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When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But w When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list. The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie's sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they're soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team's and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane. In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes & Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home.


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When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But w When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list. The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie's sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they're soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team's and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane. In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes & Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home.

30 review for Bad Housekeeping

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rane

    Agnes Blythe is at a all time low in her life. After supporting her professor boyfriend for years in his career he sudden dumps her for the local Pilates instructor, kicks her out of the house and is going to judge her academic paper when she returns to school. To top it off, Agnes' Great Aunt Effie has shown up into town suddenly and wants to remodel the old family inn. Then to make matters even worse Agnes also runs into the town evil busy buddy Kathleen Todd who she has an heated exchange w Agnes Blythe is at a all time low in her life. After supporting her professor boyfriend for years in his career he sudden dumps her for the local Pilates instructor, kicks her out of the house and is going to judge her academic paper when she returns to school. To top it off, Agnes' Great Aunt Effie has shown up into town suddenly and wants to remodel the old family inn. Then to make matters even worse Agnes also runs into the town evil busy buddy Kathleen Todd who she has an heated exchange with, only for Kathleen to wind up dead her her Aunt's fixer-upper inn! Now Agnes and her Aunt are murder suspects and team up to track down the clues in who really wanted Kathleen Todd out of he picture. I enjoy a fixer upper cozy mystery, with the fixer upper leading to more then what they fixer bargain for. In this case sadly, the inn was rarely showcased in the grand scheme with just a few scenes to it. The mystery was well done with Agnes and Effie tracking down a who started a rumor that lead to bigger clues and the trail of enemies Todd had. I think the weakest part of the book was the characters themselves. I never found myself liking Agnes are Effie and while I did chuckle at some of the antics, I can say I never felt they endeared themselves to me. Agnes was always going on about her weight, her ex, her new beau(?), her aunt. The "woe is me" got a bit old with her and wanted her to be stronger. This of course is the first book in the series so I wouldn't be surprised to see hopefully bigger changes in her character as the series goes on. In the end this was a nice little cozy with an big range of characters and a small town feel to pass the time with.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    BAD HOUSEKEEPING was an enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to the next title in this series to see how author Mia Chance fleshes out and grows her characters. Truly a good start to a new series. This was a rushed but heart felt review. I did like the book, and the writing of Mia Chance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Book #1 in Agnes and Effie Mystery. New author to me. I had high hopes for this book. I found it very silly with immature characters. I will not be reading more of this series. 2 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bea

    Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey twins had more maturity than Agnes and Effie combined. And they were certainly better sleuths!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    There is an old saying: You can never go home again. Perhaps, a more true statement might be that you SHOULDN'T go home again. 28-year old Agnes Blythe has returned to her hometown, only to have her life implode. She can't escape the ghosts of her high school self, her professor boyfriend breaks up with her because he's been sleeping with the local pilates instructor, she loses her job, and then on top of it all, she becomes a murder suspect. One body.....then two bodies....then three. Seems any There is an old saying: You can never go home again. Perhaps, a more true statement might be that you SHOULDN'T go home again. 28-year old Agnes Blythe has returned to her hometown, only to have her life implode. She can't escape the ghosts of her high school self, her professor boyfriend breaks up with her because he's been sleeping with the local pilates instructor, she loses her job, and then on top of it all, she becomes a murder suspect. One body.....then two bodies....then three. Seems anywhere but Naneda, NY might be better for Agnes. She teams up with her great-aunt Effie to sleuth and to restore the dilapidated, old family inn. Hopefully it will only be the old inn that's condemned, as the bodies start stacking up. Bad Housekeeping is heavy on the humor and small-town charm and light on the mystery, as with most cozy mysteries. I love the characters in this first book in the Agnes and Effie Mystery series. Agnes believes carbs will cure all ills, and Effie turns to cigarettes and liquor. Agnes is reeling from sudden life changes, but is supported by her eccentric and outspoken great-aunt. As a team, they really kick some butt. Add in Cousin Chester and local hunk Otis to round out the group and it really turns out to be a fun group of characters working to save the Inn and ferret out a killer. The group reminds me of a grown-up Scooby Doo team, minus the dog. I found myself totally rooting for them all the way! I half expected the killer at the end to be Old Man Smithers in a disguise. :) I will definitely be reading more of this series. It was a fun, light-hearted read that made me laugh out loud several times. I like the characters and the concept. This was an enjoyable read from beginning to end. The mystery was well-paced, the humor was great, and there were plenty of suspects. Maia Chance is the author of several other cozy mysteries. For more information on the author and her books check out her website: http://www.maiachance.com/ **I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lin

