Four Stars ~ Romantic Times BookClub
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
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
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
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
Larue of New Orleans (pre-storm) owns a housekeeping service,
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
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
"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
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.
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
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
" 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
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