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    Review of DEATH TIDIES UP by Barbara Colley (see her website)


    Kensington Books, February 2003

    When the maid service she operates finds a dead body in one of the apartments they are cleaning, Charlotte LaRue is shocked--not just because of the body, but because the man they find has supposedly been dead for years--yet the corpse is fresh. There's something going on and Charlotte can't help thinking that it has something to do with one of her clients. Of course with a client list that includes some pretty strange people, that doesn't really narrow down the suspect list. A dead body is only one of Charlotte's problems. She is turning 60 and having a hard time dealing with her age, suffering from some frightening medical conditions, and having sexual feelings toward her tenant--feelings she is sure he doesn't reciprocate.

    Although the title and description sound humorous, DEATH TIDIES UP isn't. Author Barbara Colley (see more reviews of novels by Colley) gives intriguing tidbits of information about New Orleans, where her novel is set, and offers a variety of eccentric characters, but there aren't a lot of smiles in this mystery. Rather, LaRue busies herself in her clients' lives, tries to keep the disturbed and dirty from complete collapse, and manages to find clues that the police, including her love interest Louis and her niece Judith are unable to track down.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 3/30/03

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