Mr. Flood's Last Resort

A curmudgeonly hoarder and a lonely caregiver join a wonderfully idiosyncratic supporting cast to solve the haunting mystery of a missing girl in Jess Kidd's sophomore novel, Mr. Flood's Last Resort. Using a blend of the mystical and the realistic, dashed liberally with humor and humanity, Kidd (Himself) treats her audience to an enchanting story of friendship and forgiveness.

Cathal Flood lives in an old mansion surrounded by his rubbish and cats, many cats. Battling his son who wants to send him to a nursing facility and his neighbors who have various nits to pick with him, Cathal just wants to be left alone. Maud Drennan, the aide sent from the agency to help him get his house in habitable condition--and provide a meal each day--is his last hope to remain living independently. But as Maud is "tripping over boxes and piles of mildewing curtains, getting caught in cables, hooked on hat stands, and assaulted by rutting ironing boards," she's also uncovering clues to an old missing persons case. And the clues give her plenty of cause to suspect Cathal is hiding a terrible secret.

The intricacies of Mr. Flood's Last Resort wind themselves through the dark plot, thick atmosphere and the rich characters--including Maud's agoraphobic, transgender neighbor Renata and the ghosts of numerous saints--making Kidd's novel a tantalizing pleasure. Her crack dialogue and astute descriptions top off this masterful literary indulgence. An irresistibly entertaining novel, Mr. Flood's Last Resort will have readers eying their cranky old neighbors in a whole new light. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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