Author: Misty Simon
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Tallie Graver’s cleaning business has grown to the point that she now has a cleaning crew working for her. This has allowed her to take on more and bigger jobs. When a large job becomes available, Tallie knows that her and her crew are up to the task. This job involves cleaning a mansion for Mrs. Petrovski, a very rich but condescending member of the elite community. Tallie will not just be given this job though. She has to compete for it against the new girl in town, Audra. Tallie has her work cut out for her because it turns out that the mansion job is even bigger than she imagined, and she is butting heads with Mrs. Petrovski’s nephew, who doesn’t seem to want her to win the contract. Thanks in part to his sabotaging, Tallie loses the contract. She returns later that night to get some of her cleaning supplies she has left behind. What she finds when she gets there though is Audra’s body in the dumpster. Tallie decides she must find out who killed Audra because she was just starting to call Audra a friend. Tallie’s determination is clear when she says, “I’m in full amateur-sleuth mode at the moment. Perpetrators, watch out!”
Each book in this series gets better and better. I believe that one of the reasons for this is the excellent character development. Throughout the series, Tallie grows personally and professionally. Personally, I feel like she comes into her own in this installment. She no longer feels like just Waldo’s ex-wife, and a fallen from the upper echelon victim. She is comfortable with who she and where she is at. She even begins to realize she has gained some respect in the community. Her relationship with Burton really changes in this story. Tallie becomes aware that she was stepping on Burton’s toes, and while she really wants to help, she doesn’t want to do that anymore. Burton in turn comes to realize that Tallie is able to bring helpful information to the table. Tallie’s relationship with Max also changes, but I’ll let you read the novel to see what’s in store with these two.
The mystery itself is well crafted. The author is very skillful in that nothing seems to be exactly how it first appears. With the pieces seeming to constantly change shape, Tallie is kept on her toes while trying to piece this puzzle together. While clues are sprinkled throughout the novel, they are cleverly murky and leave the reader just as puzzled as Tallie. The mystery keeps you guessing all the way until the end. The ending is very gratifying.
This is a fun, page-turning mystery that cozy mystery readers will love. While the book could be read as a stand alone novel, I think reading the previous books will give you a better take on the characters. I’m hoping there will be another book in this series.
Thanks to Net Galley and Kensington Book for an ARC of this book. #NetGalley #CarpetDiem