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Darned if You Do: 12/21/16
Darned if You Do by Monica Ferris is the eighteenth Needlecraft Mystery book. A freak thunderstorm in September sets in play a series of events that results in the murder of hoarder.
Tom "Take" Riordan is trapped under the bough of his neighbor's tree. In order to be rescued his sanctuary of treasures must be violated by firefighters and paramedics. His hospitalization requires that his only living relative, a cousin, be called in to help with the clean up and repairs of the house.
As this series has progressed, more and more time has been spent on local stories, rather than on the sleuthing. This book follows that example, spending half its pages on the history of Tom Riordan and the clean up of his house.
Having not read the blurb, I seriously expected the clean up at Tom's house to result in an old cold case. When the bricks around the foundation were repeated described as bulging, I was sure there would be a corpse under there along with all the junk, but that would have made the book too much like Buttons and Bones.
Instead, the book goes in the direction of the things in Tom's house being the inspiration for his murder. In this regard, the book is like Thai Die except that everyone knows right away what's missing. What they don't know is why it's so important.
I happened to be reading this book during a serious two week cleaning of our home. We're not hoarders but we do live in a place with inadequate storage space. We were in the process of redoing the floors in a quarter of our tiny place, as well as replacing every single window. Both projects required lots of clearance. To manage that we have to ditch stuff and clean like crazy.