Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini has Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer in her hometown of Woodbridge, New York. Charlotte is taking on a job for retired schoolteacher, Miss Helen “Hellfire” Henley. She needs Charlotte to search for some important documents among all the clutter that is currently occupying Henley House as well as clean out the house. The next morning, Charlotte arrives at Henley House to meet Miss Henley as scheduled only to find her new client dead under a pile of debris. Unfortunately for Charlotte, the investigating detective is her former best friend, Pepper Monahan. There are numerous suspects in Miss Henley’s death including Charlotte. Charlotte soon finds herself the prime suspect which has her scrambling. She needs to find the guilty party before Charlotte finds herself organizing prison cells at the local penitentiary.
Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini is the first book in A Charlotte Adams Mystery series. I liked the premise of this series. It has potential for many interesting scenarios. The reality, though, was disappointing. You must suspend all logical thoughts when reading this tale. Some things are farfetched. I ended up not liking any of the characters (not even the dogs). Charlotte Adams is a “professional organizer” whose life is a mess. She is a plucky woman, but I found her too impetuous. Charlotte goes to a client meeting with two unruly dogs (that made no sense whatsoever). I also wondered how she kept getting jobs when she failed to complete any of them. The mystery was interesting. I like solving unique mysteries. Unfortunately, the whodunit was not the focus of the book. Charlotte’s friends seem to do more investigating than Charlotte. For the resolution, you must suspend your disbelief. At the end, we are left with many unanswered questions (what happened between Pepper and Charlotte for example). Avid cozy mystery readers only need to a couple of pieces of information to solve it. I wondered what year this book was set in. It did not seem to be set in the present day (not within the last three years at least). Organize Your Corpses had too much wackiness and cliché elements for my tastes. I did enjoy the organizing tips before each chapter. My favorite tip was, “Keep an interesting book with you in case you find yourself in a boring place with time on your hands.” While Organize Your Corpses was not my cup of tea, I suggest you obtain a sample to see if it suits you. Organize Your Corpses is an offbeat cozy mystery with a disarranged dwelling, a vile victim, a dogged detective, a kindly landlord, a frenzied family, and a perplexing puzzle.
The Avid Reader
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