Cover: Married to the Mop by Barbara Colley

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Title: Barbara Colley's Charlotte LaRue Mystery Series

 

Cover detail: Death Tidies Up Married to the Mop
by Barbara Colley
January 2006
ISBN 0-7582-0764-6

animation: sweeping broomAs owner of Maid for a Day, Charlotte LaRue is cleaning up New Orleans house by house. When it comes to hired help, she’s the best there is, especially if murder runs in the family...

Though she’s short two employees, Charlotte answers a desperate plea the weekend before Mardi Gras. A woman named Emily Rossi is hosting a huge bash for out-of-town guests, and just lost her maid to a family emergency. It seems an acquaintance of hers from the society set highly recommended Charlotte’s services—so she makes Charlotte an offer she can’t refuse…

And Charlotte soon learns why. Emily’s husband, Robert, just happens to be the most ruthless crime boss in the country. The number-one suspect in the murder of his own father, he’s taken over the reins of the “family business.”

As usual, Charlotte keeps her nose to the grindstone—but that doesn’t stop her from seeing the dysfunctional Rossi clan in all its glory. Robert’s mother is seemingly senile, his daughter hates him, he quarrels with his brothers, and Charlotte suspects him of abusing his wife. She also gets a front-row seat to an explosive display of Robert’s hair-trigger temper when he finds some of his priceless Faberge eggs missing.

Nevertheless, Charlotte agrees to help at the costume ball when one of the servers comes down with the flu. She’s beginning to think that the party is a cover for Robert’s illegal activities, when the man himself is found dead in the library. And there’s Emily, standing over her husband with a bloody knife in her hand.

The case seems cut-and-dried—to anyone but Charlotte, that is. Although Emily looks guilty as sin, Charlotte has seen enough of the Rossi family’s dirty laundry to suspect everyone. And the Faberge eggs continue to disappear. If there’s a crack in the killer’s plan, Charlotte will find it, because she won’t stand for anything—least of all, murder—being swept under the rug. But she’d better tread carefully if she doesn’t want to spend Fat Tuesday in the bayou, sleeping with the catfish…

 

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Dedication

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Select another book and click to find out more!

 

Death Tidies Up - Click for more!
Book 2

 

Polished Off - Click for more!
Book 3

 

Wiped Out - Click for more!
Book 4

 

Married to the Mop- Click for Details!
Book 5

Scrub-a-Dub Dead - click for details!
Book 6

 

 

Reviews for DEATH TIDIES UP

Four Stars, Romantic Times BookClubFour Stars, Romantic Times BookClubFour Stars, Romantic Times BookClubFour Stars, Romantic Times BookClub
Four Stars ~ Romantic Times BookClub

"As fans of this entertaining series already know, Charlotte LaRue is no stranger to messy situations. As owner of her own New Orleans cleaning service, 60-year-old Charlotte has found herself mixed up in many of her eccentric clients’ problems as she tidies their homes.

"This time, Charlotte finds herself unwittingly working for the mob when she agrees to help the desperate friend of a regular client. Soon after she arrives at Robert Rossi’s Garden District manse, she regrets her decision. From all appearances, the man is a violent wife abuser whom everyone either hates or fears. Willing her assignment to be over quickly, Charlotte is shocked at the end of the evening to find Rossi dead and his wife, Emily, holding the knife. Although Emily is quickly arrested for the murder, Charlotte knows there’s more to this crime, including suspicious guests, missing Faberge’ eggs and other dirty laundry, and she sets out to find the real killer and clear Emily’s name.

"This is a delightful book. Charlotte is an engaging sleuth who takes the reader along with her as she deftly works to find and make sense of the clues that will lead her to the killer. The New Orleans setting, along with an entertaining ensemble of characters—from bodyguards to Mafia wives and offspring—help to keep the reader rapidly turning the pages to see whodunit." ~Romantic Times Bookclub, review by Stephanie Scbneider


"Charlotte LaRue owns a successful maid service in New Orleans. When one of her best clients, a woman she also considers a friend, asks her to help out at the home of a woman she helped raise, Charlotte takes on the temporary but very well-paid job.

"When she arrives at the address, she's surprised that it turns out to be the home of an infamous mob boss, one Robert Rossi. Rossi is rumored to have killed his father and murdered his first wife and their children in order to gain the position of power in his mob family. Charlotte is not happy to be working there.

"Since she said she would do it, and the money is needed, she goes about her business in a professional way and does her best not to notice the tension in the house amongst the relatives living there, the violent men surrounding her and the bruises on the woman she is helping out, Mrs. Rossi.

"The temp job soon extends to her working a pre Mardi Gras party and the mob boss is killed in the library during the festivities. His wife is found standing by the body with a bloody knife and she's instantly the first suspect. Not believing the poor woman could have done the deed Charlotte wants to make certain that the right person is arrested. She's soon on the job as a sleuth in addition to cleaning up as the maid.

"MARRIED TO THE MOP is a first-rate cozy. This is the fifth in the Charlotte LaRue series and as a newcomer to them, I found this one a fine standalone story. There's just enough side story to let the readers know that Charlotte has a well-rounded life and a history, but the fact that you might have missed the other installments of the series is added with a light touch. The result is that, though nothing seems left out, you still have the urge to read more about the main character. It's written that well!

"The reading is smooth and well-paced and Charlotte is a formidable and extremely likeable character. There are enough turns and twists in the mystery to keep you guessing and glued to the book. Writer Barbara Colley is a skilled and talented writer.

"I recommend MARRIED TO THE MOP and the Charlotte LaRue mystery series. It's fine reading." ~ Sharon Katz, January 2006, reviewingtheevidence.com


"Interesting and fast moving is this newest mystery from Colley. In fact it was written before and published just after Hurricane Katrina hit. The Garden District and other local places penned about the New Orleans area will hold a special fondness for readers."~Colette Lottinger, St. Charles Herald-Guide


"Charlotte Larue of New Orleans (pre-storm) owns a housekeeping service, and because of her good work and discretion, Charlotte is in demand in the posh Garden District. One of her clients, the gossiping Bitsy Dhue, talks Charlotte into doing some work for a friend of hers. Charlotte agrees not knowing that the Rossis are the biggest crime family around, and when Mrs. Rossi is found standing over the body of her murdered husband, Charlotte really goes to work to prove the Mrs. didn’t do it. This is the fifth book in this delightful series, and fans will be pleased to know that the wonderful and God-fearing Charlotte deservedly gets one of her heart’s desires. This series is light, well written, and a lot of fun." ~ Nancy Sapir, The Kingston Observer


"superb amateur sleuth"

"In New Orleans, Maid for a Day owner Charlotte LaRue agrees to service Emily Rossi's emergency request for help. Emily is hosting a gala for out-of-town guests attending the Mardi Gras, but her personnel maid left on a family emergency. However, Charlotte has doubts and not just because she is shorthanded as Emily's husband, Robert is reported to be a cold-blooded crime boss, who will kill anyone in his way including the cops suspect, his father.

" Charlotte tries to concentrate on doing her job even when she sees and hears a raging Robert screaming at everyone as some of his Faberge eggs are missing. Still the fee is top dollar though Charlotte does not want to know the source so when Emily asks her to also fill in for a server, she agrees. The masquerade ball proves lethal to the mob king as he is WIPED OUT with Emily holding the murder weapon. The cops assume the spouse did in her husband, but Charlotte thinks the police want to sweep the dirt under the rug with Fat Tuesday about to begin. Reluctantly she investigates the other family members who hated the patriarch as well as his opportunistic rivals and ambitious gang members.

"Adhering to her policy that she was not hired as a MAID FOR MURDER, Charlotte vows to stay out of the homicide investigation. However, being who she is when she notices little things that only a forensic expert or a cleaning person would see, she feels she must at least prove that the prime suspect is innocent. Fans will polish off her latest New Orleans adventure though with Katrina and now the controversy over hosting or canceling Mardi Gras the tale has an eerie feel to it. This is an excellent mystery." ~ Harriet Klausner, TheBestReviews.com


"Chock full of local color . . . Married to the Mop is the mystery equivalent of comfort food -- it's warm, familiar and doesn't serve up any unsettling surprises."
~Diana Pinckley, The Times Picayune


" . . . a good weekend read . . . a pleasure for any mystery reader to enjoy."
~L'Observateur



" Married To The Mop is a cozy mystery that kept me entertained from the beginning of the story to the very last page. Each page is filled with suspense and Barbara Colley has once again created interesting characters that you can't help but love and others that you can't help but hate. I also enjoyed reading about the famous New Orleans landmarks she always sprinkles throughout her stories.


"When I finished reading Married To The Mop, I felt good. I felt good about Barbara Colley, good about Charlotte LaRue, good about the Garden District, and good about New Orleans. I highly recommend Married To The Mop. "
~N. A. Genovese, Reviewer

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A Special Dedication to the Citizens of New Orleans

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans, Louisiana received a deadly blow resulting in the loss of lives, the loss of a way of life, and the loss of a great historical city that will never be the same again. When writing MARRIED TO THE MOP, I never once dreamed that such a terrible disaster could happen to the great city that I’ve grown to love and appreciate. It is my sincere hope that the New Orleans depicted in this book will in some small way remind my readers of what a wonderful and unique city it was, and with God’s help, will be again.

~ Barbara Colley, September 2005.

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