Title: The Cluttered Corpse
Series: Charlotte Adams
By: Mary Jane Maffini
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Professional organizer Charlotte Adams is reminded that appearances can be deceiving, and disorder can be deadly . . .
On her first visit to her new client’s immaculate home, professional organizer Charlotte Adams can’t imagine why she’s been called in to help—until the woman reveals her outrageously large collection of stuffed animals. But before Charlotte can even begin to tame the plush menagerie, a nasty neighbor who’s been making her client a nervous wreck is found murdered, and her client has confessed to the crime!
Certain that the frazzled woman couldn’t have committed the deed, Charlotte can’t help snooping to learn why she confessed and who the real culprit might be. No sooner does she begin investigating, though, than her car tires are slashed, her home is broken into, and a close friend is nearly run over. Charlotte knows she’s on the right track, but she’ll have to act fast before the killer decides to straighten her out for good. (NetGalley)
Mary Jane Maffini’s second book, The Cluttered Corpse, in the Charlotte Adams series is a delightfully engaging addition to the series.
Charlotte Adams is a 5-foot tall professional organizer, in upstate New York. She had returned to her home town of Woodbridge after a bad break up with her now ex-fiancée. Her business is on the rise and she has a new client, Emmy Lou Rheinbeck – a woman with a HUGE collection of stuffed animals. Her husband has requested Charlotte’s expertise in helping his wife get control of her collection. While getting a handle on the job at the client’s place of residence, Charlotte is exposed to a couple of neighbourhood young men pulling some shenanigans outside of Emmy Lou’s home. Subsequently, one of the young men is found dead. To muddy the waters – Emmy Lou confesses to the murder!
Charlotte methodically processes the information she gathers in an attempt to identify the true killer. In true cozy mystery fashion – there are numerous red herrings which add to the suspense and enjoyment of the book (at least for this reader) and of course, places Charlotte in harms way.
Loved the nuggets of wisdom at the beginning of each chapter interesting…. especially the following:
“Don’t bring anything new into your home unless you know you have a place to keep it. Except for books, of course.”
I found the following comment by Charlotte rather interesting and true:
“I am used to neighbors taking an interest in my clients and their projects. Often they want details. Other people’s mess and clutter is almost as interesting as their sex lives, and just as much not anyone else’s business.”
One aspect I found interesting is that I did find some portions of this mystery rather formulaic and thus obvious while at the same time, I was stumped at other parts with no clear indication of “whodunit” until the end. Which, in all honesty, is the way I like my cozy mysteries ☺So, my final analysis is that Mary Jane Maffini has done it again – another fun cozy read which kept me guessing and entertained throughout. And I got LOTS of organizing tips. Can’t wait to read book three – Death Loves a Messy Desk.