Running Maid for a Day keeps Charlotte LaRue plenty busy, of course.  But her latest job involves more than dusting and mopping.  She must also contend with the rumblings of a feuding New Orleans gardening club.  Things certainly aren’t coming up roses in Barbara Colley‘s expertly pace, character-driven new whodunit.

Summer’s off to a sweltering start, and Charlotte is already feeling the heat.  One of her best clients has just up and moved, leaving Charlotte with a big chunk of free time in her normally hectic schedule.  Her son Hank is thrilled.  He thinks it’s high time his mother retired.  But Charlotte has other ideas—and a new client to boot.  Gardening enthusiast Mimi Adams is planning to host the next meeting of the Horticultural Heritage Society, a popular club among New Orleans’ A-list.  Mimi wants Charlotte to be there.

Charlotte had expected some good gossip at the meeting, but these society ladies are downright ferocious.  They’ve got their claws out, with free-floating talk of extra-martial affairs (did Mimi really sleep with Rita’s husband?) and a bitter argument over the club’s recent presidential election (Mimi won…or did she?).  A few days later, Mimi’s dead.  Poisoned, according to the doctor.  But who planted it, and where?  Was it in the bitter brownies at the meeting?  Or in the red wine?  As Charlotte takes a closer look at Mimi’s “friends,” neighbors, and scheming husband, she realizes she has a whole plot full of suspects to weed through…and she’d better start digging.
Read A Review:

Charlotte LaRue owns Maid for a Day in New Orleans. She also works as a maid for a few clients. Her son is always trying to get her to retire. She’s just not ready. She prefers to work to keep busy and support herself. She’s taken on a new client, Mimi Adams, and Charlotte has no idea what she’s gotten herself into.

She soon learns that not only is Mimi getting even with her neighbor Sally for her noisy pool parties and poisoning Mimi’s trees, the Horticultural Heritage Society that Mimi hosts at her house has a lot of discord. Rita has accused Mimi of having an affair with her husband, so to retaliate, she runs for president of HHS against Mimi. Mimi wins by secret ballot, but Charlotte knows that the vote was rigged by Mimi’s best friend June. Then some members try to start their own club. When Mimi dies of poisoning, there is an abundance of suspects.

Charlotte continues to clean for Mimi’s family, but soon wonders if that arrangement can continue. She begins to search for proof of the killer’s identity. But can she do so without being caught and without getting killed herself?

Plus she has her family and its idiosyncrasies to deal with. And let’s not forget Louis. Even though he’s not as prominent in this book, he is still in the mix.

I always love books in this series. I would really like to have Charlotte come clean for me. She is a hoot. I like the New Orleans setting as well. This is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. When I finish reading a book in this series, I feel as if I’ve visited it. This is a great Southern cozy. It’s a fast, enjoyable read. I hated for it to end. I highly recommend this book.

Dawn Dowdle