Polished Off (Charlotte LaRue Mystery Series, Book 3) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Polished Off Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 2005


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 62.72 CDN$ 0.01

Best Books of 2014
Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett’s tour of the world’s most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man’s lands, is our #1 pick for 2014. See all

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; New edition edition (Jan. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575668785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575668789
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,123,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Amateur sleuth Charlotte LaRue will dust her way into readers' hearts in this auspicious debut...Colley has created a sensible, likeable sleuth whom readers will want to put on a long-term contract." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

There's a case of spring-cleaning fever going around New Orleans's historic Garden District, and it's keeping Charlotte LaRue - proprietor of Maid-for-a-Day - plenty busy. Especially when what's supposed to be a simple housecleaning job ends in a grim discovery - and things start to get real dirty real fast...Charlotte has just about had it with her sister Madeline. She's put up with her simpering sibling's selfish demands and snide comments for years, but when Maddie turns on her own son and his new bride, Charlotte's really steamed. She thinks Daniel and Nadia make a beautiful couple--and Nadia's little boy is just as cute as can be. And now that Nadia's abusive ex-boyfriend seems to be out of the picture--no one's seen the cad in ages-the new family's future looks as bright as a freshly Windex-ed mirror. But years of polishing, scrubbing, and dusting have taught Charlotte that it's only a matter of time before things get messy. Sure enough, when she pays a visit to a wealthy client's lavish mansion, an urn breaks open-and human bones spill out. A little snooping turns up a driver's license belonging to Nadia's no-good ex. Could the bones be his, too? Before she knows it, Charlotte's up to her elbows in the kind of dirty business that doesn't pay the bills...

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
When one of her clients discovers a skeleton in an ornamental pot, cleaning lady Charlotte LaRue tells herself that it's none of her business. But when Charlotte discovers that the body is the ex-boyfriend of one of her employees--a woman who is now her niece by marriage, she knows that she'll have to involve herself. Because it isn't long before her niece disappears, her nephew is charged with murder, and Charlotte herself is stuck taking care of their young child.
A cleaning lady who solves mysteries is a cute concept and New Orleans, where the books are located, makes a charming setting. Author Barbara Colley is a smooth and professional writer who keeps the pages turning as she introduces a tangle of long-lost love, blackmail, and political corruption.
Unfortunately, I found Charlotte LaRue to be an unlikable character. She is hypercritical of those around her, unsympathetic to her clients' concerns, and completely self-absorbed. Together with Colley's reliance on coincidence (how likely is it that Charlotte would be in one suspect's office just as he receives a suspicious call? How did the criminals arrange that Patsy end up with the pot? What are the odds of Charlotte's showing up just in time to see the bones? Would the first person connected with Tulane University that Charlotte thinks of really know the private life of her students and be able to tell Charlotte all about it?), and unexplained behavior (why, exactly, did Nadia do her disappearing act?) I found myself pulled out of the story.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
In New Orleans, Charlotte LaRue, owner of Maid for a Day cleaning service, feels really good that her "favorite" (and only) nephew Daniel married her best worker Nadia and plans to adopt the young son of his new wife as his. Only, Daniel's mom Madeline acts irate over the elopement. When Maddie fails to hide her odious opinion, Charlotte becomes angry with her sibling, who never has a good thing to say about anyone.
At the mansion of client Patsy Dufour, workers drop a large urn revealing human bones inside it. These are the remains of Nadia's former boyfriend and father of her son Ricco Martinez. The NOPD immediately go after Nadia as the prime suspect because Ricco was abusive and sired her son so eliminating him got him out of the way for her to marry Daniel. Charlotte does not believe for one nanosecond that Nadia POLISHED OFF her odious ex. Since the police refuse to look elsewhere, she begins her own inquiries.
The latest Charlotte cleaning service amateur sleuth tale is a fine story that fans of the series and the sub-genre will enjoy due to a strong cast headed by the heroine, her less cantankerous neighbor and her extended family. The story line reads like a clean cozy with Charlotte retaining her Ms. Clean label by tidying up deaths by murder as only a maid can.
Harriet Klausner
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By judis38 on May 6 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the main character in this series. The book was an easy read. The plot was good. I like the interaction between Charlotte and her family. It is fun to read mysteries that aren't too gory or intense but still keep your interest and are suspenseful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bones are discovered. Can Charlotte discover the truth? Feb. 14 2005
By Dawn Dowdle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When Nadia, Charlotte's employee and now her niece by marriage, calls in sick, Charlotte does the cleaning job herself at Patsy's. Patsy is having an ornamental pot moved by two men when it breaks and human bones are discovered. Worse than that, they are believed to belong to Ricco's, Nadia's ex-boyfriend.

Nadia disappears. Charlotte's nephew, and Nadia's new husband, Daniel, is arrested. He and Ricco did not get along. Charlotte takes in Nadia's little son, Davey, so that he won't have to go to a foster home. And to help get Daniel out of jail, Charlotte takes it upon herself to do some investigating.

The detective in charge of the case, Will Richeaux, recently had an affair with Charlotte's niece, Judith, and he is not very friendly, let alone helpful. This hampers Charlotte in getting needed information about the case. Judith is a policewoman and tries to assist Charlotte, but there's only so much she can do.

Charlotte's sister, Madeline, has not accepted Nadia as a daughter-in-law, and now she feels she was right all along. Thus, she doesn't offer to help with Davey. Charlotte has to juggle her cleaning jobs and caring for him. Then there's her neighbor Louis, a retired detective, who Charlotte has feelings for. But he always frustrates her with his ways. Things just aren't going so well for Charlotte.

Can Charlotte find the real murderer and unravel all the pieces related to this murder and get Daniel out of jail? Will Nadia return? Will life ever return to normal?

