To oblige a friend, New Orleans housecleaner Charlotte LaRue (Wiped Out, 2005, etc.) takes a temporary job at the Garden District’s Jazzy Hotel, where the body count keeps rising.
It’s lucky that members of the Red Scarf Sorority are committed to helping each other, because Sorority president Tessa Morgan really needs help. Her accountant husband Frank is bent on marrying Lisa, his much younger inamorata, and he wants a divorce. Worse, he insists that Tessa file for the divorce. Through a series of intermediaries including his daughter Belinda and his secretary Margaret Green, he’s been pressing Tessa to sign the papers while Lisa stays as a guest in the Jazzy right under the noses of the Red Scarf ladies. When Lisa ends up with a red scarf around her neck, Detectives Gavin Brown and Judith Monroe, Charlotte’s niece, consider Tessa the prime suspect. But thanks to Charlotte’s talent for discernment, and her much greater talent for overhearing things (some accidentally, some not), the case is soon complicated by new suspects, from Christopher, the mysterious suitor who continues to pursue Lisa even after she tells him she’s engaged to a married man, to Mack Sutton, Tessa’s stepfather, who turns out to have a long-standing, and surprisingly intimate, history with Charlotte.
A routine mystery enlivened by romantic interludes like this one: “As far as kisses went, it was more of a friendly type of kiss as opposed to the passionate type.”