Organize Your Corpses (A Charlotte Adams Mystery #1)
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Organize Your Corpses (A Charlotte Adams Mystery #1)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  484 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer. Nothing is out of place in her closets-but her life's a mess. So she's dumped her cheating ex-fiancé, moved back home to Woodbridge, New York, and started making up to-do lists-some of which include solving the occasional murder.

Charlotte's new job has her digging through years of accumulated junk to find some important documen...more
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Berkley Prime Crime (first published 2007)
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
302nd out of 928 books — 1,034 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukePleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonHer Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
First books of some good cozy series
222nd out of 307 books — 364 voters

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Community Reviews

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Professional organizer Charlotte Adams can't afford to be picky about clients which is why she agrees to help teacher Helen "Hellfire" Henley with a project. Miss Henley made high school life miserable for many a student including Charlotte and her friends. Still, Charlotte takes her on as a client, hoping it will give her some much needed publicity. Sure enough, Charlotte gets a lot of publicity - the wrong kind - when she discovers Miss Henley's dead body and becomes the number one suspect in...more
I have to say, there was a lot less organizing than I was expecting. I'm fairly certain Charlotte didn't finish a single job during the book! Of course, one job was suspended because of the mystery, so I can forgive that. But, she was also helping other clients and they never actually finished the jobs. How odd! There are plenty of organizational tips thrown in though, so it's not a big deal. It just struck me as funny that Charlotte never actually finished a job during the book. Anyway, I enjoy...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I loved this book. The sleuth was likable from the very first page. Her kookie friends were sincere and realistic. Even one that is somewhat estranged...that happens in real life.

The career of Charlotte Adams is one that is popular and lends itself to all sorts of locations. I see many future books coming.

The crime was amazing and I was not sure until the ending of whom the bell would toll....

If you enjoy a good solid mystery with bouts of laughing out load, treat yourself to this great series.

Jessie Haynes
I picked up this book because I wanted to read a cozy mystery series with a professional organizer protagonist, which this book delivers on: Charlotte Adams is new to pro organizing, but definitely knows what she's doing.

Far from the trope of friend of the force, Charlotte only has an enemy (though former friend).

I didn't figure out the killer before or with the sleuth: I was totally stumped!

The Positives:

Good story, good pacing, and engaging, unique characters.

Also, the succinct organizing tip...more
This is the fourth or so time of reading this fun book, and though my memory jogged me on which character to focus on, which one was fishy, the murderer reveal still came as a complete surprise to me.

This is the kind of book one reads for pure escapism when life is just a bit too hard and you need something light to take your mind off things. It's well written in that the author details the characters so well, you can hear and see and smell them, and the plot is believable -- for the most part....more

Organize Your Corpses
Hip Hip Hooray! For a gifted author & fantastic series., November 5, 2011
By Ellen Rappaport
This review is from: Organize Your Corpses (A Charlotte Adams Mystery) (Paperback)
This was my first book by this most gifted author and her first in the Charlotte Adams series. This fabulous book has won me over to the author & to this series. Apparently, Mary Jane Maffini can connect all the dots when it comes to writing a cozy for cozy lovers. It is so ref...more
Organize Your Corpses: death is never tidy by Mary Jane Maffini was a great read. Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer who has returned to the small town where she grew up after a messy split with her fiance. She is renting an apartment from an old friend who has convinced her to adopt two dachshunds and is trying to get her to adopt a third.

An old teacher whom everyone refers to as Hellfire Henley, has recently inherited an old house that was owned by a hoarder and fallen into disrepair....more
Sep 09, 2011 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cosy fans
Once again proving that the first installment of a series is usually the best, Organize Your Corpses is a very satisfying cosy mystery. This book introduces Charlotte Adams, returning to her hometown in upstate New York and hoping to start up a professional organizing business. However, it's not exactly a boost for business when her first major client winds up dead and she is considered a Person of Interest in the case...

Even though I've read later entries in the series and therefore know how mo...more
Sep 15, 2007 Donna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like "cozies"
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I'm a high school counselor. The ratio of students to counselors in my school is 400 to 1. Mid-August to mid-September is the busiest time of year, as we scramble to get schedules fixed and new students enrolled. During that time, I don't select challenging reading matter. I want brain candy. This year I found it in the first of a new series of "cozies" by Mary Jane Maffini, Canadian author of two other series of light mysteries.

