When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.
Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”
After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.
And that crime – at least, someone else’s – does pay the bills.
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I have always had an interest in reading books or watching programs about crime scenes, especially from the coroner’s or medical examiner’s perspective. Recently, I watched a short documentary about a crime scene cleanup company and went down the rabbit hole of videos available on YouTube. When this book showed up featuring this unique profession, I had to read it! I’m so glad that I did, especially since I got to it at the beginning of what I hope will become a larger series!
Cece is a fantastic lead! She’s sassy, holds her own, and has an amazing strength of character. I admired that from the moment her husband left, she was picking up the pieces and figuring out what she needed to do next in order for her family to survive. I really appreciated how much resolve Cece exhibited and that while she was by no means in denial about the predicament her husband left her in, she hardly spent any time wallowing in negativity. She was definitely wronged and expresses her emotions about it; however, she focuses a greater amount of her energy on how she is going to keep things running as smoothly as possible not only for herself, but more importantly for her children. When things get tough, the tough get going and Cece has her work cut out for her! She surprises everyone close to her, including herself, and ultimately realizes that it’s never too late to start over.
An interesting aspect of the writing that I thought worked amazingly well was how each chapter began with a humorous quote from a different character which read more like an answer to a interrogation question. These insights provided a lot of great information about each character that added layers to their individual stories as well as the overall mystery. They weren’t repeated in context within the book, but contributed to the sharp wit of the story. I don’t see this done well very often, but this was a great example of incorporating that kind of element into the story especially within the framework of a mystery.
Given that the story focuses on crime scene cleanup, there aren’t any of the gory details, so no worries for anyone who may be squeamish. This is a fast-paced, entertaining, and engaging story with a highly believable accidental amateur sleuth that was hard to put down. This is a great addition to the cozy world and I look forward to reading what Cece has to cleanup next!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and Tricia L. Sanders for the opportunity to read and review this book! It was an absolute pleasure!
Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!