All the Lysol in the world can’t hide the scent of murder in New Orleans’s posh Garden District.
Housecleaner Charlotte LaRue (Death Tidies Up, 2003, etc.) knows that society matrons can be vicious. Working for gossipy Bitsy Duhe has taught her all she cares to know about the fine art of back-stabbing. But life in Gordon and Mimi Adams’s palatial home kicks malice up a notch. First, Mimi punishes neighbor Sally Lawson for killing her tree by planting noxious weeds along her fence. Then she cheats her way to the presidency of the Horticulture Heritage Society with a little help from her best friend June Bryant, who doesn’t quite tally all the votes. When Rita Landers (who once accused Mimi of seducing her husband), Doreen Mires and Karen Douglas stage a mini-revolt by voting to donate the money raised by their fall plant sale to the local women’s shelter instead of the Herbert plantation, Mimi threatens revenge on Doreen’s husband, who works for Gordon. You might think Mimi’s headache that afternoon would be the result of all that intrigue. Actually, she’s been poisoned with jimsonweed. And much as she’d like to just leave and spend her time helping her son Hank and his fiancée Carol plan their wedding, Charlotte just can’t quit; she has to try to stop a killer from getting clean away.
Even likable Charlotte’s fans may well see the solution coming a long way off.