I love this series. Charlotte is a very likeable character. I'd love to have her be my maid! New Orleans is a terrific setting for this series. So many interesting characters and locations.

Ms. Colley has a winning series! I highly recommend this book, and the whole series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Bit Dusty, But Not Bad Feb. 26 2007
By Lois Lain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first in the "Charlotte LaRue" mystery series for me. While I typically reach for books with younger sleuths, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Charlotte has a lot of moxie for a gal of her age! :) However, she can fall into the "I'm set in my ways, so deal with it" trap -- coming across as a crotchety old busybody at times, even though it's clear from her work schedule that she's anything but old and decrepit.

I really enjoyed Barbara Colley's take on New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in the world. I would have liked the setting to play an even larger part in the story, seeing as it's such an amazing, unique place. It could almost serve as another character if done right (a la Anne Rice).

I have to admit that the plot turns left me a bit in the dust as the story made hairpin turn after hairpin turn in the last few chapters. Too much happening. Mystery writers need to learn that most readers pick up series mysteries for the characters, not for the plot! You don't have to wow me with your ability to spin an intricate web -- just make me fall in love with your characters and I'm yours for life.

While I'm not dedicated enough to go back and read all the Charlotte LaRue books from the beginning, I definitely wouldn't pass up a chance to read another.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
superb clean cozy Jan. 31 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In New Orleans, Charlotte LaRue, owner of Maid for a Day cleaning service, feels really good that her "favorite" (and only) nephew Daniel married her best worker Nadia and plans to adopt the young son of his new wife as his. Only, Daniel's mom Madeline acts irate over the elopement. When Maddie fails to hide her odious opinion, Charlotte becomes angry with her sibling, who never has a good thing to say about anyone.
At the mansion of client Patsy Dufour, workers drop a large urn revealing human bones inside it. These are the remains of Nadia's former boyfriend and father of her son Ricco Martinez. The NOPD immediately go after Nadia as the prime suspect because Ricco was abusive and sired her son so eliminating him got him out of the way for her to marry Daniel. Charlotte does not believe for one nanosecond that Nadia POLISHED OFF her odious ex. Since the police refuse to look elsewhere, she begins her own inquiries.
The latest Charlotte cleaning service amateur sleuth tale is a fine story that fans of the series and the sub-genre will enjoy due to a strong cast headed by the heroine, her less cantankerous neighbor and her extended family. The story line reads like a clean cozy with Charlotte retaining her Ms. Clean label by tidying up deaths by murder as only a maid can.
Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Polished Off is Pure, Clean Fun Oct. 11 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I greatly enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed the first three in the series before it. Of all the Charlotte Larue mysteries I have read so far, this is the best. As Ms. Colley continues to develop her main characters, they grow more interesting. Louis is the difficult, but intriguing next-door neighbor and former partner of Charlotte's niece. I like the way he hides his great heart under a thick layer of crustiness. In the overlying arc of the plot, his relationship with Charlotte continues to mature. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series to see what becomes of it. I also like the fact that people from Charlotte's own family are seemingly involved in the murder of Ricco. Charlotte has a more personal stake in the outcome of her "investigation" when her nephew and his family's welfare are at risk.

Probably the best thing I like about Charlotte Larue mysteries is the setting of the New Orleans Garden District. I lived in the New Orleans area for six years and can say that Ms. Colley has successfully captured the flavor and personality of this beautiful, historic neighborhood. I have met and read about many local people who remind me Patsy and Bitsy and even Lowell Webster. Since New Orleans is well known for its corruption, it is no stretch of the imagination to consider the existence of a detective like Will Richeaux. Ms. Colley puts in little details of St. Charles Ave. that are distinctive. I loved the reference to the puple, green and gold Mardi Gras beads hanging from the trees. I don't live in the New Orleans area anymore, but when I want a reminder about the place where I enjoyed so many fond memories, I will gladly read her books. I also love the other small details of the book such as the parakeet. Pets always add something special to a novel.

The book reads smoothly and is well-written. The characters all have their own distinct voices and personalities that have so far been consistent with each book I have read. This book also has a good, crisp pace. I finished it way too fast. Though I was grateful to see the mystery solved, I was sad to have the story end. The good news is that I am midway through the series and the story of Charlotte Larue and her family and friends continue on in subsequent books.
Old Bones, New Mystery June 10 2005
By Beth D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charlotte LaRue was in a good mood, her nephew Daniel had just announced he had married Nadia, one of Charlotte's employee's and was going to adopt her little boy.

The fact that Charlotte's sister, Maddie goes balistic put a slight damper on it, but Charlotte was hoping she'd get over it.

So the last thing she expected when she arrived to clean for her client Patsy Dufour was to see her hired men moving a giant urn which cracked and the contents spill out over the lawn. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if the contents weren't a pile of bones. And even worse a billfold with the identification of Ricco Martinez, Nadia's abusive ex-boyfriend.

Things get worse when Detective Will Richeaux (who had been having an affair with Charlotte's niece and former partner Judith) decides Danny is the perfect suspect. It doesn't help when Nadia runs away.

Was Detective Richeaux getting back at Judith for dumping him, by arresting her brother? Or was he really just a sleazy snake, as Charlotte's friend and next door neighbor, former cop Louis said.

Charlotte decides she has to investigate to save Danny from being railroaded, but the problem wasn't so much who would have wanted Ricco dead, but who didn't want him dead.

Highlights.

I love the relationship between Charlotte and Louis. Sometimes she wants them to have a closer relationship and then he says something that makes her mad at him for days.

The mystery was very good, nice surprise ending. Logical but never guessed it.

Lowlights:

I think everyone is a little too forgiving of Maddie. Who'd put up with this woman for 50 years.

This series is a nice smooth read. Looking forward to the next one.


Feedback