Maggie is a housewife in the wilds of Massachusetts. She’s from the south but married Neil, a former SEAL, and when he left the Navy, he moved his family to his home. Maggie is happy as a housewife but in an area where women work outside the house as professionals, she’s seen as being a bit different. Still, she’s making a good life for herself, Neil and their two boys.
When attending a party in their neighborhood, Maggie is given the opportunity to clean her neighbor’s house. She’s reluctant to do so but when a check for $500 shows up in the mail, she’s ready to clean. Little does she know that this one job would be changing her life forever.
Maggie accidentally leaves her cell phone in the house. When she returns to get it she is meet by the wife’s sister. They enter the house only to find the wife having sex with someone who definitely was not her husband. Leaving quickly, Maggie calls and arranges to pick up her phone the next day from the husband. This meeting gives the husband an alibi when the police find the wife killed.
As Maggie meets with local police, she is drug more and more into their investigation endangering not only her life but the lives of her family. She also finds that her cleaning business is taking off to the point that she is needing to hire some help. To add to her chaos, her bitch of a mother-in-law calls to inform Maggie that she is now doing the Thanksgiving Dinner and she will be bringing some important clients with her so Maggie had better do it right!
As things getting more and more complicated, you could only laugh at some of the problems Maggie seems to have. She is looking for help and her husband calls around trying to find her some. What he finds is a pregnant teenage daughter of an old military buddy. Not exactly what she needs to do major cleaning! Her mother-in-law, knowing Maggie wants to get new living room furniture, decides to help by sending her a white sofa and love seat. Who sends white furniture to a house with two boys? And how do you keep it white for more than an hour?
Maggie’s relationship with her husband, Neil, though is special. Maggie admits she’s just a regular person who has found a gray hair or two. She’s depressed when she realizes Neil wears a smaller size jean than she does. Still, Neil is her rock. Neil cares about Maggie and would do anything to keep her happy and safe, even take time off from work if she needs him to. This is good when Maggie needs to get Neil to pick her up from the police station in the middle of the night. They may not always agree but Maggie and Neil love and support each other and it shows.
The mystery of who did it was well done. I had no idea as to who the murderer was until the end. As the story played out there were several suspects, some you wanted to be the murder and others you actually liked. Maggie’s trying to help the police was interesting as she bumbled her way through this investigation. She had no idea as to what she was doing but there were too many dead people showing up for her not to be doing something right!
The secondary characters were even interesting from the bitch of a mother-in-law to the mother-in-law’s gay cook to Maggie’s deadbeat brother. Each added its own spice to the mixture and created a delightful creation. I enjoyed reading about Maggie’s son’s problems with his book report and her brother looking for an easy way to get rich. Maggie, if nothing else, has a full and interesting life.
Maggie Phillips hasn’t had it easy. As the wife of retired Navy SEAL, and the adoptive mother of two little hellions, Maggie is constantly looking for ways to improve her family’s financial situation. She accepts a cleaning position for her new neighbors (who redefine the term ‘eccentric’), never imagining she will end up as the sole alibi for a man with a fascination for medieval torture devices when he is brought up on murder charges.
While Maggie struggles to prove the man’s innocence, her deadbeat brother arrives, determined to sell Maggie and Neil on his next great scheme and to mooch with a vengeance. If that isn’t bad enough, her in-laws, (the cut-throat corporate attorneys) descend on the house, armed with disapproval and condemnation, for the family’s annual Thanksgiving celebration.
As the police investigation intensifies, Maggie searches for the killer among the upper echelon of Hudson, Massachusetts in the only way she can— by scrubbing their thrones.
Of the porcelain variety, that is…