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The Man on the Washing Machine    by Susan Cox Amazon.com order for
Man on the Washing Machine
by Susan Cox
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox is a debut novel that won the First Crime Novel Award presented by Minotaur Books. Not only is it a good mystery but it's an absorbing story with a cast of characters that almost makes the reader wish they were their neighbors. That is, until someone ends up dead.

Society photographer Theophania Bogart has fled to San Francisco to escape her previous life. We are not let in on the problem, but her grandfather is on the scene and proves to be from the old school. Women need protection and a man should provide that protection. Theo does not agree, but loves Grandfather nevertheless. Theo arrives at her new home to find a man standing on her washing machine reaching for the ceiling. He manages to escape but leaves many questions in Theo's mind.

Theo has bought an old building that she is having renovated to provide several apartments. The building stands on a piece of land given over to other dwellings, with a lush garden tended by the residents of these apartments. It's a lovely group of people whom Theo wishes to get to know and intermingle with as soon as she can.

Unfortunately, she is a witness to a painter falling to his death. Another death occurs and she feels she might have made a mistake moving to San Francisco. The denouement clears up any questions readers might have. No peeking.

The Man on the Washing Machine has more than a tricky title. It's a good read mysterious as to Theo's past as well as offering a slice of humor every so often. Mustn't forget the odd dead body here or there. I look forward to Susan Cox's next endeavor.

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