An Untidy Death

Simon Brett. Severn, $28.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-78029-128-4
Edgar finalist Brett’s diverting sequel to 2020’s The Clutter Corpse opens with Alexandra Richards asking Ellen Curtis, the kind, empathetic owner of a decluttering company called SpaceWoman in Chichester, England, to visit her mother, Ingrid Richards, a former journalist, as Alexandra believes the woman’s apartment has become a fire hazard. Ellen does so and realizes that the stacks of newspapers and books are merely a “personal filing system,” as Ingrid is in the throes of writing a new book. Ellen goes on to her to her next client, who casually informs her that he has murdered his wife. Later, while still pondering the veracity of that remark, she learns that Ingrid has indeed died in a fire in her apartment. Convinced that Ingrid has been murdered, Ellen sets out to investigate. (The other client, as it happens, was just trying to get a rise out of her.) Brett has a gift for creating vivid, complex characters, and he gently massages in teaching moments about clinical depression (Ellen’s manic-depressive husband died by suicide, for instance) and psychological triggers for hoarders. Despite a pretty obvious motive and murderer, cozy fans will be delighted. Agent: Lisa Moylett, CMM Agency (U.K.) (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/19/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-78029-805-4
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