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AMATEUR SLEUTH/COZY/ HUMOR/SENIOR SLEUTH/ WHODUNIT MYSTERY
SCRUB-A-DUB DEAD
Maid for a day Charlotte LaRue knows that sweeping murder under the rug is anything but simple in the Big Easy–especially since no smudge or stain is safe from her scrutiny...

Doing a favor for a friend in need has Charlotte cleaning rooms at the New Orleans Jazzy Hotel. The historic Garden District mansion is serving as a home-away-from-home for Shreveport’s chapter of the Red Scarf Sorority, a group of socially elite women in their forties.

While picking up beautiful red silk scarves from the floor of a room she's cleaning, Charlotte is startled by the sudden arrival of its ranting and raving occupant, who insists that Charlotte ignored the Do-Not-Disturb sign on the door and threatens to have her fired. Charlotte is stunned into silence, until the Red Scarf Sorority comes to the rescue. The women manage to calm Tessa Morgan, who just had a run-in with her estranged husband’s much younger mistress Lisa—and learned that they plan to marry. After some of the women jokingly suggest making Lisa permanently disappear, Charlotte takes her leave. The situation gets even messier when Charlotte runs into an old flame and learns that he is Tessa’s stepfather—and that Lisa may be blackmailing him.

The next day, Charlotte gets back to work, only to learn that Lisa has been murdered, strangled by what could have been a red scarf. The hotel is awash in suspects, and soon Tessa is being dragged away in handcuffs. It seems Lisa had more enemies than friends, and Charlotte is convinced the police are on the wrong track with Tessa. It's time to start scouring through clues before the person who rubbed out Lisa makes a clean getaway.
Read A Review:

Charlotte LaRue owns her own maid service in New Orleans, working in the garden district. She decided to keep her service domestic, but her friend Carrie Rogers was short staffed, and Charlotte had agreed to help clean The Jazzy Hotel for two weeks. Carrie had let Charlotte and her family flee to her country home during Hurricane Katrina. She owed Carried.

Soon Charlotte finds herself in the middle of an affluent family with a lot of controversy while cleaning the hotel. Plus she runs into an old beau, Mack Sutton, as well. When Mack’s soon to be ex-son-in-law’s new fiancÚ Lisa is murdered, Charlotte ends up in the middle of the investigation.

The more she tries to stay out of things, the more she gets involved. Since Mack’s family is at the center of things, she’s concerned how close she should get. As she gets closer to the killer, secrets begin to emerge. Can she solve the murder without finding herself as the next target?

I love Charlotte. I wish she’d come clean my house! I enjoyed this book set in a hotel. It gave lots of new characters for the story. The author did a great job of creating a web of intrigue in the middle of the murder. There were plenty of twists and turns as she eliminated suspects.

I highly recommend this book and series.

Dawn Dowdle


Charlotte LaRue is back and I couldn't be happier! It has been one year since Katrina devastated the New Orleans area and her friend Carrie needs Charlotte to work at the Jazzy Hotel for her. It is definitely an adjustment time for New Orleans residents. Memories and fears are present everywhere that people look.

Charlotte learns that a group of women called The Red Scarf Sorority are in the hotel. They claim to support each other and it has some of the earmarks of the Red Hat Society. These red scarfers are not always quite as nice as one would think and as a fill-in maid, Charlotte has the chance to meet several ladies in the group. She meets a Joan Rivers look-alike, Tessa, and after a minor confrontation, Charlotte cleans her room. Right from the get-go, Charlotte learns there are layers of turmoil here. A woman called Lisa seems to be in the middle of it and it smells a bit like blackmail.

Imagine Charlotte's surprise when she meets a former boyfriend, Mack. Years ago, he and Charlotte dated. Then he introduced her to the father of her son. Mack is a good addition to the story but it's equally special to revisit characters such as Charlotte's niece and Louis, her tenant and friend. Louis has his own set of issues with his ex-wife. There are surprises for all in this story line. Louis and Charlotte have a unique relationship. Sometimes he says things that are completely inappropriate, often taking out his frustration on her. Louis is a former policeman and now works in security.

In the 6th installment of this series, a death is imminent (after all, it is a murder mystery). When one of the women dies, Charlotte is automatically in the midst of the commotion. Detective Gavin Brown is again telling her to butt out, but if only life was that simple. The detective may really be a good guy but he does come across to Charlotte as arrogant and self-serving. Actually, a second murder hastens the necessity for finding the murderer quickly.

The characters, both major and minor, in this series are well drawn and interesting. I wonder if Mack may become a regular. Soon Charlotte will be a first time grandmother and as for me, I look forward to the next book. Enjoy!

Rita Ratacheck