily activities while simultaneously trying to put her own life back together. Without belaboring the plot too much (see the blurb) Gretchen finds herself helping to take care of things once her landlord passes away, and finds herself in the position to start a specialized clean-up business taking care of places where people have died.

On the positive side the main character has some depth to her and we get to see how the events of her life have led her to this small town. The story is full of humorous and entertaining characters and has plenty of small town and southern interests. To say I found myself laughing quite a bit as I read is an understatement--lots of fun content. This is not however all peaches and lightness and silly humor. There are plenty of darker and recovery themes as well which made this not exactly the light/fun read I was expecting but really made for a much better read.

I was quite engrossed in this one!

On the negative, well there could have been a little better/tighter editing. I don't blame the indie nature of this, I have seen much worse coming out of 'The Big Six' publishers of late, however, I do wish it had been a little better. Formatting was fine (Kindle edition) and no issues there. A few punctuation issues not that I'm some great expert...but a " instead of a parentheses is noticeable, as was a name shift at one point--I'm guessing Jared was named Jake (or was it Jack) during an earlier draft. I also had a little trouble following the timeline. The first chapter started off showing Gretchen at work, then she went back in time to show past events, and at some point I can see how it all caught up. Perhaps it was me but I had a little hard time putting that first chapter back in the timeline and in finding out how Gretchen's interactions with Jared developed.

There were some predictable developments and elements, and the final big reveal happened with the main character lying in a hospital bed. Normally I dislike that, but in this case it fit. Not high literature, but much better than most 'light' reads. A few details were left hanging--better that way because if everything had been tied up, well, that would have been just a little too neat. Leaves room to carry on in the next book(s). I hope.

To sum up, the negatives were just a little too distracting to give this a full five stars, but if Amazon would allow the 10 star system this would have been about an 8.9. What that means in a more practical sense--I really enjoyed the story. I want to know what happens next, and I want to know more about the secondary characters (please, please don't make this into one of those never-ending 'which guy does she pick' things a la Stephanie Plum or Hannah Swenson). More important than the 'was this worth the money?' question (a big yes!) is that this was a definite 'worth the time'. My time is much more valuable than money and I was pleased to spend it reading this book.

I fully intend to stalk the author's website to make sure I get to read the next one! Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this book 6 Jun. 2011
By Annie B - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an NC native, I am always on the lookout for books set in NC, so I was pleased to find this book. Though this is obviously a debut novel, I found it to be a good, fun read. I can't really classify it as a cozy mystery, though It's more of a mystery suspense book with cozy elements that does lean more toward cozy than thriller.

This book really has a little bit of something for everyone, mystery: romance, quirky/interesting characters (but not silly ones). I found the characters to fun and believable, and the book has some truly laugh out loud moments, which always makes me a happy reader. I also found the characters to be true to place, and enjoyed reading about some places and people in NC that are completely realistic. The blossoming romance was nicely done and hints of future development lead me to think that a sequel may be in the works. I really didn't know who did it until the very end. The book definitely had a surprise or two!

Admittedly, the writing was a bit uneven at the beginning and the editing could've been better (true for lots of ebooks, so I'm not complaining, just mentioning it), but this didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. For pure entertainment, I give this book 5 stars, warts and all. This is a good book for reading on the deck or at the pool, or by a fireside with a cup of tea. The price is pretty darn good too!

I am certainly hoping that there's a sequel! Overall, fun mystery read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Held My Interest Throughout 15 Jan. 2014
By Wind Chime Books - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book. The clever title caught my eye and loved the fictional, funny Twitter and Facebook posts that headed each chapter. The plot here is good, the idea for the main character's career is innovative, the characters are well rounded and interesting and it's obvious this author is a good writer. A good read overall.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally enjoyable! 2 May 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The only reason I didn't give five stars to this book is because of all of the technical errors. Could have used more editing! I get distracted by punctuation and spelling errors. That said, I totally enjoyed the story! It was fast-moving and funny, but still had some serious commentary on social issues. The characters were extremely likable--even the ones who turned out to be evil! Even though I thought I had it figured out well before the end, it still managed to be a surprise. Gretchen's romantic prospects are all so equally desirable, I couldn't decide who I wanted her to end up with! I stayed up WAY too late finishing this book. Can't wait for the next ones!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read 26 Aug. 2011
By ME to TN - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed the storyline with a different twist on solving the mystery of who-done-it. I can't wait for the next one in the series.
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