The living’s not so easy for 60-ish Charlotte LaRue, owner of Maid-for-a-Day cleaning service. Not only does she have to ride herd on reliable employees like Nadia Wilson, who can be counted on to take off every time her no-account boyfriend Ricco Martinez gets thrown into jail, but she herself cleans the stately mansions of two of the richest and most finicky families in New Orleans’ posh Garden District. Of course, Bitsy Duhe isn’t a problem; except for her shameless love of gossip and her affinity for kitchen gadgets, she’s basically a tidy housekeeper. But it’s another story at the Dubuissons’ place. This Greek Revival mansion is not only huge, it seems plagued by misfortune. Twenty years ago Andrew St. Martin was killed there shortly after his daughter Jeanne’s marriage to powerful attorney Jackson Dubuisson, and now Jackson spends every minute at work, except for the minutes he steals to flirt with his partner Tony Marriott’s wife Sydney, leaving Jeanne alone to care for her bedridden mother Clarice. But when Jackson too is killed by an intruder, Jeanne trusts no one more than Charlotte to comfort her in her time of need. And Charlotte—to the double dismay of her niece, police detective Judith Monroe, and Judith’s surly partner, Louis Thibodeaux—must scour the landscape to bring a killer to justice.
Adolescent romantic maunderings mar postmenopausal Charlotte’s otherwise respectable debut.