    First in the series, “Agnes and Effie Mystery” was a fun read! Witty, humorous, fast paced, warm and cozy read. Agnes Blythe a 28 year old who craved finishing grad school, but things don’t always go our way. After being dumped by her fiancé; for another woman, Agnes felt like a doormat; which I’m sure all of us have felt at one time or another. Moving back in with dad, Aunt Effie offers our Agnes a job as an assistant on a job of renovating the old Stagecoach Inn. Agnes agrees to help and so beg First in the series, “Agnes and Effie Mystery” was a fun read! Witty, humorous, fast paced, warm and cozy read. Agnes Blythe a 28 year old who craved finishing grad school, but things don’t always go our way. After being dumped by her fiancé; for another woman, Agnes felt like a doormat; which I’m sure all of us have felt at one time or another. Moving back in with dad, Aunt Effie offers our Agnes a job as an assistant on a job of renovating the old Stagecoach Inn. Agnes agrees to help and so begins the Agnes and Effie ride. What can go wrong, right? Follow Effie and Agnes as they must prove that they had nothing to do with a murder. Must read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Bad Housekeeping is the debut of the An Agnes and Effie Mystery series featuring Agnes Blythe, recently dumped by her boyfriend, jobless and now having to move back into her family home in Naneda, New York. With the whole town talking about how she was dumped for the Pilates instructor by boyfriend, Dr. Roger Hollins, Agnes just wants to hide out, but when your dad is Gary Blythe, Town Mayor it's just not that easy. Agnes' Great Aunt Euphemia "Effie" has drifted into town having inherited Uncle H Bad Housekeeping is the debut of the An Agnes and Effie Mystery series featuring Agnes Blythe, recently dumped by her boyfriend, jobless and now having to move back into her family home in Naneda, New York. With the whole town talking about how she was dumped for the Pilates instructor by boyfriend, Dr. Roger Hollins, Agnes just wants to hide out, but when your dad is Gary Blythe, Town Mayor it's just not that easy. Agnes' Great Aunt Euphemia "Effie" has drifted into town having inherited Uncle Herman's dilapidated and condemned old home, the Stagecoach Inn. Effie is determined to restore the old home and turn it back into an Inn, problem is that it's scheduled to be demolished within the week. Agnes can't stand Effie, all because the older woman made the mistake of calling her "husky" when she was a child. In a desperate attempt to prolong her temp job at the library, Agnes encounters Kathleen Todd, Chairman of the Historical Society and not in a good way. Plowing through the libraries swinging door, Agnes knocks a box of relics to the floor and while she thinks it's just a bunch of Pyrex dishes, Kathleen is not amused. Later on Aunt Effie encounters Kathleen at the supermarket and the two exchange words, Kathleen is determined that the Stagecoach be demolished. Unfortunately for both ladies, the next morning Kathleen turns up dead on the back porch of the Inn. With them both under suspicion for murder, the unlikely duo of Agnes and Effie team up to find the real killer and save the Stagecoach. Agnes is having to go around town riding a bicycle and wearing the too small clothes leftover in her childhood bedroom as Roger sent everything she owned to Goodwill. Effie it seems has stolen the Caddy she's driving, is claiming there are ghosts in the Inn where she's illegally camping out, and is a chain smoking fiend. Add in Cousin Chester who claims to be a handyman extraordinaire and Agnes' high school crush Otis Hatch and the adventures begin. A fun mystery with plenty of suspects and a misfit cast of characters that will have you laughing out loud from page one to the end. A perfect cozy to cuddle up with on a snowy winter day, I can't wait for the next adventures of Agnes and Effie. I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley via Crooked Lane Books. While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Bad Housekeeping by author Maia Chance was a true pleasure to read. A sweet, light-hearted cozy mystery set in the small town of Naneda, New York. Mayor's daughter Agnes Blythe returns home (and is promptly dumped by her longtime boyfriend) and is given the opportunity by Great Aunt Effie to help restore the old Stagecoach Inn, which Effie has inherited. Agnes and Effie are a hoot, and their adventures (riding through town in Effie's big Cadillac, stumbling across multiple dead bodies, breaking Bad Housekeeping by author Maia Chance was a true pleasure to read. A sweet, light-hearted cozy mystery set in the small town of Naneda, New York. Mayor's daughter Agnes Blythe returns home (and is promptly dumped by her longtime boyfriend) and is given the opportunity by Great Aunt Effie to help restore the old Stagecoach Inn, which Effie has inherited. Agnes and Effie are a hoot, and their adventures (riding through town in Effie's big Cadillac, stumbling across multiple dead bodies, breaking and entering...) made me laugh out loud more than once. I did peg the killer early on, but kept waffling back and forth because there were so many red herrings thrown into the mix. A very enjoyable story, one I highly recommend, and I really hope that there are more books in this series. A+

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeri

    Oh my! This was so enjoyable! Agnes has to move back in with her dad because her boyfriend dumps her. Agnes' great aunt Effie is in town to rehab an old inn in town and offers Agnes a job helping. Agnes only wants to escape but can't when they both stumble over a dead body and both become suspects. Doesn't help when the body count rises and it seems there is an endless list of suspects. I found Agnes a bit slow on the uptake but she finally figured it out and things turned out well in the end. E Oh my! This was so enjoyable! Agnes has to move back in with her dad because her boyfriend dumps her. Agnes' great aunt Effie is in town to rehab an old inn in town and offers Agnes a job helping. Agnes only wants to escape but can't when they both stumble over a dead body and both become suspects. Doesn't help when the body count rises and it seems there is an endless list of suspects. I found Agnes a bit slow on the uptake but she finally figured it out and things turned out well in the end. Effie is just a blast for a chain smoking old lady! I can't wait to see what's next with these two. I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Missi Martin (Stockwell)

    You know it's a good book when 41 pages into it you are already writing the review in your head. Bad Housekeeping takes no time if sucking you in. From the moment you open the book, you are best friends with Agnes and totally in love with great-aunt Effie. Maia Chance writes in such a way that as your reading the story your imagination runs wild.....you are so engrossed in Agnes and what she is doing, you can picture it so clearly. And great-aunt Effie is that crazy relative that everyone has in You know it's a good book when 41 pages into it you are already writing the review in your head. Bad Housekeeping takes no time if sucking you in. From the moment you open the book, you are best friends with Agnes and totally in love with great-aunt Effie. Maia Chance writes in such a way that as your reading the story your imagination runs wild.....you are so engrossed in Agnes and what she is doing, you can picture it so clearly. And great-aunt Effie is that crazy relative that everyone has in their family....crazy but also so fun to hang around with. Naneda is a town that anyone would want to live in, especially with the assortment of characters living there. Not to mention that it is where Agnes grew up and her father is the Mayor. So when Agnes is dumped by her smart, professor boyfriend, Roger she has no where else to go other than back to dad's house. And because she left the apartment that she lived with Roger so quickly, all she had were her old high school clothes still in the closet at her dads. You won't be able to hold the laughter in when you read the discriptions of her outfits. Great-aunt Effie shows up in town right after the break-up with big news of her own. She has been left the Stagecoach Inn by a cousin. She is in town to salvage and renovate the Inn. She enlists the jelp of Agnes and cousin Chester but before they start any work, Kathleen Todd, a bigwig in town, is found murdered at the Inn. And because both Agnes and Effie had words with her the day before, they are top on the list of suspects. Effie sets her sights on solving the murder and clearing their names. But as they begin their own investigation, they find themselves in compromising situations. And then when another person is found dead, they have to work even faster to solve the case so no one else ends up dead....especially Agnes and Effie. I cannot wait for the next adventure of Agnes and Effie. I know it is going to be a hoot !!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    Tired of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books? Or, if not, are you looking for another fun romp? Try Maia Chance's Bad Housekeeping, and meet Agnes Blythe and her Great-Aunt Effie. No cars explode, but the inept pair of amateur sleuths drive around Naneda, New York in a stolen Cadillac, dodging the cops as they hunt for a killer. After putting her professor boyfriend through grad school, Agnes Blythe is dumped. She stomps out, without packing her clothes, her contacts or her cell phone charger. Tired of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books? Or, if not, are you looking for another fun romp? Try Maia Chance's Bad Housekeeping, and meet Agnes Blythe and her Great-Aunt Effie. No cars explode, but the inept pair of amateur sleuths drive around Naneda, New York in a stolen Cadillac, dodging the cops as they hunt for a killer. After putting her professor boyfriend through grad school, Agnes Blythe is dumped. She stomps out, without packing her clothes, her contacts or her cell phone charger. She's stuck living at her dad's, sleeping in her pink princess bedroom, and wearing clothes that fit her ten years earlier. Then, she burns her bridges at her temp job at the library when she insults Kathleen Todd, chair of the local historical society. What now? Maybe she can help her Great Aunt Effie clean out the condemned inn she inherited. But, Effie only has one week to bring the wiring up to code. Kathleen Todd pressured the local inspector to fix a deadline for razing the inn. And, Kathleen remains a troublemaker after Agnes and Effie find her dead, strangled by her own scarf which was caught in the wringer of an old washing machine on the inn's porch. Rumors immediately start flying that Agnes and Effie killed the woman. But, Agnes is shrewd enough to realize the killer may have started those rumors. With Effie's encouragement, Agnes finds a spirit of adventure she didn't realize she had, and launches a full-scale investigation. But, one-by-one, the suspects on their list are being killed. And Effie and Agnes are on the scene to find each body. Lies, crimes, and bodies. They all pile up in this laugh aloud mystery. And, Agnes and Effie are only responsible for some of those. Bad Housekeeping is a funny romp with a great cast of characters. Let's hope Chance's new series has a long run.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Hackel

