The problem is, there are no ordinary days in Bad Housekeeping. Each day is its own unique fiasco.
My name is Agnes Blythe and sure, I may have neglected to do any exercise since I completed my high school P. E. requirement, but I’m in the prime of life. I’m twenty-eight years old. I have a college degree. I am in perfect health if you don’t count cellulite as a medical affliction (I don’t). I can take care of myself. Okay, maybe not in like a bar brawl in Honduras, but every day I pull on the big girl pants.
Which is why after moving back to my hometown, the idea of starting over basically from scratch was alarming. To say the least.
And helping Great Aunt Effie salvage the horror movie-grade wreck that was the Stagecoach Inn? Inconceivable.
Let’s set the scene. My hometown of Naneda (pop. 13,721) in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is a picture-perfect college town. Trees arch over big lawns and lovely homes. Think prize-winning roses, picket fences, porch swings, and lifetime subscriptions to This Old House magazine for every mailbox, and you’re on the right track. Main Street is like a television sitcom set thanks to the Naneda Historical Society and its draconian ordinances. In leaf-peeping season the entire region blazes with Technicolor nostalgia, inspiring even the grimmest city-slickers to buy pounds of maple fudge and drool over the real estate listings in the Naneda Realty window.
Honestly, Naneda is too perfect. Creepily perfect. It’s just asking for trouble.
Bad Housekeeping is my sleuthing initiation story, I guess you could say. Before I tripped on my first dead body, my detective work was confined to playing CLUE and rolling my eyes at Magnum, P. I. reruns.
Hey, things change. People get framed. Seemingly ordinary townsfolk hide hideous secrets. And nerds like me get to save the day.
You can read more about Agnes in Bad Housekeeping, the first book in the NEW “Agnes and Effie” mystery series.
When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list.
The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie’s sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they’re soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team’s and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane.
In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes and Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home.
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About the author
Maia Chance writes mystery novels that are rife with absurd predicaments and romantic adventure. Her first mystery, Snow White Red-Handed was a national bestseller. 2017 titles include Bad Housekeeping, Gin and Panic, and The Trophy Wives of Alpenrose. She lives on a soggy island in Washington State, where she plays laundress and cook to two imperious children and a cat, and takes secret solace in chocolate, amusing books, and vintage cocktails.
All comments are welcomed.