Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: ORGANIZED TO DEATH (Tina Tales) by Jan Christenson


Back in her hometown of Newport, RI, Tina Shaw, twenty-nine, is picking up the pieces of her shattered life. She begins her first job as a professional organizer in a house filled with cardboard boxes and clutter, only to discover a dead body in an eerily neat baby nursery. She fears this career move may be a short one until the handsome but spooky new doctor persuades her to reorganize his office left in disarray by the former physician.

Ignoring the doctor's obvious interest in her, Tina begins seeing her former boyfriend. When he protests against her new profession, she realizes what a control freak he is. Then there's another old flame who is making her hotter by the minute. As she works through the office clutter, she learns the doctor has a possible motive for the killing. But when someone else is shot, the doctor has a solid alibi--Tina herself. Drawn unwillingly into the case, she searches for answers as her list of suspects multiplies. When the killer begins targeting Tina and her friends, she works harder to learn the murderer’s identity before someone else is found dead.

Tina leaves her job as a psychologist and returns home with her own secrets; she has decided to help people by organizing them rather than therapy. Her first client seems to have a problem with hoarding and that would have been overwhelming enough, but then she and her client go into the only neat room in the house and a dead body.  Small town secrets abound, starting with the "lunch bunch" mothers who meet once a month and are overprotective of their daughters.  Then, of course there's the daughters, two of whom are now dead, one of whom is Tina.  Admidst the murder and attempted murder, Tina is a magnet for attractive men.  There's Brandon, her old beau, who is comfortable; Hank who is exciting, mysterious and intense; and the new doctor, who doesn't quite fit and seems more than a little off.  In truth, there are a lot of things that seem a bit off, the real mystery being the event or reason for the odd combinations of events.  An interesting read and hard to put down.  This is the 3rd novel by Jan Christensen.  Hopefully there will be a second Tina tale in the future.

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