Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jutta Profijt Creates Fun New Character in Dust Angel!

"The shock took my breath away.
"There was a man in the cooler.
"He was stretched out on the floor.
"He wasn't moving.
"The guy lying motionless in front of me was a bum. Like the guy
handing around Lauenstein's front gate the day before. Could it be
the same guy? Had he sneaked onto the property in search of a place
to sleep and settled on the cooler? My mind was spinning like a
merry-go-round. I tried to stop it and focus. Had his coat looked like
this one? Was he the same height? Well, this was a man in any case;
at least I was sure about that.
"My attempt to distract myself by wondering about his identity failed.
The issue was not whether this was the same man as the day before;
the issue was why he was lying motionless in my customer's walk-in-
cooler...this man was dead..."

Dust Angel

By Jutta Profijt
  Translated by
  Erik J. Macki

Yes, I enjoyed Morgue Drawer Four and even more Morgue Drawer Next Door (Click over for my reviews), but Corinna Leyendecker, the main character in Profijt's latest novel, Dust Angel, touched my heart...maybe because she got fired, like I did after effectively working with a company for years...sure, I can empathize greatly with her! She also discovered that she really didn't mind leaving that job--yes, that definitely got my attention... But the business she went into? Whoa... I think I'll stick with book reviewing...  I know I'm mixing reality and fiction, but who cares? That's why we can escape into fiction! Right?!

Do you get the idea that Jutta Profijt is a lot of fun to read? She is! She doesn't "write" humor, her characters live it. That makes a great difference for me since I'm not into making jokes about people and situations like many comedians do these days. Corinna just gets into situations from where you enjoy seeing her "extract" with the dead body...

And no, she's not a new "dead ghost" to contend with, LOL as it was in her earlier books... In fact, I'm hoping this is the first in a series for her...

After all, a woman who runs a "Dust Angel" business is going to have lots of opportunity to get into trouble, even while she manages her ever-growing business! Essentially, she decided to aim her business toward wealthy men, mostly, who needed and could afford a company to manage his home activities on his behalf.

"...and guts when I informed Greg I was taking the
furniture in my study/bedroom/asylum with me.
All of it. First he turned pale and then red--but there
was no way he could ignore the fact that we'd paid
for the firniture in the apartment jointly...
"You could take the bed with you; Soledad doesn't
like it anyway." he offered instead.
"I need office furniture,"I told him. "You never
used your study for work anyway. With me the
furniture will finally be put to good use."
"He had no argument to obstruct my plan, so I
got the office furniture...
"Now I am sitting in my stylish office, typing up
this account while a dead body lies in the trunk of
my car, which I can dimly make out through the
window from where I sit...Oops. I've given away
too much, and I still need to tell the rest of the
story...That way, later on, no one can say I founded
my business expressly to perpetrate criminal
intrigues in the homes of my well-to-do
Now Corinna had help with naming her company and other marketing activities from one of her previous co-workers, which initially seemed strange since she was one of the "creative" staff who could not be touched when jobs had to be eliminated.

Well, Troll had another reason, but you can find out all about that because Troll and Corinna become best friends...

Not like the other co-worker with whom she had been living, with benefits, it seemed from his standpoint... Of course, Corinna had assumed they were having a relationship before he brought another woman into their apartment...and bed...

Now here's where I started my admiration for Corinna! She didn't move out quickly as he suggested. Instead she moved into "his" den, "his" sanctuary! And she didn't continue to do any of the cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.

And when she left, she took all the furniture out of the den (which they had purchased together with other furniture for the apartment)...and thus had a beautiful new office for her business! I loved how she handled his rejection--as if it didn't matter to her any more than it did to him! I loved it!

Corinna had always been close to her grandmother who would give her sound advice as well. In this case, she introduced her to her first employee--an experienced woman, even with a degree! And they got along, even though Lisbeth continued to call her new boss, "child..."

So Corinna managed the contacts, while Lisbeth handled the actual cleaning activities, which worked out fine and to their mutual satisfaction. Until the day Lisbeth was sick with the flu and Corinna had to take her place at one of the largest homes with the strangest client. It was while she was working that Corinna discovered the body of a man lying on the floor of the large walk-in freezer...

Yes, she is too afraid of losing her business to just leave it there, apparently because she had forgotten to lock the outside door to the freezer! So she put the body into the trunk of her car...where, because she had so many other previously scheduled commitments which she couldn't afford to reschedule, the body stayed for...days...

Then the real fun started!

Readers will enjoy how she came up with her idea for her business during one of the many interviews she had to continue in the advertising business. I also enjoyed Troll taking Corinna to a speed-dating event (and why!) Me, I also enjoyed what happened to Soledad later...and Gregg! Ok, if you're not into a little revenge, well...just ignore that part. However, there wasn't anything I would have changed in this delightful new group of characters, given to either to love or hate... With this one, Jutta has moved into a favorite author for me, so I highly recommend her for your consideration if you enjoy the humor of everyday life...and a dead body or two...


Jutta Profjt was born in 1967 in Ratingen, Germany. After finishing school, she lived abroad working as an au pair, an importer-exporter, a coach to executives and students, and a business-English instructor. She published her first novel in 2003 and today works as a freelance writer and translator. Her first novel feature coroner Martin Gansewein, Morgue Drawer Four, was shortlisted for German's 2010 Friedrich Glauser Prize for best crime novel.

Kudos from me also to Erik J. Macki, Translator... He has done all of Jutta's books and I've found them excellent!

Erik J. Macki worked as a cherry-orchard tour guide, copy editor, Web developer, and German and French teacher before settling into his translation career--probably an inevitable choice, as he has collected foreign-language grammars, dictionaries, and language-learning books since childhood and to this day is not above diagramming sentences when duty calls. A former resident of Cologne and Munster, Germany, and of Tours, France, he did his graduate work in Germanic and comparative syntax. He now translates books for adults and children as well as nonfiction material from his home in Seattle, where he lives with his family and their black Lab, Zephyr.

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