    Agnes Blyth was 28 years old and finally going to be able to have her turn at going to grad school. After putting her fiance, Roger, through school while working multiple jobs, he has gotten a job teaching at the university in her old home town. When Roger abruptly dumps Agnes for a younger, blonder, more fun girlfriend, Agnes is forced to stay at her father's home and agrees to work for her great aunt Effie as an assistant in renovating the old Stagecoach Inn. Effie is a woman of questionable m Agnes Blyth was 28 years old and finally going to be able to have her turn at going to grad school. After putting her fiance, Roger, through school while working multiple jobs, he has gotten a job teaching at the university in her old home town. When Roger abruptly dumps Agnes for a younger, blonder, more fun girlfriend, Agnes is forced to stay at her father's home and agrees to work for her great aunt Effie as an assistant in renovating the old Stagecoach Inn. Effie is a woman of questionable morals, as she is currently driving a Cadillac owned by a former flame and stolen from him while he was out of the country. Even though the Inn is slated for demolition, she hires her great-great nephew Chester to rewire the Inn. Following Effie's adventures and convoluted logic made for a very enjoyable book. However when you add the murder of a widely known woman who was the head of the Historical Society and was found at the Stagecoach Inn, the tension cranks up a notch. Unfortunately Agnes was heard threatening her the night before her murder. Between the threats and the body location, Agnes and Effie become persons of Interest and are told not to leave town. Determined to prove her self worth after Roger's dumping, not to mention proving her innocence, Agnes begins to try solving the murder. Effie, enabler extreme, drives her around and even hires Agnes in order to give her a chance to recover from Roger and solve the mystery. I had to laugh at Agnes and Effie as they tried on theories and suspects as if they were at a shoe sale. At one time almost everyone even remotely acquainted with the deceased was a valid suspect. Along the way they didn't make many new friends, but they did find more bodies! An unexpected twist near the end made for a surprise for the reader and people in the book as well. I liked the subtle hint of romance when Agnes' good high school friend Otis joined in the sleuthing. It was a nice reminder that not everything was bad about going home again!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: Talk about an odd couple. Agnes is 28, recently dumped by her fiancé and feeling uncertain about her future and her looks. Effie is a senior but gorgeous and full of self confidence. She is Agnes' great aunt and is determined to bring a condemned hotel back to glory before the wreckers tear it down. No one thinks she should especially a nasty bully who ends up dead in the hotel. Of course, Effie and Agnes are suspects and the rumour mill has them tried and convicted withi Princess Fuzzypants here: Talk about an odd couple. Agnes is 28, recently dumped by her fiancé and feeling uncertain about her future and her looks. Effie is a senior but gorgeous and full of self confidence. She is Agnes' great aunt and is determined to bring a condemned hotel back to glory before the wreckers tear it down. No one thinks she should especially a nasty bully who ends up dead in the hotel. Of course, Effie and Agnes are suspects and the rumour mill has them tried and convicted within hours. It is going to take some doing to figure out what is going on and who really murdered the victim. Secrets and drugs and all sorts of nefarious things make life challenging for our intrepid two. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like them at first but as I got into the book they grew on me. Effie is definitely off the wall but somehow it works. I enjoyed it well enough to give it four purrs and two paws up.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Agnes is not quite 30 and has been dumped by her fiancee of 8 years. Effie is her 70something Great-Aunt. Together, they decide to renovate the Stagecoach Inn, which has been left to Effie. But, they have a run in with a vocal local gal, and when they find her dead body in the inn, well, guess who becomes prime suspects. Agnes and Effie decide to sleuth to clear their names. I struggled a bit between 2 stars and 3 stars. The premise was interesting, and the author did a good job of developing cha Agnes is not quite 30 and has been dumped by her fiancee of 8 years. Effie is her 70something Great-Aunt. Together, they decide to renovate the Stagecoach Inn, which has been left to Effie. But, they have a run in with a vocal local gal, and when they find her dead body in the inn, well, guess who becomes prime suspects. Agnes and Effie decide to sleuth to clear their names. I struggled a bit between 2 stars and 3 stars. The premise was interesting, and the author did a good job of developing characters that I assume will recur through the series. But Agnes felt more like an 18 year old thn a 28 year old in some of her actions and emotions. Effie is a delight, however. Not sure if I will continue the series. It might be interesting to see what, if anything, develops between Agnes and Otis, her high school crush (why does there always have to be a high school crush). I never could figure out the role, if any, of the police detective.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Imagine Auntie Mame, grown older, of course, renovating the derelict inn she's inherited with the help of her just-jilted niece, whose low self-esteem has not been improved by running into the high school crush she thinks betrayed her during senior year. Now imagine the two--Effie and Agnes--as the main suspects in a murder case when a rich, bossy woman who quarreled with both of them is found in the inn. Niece Agnes narrates, as more bodies pile up, police suspicion grows, and the murderer deci Imagine Auntie Mame, grown older, of course, renovating the derelict inn she's inherited with the help of her just-jilted niece, whose low self-esteem has not been improved by running into the high school crush she thinks betrayed her during senior year. Now imagine the two--Effie and Agnes--as the main suspects in a murder case when a rich, bossy woman who quarreled with both of them is found in the inn. Niece Agnes narrates, as more bodies pile up, police suspicion grows, and the murderer decides that maybe life would be better without these women snooping around private business. All of this is set in a beautiful little college-and-tourist town in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I'm hoping this is the start of a series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance is a great cozy series debut. The setting in a small college town in New York is very appealing. The characters are all likeable. Agnes and her great aunt Effie are total opposites which make them a quirky laughable pair when working together. The plot moves quickly with plenty of twists that kept me turning the pages. I'll definitely be looking for the next one in this series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Pleasant, easy beach read.. completed in two sittings. I also was familiar with many of the plot references since it is set in the Finger Lakes area of New York state.. Good red herrings, many suspects and motives. Looking forward to see what Anges and her great-aunt Effie get into next!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This book made me laugh out loud many time, which is surprising since I disliked it immensely in the beginning!!! My only real complaint is all of the language in the book; I personally, am not a fan of that and I felt it was excessive here. Other than that, I enjoyed the book a lot.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Libbey

