Dead Guy's Stuff: A Jane Wheel Mystery (Jane Wheel Mysteries)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$18.08+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 23, 2003
...so I could run off to garage sales and flea markets like Jane Wheel does! That's the hazard of reading Sharon Fiffer's series during the dead of winter. If you've ever been even temporarily addicted to sifting through other people's wretched refuse, you know what Jane's weekends are like, and you know what her house looks like. You might even know the touch of Bakelite, or feel your heart a-poundin' as you thumb through a box of old discarded photos and papers. It may sound awful or silly to the unexperienced picker, but the sights and sounds and smells of this diversion are wonderfully portrayed in these mysteries. In most instances in real life, you don't find EXACTLY the same things Jane does. (Thank goodness!) Read the books; they're almost like being there.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2002
Sharon Fiffer's DEAD GUY'S STUFF is a smart, funny and satisfying must read. Fiffer's weaving of family, career and murder is impeccable and lots of fun. By twists and turns the story is jampacked with surprises and revelations about life that tickle the reader's funny bone while at the same time evoking the deep "Aha" that makes reading a story so satisfying. I can't wait until the next book comes out so I can learn more secrets about Jane Wheel and everyone whose life she touches.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 16, 2003
Dead Guy's Stuff continues the story of Jane Wheel (Killer Stuff), an antique "picker" who has made a career of going through old stuff and finding treasures to sell to dealers. However, Jane is not that successful yet because she has a hard time letting go of her finds and she has a tendency to buy memories instead of valuable items, such as Elmira's old schoolwork. Needless to say, Jane is ecstatic when she finds a whole room of 1950s saloon ephemera - just what she needs to redecorate her mother and father's tavern in Kankakee. She loves the Bakelite darts and dice, advertisements from long-defunct liquor suppliers, old bar games, bowling trophies, old photographs and a severed finger in a jar? Jane immediately calls her friend Detective Oh and asks him what she should do. Oh graciously comes over and takes a look, but, while a little macabre, it isn't as if Jane found a dead body or anything. So Jane tucks the finger away in the glove compartment of her car and heads for home to redecorate. There she finds the dead body of her parents' former landlord - with a finger that is almost completely cut off. Jane is positive that there is a link between her finger and the dead guy. Now she just has to find it while dealing with her parent's attempts to keep their past secret, decorating her friend Tim's kitchen for a house show, rooting through the dead guy's three houses of stuff, her mother's kidnapping, her friend's suicide and a fascinating group of little old ladies...
Once again, Sharon Fiffer has presented readers with an absolutely fabulous book. Those who were captivated by her attention to detail and great characters in Killer Stuff will not be disappointed with this follow up. Again, there are great details about antiques and collectibles, as well as fascinating glimpses into small town life in Kankakee. Jane Wheel's associations with her fellow characters are always entertaining and her mother is a real kick. Don't wait for this one to come out in paperback - it is well worth the cost of the hardbound price!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Jane Wheel is a picker, a person who canvasses garage sales, flea markets and estate sales to buy items that she resells to individuals and store owners. Jane is also a collector and when the items in the Bateman house go on sale, she buys a whole room connected with the bar the family used to own. Her parents are redecorating their own bar for a grand reopening.

While Jane is going through the items she bought, she finds a perfectly preserved human finger in a jar. Jane tries to track down the story behind it but before she can get very far, she stumbles across the body of her parents' former landlord, Gus Duncan. The police think he died from natural causes but not too long after his death, another one of his former tenants is found dead in one of his statues. Jane conducts her own investigation and links Mr. Bateman's death with Gus' demise. The police won't listen to her theories until Jane's mother is kidnapped and the investigation becomes very personal for a woman who is unable to stay on the sidelines.

As amateur sleuth takes go, DEAD GUY'S STUFF is one of the better ones due mainly to the heroine who is obsessed with her family, collections and murder in that order. The mystery is very entertaining and readers will try to follow the random clues to their ultimate conclusion. Sharon Fiffer is a fresh new voice that will appeal to cozy lovers.

