Every Crooked Nanny (Callahan Garrity Series #1)

Every Crooked Nanny (Callahan Garrity Series #1)

by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

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After ten years of cleaning up the dirt on Atlanta's streets, Callahan Garrity is trading in her badge for a broom and a staff of house cleaners. But, though the uniform is a little different, Callahan soon finds herself right back in the middle of a mystery when a client's pretty, pious nineteen-year-old nanny is gone ... along with the jewelry, silver, and a few rather sensitive real estate documents.

Before she knows it, the meticulous Callahan is up to her elbows in a case involving illicit love triangles, crooked business deals, long-distance scams, and a dead body. Now she has to roll up her sleeves and start some industrial strength sleuthing to solve -- and survive -- this mess.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061091704
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/30/2004
Series: Callahan Garrity Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Kathy Hogan Trocheck is the author of ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, she is also the author of Little Bitty Lies and the Edgar®- and Macavity-nominated Savannah Blues, under the name Mary Kay Andrews.


Atlanta, Georgia

Date of Birth:

July 27, 1954

Place of Birth:

Tampa, Florida


B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I knew it was going to be a bad day when Neva Jean called that early in the morning.

"Callahan?" she said hesitantly.

"What is it now, Neva Jean?" She's one of the best housecleaners I have working for me, but you wouldn't believe the shit that happens in her personal life.

Neva Jean hesitated again. "No use lying. You'll find out anyway. Me and Swanelle were on our way to Valdosta Friday night when we got in a big fight. You know Swanelle's temper. Well, he got so mad at me he pulled into a Waffle House outside Macon, put me out of the truck, and took off and left me standing there. Me with nothin' but a bottle of Mountain Dew in one hand and the Danielle Steel paperback I was readin' in the other. Left me standing there in the middle of the parking lot wearing my house shoes."

I sighed, loudly. "Where are you now, Neva Jean? And how much money do you need to get back here right away? I've got you scheduled to work every day this week, and two of the other girls are already out sick."

There was extended throat-clearing at the other end of the phone. "I'm still in Macon, honey," she wailed. "Some of the girls working at the Waffle House have been taking turns putting me up, and they let me clean up there in return for meals, but my purse is in Swanelle's truck, and if I know him, he's gone off on a toot. You reckon you could wire me bus fare back to Atlanta? You know I'm good for it."

I scrabbled on the kitchen table and found my checkbook. My balance had been lower, but not much. "Will twenty-five dollars do it, Neva Jean?"

"I reckon it'll have to," she said resignedly.

"Fine," I snapped. "Getsomebody to give you a ride to Western Union, and I'll have Edna wire it to you. Make sure you're here by eight A.M. tomorrow. You've got the Mahaffeys and the Greenbergs, and you know they don't like anybody but you in their houses."

just as I banged the phone down-hard-the front door slammed. Into my kitchen, which also serves as office and headquarters for the House Mouse, Atlanta Central Division, a cloud of cigarette smoke preceded a five-foot-two-inch woman in her early sixties. The blue hair was teased and tormented into an unnaturallooking winged creation I call her Hadassah do. It was Edna Mae Garrity, my live-in office manager and threepack-a-day mother.

She set the morning paper down on the old oak kitchen table we share as a desk and sniffed the air.

"No coffee made?"

"I thought that was your job," I said, pointedly waving away the smoke she blew in my direction.

She deliberately shot a stream toward me, then turned toward the coffeepot. "You wanna tell me why you've got your panties in a wad so early on a Monday morning?"

I flipped open the daily appointment book and showed her a full day's worth of bookings penciled there in her own rounded, looping handwriting.

"We've got a full day's work, one big new client, and Jackie and Ruby are out sick. On top of that, Neva Jean just called; she's stuck in Macon with no money and can't possibly get back until tonight at the earliest."

Maybe I should explain here about the House Mouse. Jesus I hate that name. It's a cleaning service, actually. After I left the Atlanta Police Department last year, I had the hot idea of becoming a private detective. Lots of guys I know have done it after leaving the department. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I overlooked one thing-my sex. Once I got my license, I found out fast that unless you're a man and latch on to one of those high-priced corporate-security consulting gigs, most private detective work is just nickel-and-dime skip-tracing and divorce work. Which I detest.

