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“Callahan and her cohort of continuing characters...are great company...If Happy Never After were a song, we’d be dancing in the streets.” — San Jose Mercury News
In the fourth installment of Andrews’s acclaimed series about Callahan Garrity, Atlanta’s most inquisitive cleaning lady, she sets out to prove the innocence of a rock idol of her childhood.
Callahan Garrity is a former Atlanta cop, a part-time sleuth and full-time owner of House Mouse, a cleaning service that tidies up after Atlanta’s elite. She and her coterie of devoted helpers can ransack a house for clues faster than it takes a fingerprint to set.
Callahan needs all the help she can get trying to keep Rita Fontaine, a washed-up 1960s teenage rock star, out of jail. It’s nothing less than murder when Stu Hightower, the vain, temperamental president of a thriving Atlanta recording company, is found dead in the designer den of his posh home. His only companions are the slug in his heart and Rita, dead-drunk and looking guilty. Callahan believes in Rita’s innocence because, after all, Hightower had made more enemies than records in his career. But discovering who hated him enough to kill him could send her floating down a river of lost dreams without a paddle.
Callahan Garrity, who runs a cleaning service in Atlanta and performs an occasional investigation, gets an intriguing glimpse of music-industry exploitation and corruption when she's hired to find a member of her favorite singing group of the '60s, the VelvetTeens. Hoping to make a comeback, Vonette Hunsecker and her cousin Rita Fontaine want Callahan to find Rita's sister, Delores, who left the group in 1967. The case gets more complicated when Rita, who has scrapped in public with Stuart Hightower, the still-flourishing manager and producer who used up the VelvetTeens and tossed them aside, is found snoozing by his pool, reeking of scotch and holding the gun that has killed him. Callahan's investigations reveal a host of folks nursing grudges against Hightower, among them his ex-wife, who once tried to burn down his house. Callahan is good company, even when her ongoing relationship with Mac McAuliffe hits the skids and takes her self-esteem with it. But the real lure, compensating for the too many moments of strained humor, is the look at the people who are the cannon fodder for the hit parade. Earlier titles include Every Crooked Nanny and Homemade Sin.