MAID FOR MURDER: A Squeaky Clean Charlotte La Rue Mystery
Amateur sleuth Charlotte La Rue will dust her way into readers' hearts in this auspicious debut of a new cozy series. Fifty-nine-year-old Charlotte runs a successful maid-for-a-day business, and many of her clients reside in the exclusive, historic Garden District of New Orleans. Single mother to a successful, handsome young doctor, and with a parakeet named Sweety Boy to keep her company, Charlotte has a straightforward, simple life. That is, until she hears that the dead body of one of her employers, Jackson Dubuisson, has been found in his study. Charlotte has worked for the family for many years. Though she has done her best to keep a professional distance, she can't help feeling sympathy for the widow, Jeanne, left to deal with an invalid mother and a stricken daughter. With Jeanne behaving in an increasingly guilty manner, and finding herself privy to numerous family secrets she'd rather not know, Charlotte realizes that for once she may not be able to mind her own business. Her own niece, Judith Monroe, is one of the homicide cops on the case, and Charlotte is believably torn by the conflicts of duty to the police and the best interests of her long-time client. Cleaning up messes, whether personal or professional, is what Charlotte has done most of her life; with Charlotte La Rue, Colley has created a sensible, likable sleuth whom readers will want to put on a long-term contract. Agent, Evan Marshall.(Feb. 5)
Forecast:With supportive blurbs from such cozy queens as Laurien Berenson, Joanne Fluke and Shelley Freydont, plus an eye-catching jacket that dares to put a mop at its center, this first novel should get off to a strong start.