Jul 18, 2009

Book Review: Death Loves a Messy Desk

Death Loves a Messy Desk (Charlotte Adams Mystery, Book 3) Death Loves a Messy Desk by Mary Jane Maffini

This funny cozy and feng shui-interior decorating mystery gets four stars for being witty and entertaining. I also read Maffini's "The Cluttered Corpse," but think this book is more clever.

In Death Loves a Messy Desk (2009), the main character Charlotte is trying to relax after recovering from solving a murder, The Cluttered Corpse. She signs up to train her two miniature "wiener" dogs to become certified therapy dogs in a volunteer program and meets another volunteer, Fredelle, who hires her on the spot to organize her work office and especially the untidy, unsightly desk of a new coworker, Barbara.

Charlotte runs her own business as an organizer in a small town and is well known. She has to deal with crazy office politics in the company, Quovadicon, to do this new job. Trying to help tidy Barbara's desk becomes a task when coworkers clash and Barbara disappears.

Charlotte, however, is too organized to let this job go and just drop it, even when she is fired by Fredelle, who had hired her in the first place. She snoops as any serious amateur detective would, and gets herself into trouble. Attempts on her life and on Quovadicon employees, including the self-effacing son of the owner, doesn't get Charlotte much sympathy from her closest friends until she is over her head in trouble and the bodies start to pile up, about three in all.

The plot is good, though I guessed the mystery behind Barbara's disappearance about two-thirds of the way through. The culprits were a big surprise tho.

If you love cute, disobedient dogs who are averse to training, plus long girlfriend talks (some of them should have been shortened), and a lot of humor in a good mystery plot, you'll like Death Loves a Messy Desk.

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  1. OK, you're tagged!
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  2. Thanks for tagging me, Peter R. You gave me a good idea of how to do it well!

  3. hmmm. you got me...my kind of book!

  4. Sounds like a good light summer read!

  5. Now this sounds like a hoot!!!

  6. Sounds like a great summer time holiday read!

  7. Sound like fun - even if the title still scares me!

  8. Sounds like a story my wife would enjoy this summer.

    Also, just letting you know you have an award waiting for you here.

  9. These are some of my favorite winter reads.... cold nights, warm blanket, a good mystery.... comes pretty close to perfect.

  10. Interesting book!
    I also awarded you the The Proximidade Award!

  11. Hi Book Bird Dog,

    You have won the Friendship Award. You know where I live http://ilovelovebooks.blogspot.com.
    Come by and pick it up. Thanks for being my friend. You know to let me know you've gotten it.

  12. I recently read and reviewed the first book in this series. On the whole, I liked it although the dogs wore on my nerves a bit!

  13. Cathy: I have a friend who doesn't like dog antics too much either. She got tired of the dog Stretch in Sue Henry's mystery, The Refuge. I think Stretch was another weiner also.


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