Actually, death makes a big fat mess. Years ago, Bill Hebert died in a freak accident, leaving his wife Marian alone to raise two sons, Aaron and B.J., and run his ailing New Orleans real-estate firm. Later, Drew Bergeron, Bill’s former business partner, was killed in a plane crash. But now, Janet Davis and Emily Coleman, two of Charlotte LaRue’s Maid-for-a-Day cleaning crew, discover the supposed-to-be-dead realtor’s freshly murdered corpse in a second-floor closet of the Devilier place, bringing the cleanup of the newly renovated apartments to a screeching halt. Charlotte, who’s got the heebie-jeebies anyway on account of her fast-approaching 60th birthday, falls over in a dead faint, causing the cops who respond to the call—Charlotte’s tenant and not-so-secret admirer Louis Thibodeaux and her niece Judith Monroe—to insist that Charlotte’s physician son Hank send Mom for a checkup. Soon Charlotte’s cleaning bucket is full to overflowing. Not only does she have to run Marian’s rapidly disintegrating household, keep tabs on delinquent B.J., swap gossip with nosy client Bitsy Duhe, improve her parakeet’s vocabulary, encourage her employee Nadia Wilson’s romance with her nephew Daniel, and discourage her niece Judith’s unsuitable affair with her partner Will Richeux, she also has to fend off advances from handyman Sam Roberts, cross swords repeatedly with Louis, and of course solve a murder.
Detection definitely gets swept into a corner in Colley’s overplotted follow-up to her debut, Maid for Murder (2002).