    This is the 3rd series i have read by this author. I liked it, but not as much as her others. It was still good, and she writes well. I will definitely be reading the next one. Overall an entertaining, quick read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Linnea

    A delight to read. Just plain fun.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Loved it! This is a fun series that I hope to see continue for a long time.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance is the second installment in her Agnes and Effie Mystery series, set in upstate New York. The only complaint I have about the book is that it seems to jump into the middle of the story. The murder comes in on page 12 with only three characters introduced. Having said that, the book is a lot of fun. If you are expecting a serious, dramatic mystery, this isn’t it. Agnes and her great-aunt Effie are beginning renovation on an old inn which has been sadly neglected. A tou Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance is the second installment in her Agnes and Effie Mystery series, set in upstate New York. The only complaint I have about the book is that it seems to jump into the middle of the story. The murder comes in on page 12 with only three characters introduced. Having said that, the book is a lot of fun. If you are expecting a serious, dramatic mystery, this isn’t it. Agnes and her great-aunt Effie are beginning renovation on an old inn which has been sadly neglected. A tour bus, filled with “leaf peepers” breaks down and all but four are placed in other B&Bs. Effie can’t say no even though there were few rooms ready for guests. They manage to put enough together to house the guests for one night (which turns into several). Agnes’ maybe-boyfriend, Otis, is a suspect so she jumps in to find the real killer. The four guests, along with Effie, set about sleuthing. Not only are the guests “interesting” but everyone in the town is. It is a great mix of quirky personalities. The book is one long comedy of errors. Throw in a festival where the Agnes is crowned “Gourd Queen” and a menacing pumpkinhead and it’s an entertaining read. I would like to see where else this series goes. And I didn’t even solve the mystery on my own! I received a free copy of this book for my review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    A very relatable story that had me chuckling a few times. I enjoyed this story and look forward to more from this author.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book was tons of fun! Looking forward to reading more in the series