About then, Edna talked me into buying this cleaning service. Easy money, she'd said. She could get her longtime cleaning lady, Ruby, and some of Ruby's friends to come to work for us. And with all her contacts, neighbors, and friends, people she knew from the beauty parlor she'd managed for twenty years, we'd be in high cotton. She kicked in some money she'd been putting aside, and I took ten thousand out of my police pension fund and bought the business.

And since the stationery, brochures, and even the pink Chevy minivan that came with the deal all said House Mouse, it was cheaper to keep the old name. Which I hate.

We operate out of my little bungalow in Candler Park, a nice tree-shaded neighborhood here in Atlanta. The business has grown steadily, I'll have to admit. I had no idea how many yuppies there were in this town who can't bring themselves to scrub their own toilets but who would gladly pay me or my girls $75 a half day to do it for them.

The downside is that every week some fresh disaster strikes. Either a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner bums out a motor, or one of the girls (most of whom are at least fifty) throws out her back, or some old biddy calls to complain we waxed her no-wax floor. Kind of makes you long for a nice dean Friday-night domestic knifing.

The disaster du jour on this particular Monday was three clients who expected the House Mouse to show up this morning, and there I was with most of my mice out of commission.

Edna pulled the appointment book away from me and squinted at it through her bifocals. She's too vain to admit she needs glasses, so she makes do with these $4.99 K-mart specials. She tapped a pencil against her teeth, a sign of deep thought.

Every Crooked Nanny. Copyright © by Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Every Crooked Nanny (Callahan Garrity Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book. I'm from the South and very familiar with the areas and cultures she writes about. She got a few things right, but others...meh. Most name-dropping. But the big problem here us bigotry. Her portrayal of LDS people was horrid. I have had Mormon friends and was very very troubled by how she depicted them. She's also got a very racist secondary character who frequently uses the n-word. That was like a kick to my stomach. There are better ways to depict a racist character than to employ such language. I was also not pleased by her depiction of lower income, less educated whites. I think she should pull this book and any others with the same problems until they can be fixed. This kind of ugliness doesn't need to be out there in the world making money for the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a surprise for me. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have thought about reading it, but finding that it was humourous and written by one of the best Southern authors, drew me in. Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck) books are always light and fun, with an underlying "heart". So this mystery is layered with humor, great characters, (gotta love the Easterbrooks and Neva Jean!)mystery, and heart. I have since read all the Callahan Garrity books...every one a treat!
pinkandgold_sweetiepie More than 1 year ago
This book was really good.I love how it keeps the reader hanging on every word and how its a love story mixed with a drama and a mystery all combined. But beware there is A LOT of foul languge.I would suggest this for a more mature girl between ages 13 and older.Overall this book was totes awesome:D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book does speak to a simpler time. Pagers, desktops, home phones.... and things are wrapped up nicely very late in the book. Great character development!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Protagonist: J. Callahan Garrity--ex-cop, failed P.I. and owner of the House Mouse cleaning serviceSetting: present-day AtlantaSeries: #1First Line: I knew it was going to be a bad day when Neva Jean called that early in the morning.While cleaning the home of snooty Lilah Rose Beemish, Callahan is hired to trace Kristee, the family's Mormon nanny who has absconded with furs, jewels and business secrets stolen from Lilah's husband Bo during their affair. Callahan's investigation leads her to Kristee's boyfriend, to a lesbian who loved the missing woman and then to Kristee's body, stored in a fur vault with Lilah's black sable. Bo and Lilah seem the most likely suspects as Callahan digs up dirt about Bo's multimillion-dollar real estate deal.Trocheck has a marvelous cast of characters in this first book of the series, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with them in following books. The only real problem I found with Every Crooked Nanny was that it really didn't pick up steam until the last third of the book.
madamejeanie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd not heard of this series before, but I do like Southern novels. The blurbs and reviews use words like "Bright and sassy." Well, it was an okay story with okay characters, but nothing that I found particularly sassy or bright. A reasonable read and I'll try a couple more in the series before I give up on it. But this one gets a 3. I've read far better, but I've also read far worse. We'll see how another one goes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky, believable characters. A suspenseful and well- put- together plot that keeps you guessing until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read with an engaging cast of characters, a little humor and a decent story line! What more do you need!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read, good plot, great character building. Definitely reading more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am certainly glad I discovered this author, it is like reading a Sue Grafton novel.... and I really enjoyed it, so am reading more of her books...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big MKA fan, so this was a given. They r a bit rawer and edgier than the MKA books,but still good.
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