Imperfect, and lovable because of it, domestic Charlotte LaRue works her way into readers' hearts one messy room at a time. Rich folks in New Orleans pay no attention to the hired help, so self-employed Charlotte regularly gets an earful of Garden District dirt. You'll chuckle as Charlotte swears she hates gossip but somehow manages to catch every evil word.

Because she's privy to all sorts of insider information, Charlotte is able to methodically narrow down a list of suspects when a wealthy client is murdered. Since evidence has evaporated, she decides to set a trap for the killer. What Charlotte never suspects is that she's put herself in danger.

Despite her penchant for moralizing, Charlotte is an appealing character. But readers may guess the killer's identity long before the truth finally dawns on Charlotte. (Feb., 272 pp., $22.00)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison