Book Review: “Wash and Die”

Reviewed by Amanda Palamone.

Barbara Colley’s “Wash and Die” is set in New Orleans during the Katrina aftermath. Charlotte LaRue, the main character and owner of New Orleans’ Maid for a Day cleaning service, is forced undercover into a psychiatric ward/rehabilitation center after the dead body of a young guest is found in her home.

“A good deed nevers goes unpunished” is Charlotte LaRue’s motto.  Her kind heart reaches out to her tenant’s ex wife, Joyce, who shows up at her front door with no place to go due to her release from a rehab center. Charlotte begins to question her good deed as Joyce is very unkempt, and various things have gone missing including her father’s watch and her beloved parakeet, Sweety Boy. Joyce’s dead body is soon found in the living room of the LaRue home and suspision is  rasised upon Charlotte and her tenant Louis, Joyce’s ex-husband. To prove herself innocent, she disguises herself as a maid and goes undercover into the center where Joyce had last stayed. Charlotte finds herself in a slew of nasty nurses and corruption that may be the cause of Joyce’s murder.

“Wash and Die” was a great read and an enticing page-turner. I finished the book in four days because I was very anxious to see the mystery unfold. Also, I found the New Orleans setting very interesting, often naming local places with which I was familiar. I highly recommend “Wash and Die” to mature readers because of mature content.

Amanda Palamone is a graduating senior in the academically gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys Talented Theatre, reading and the Green Club. She plans to attend the University of New Orleans and major in Civil Engineering.


Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.


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