Kensington, Feb 2002, 25.00, 264 pp.
Charlotte La Rue needed something to support herself and her infant son when her lover died in Vietnam so she opened up a cleaning service Maid for a Day. Thirty years later, fifty-nine years old Charlotte has expanded the business which operates in the high society section of New Orleans called appropriately the Garden District. She is a good person who tries to keep a relationship with her clients on a business level but sometimes she fails.
One of the clients she ends up befriending is Jeanne Duboisson, a rich woman who stays home to take care of her sick mother. Jeanne's husband Jackson is rarely home and rumors come to Charlotte's attention that he is stepping out on Jeanne. When Jackson is found murdered in his own study, Charlotte reluctantly gets drawn into the investigation and to her surprise, she likes trying to figure out who the murderer actually is.
MAID FOR MURDER is a lighthearted amateur sleuth novel that bursts with humor yet contains pathos and poignancy. The characters are drawn very true to life and the reader will end up feeling sympathy for the victims as well as the perpetrator. Fans will enjoy Barbara Colley's very good debut novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner