[a Murder Mystery]Book - 2004
Who knows more about what's been swept under the carpet than the cleaning lady?
Forty-something Bonnie Marsden didn't intend to become a professional charwoman, or an amateur detective. But after she gets swindled out of her job as loans officer at The Friendly Village Credit Union in Membertou County, Nova Scotia, she has to find some way to help pay the bills. Once she starts tidying other people's houses, she starts stumbling across things that tweak her overabundant curiosity and sense of right and wrong - things like a five-year-old child lost in the woods, and a retired couple killed in a botched home invasion.
Bonnie's husband, Big Ben Marsden, is skeptical about poking into the corners of other people's lives. He lost his steady job two years ago and keeps up his half of the mortgage payments by cobbling together odd jobs, some of them so odd he hasn't mentioned them to his wife. They have three children living away, and a very late surprise package still living at home. Invariably, Ben and the children get drawn into Bonnie's attempts to suss out what's going on under the surface.
The surface of the community they live in, like any part of rural Canada, may look bucolic from the highway, but people with several acres between themselves and their nearest neighbours can get up to some strange behaviour without anybody noticing. It's a place where well-off hobby farmers live just around the corner from people who don't grow vegetable gardens for a hobby but because they have to, and who make it through their hardscrabble days with humour and grace. Corporal Kowalchuck, the new detachment commander of the local RCMP, is a prairie boy not privy to secrets lurking in the community Bonnie's lived in all her life. But maybe Corporal Kowalchuck has some secrets of his own.