Five-time Mary Higgins Clark finalist Hallie Ephron returns with a new mystery that’s as timely as it is realistic in Careful What You Wish For.

With the influence of Marie Kondo and her little organization book and show, it’s no small surprise that people everywhere are putting more tidying in their lives. Emily Harlow has a natural bent for that, just short of OCD, and with a partner, Becca Jain, has started a business the two women call Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers.

One caveat they use is: the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own crap. She’s learned that the hard way, keeping her marriage to a hoarder-collector lawyer by following this rule of thumb.

Emily uses videos of her own decluttering to attract new clients, and she’s in the middle of her closet reorganization when she needs to meet Becca to see a new client, an elderly woman who’s husband has died and left her a storage unit to sort through. The contents have Emily on instantly on alert.

And then her husband’s partner brings them a new client: a much-younger wife whose new husband, a pack rat, hasn’t allowed her to bring her own things from the garage into his house. Quinn Newell has decided to dump the lot and be done with it, but brings out the prosecco on her way to show Emily the garage, and soon both women has had a bit too much bubbly and are giggling about losing their hoarding husbands——for good.

It’s a line Emily never crosses, blurring professional and personal relationships, but she figures it couldn’t really hurt——until it does, in ways unexpected and dangerous.

Soon Emily is trying to figure out who to believe, and who’s exactly whose mess she needs to be clearing out. With several surprising turns, this has a nicely twisted plot and a likeable main character. Ephron adds a touch of sly humor that makes this a refreshing and enjoyable read.