Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Careful What You Wish For


Careful What You Wish for

by Hallie Ephron

Emily has chucked in her teaching career to start a de-cluttering business with her best friend, Becca. Emily has rules about the decluttering, stipulating that in any case she works on only the owner of the stuff can allow it to be decluttered. Applying this rule to her own marriage may be what has kept it alive, albeit strained, after all these years. Emily’s husband, Frank, is a hoarder and continually adds to his collection from weekly yard sales. Emily would love nothing more than to get rid of all the junk he brings home.

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.

Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.

Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.

But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.

Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.

Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.

But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.
Fortunately, Emily has two distractions that keep her mind off her own decluttering issues- two new clients have just reached out to the company for help with their own messes. There’s Mrs. Murphy, an elderly widow who has just discovered that her husband had a storage unit and Quinn, a young wife who is not permitted to move any of her stuff into their new house.

Mrs. Murphy’s storage unit is filled to the brim with antique books and maps, that are of questionable origin. Much of the collection is in disrepair since the humidity control unit seems to have failed.
When visiting to assess Quinn’s situation, Emily joins her in a glass too many of Prosecco and shares much more that she intended about her strained marriage, and both women fall into a conversation about how much better life would be without their respective spouses. 

However, upon waking the next morning, Emily hears that Quinn’s husband has gone missing and thus a series of events ensue that cause Emily’s life to become such a mess that even she may not be able to clean it up.

The two client’s cases intertwine when Quinn’s husband’s body shows up at Mrs. Murphy’s storage unit. How is it possible that these two clients are connected? Will the Decluttering business survive? Will Emily?

This book is a good read for mystery fans, and if you like this one, Hallie has many more mysteries for you to solve.

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