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Killed by Clutter (Dell Mystery, A Domestic Bliss Mystery) Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440335981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440335986
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the television show Trading Spaces might get a kick out of this cozy's leading lady, interior decorator Erin Gilbert, and her habit of reimagining every room she enters. But decorating compulsion aside, Gilbert lacks the charisma to perk up Caine's humdrum follow-up to Manor of Death. The action—what little there is—centers around the overstuffed home of pack rat Helen Walker, who lives alone following her sister's death. Gilbert has been hired by Helen's niece and nephew to clean the place out—much to Helen's consternation—but numerous interruptions stall Gilbert's efforts, including visits from Helen's nosy neighbor, Rachel; from her two bothersome friends, Teddy and Kay; and from an intruder who leaves dead bodies in his wake. Despite two murders, the story moseys along as if the crimes hadn't occurred: Helen returns to her house, and people continue to butt into her business. Gilbert, meanwhile, focuses on clutter control, her relationship with rival Steve Sullivan and, occasionally, the murder investigation. Like its suburban setting, this book suffers not from a lack of charm so much as a lack of energy. Indeed, the latest entry in Caine's Domestic Bliss Mystery series is likely too domesticated for most readers, though some may find enjoyment in guessing whodunit. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Leslie Caine was once taken hostage at gunpoint and finds that writing about crimes is infinitely more enjoyable than taking part in them. Leslie is a certified interior decorator and lives in Colorado with her husband, two teenage children, and a cocker spaniel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 4, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Colorado Interior decorator Erin Gilbert enjoys walking through a house that she is seeing for the first time and redesigning each room in her head. So when she first observes the outside home of Helen Walker, Erin is euphoric as the Crestview bungalow is a designer's delight. Euphoric as this seems, it is also a nice easy job though she knows she must show proper respect to the grieving owner. Then she steps inside; to her horror she concludes the cluttered home needs weapons of mass destruction as Helen and her recently deceased sister kept anything and everything. The surviving sibling refuses to toss out what is classic junk clutter.

Still Helen tries to organize, mess and pitch what is obviously worthless in terms of money or sentiment. The problem is Helen insists everything has sentimental value. Helen's neighbor Rachel and Erin's two friends Teddy and Kay support the surviving sister' frustrating Erin who may dump her so-called pals if they don't mind their business. However, these intrusions are irritants; the fourth invader causes colossal issues as that unknown visitor leaves behind murdered bodies amidst the clutter.

The fourth Domestic Bliss mystery (see DEATH BY INFERIOR DESIGN and MANOR OF DEATH) is a charming cozy especially when Erin is cleaning the house or furthering her relationaship rivalry with competitor Steve Sullivan. However, that is also the weakness of the story line as the homicides come across as just additional clutter to clean up when the heroine gets around to it. Still Leslie Caine provides a fun domestic tale starring a harassed heroine struggling with saving a house on the verge of being KILLED BY CLUTTER, something this reviewer can relate to.

Harriet Klausner
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on April 13, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The problem with so many cozies these days is that authors try to be innovative in the jobs they give their main characters, and they end up giving us characters whose involvement in murder makes no sense.

The book is best summed up by a line from the character of Steve, talking to the main character, Erin: "You were acting like a member of the family instead of their designer."

Erin is hired to declutter a house. In less than 12 hours, she's the homeowner's confidante, rushing to her aid at all hours, sticking her nose into family business that has nothing to do with her. She puts her livelihood on the line, as well as Steve's, without a second thought, and then defends herself when there really is no defense. The fact that Steve would even want to partner up with someone who has no concern for him and his business was completely unbelievable.

Also, the Gilbert and Sullivan thing has already been done by Selma Eichler -- that made it doubly annoying to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on May 27, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Erin Gilbert finds herself embroiled in an interior design job-turned-murder as her attempts to declutter an elderly woman's house result in dead bodies galore. What exactly is hidden amongst the moldering piles of newspapers and magazines? Will Erin save the old woman from her busy-body neighbors and interfering relatives before the plug is pulled on her own life? And how much longer can she and Steve Sullivan flirt around before someone makes a definitive move?

The characters are fun, quirky, and interesting (to the extent they're developed), but the attempts to create a unique story result in a plot that is so convoluted and full of twists and turns that I got seasick. And I have to admit I'm growning tired of the alternate bantering/sparring with Erin and Steve. They need to get together or give it up. And once again, the chapters on home decor interjected amidst the mystery are more annoying than welcome.

I suggest the author focus on the characters and remember that series mysteries are more about characterization than about plot. We'll forgive you anything if we fall in love with the people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MomOBoys on November 14, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled upon this book at the library, and began reading it, thinking that it was the first in the series. Actually, it's number 4, but the book did not "punish me" for this, and it was easy to pick up from where I began. The characters are likeable and the book really caught my interest. (I could tell you about the book but other reviewers have done that.) I have been reading various themed murder mystery books, and this was one of the best I have read. (And I am not into interior design!) I plan to get the others of the series. This is a book that I would feel comfortable buying as a gift for a friend.
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