The Clutter Corpse

Crème de la Crime: Severn House. (Decluttering, Bk. 1). Jun. 2020. 192p. ISBN 9781780291246. $28.48. M
Ellen Curtis owns a business, SpaceWoman, helping people declutter their homes in southern England. Most of her jobs come from people whose family members are hoarders, and she tries to help them deal with their life issues as well. One of Ellen’s best friends, Hilary, is a psychotherapist who works with prisoners who are about to be released. Because Hilary doesn’t believe Nate Ogden will be released to his mother’s home unless the house is cleaned up, Ellen agrees to help. Unexpectedly, she uncovers a drug addict’s body stuffed in a back room, something that usually doesn’t happen on her job. When Ellen recognizes the corpse, she’s curious enough to dig into the past, meet with a drug dealer, and put herself in danger, typical behavior for an amateur sleuth.
VERDICT Brett, author of the “Fethering” and “Charles Paris” mysteries, launches a new series with a story that dwells too much on the protagonist’s past and family history to make for a tedious, stuffy account. Readers may want to skip this cold introduction, which has more framework than mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 11/18/19.]
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