The protagonist of Organize Your Corpses is Charlotte Adams, a str...more
Cheryl Bradley
It took me awhile to get through this book, but it is no fault of the author's; this was my book to read while nursing my daughter and of late, she has nursed less, so I've had less time to read this book.

Charlotte Adams has moved back home to small-town Woodbridge, New York and runs her own professional organizing business. Charlotte likes things to be orderly and mess-free, but her latest job is anything but.

Helen "Hellfire" Henley, Charlotte's old teacher hires Charlotte to organize Henley Ho...more
For the most part I liked this book. Charlotte is an organizer and there are helpful hints scattered throughout the book on how to get organized and stay that way (and who can't use that kind of information?). Because she gets involved in an high profile murder case she doesn't spend much time doing her job, or even organizing her life, but it is a lot of fun to watch her try.

I had a bit of a problem with her librarian friend. Just because your friend is the patron does not mean that you constan...more
Oct 08, 2012 Amy added it
Shelves: 2012, ad-mystery
OMG, there's a cozy mystery where the main character is a professional organizer! There are cozy mysteries about most of my interests: Knitting, books/reading, cats, librarians, tattoos, coffee...throw in veganism and general crafting and you've pretty much got me covered! This book spoke to me because I am currently about 50% really organized and 50% slob, but I am an obsessive organizer at heart. I expected the plot to be totally predictable, but I was pleasantly surprised by the nice twist at...more
I tend to avoid most mysteries that seem to be based on hobbies, crafts, or oddball jobs, because I expect them to be too cutesy. However, I'd heard enough praise of Mary Jane Maffini to be willing to try one of her books. I'm glad I did, because it was well-written and the organizing tips didn't get in the way of a very complicated plot and some engaging characters. The setting, a small town in upstate New York, was nicely drawn (the protagonist even shops at the same supermarket I do, and I kn...more
I love Charlotte Adams. I want her to come organize my house and bring her two adorable mini dachshunds Truffle and Sweet Marie. This book is the first of a series. Charlotte is a professional organizer and her first job since she moved home to to clean out an old house that her former terror of a teacher Miss Helen "Hellfire" Henley has inherited. Charlotte cannot afford to pass up the job, which becomes more difficult when Miss Henley informs her that she needs all that stuff sorted through lo...more
This was a fun book. It's first in a series about a professional organizer who solves mysteries on the side. It's similar to many other mystery series--in which a tea shop owner/herbalist/writer/etc has a regular job and just so happens to stumble upon a body time and again--but I have real hope for this series.

I liked all the back story in this one. The main character has moved back to her home town and meets up with lots of friends and former friends, but events of the past are only hinted at...more
Teena in Toronto
This is the first book in Maffini's Charlotte Adams series ... and I liked it. I'll read the others.

The story moves along at a good pace. The main character, Charlotte, is likable. The other cast of characters are quirky but also likable. I didn't figure out the ending, the "who dunnit", which is always a fun surprise for me.

