A Domestic Bliss Mystery #4
“Sparkles with charm, design lore, and a sleuth with a great mantra. Cozy fans will embrace the Domestic Bliss series.” —Carolyn Hart, Edgar Award-winning author of Letters from Home
“Killed by Clutter is a real winner.” –Cozy Library
“Filled with plenty of ideas about decorating, and with a good solid mystery to solve, this is a fine cozy to add to your reading list." —Sharon Katz, Reviewing the Evidence
Interior designer, Erin Gilbert can’t help but fall in love at first sight with her newest design job – a delightful little bungalow set on a quiet street.
Until she steps inside.
What looks neat and tidy as a postcard from the outside, looks like Hurricane Clutter on the inside! It seems the bungalow’s eccentric owner, widow Helen Walker, hasn’t thrown a thing out since 1942. Newspapers are piled high, almost reaching the ceiling, bric-a-brac covers every surface – there’s barely any space to walk from room to room!
What’s worse – two strange deaths in the area link back to Helen, convincing her that a serial killer is on the prowl – and every nosy friend or neighbor looks like a suspect!
But Erin is never one to back down from a challenge – even if she has to dig her way out; she vows to bring this beautiful home back to life – especially when her annoyingly handsome competitor, Steve Sullivan, barges in on the mess.
Once Erin realizes that there is, indeed, some method to her client’s madness – she knows she’s going to have to dig deep to find a clue to the killer…lest she find another dead body!
Fans of the television show Trading Spaces might get a kick out of this cozy's leading lady, interior decorator Erin Gilbert, and her habit of reimagining every room she enters. But decorating compulsion aside, Gilbert lacks the charisma to perk up Caine's humdrum follow-up to Manor of Death. The action what little there is centers around the overstuffed home of pack rat Helen Walker, who lives alone following her sister's death. Gilbert has been hired by Helen's niece and nephew to clean the place out much to Helen's consternation but numerous interruptions stall Gilbert's efforts, including visits from Helen's nosy neighbor, Rachel; from her two bothersome friends, Teddy and Kay; and from an intruder who leaves dead bodies in his wake. Despite two murders, the story moseys along as if the crimes hadn't occurred: Helen returns to her house, and people continue to butt into her business. Gilbert, meanwhile, focuses on clutter control, her relationship with rival Steve Sullivan and, occasionally, the murder investigation. Like its suburban setting, this book suffers not from a lack of charm so much as a lack of energy. Indeed, the latest entry in Caine's Domestic Bliss Mystery series is likely too domesticated for most readers, though some may find enjoyment in guessing whodunit.