The Trouble with Charlie
by Merry Jones
The biggest trouble with Charlie is that he's dead. His soon-to-be-ex-wife, Elle Harrison, comes home from a night out with friends to find his body in her den, her kitchen knife in his back. And, oddly, Elle has no memory of her activities during the time he was killed. Another trouble with Charlie is that, even though he's dead, he doesn't seem to be gone. Elle senses Charlie's presence--a gentle kiss on the neck, the scent of his aftershave wafting through the house, a rose that seems to move from room to room on its own. And a shadow that appears to accuse her of murder--and with whom she argues. In the process of trying to prove her innocence, Elle investigates Charlie's death--and his life. A psychiatrist diagnoses her with a dissociative disorder that causes her to "space out" especially when she's under stress. This might explain the gap in her memory, but it doesn't clear her. As Elle continues to look into Charlie's life, she uncovers more and more trouble--an obsessed woman who might have been his lover. Siblings with unresolved bitter issues. A slimy untrustworthy business partner. And wealthy clients with twisted, horrific appetites. Before she knows it, Elle is involved in more murders, a struggle for her life, and a revived relationship with Charlie, whom--for all his troubles--she has come to appreciate and love only after his death.
Merry Jones is the author of THE suspense novel THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE, as well as the Harper Jennings thrillers (WINTER BREAK, BEHIND THE WALLS, SUMMER SESSION),and the Zoe Hayes mysteries (THE BORROWED AND BLUE MURDERS, THE DEADLY NEIGHBORS, THE RIVER KILLINGS, THE NANNY MURDERS). Jones has also written humor (including I LOVE HIM, BUT...) and non-fiction (including BIRTHMOTHERS: Women who relinquished babies for adoption tell their stories.) Jones has a regular contributor to GLAMOUR, and her work has been printed in seven languages and numerous magazines. Her short story, BLISS, appears in the anthology LIAR LIAR, a project of the Philadelphia Liars Club. In addition to the Liars, Jones is a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Authors Guild and International Thriller Writers. For the last fifteen years, she has taught writing courses at a variety of institutions, including Temple University and Delaware County Community College. She has appeared on radio and television (local and national), and participates in panel discussions and workshops regularly.
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Book review . . .
Book review . . .
When Elle's divorce is almost final, her friends convince her to accompany them to a singles bar. After meeting a magician named Joel, she returns home to find her soon-to-be ex in the study with a knife in his back. When she realizes she is the prime suspect, Elle goes on a search for her missing memory in hopes of finding Charlie's killer. To make things more interesting, Elle has a frequent visitor......Charlie.
I picked up this novel expecting your garden-variety murder mystery, only to be pleasantly surprised. Ms. Jones' latest work reads like a Hitchcock script. Elle's memory problems, coupled with Charlie's reappearances, made for an fascinating new take on an old standby. I loved it, and I'm not even a fan of the paranormal genre. Great fun!
Strong language; sexual situations; violence.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Partners in Crime book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."