Connie Suarez, downsized from her job as a legal secretary, is working as a maid. She's getting used to picking up after people and putting their lives in order. But she is not prepared for the mess that awaits her when she arrives at work one morning to find her employer dead on the floor of his bedroom. Connie's co-worker Maria, an illegal alien from Colombia, quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder. When Maria begs her for help, Connie cannot refuse. As she tries to discover what really happened, she ...
Connie Suarez, downsized from her job as a legal secretary, is working as a maid. She's getting used to picking up after people and putting their lives in order. But she is not prepared for the mess that awaits her when she arrives at work one morning to find her employer dead on the floor of his bedroom. Connie's co-worker Maria, an illegal alien from Colombia, quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder. When Maria begs her for help, Connie cannot refuse. As she tries to discover what really happened, she learns that Maria has been keeping a number of things from her. Now Connie can't decide who or what to believe. And that's not the worst of it. Connie soon realizes that she herself is also a potential target for violence. The question now is, will she be able to clean up the mess that Maria is in without getting killed herself?
"Many readers will enjoy the fast pace and conflicts...A good choice for middle school and high school libraries. Due to its size and fast plot development, the book will find a niche with reluctant readers as well."
"An intriguing, well-written murder mystery by an accomplished author...It will appeal to older teen and adult reluctant readers."
Annette's Book Spot blog
"Would have appeal to reluctant readers of any age who like a quick who-done-it...Cleanup delivers an action packed, easy to read, attention getting plot."
- Jeanine Fox
In Cleanup, Connie and Maria, maids to a wealthy senior gentleman, become prime suspects in his murder. Connie arrives at work to discover Maria covered in blood and standing over Mr. Withers's body. She quickly realizes that her coworker is at risk of deportation and encourages her to leave before contacting the authorities. Connie's legal background from her previous career enables her to step into the detective role. Little does she know that Maria's relationship with Mr. Withers had gone from professional to personal. Soon Connie finds her own life in grave danger. The fast pace and short format make these titles perfect to keep in a backpack/purse for waiting in line or traveling. According to Orca's website, "Rapid Reads are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy, and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read" (www.rapidreads.ca). These one-sitting novels are also suitable for older teens whose reading level or busy schedules dictate their pleasure reading. McClintock is an experienced teen fiction writer. She succeeds at keeping the reader engaged. (Rapid Reads) Reviewer: Jeanine Fox
A young Latina finds herself out of her job and attempting to clear her friend and co-worker in the murder of their employer. Life for Connie Suarez isn't easy, and it's about to get even more complicated. When she arrives at her cleaning job, her co-worker Maria is already there, and Mr. Withers, the owner of the house, has been murdered. Knowing that Maria is in the country illegally, Connie tries to cover, but Maria becomes the prime suspect. It quickly becomes clear that Maria has been keeping many secrets, including a personal relationship with Mr. Withers. His son and daughter-in-law are determined to see Maria in jail and any promises made to her in his will overturned. Connie, who had hidden her experience as a legal secretary (she was laid off) in order to get work, begins her own investigation and discovers Maria was not the only one keeping secrets. This title is from Rapid Reads, a line of shorter books targeted to adult learners, reluctant readers and others seeking high-interest reading material. With a fast-paced plot and simple narrative, this story fits the bill. Connie is a likable and smart protagonist who uses her abilities in unusual ways. It also includes a rather nuanced look at the challenges faced by Latinas, whether they are in the country legally or illegally. Weighing in at just over 100 pages, this solid mystery is good for both the series' target audience and readers who don't want a long-term commitment.
Norah McClintock is a five-time winner of the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel. Although Norah is a freelance editor, she still manages to write at least one novel a year. Visit www.norahmcclintock.com for more information.