MYSTERY

Careful What You Wish For

Morrow. Aug. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780062473653. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062473677. M
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Best-selling author Ephron (There Was an Old Woman) introduces professional organizer Emily Harlow, owner of Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers. Emily likes to keep her things in order, but husband Frank loves to hit the yard sales on the weekends and has filled their home with stuff. One would think Emily could fix the issue of clutter at her own house, but she has a rule that you can only organize your own things, so Frank’s finds are off-limits. While working, she meets Mrs. Murphy and Quinn Newell. Mrs. Murphy hires Emily to go through the possessions of her recently deceased husband, while Quinn Newell hires her company to declutter her garage. Emily crosses professional boundaries by getting a little tipsy during her initial consultation with Quinn. They both joke about getting rid of their sloppy spouses, and a few days later Emily finds herself in a huge mess.
VERDICT With smooth dialog and a title that is a good representation of the story line, Ephron offers a great “murder swap” mystery reminiscent of the 1951 Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train. Recommended for those who love puzzling, unpredictable mysteries with a little lesson in professional organizing on the side. [See Prepub Alert, 2/11/19.]

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