  26. 4 out of 5

    Margo Sue

    What a fun read! As if Agnes doesn't have enough troubles, she had to deal with the foibles of various friends and relatives. Add a murder on top, and she's in the middle of a quite a storm. One thing I enjoyed was the story threads - opening the Stagecoach Inn, coping with a bus load of tourists before being ready, family situations - all created a framework. Layer the murder on top of that, and the characters had plenty to talk about and respond to. I also enjoyed the humor. It even came throu What a fun read! As if Agnes doesn't have enough troubles, she had to deal with the foibles of various friends and relatives. Add a murder on top, and she's in the middle of a quite a storm. One thing I enjoyed was the story threads - opening the Stagecoach Inn, coping with a bus load of tourists before being ready, family situations - all created a framework. Layer the murder on top of that, and the characters had plenty to talk about and respond to. I also enjoyed the humor. It even came through in the sticky situations. For a fun read, check it out!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list. The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie's sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they're soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team's and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane. My Thoughts: Bad Housekeeping is a delightfully fun cozy mystery that brings realistic characters and hilarious situations to the reader. I liked Agnes right away, although some of her behavior made her seem a bit scatter brained, like leaving the apartment she had shared with Roger, the professor, without her wallet, contacts, and phone charger. She also left most of her clothes behind, so in the early scenes, she is wearing ill-fitting outfits she finds at her dad’s house, clothes she wore in high school. She spends several days without bothering to rectify this situation, and when she and her Aunt Effie start trying to figure out who framed them, they don’t seem to plan their actions very well, either, leading to skirmishes with the pot-growing farmer who is shooting at them when they try to leave his property; altercations with assorted others; and many other ill-timed encounters. There are some run-ins with her ex, Roger, while he is out and about with his new Pilates instructor girlfriend. He seems so pompous and egocentric, seemingly rubbing her nose in his new relationship that I had to wonder why she is grieving for him at all. As the duo of Agnes and Aunt Effie take off in pursuit of clues, their actions seem so random and unplanned. They keep following an assortment of suspects with no real idea of possible motives, and their pursuits don’t really point anywhere. Despite their erratic efforts, I found myself enjoying them as they tried to find answers. Then, suddenly, their efforts look like they are leading somewhere. I could not stop reading, and just when Agnes seemed to have her eye on the killer, an unexpected twist at the last minute brings her face to face with someone else…and in grave danger. A fun read. 4 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance is the story of a recently divorced woman and her teenage son and their strange new neighbors. Markie and Jesse have moved into a bungalow, taking a year lease, after Markie discovered her husband had spent all the family money and had affairs. He was basically the loser her parents had warned her that he was. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2017/comm... Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance is the story of a recently divorced woman and her teenage son and their strange new neighbors. Markie and Jesse have moved into a bungalow, taking a year lease, after Markie discovered her husband had spent all the family money and had affairs. He was basically the loser her parents had warned her that he was. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2017/comm...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I quite enjoyed reading BAD HOUSEKEEPING. This is a quick, fun mystery concerning 28 year old Agnes and her quirky aunt Effie as they stumble over several dead bodies. I kept finding myself laughing out loud. This novel is great for light reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    Synopsis: When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes Synopsis: When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list. The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie's sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they're soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team's and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane. In Bad Housekeeping, the first novel in the Agnes & Effie cozy mystery series by Maia Chance, danger mounts, deadlines loom, ancient knob-and-tube wiring is explored, and the ladies learn a thing or two about the awful, wonderful mistake that is going back home. (Goodreads) Review: The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all of the action taking place. I enjoyed the small town feel and all the gossiping that goes along with that. The mystery was carried on well throughout the book and there were enough suspects to consider and clues to sift through, that it was not an easy mystery to solve. I felt that the characters could have been developed a little bit more. I did not really feel like I connected that well with them, and I do not know why. I got really tired of reading about Agnes being overweight, it was mentioned numerous times. That is only my opinion and other readers may not agree with me. I did find some of the situations and dialogue quite funny and there a few times that I laughed out loud. There were many things that I did enjoy about the book and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery. I will read the next book when it is released. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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