Charlotte has a soft spot for animals, as does her pal, Jack, which I liked. Charlotte's two dogs are in dire need of training and discipline, though ... I didn't find them...more
For a cozy mystery, this was good, but like many cozy mysteries it begged the questions: Why is someone with absolutely no connection or training investigating this?, What in the world are the police doing?, Why do witnesses openly share all their knowledge and thoughts with someone they don't know and isn't the police?, and How can the main character eat tubs of ice cream and chocolate with reckless abandon and not gain an ounce of weight?. Not a lot of organizing happened in this book, but who...more
I do enjoy a cutesy cozy mystery, and when I saw the first book in this new series, I knew I had to check it out. Each chapter starts with an organizaitonal tip, which relates to the upcoming action in the chapter.
Charlotte Adams moves back to her hometown in upstate New York and launches a professional organizer business. One of her first clients is old "Hellfire" Henley, the high school teacher no one liked back then and no one likes now. On the first day on her new assignment, Charlotte walk...more
For a professional organizer, Charlotte Adams is not very organized. She gets framed for murder because the real killer stashed some of her things around dead bodies. I thought that I would enjoy this series because I like to organize and I like mysteries, but this chick just annoys me. She's really not that bright and lets her friends push her around. No wonder her clients are always dieing. Or are they? This book had an interesting twist at the end. I sure has heck didn't see it coming, but I...more
I have been looking forward to Organize Your Corpses for a while, the theme of a professional organizer really interested me. This cute cozy mystery did not disappoint. The main character, Charlotte Adams, was likable and professional (for the most part). She had enough flaws to be human and seem like a real person. The mystery was well done with an interesting twist at the end. Well written, with a plot that flowed at a good pace. I look forward to reading more in this series.
Nothing too serious, but an amusing diversion. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't fall into the cliches I was expecting a few times along the way. The only distracting part for me was I kept double checking that I had the setting right: it's meant to be Hudson Valley, NY, but I kept being sure it was Canada as I read the text (I found out upon finishing the book and finding the author's bio at the end that she is, indeed, Canadian, so I think it just spilled over no matter how many times...more
I tried this series because the idea of the main character having a business helping peole with organization intrigued me, as organization definitely isn't my strength. I knew I would like the organizing tips at the beginning of each chapter, & I did. I liked the way the tips went along with the plot as well. After first starting the book, I began to worry that it was too "chick-lit" for me. Although it didn't have gruesome details of horrific murders, I still enjoyed the book. The "who-done...more
First things first--I did enjoy this book. The organizational tips were a nice touch and the characters and plot were a lot of fun. I will happily read the next book in the series and look forward to seeing what Charlotte's dachsies get into next, what critters Jack tries to find homes for next, whats kinds of projects Charlotte finds, if Pepper gets a clue, and hopefully, more about Rose and Lillith. My only complaint was that, in some places, the story seemed a bit choppy. I'll be curious to s...more
Karen Fyke
Charlotte Adams, professional organizer, gets called to a vintage mansion that is chock full of clutter. "The kitchen took me by surpreise. It was hard to know what was most striking. The piles of rags on the antique stove? The row of truck tires? Or maybe the overlowing kitty litter?"

I didn't figure out "who done it" until just after Charlotte figured it out herself.

Good book, nice neat "Agatha Christie" murder, entertaining and almost believable plot.
Really good, very good dialogue. Especially since my panic level increased with Charlotte's interchanges with her friends Jack and Sally, LOL. I have conversations like that all the time! Did not see the ending coming, which was great, as I usually have it somewhat figured out halfway through the book. Waiting to figure out what it is between Pepper and Charlotte and why Pepper hates her so much. Hopefully in the next book, which I'm starting.
Linda Smatzny
This is the first book in the Charlotte Adams Organizing Mystery series. The collection of people in this book seem very real. Charlotte is living in her hometown of Woodbridge, New York starting over as an organizer. Her first major client turns up dead and Charlotte wants to know why. She is helped by her life long friends Jack(her landlord)and Sally. More bodies start piling up as Charlotte tries to find answers.
So I got this book because I accidentally got the second book first and though oh dear I have to read them in order. Then after reading this book I realize it is from a different mystery series than the book 2 I own. So I need to get a different book 1. Apparently it is the book town mysteries and not Charlotte Adams series. I also accidentally have the bibliophile mysteries. Reading is hard.
Linda Badcock
Unmemorable, but okay in the moment.
loving this series - a murder mystery about a professional organizer!
Charlotte is a really interesting character, too bad she has terrible taste in men. Except for her friend Jack.

I really hope that Charlotte finds a way to make her organization business a success and that there will be plenty more novels about her adventures to come.

I can't wait to read more about her, Truffle and Sweet Marie.
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Aka Victoria Abbott with her daughter Victoria Maffini.

Mary Jane Maffini was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and has her BA (Hons) and MLS from Dalhousie University. After a career in libraries such as The Brewers' Association of Canada, Statistics Canada, the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, and a wonderful ride as a co-owner of Prime Crime Mystery Bookstore, she has settle...more
More about Mary Jane Maffini...
The Cluttered Corpse (A Charlotte Adams Mystery #2) Death Loves a Messy Desk (A Charlotte Adams Mystery #3) Closet Confidential (A Charlotte Adams Mystery #4) The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder (A Charlotte Adams Mystery #5) Speak Ill of the Dead (A Camilla MacPhee Mystery, #1)

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