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Careful what you wish for : a novel of suspense
2019
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Author Notes
<p> Hallie Ephron is a suspense author, Edgar Award finalist and four-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her titles include Night, Night, Sleep Tight, Photoplay: A Short Tale of Suspense, Never Tell a Lie, Come and Find Me, and There was an Old Woman. Hallie also teaches writing workshops. Her 'Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel' was nominated for Edgar and Anthony awards. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Emily Harlow (Female), Organizer, Married, Professional organizer; helps people declutter their lives; married to a man who is a "collectot"
Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Mystery
Suspense
Thriller
Topics
Husbands and wives
Home life
Collectors
Widows
Hoarding
Unidentified bodies
Murder investigations
Setting
Boston, Massachusetts - New England (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

This outstanding standalone from bestseller Ephron (You'll Never Know, Dear) may be the first domestic thriller to weave in Marie Kondo's decluttering theory about discarding things that don't spark joy. Paring down her belongings brings so much joy to Emily Harlow that she and her friend Becca Jain have started a business, Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers, to help others organize. Emily's husband's obsession with possessions brings her no joy, especially since his "compulsive yard-sale-ing" has overstuffed the basement of their suburban Boston home. But Emily's rule is that she can't discard another's property, even in her own house. Meanwhile, a new client wants Emily and Becca to clear out her late husband's storage unit she didn't know he had, and Emily bonds with another client whose husband is also a hoarder. The discovery of a body in the storage unit raises the stakes. Appealing characters and some suspenseful detective work help elevate this in-depth look at people's emotional attachment to things. After being a finalist five times, Ephron may finally win the Mary Higgins Clark Award for this one. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p>"Thrilling and suspenseful...a modern-day grown-up Nancy Drew." -- Jamie Lee Curtis, Time</p> <p>A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Month<br> <br> <br> <br> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p>
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