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How many bodies does it take to jump-start the recovery of Elaine, the Hoarder? “It depends,” says Joan Freed, the rebel life coach, “on the variables, like which corpse - if any - is the cause of the hoarding.” This spiraling, hoarding, self-help mystery starts at Oak Flats Campground - east of Phoenix, Arizona. It quickly moves to Wellton - east of Yuma - where Joan is greeted by Elaine, a gray haired dumpling of a woman, and several years of saving "stuff" spread over 20 acres.

From the antique road graders to the mazes of tarped sheer mountains to the stacks of cardboard box lined narrow walkways, Elaine lives in one room - the kitchen. There she bakes her scones, compiles her puzzles - crosswords and word searches - and defends her need to continue being a collector.

While Joan is immediately slammed in the face with olfactory overload - a stench she's never before encountered - she fears she's gotten herself into - besides a client with a really bad sinus infection and even more very puzzling people - more than even she can handle.

Who abandoned who? Can the source of Elaine's grief be identified and turned into good grief before Joan is forced to escape in self defense?

©2015 Marilyn Deeter (P)2019 Marilyn Deeter

What listeners say about Elaine, the Hoarder: A Joan Freed Life Changing Mystery

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  • Kathleen Kendler
  • 20-11-20


This was an upbeat story. This is the first I have read/listen to by the author. I found it light on mystery but full of information. I gained an insight into life coaches. This life coach, Joan is good at getting people unstuck in their life. If they are not ready to make changes in their life, she moves on. She can only help those willing to help themselves.
Joan is a life coach. Elaine is a hoarder but hasn’t accepted the fact. Elaine has some decisions to make in her life. With a little nudging from Joan, Elaine comes to terms with making those decisions. Decisions for her by her. The only way Elaine’s life will change is if she commits to searching herself for why she is stuck where she is in life.

I was amazed at the depth of knowledge Joan has.
The narrator did a great job.
I look forward to more stories in this series.

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  • Julie
  • 08-11-20

Entertaining good read

Great quick read. Love the quirk of a traveling life coach who stumbles into mysteries. Just when you think you know for certainty what is is going on, the author throws you a curve. Explanation of Elaine’s reason for hoarding was a little rushed but otherwise great storyline. Excellent narration.