I had issues for the first 74 pages or so while I was reading Organize your corpses by Mary Jane Maffini (the writing duo Mary Jane Maffini & daughter Victoria Maffini aka Victoria Abbott). But they were mine. Not the book’s. Well, sort of the book’s. But suddenly something clicked and I started getting into it. The protagonist, Charlotte Adams, is a professional organizer. And that is where I had issues. This is the most disorganized person I’ve ever come across (which is saying a lot if you could see my writing room/office/craft room). In the first book she has a date and getting ready she makes a shambles of her closet, leaves outfits strewn all over her bedroom, you know – the kind of thing we females who need professional organizers do! That type of disorganization disappeared after the first book, for the most part. But she is bossy, nosy, interfering… never the greatest character throughout. And she has these two very annoying miniature dachshunds, Truffle and Sweet Marie, who have no training whatsoever other than on the rare occasion responding to the command sit. I just think a person who is organized and a list maker would have ‘bring the dogs to Petco for training class’ on the to-do list once a week. And that doesn’t change during the books. She brings them everywhere – even to client appointments. In the first book, for a while, she actually thinks the dogs caused the death of the victim by causing a hoarder’s pile to fall on her. Now if that doesn’t teach you to leave the dogs home when you are working, nothing will. Dog lover that I am, those dogs continued to annoy me. So the series lost points with me for that. But the mysteries themselves are well plotted and the other characters are well drawn and enjoyable. Others may find Charlotte to be quirky and endearing. I might have myself, if she had another profession. I do think most cozy readers will enjoy the series and since I did enjoy the writing itself and the mysteries, I will be reading another of her series, Camilla Macphee Mystery Series. ♥♥♥1/2

Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer. Nothing is out of place in her closets-but her life’s a mess. So she’s dumped her cheating ex-fiance, moved back home to Woodbridge, New York, and started making up to-do lists-some of which include solving the occasional murder.

Charlotte’s new job has her digging through years of accumulated junk to find some important documents. Instead she finds her client, the meanest teacher in town, dead under a pile of the debris that plagued her. And there’s no end to the list of suspects-starting with Charlotte herself.

Organization can get very messy… When Charlotte Adams agrees to help Emmy Lou Rheinbeck organize her stuffed animal collection, she never imagines she’ll find herself fending off pranksters whose shenanigans lead to murder.

Nothing makes Charlotte Adams happier than freeing people from clutter-and she boasts a waiting list of sloppy clients. Her free time has been taken up solving fatally untidy cases. Her latest task: a woman has hired her to organize a coworker’s hopelessly cluttered desk. But when the miss behind the mess goes missing, workplace tempers rise. Now, Charlotte must open a brand-new folder-one she hopes won’t be filed under M for murder.

Fourth in the series featuring organizer and amateur sleuth Charlotte Adams, following Death Loves a Messy Desk. A friend hires Charlotte to organize her closets and prove that her daughter’s accident was murder. And now Charlotte has to get a house-and her suspects-in order.

Mona Pringle, the local 911 operator, is calling Charlotte Adams with her own emergency: Serena Redding, a high school “mean girl” who used to torment Mona, is coming back for a reunion. When Mona talks about how good it would feel to kill Serena, Charlotte doesn’t believe she means it. But when a woman who looks like Serena is killed in a hit- and-run, and another former mean girl is also run down, Charlotte realizes she needs to look both ways for the now-missing Mona.

Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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