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The Man on the Washing Machine

(Theo Bogart Mysteries #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  87 reviews
When former party girl and society photographer Theophania Bogart flees to San Francisco to escape a high-profile family tragedy, a series of murders drags her unwillingly out of hiding. In no time at all she discovers she's been providing cover for a sophisticated smuggling operation, she starts to fall for an untrustworthy stranger, and she's knocked out, tied up and imp ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 15th 2015 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  359 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Elaine Meszaros
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was humming along, being all wonderful and and stuff. And then it ended! The nerve! Worse, it is Cox's first and was just published. Despite these short-comings, I would highly recommend picking up "The Man on the Washing Machine". Theo Bogart, looking to escape an unpleasant and sad past, makes a spontaneous decision to set up a small soap shop in a quiet San Francisco neighborhood. Despite being in a large metropolitan area, the neighborhood feels more like a small town. Neighbors ar ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Other than mysteries by Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, and J.A. Jance, I've been off straight who-done-its for a while but this intrigued me. It is described as good for those who like Janet Evanovich, and while it had a little of the close community vibe (a San Francisco 'hood") and a few quirky peripheral characters, Theo is a little more adept at figuring out the solution even if at the end the murderer did fall in her lap and Theo had to be rescued. But, like Stephanie Plum, Theo also
Barb Otter
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining first novel looking forward to more, Great characters.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, I liked this one.
Doward Wilson
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Entertainment at its best! Theophania Bogart is a former party girl and society photographer. A family tragedy has sent her fleeing from England to a new life and names in San Francisco. With no need to worry about money she has immersed herself in buying a building and opening a bath and body shop in Fabian Gardens. The building houses the shop, a flat for herself and two rental units. It also backs on to a beautiful neighborhood garden. The murder of the neighborhood handyman sets off a chain ...more
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
The intriguing title caught my eye. This first novel by Susan Cox was an entertaining read full of twists and turns that held my attention and kept me turning the pages until the end. I really appreciated that the main character was a strong female who immediately tried to figure out what going on around her without resorting to implausible, stupid actions. Well, there was one, but it is something I could see myself doing! I will be interested in reading more from this author.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
The strength of this mystery novel was the colorful coterie of friends and neighbors surrounding the heroine, Theo, in their quirky San Francisco neighborhood. An artist, a selfish surgeon, a baker, a jewelry designer and his gorgeous lover, a Japanese-American gardener/computer hacker, a teenager seeking refuge from an abusive father, an Italian ex-professor.. this is an ensemble cast of characters with great potential.

The weakness of this novel is the mystery. The book starts with a local han
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first thing we learned about Theophania Bogart is her present life, 5000 miles from home, is a lie. When she witnesses Tim Callahan take a dive from a third story window, Theo's already complicated new life comes under intense scrutiny. Surrounded by neighbors and friends, Theo is the owner of a small bath and body shop as well as the building housing it. And she is constantly afraid her sordid past will be unearthed. What will a police investigation do to her carefully crafted identity? Ins ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I certainly hope this is the first of a nice, long series. Can anyone give a precise definition of a "cozy"? A group of characters, somewhat close-knit, in a geographically limited area, interacting on various levels...but not in a small-town setting? Main character a small business owner? In San Francisco? I don't know if the Darcy Lott series would be one, either - same town! - but most of the continuing folks in the stories are enjoyably familiar; could that be it?
Whatever; this was a good
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This book sounded so good in a review. It won a First Crime Novel..but somewhere along the line, it just didn't keep my interest. I am still trying to figure out how if Theo lives on the 3rd floor, and leaves out the back door, how she, or anyone else could step over on her neighbor's roof, and the garden behind her apartment slopes gently upward. Yep, it's set in San Francisco, but.think about it. And I still haven't figured out about her garage...attached to the back of her building, she has a ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Upper-class Englishwoman Theo changes her name and flees her family 's notoriety for San Francisco, where she opens a bath-goods store, makes friends, and starts to renovate an apartment. But strange things start to happen--including finding a strange man on her washing machine--and when her business partner's body is found, it becomes clear that Theo's new friends have secrets of their own.
P.D.R. Lindsay
Nice entry into the mystery field by a new author.

