Live and let dust . . .
Carpet Diem by Misty Simon, Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Astercromb mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.
Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .
Tallie Graver is vying for a big cleaning contract for Mrs. Petrovski at her Astercromb mansion. She is competing against Audra McNeal and they have each been assigned a room to clean to the owner’s specifications. Tallie and Audra have become friends but she is going to fight hard for this job so she has plenty of work for the women that work for her.
Tallie does get the contact but it isn’t because of her cleaning expertise. It is because she found her competitor dead, rolled up in a carpet, and tossed in a dumpster. Thankfully the police chief doesn’t have her as number 1 on his suspect list but that doesn’t mean she isn’t going dust and sweep together every clue to find out who killed Audra. She has to be careful though or she may end up using her family’s services instead of just helping with the family business.
Ms. Simon has really written a wonderful mystery. Twists and turns plus a red herring or two. I dove right into this story and didn’t look back. I read the book in two evenings but would have read it all in one if my eyes and brain would have cooperated. The ending was unexpected and satisfying too.
While a great mystery is important, this series shines because of its strong characters. Tallie has changed so much since book 1, Cremains of the Day. Her relationship with Max is getting more serious and she is pulling away from her ex-Mrs. Waldo status. Her relationship with the sheriff is evolving as well in an interesting way. I liked Tallie right away but it is great to see a character grow realistically as Tallie has. Making the story even more enjoyable is that the regular supporting cast is developing nicely too. Add to that the unique characters we meet like Mrs. Petrovski and her nephew and you have a story that is extremely hard to put down.
Wonderful characters and compelling mysteries keep me coming back for more of this series. Misty Simon is such a fine storyteller, she never disappoints. She entertains and tests my brain. Carpet Diem is a Perfect Escape and I recommend it highly.
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About the Author
Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.