Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blanche Cleans Up: A Blanche White Mystery by Barbara Neely

If Blanche was as good at keeping out of trouble as she was at cleaning up, she'd be better off.  But I wouldn't change her.  Her sneaky ways can help solve murder cases and she has a good way of finding out information the cops never would.

Brash Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review.  It was published May 5th, so you can find a copy now.

Blanche is filling in.  One of her relatives is going on vacation for the first time in eighteen years and Blanche is asked to take her place.  How did she know that the Mister of the household would declare his candidacy for Governor that week?  Or that people who visited or lived in the household would be murdered?  Or that even Blanche herself would be threatened?

Blanche has enough of her own problems without more.  Her sister's children that she's raising and loves dearly are getting to teen years and the troubles that come with them.  She's got another relative staying with her temporarily and that young teen is pregnant.  She still wonders about Leo, who's married to someone else.  And she's always worrying about how she reacts to things.  She doesn't want to be like her mother.  She wants to be a kind, good mother.  Easier to say than to do.

This story is a mish-mash of sex, politics, environmental hazards and power with damage control being an important part of the politician's game.  If some folks get killed along way, so what?

One thing I can say is that Blanche has seen it all.  She's a bit scandalized here and there but she takes it all in stride and stoically doesn't show it on her face.  Ms. Neely has made a very interesting character who makes housecleaning life threatening.  I wonder where Blanche will end up next.

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