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Welcome to the Cluttered Crime Mysteries!


     Crystal Ward didn't always consider herself to be organized, but coping with two children and all the baby, toddler, and child gear as a new mother taught her a thing or two. A few years later when her homicide detective husband Rick was shot and paralyzed, she really had to organize her life, her home, and her dreams to juggle the changes her family was facing. Why not go all the way and make a career out of her skills?  And if sorting through peoples' belongings and lives uncovers crime, who better to solve them than a detail-oriented, problem-solving, somewhat obsessive woman?

Room for Suspicion

Book 1 in the Cluttered Crime Mystery Series  

It’s going to take more than carefully labeled boxes to sort through the clues of this homicide… 

     Professional organizer Crystal Ward knows she can make a success of her new business, Organizing Chicago. The extra income would allow her to renovate her own home, full of more cluttered spaces than she’d ever admit to her clients. But her life wasn’t always this disorganized. Five years ago her husband, Rick, a Chicago police detective, was shot while chasing a suspect. Now a paraplegic, he’s wary of her going into strangers’ homes…and for good reason.

     When Crys discovers a dead man in a client’s living room, she refuses to accept that the murder is an open-and-shut case of domestic violence. If she can untangle this mess, she can prove her client’s innocence and ease Rick’s fears.

     But the only witness to the murder is hospitalized in a catatonic state. And the lead detective is Rick’s former partner, the man Crys blames for his paralysis. Crys is on her own to save her client from jail and stop a murderer intent on tidying up loose ends.

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Deadlier Than Fiction

Book 2 in the Cluttered Crime Mystery Series

Can she get the right read on this situation before someone ruins the ending?

     Professional organizer Crystal Ward is at a crossroads with her business, Organizing Chicago. Her husband, Rick, isn’t on board with online advertising, and their friends and family are running out of referrals. And now her client’s husband is outraged to learn that Crys donated novels he had promised to his brother. Crys’s only hope of salvaging the situation is to recover the titles.

     But she shouldn’t have judged those books by their covers. The secret they contain is valuable, and she’s not the only one trying to find them. What’s more, she’s now hiding a secret of her own. She’d promised Rick, a former homicide detective, that she’d avoid sketchy situations that could land her in danger. Her best move? To team up with a retired detective, who suddenly has his own agenda.

     With danger mounting, she must use all of her sleuthing skills to sort out friend from foe and fact from fiction before a killer can write her own final chapter.

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Killer Close to Home

Book 3 of the Cluttered Crime Mystery Series

Not all clutter is visible to the human eye… 


     Professional organizer Crystal Ward’s latest client, her neighbor Roscoe Tremaine, is changing his will, an announcement that sets off an explosive reaction within his family. That same night, a gas leak ignites, destroying his house, killing him, and rocking the Ward family at its foundation.

     Her husband, Rick, is injured in the blast, so Crys hires Roscoe’s former caregiver, Wink Keller, to help him recover after surgery. But trouble is just beginning. Both Crys and Wink are beneficiaries in Roscoe’s will, and their alliance sends accusations flying from the Tremaines’ side of the fence.

Crys has her hands full dealing with her client’s not-so-grieving relatives, a teenaged girl stalking Wink, and a suspicious fire inspector. But when threatening “gifts” left on the Wards’ doorstep escalate, Crys is forced to sort through a tangled web of relationships, including her own, to keep her family safe.

     Was Roscoe’s death just an accident, or is there a killer close to home?


No Room to Hide

Book 4 of the Cluttered Crime Mystery Series

Coming June 6, 2024 from Tule Publishing

Her business plan doesn’t call for sleuthing—but murder changes everything.

     Professional organizer Crystal Ward has nothing against publicity—as long as it’s the truth. But a local reporter is putting Crys in the headlines for her role in solving crimes, not clearing out clutter. Now she’s receiving requests for services that aren’t on her website, and the spotlight is wearing on her family.

     At least something good comes out of the unwelcome attention: Crys reconnects with an old friend, Eva, who hires her to sort through historical documents found in a Victorian house she wants to flip. Then a dead body turns up in the parlor, and Eva confesses she’s been receiving threatening notes.

     Crys knows to draw the line on the services she’s willing to provide, but this is about friendship, not business. With the reporter hot on her trail, Crys tries to maintain a low profile as she sorts out the secrets.           But good intentions aren’t enough. Will this client once again lure her into an appointment with a killer with no place to hide?

What readers are saying about Room for Suspicion: 

Work Environment

Janine, Bookbub

“Exciting and unpredictable. This is an intense book that was hard to put down.” 

Brick house

Sue. F., Goodreads

"Carol Light has done a fantastic job with her book. The mystery is well written with several potential killers and scenarios. Very entertaining and easy to read…I look forward to the next book in the series and highly recommend this one.”

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Debra, Bookbub

“A very good start to a wonderful mystery series,loved the characters and storyline.I can't wait for more books from this new author."

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