Fast pace, lots of mysteries and a romance as well. This novel ticks all the boxes for a readable and enjoyable whodunit. Just wish the title has been less jokey. It made me expect a lighter story and this was solid writing.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this . Author's first crime novel. Looking forward to more from her.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well that was certainly fun. Theo Bogart is hiding out in San Francisco trying to rebuild her life under an assumed name. She's slowly made friends with a group of shop owners in her little part of the city and life seems to be pretty good. Or at least it would be if her business partner wasn't such a flake, a neighborhood man hadn't just fallen to his death, strange tensions weren't brewing among the group, and not to mention the strange man she finds standing on her washing machine. I liked Th ...more
Sharon Mensing
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Theo Bogart, a British expat, is living in San Francisco after fleeing the publicity following her mother's murder by her father. She's adopted a new name and, while her inheritance means she wouldn't have to work in the US, she has also opened a soap and fragrances shop in the storefront of the dilapidated building she purchased to renovate and live in. She and her partner, a friend who is helping with the remodeling, have both become integral members of a small community that shares a garden-l ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
Now this is a terrific book full of good characters, a good plot, and good writing!

Theo Bogart is in San Francisco to escape the notoriety and heartbreak of her past. A former paparazzi photographer, prominent English socialite, she has changed her [last] name and reinvented herself as a shop owner and landlord. She owns a building full of charming and eccentric people. Several buildings in the middle of the city surround this very charming garden which is jealously guarded by all the residents
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am predisposed to liking novels and mysteries set in San Francisco.

This mystery did not disappoint.

It is about a closed community, residential surrounded by a garden.

I enjoyed the characters and there were plenty of suspects and people
acting suspiciously. The police were competent and realistic.

I would welcome another if this becomes a series.

I borrowed a copy from the public library.
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this first mystery by a gifted writer with much promise. The story opens with Theophonia seeing a workman at the apartment complex she lives at falls to his death. There the story takes many twists and turns throughout this delightful mystery. Everywhere it turns Theophonia is not sure who to trust and the ending is very much as surprise at least to this reader.
One can only hope there will be more from this talented writer.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you want an entertaining, quirky, funny, off beat (but not madly off beat) murder mystery then this is it. For me, it was a leisurely story, full of characters who leapt to life off the page, in pursuit of who dun it. I can't say more w/o spoilers, but suffice to say I now want to go to San Francisco and want to know if this is going to be the beginning of a series of not. Thoroughly enjoyed. Finished at 4.30am.
Sandra Hutchison
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lynne Clark
I don't read a lot of mysteries, but I picked this up while visiting family and found it a very entertaining read. It features a sympathetic heroine and a cast of interesting folks who mostly all live in a single set of San Francisco buildings united by their back garden -- giving it the cozy feel of a small town in a big city. Good twists and turns, plenty of plausible suspects, and a happy landing. You will enjoy it.
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Fun read. First book for Susan Cox. I found the funky San Francisco neighborhood endearing. The book moved along quickly. The quirky characters that lived, worked and played together reminded me of Alexander McCall Smith's characters that continue to grow on you until you feel you really know them. The murder mystery was almost not important. The relationships were the thing.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by this book. I thought it dragged in the beginning and the title really had me leaving it on my nightstand for a year. It ended up being a very good mystery and I can see why it won the Mystery Writers of America Award for the best first book in a series. I did end up enjoying it.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Appealing mystery that won the first crime novel award winner from the mystery writers of America. It is a perfect read for someone who never thought they would want to read a mystery as it is full of twists and turns yet accompanied by humor and clever fun. A fast read and was perfect for a plane trip!
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not your usual mystery. The relationships are quirky, people are flawed and hiding secrets, but the author makes the story feel deep and real with all the details of life. Really a story that explores how we create family in the postmodern age.
Peter Andrus
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were fun and it made me think that she is setting up the universe to write more books for… Which I wouldn't mind. The main characters backstory sounds like something that's ripe for additional books. Let's see it Sue!
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
For her first novel, this was very enjoyable, with a good mystery and lots of funny moments to keep it light. No one wants dark murders, after all! Most of the characters were fairly real feeling and likable. I look forward to more mysteries with laughs involved from this author.
Barbara Schultz
Dec 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Barbara by: NewInBooks email.
3.6 Susan Cox was the winner of the First Crime Novel Award. This book did not disappoint. ...Love San Francisco and am sure there must be a shop named "Aromas" somewhere :) Also the book jacket is great~!
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun and fast-paced San Francisco mystery novel. All during this week, I looked forward to waking in the early hours and reading a few chapters before heading out on a SF muni. The characters, plot, and city broadens and twists in each subsequent chapter. It's a joy to read!
Peter Swanson
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'd call this murder mystery California Cozy, as it's clearly related to the good-old English style. The author has drawn wonderful characters, and captures the feel of a snug San Francisco neighborhood well. Her award for First Crime Novel is deserved.
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