WASH AND DIE by Barbara Colley


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No good deed goes unpunished when housecleaner Charlotte LaRue (Scrub-a-Dub Dead, 2007, etc.) lets her tenant’s ex-wife stay in her New Orleans home after Katrina has passed through.

Charlotte is a grandma now, and she’d like nothing better than to spend her spare time helping her daughter-in-law Carol adjust to motherhood while her son Hank works at his medical practice. But, still uncertain whether the retired police detective who lives in the other half of her duplex is really her boyfriend, she lets Louis Thibodeaux’s ex-wife use her spare room when Joyce gets discharged abruptly from drug rehab. Almost instantly, Charlotte regrets her generous impulse. Joyce is a messy guest; Charlotte’s father’s watch promptly goes missing; and Joyce releases Charlotte’s beloved parakeet, Sweety Boy, from his cage into the cruel world. But the worst thing Joyce does is to get herself killed in the LaRue living room, placing Charlotte and Louis under a cloud of suspicion even Charlotte’s police detective niece Judith can’t disperse. Charlotte suspects the answer lies in the hospital where Joyce did rehab. So, disguised as herself (who looks at a maid?), she scrubs her way into the psych ward, where she discovers nasty nurses, perplexed patients and a scent of corruption that overpowers even hospital-strength disinfectant.

Colley keeps her tale moving along smartly as no-nonsense Charlotte delivers a tidy treat.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2251-0
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2008


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