Harriet Klausner
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2004
.
a Six Pack to go! o/~
Jane Wheel, Kankakee saloon owners' daughter, former ad exec, Charley's estranged wife and Nick's momma, now antique "picker," sentimental "junquer," and ameuteur sleuth, bought a whole room full of old bar Stuff at a going-to-the-assisted-living-home sale. Included in the Dead Guy's (former Chicago tavern owner Oscar Bateman's) Stuff was a grusome discovery which gives new meaning to the phrase "giving one the finger." Jane has bought herself another bushel of trouble in this second installment of Sharon Fiffer's fun and witty "Stuff" series. The gang from her first foray into the cozy colorful world of collectors and collectables is all here, as well as the, er, "mature" ladies from the old Shagri-La Lounge. Is it true, what she says, that "the jadite is always greener on the other side?" It's MIB: mint in book!
TundraVision, Amazon Reviewer, former patron, Peg's Tavern, Hinckley, IL.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2002
This episode of "...stuff" was better than the first book. The main character and her cast become more developed and the story flows more smoothly. Jane Wheel is unlike any character I have come across. I look forward to more adventures.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2002
This is the second book I've read of Sharon Fiffer's 'Stuff' series, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Her books succeed on a few different levels - as detective stories, behavioral studies, and as accurate depictions of the fascinating worlds she chooses to present. I don't want to give away the plot, but anyone who enters these pages will be captivated by the characters. There's also refreshing humor, and the bonus that Fiffer doesn't succumb to the pitfalls prone to less talented authors. The Voice and Point of View are unfailing. The writer pulls off the not-insubstantial feat of successfully drawing dual presentations of the 'picking' scene, as well as rarified nuances of American Inn (tavern, bar) life. She never goes for the cheap shot and I eagerly await her next offering. This is a series that has strong legs and should keep readers fascinated for as long as Fiffer turns them out.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
I love fiction writers who write about people and things with which they are intimately familiar, so when I stumbled across this author whose heroine is self-employed at home--as I've been all my life--and also shares some of my personal interests, I was hooked. After reading Fiffer's first mystery (Killer Stuff), I read this one and decided to add her to my list of favorite mystery writers.

As the author of several books for home-business owners and crafters, I naturally liked Fiffer's fictional character, Jane Wheel--an "antique picker" who decides she needs to become more self-sufficient when her marriage begins to look as though it might not survive. A resident of Evanston, Illinois, she decides to start buying and selling antiques, collectibles, vintage memorabilia, and junk at estate sales across the Chicago area.

Even more interesting than Jane's shopping tales and descriptions of the "killer stuff" she's finding are the dead bodies she keeps stumbling across in--of all places--Kankakee, Illinois, home of her junkhound friend, Tim Lowry. Jane's natural talent for "detecting" and her friendship with a detective named Bruce Oh leads her into trying to figure out how and why the dead guys died, and who and what "done `em in."

It's fun to discover a writer who writes about your own interests, your era, and your neighborhood. Kankakee, which is near my home town of Buckley, Illinois, is where mother often took us kids every fall to buy clothes for the new school season. My sisters and I have many of the collectibles Jane writes about because mother and grandma left them to us. And we're all beginning to think that some of the "stuff" we have would probably sell well on eBay (a sales outlet Jane hasn't explored yet).

In the first book in this series, Jane was still feeling her way and making very little money, but by the end of this book she's beginning to get a handle on her business and is exploring a possible partnership with junkhound Tim and possibly one as an "associate detective" to Bruce Oh as well. Her marriage is still a bit shaky, and she couldn't begin to pay the mortgage from this activity, but she's now beginning to think of it as "A job. Sort of."

I chuckled when I came to the part about how she was still using a business card with her new cell phone number inked in because she hadn't yet had time to have new cards printed. That's because she'd been too busy "detecting" and still hadn't decided on a tag line for the new card. Should it be "Picker"? "Dealer"? "Vintage items bought and sold"? (Sounds like a lot of real-life home-business owners I've known.)

Sharon Fiffer's writing is down-to-earth and just plain fun. And if you happen to be self-employed at home, you'll find a Jane Wheel mystery to be a great stress reliever for your own homebased business.

Barbara Brabec
The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides: The Musical Life and Times of Harry Brabec, Legendary Chicago Symphony Percussionist and Humorist
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 16, 2015
This is the first book of hers that I've read. If this is typical of the series, I'm not coming back for more. The obsession with being the first one to get to those house sales - my goodness, those "pickers" (is there a more annoying term?) are a scary bunch, aren't they? The characters are just too bizarre. Nobody reacts like a normal person to anything that happens. The relationship between Jane and Charley - what's that all about? The precocious kid - do people really casually discuss the discovery of a HUMAN FINGER in front of a teenager? That Nellie - is she going to be off her meds (the only possible explanation for her outrageous and not the least bit endearing behavior) for the ENTIRE series? And most irritating of all, the list of must-have items, some of which sound so darn weird that I'm half convinced that the author made them up - that are the objects of such single-mindedness; do people really go nuts over punchboards (whatever the heck they are), Redware pitchers (ditto), hand-crocheted pot trivets, and anything Bakelite? And as far as the plot goes, this woman spends her life digging in people's attics for old junk that she can sell to dealers, and that somehow qualifies her as a consultant to homicide detectives? No thanks. A little too "cozy" for my taste.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on March 5, 2010
I just discovered this series and I have to say I really enjoyed the characters and the vintage/antiques slant.
I have already downloaded The Wrong Stuff & Buried Stuff to my kindle.

Unfortunately, the first book in this series, Killer Stuff, is unavailable for kindle download so I had to purchase it used in paperback.
I believe I shall do the same with Hollywood Stuff once I get to that one, as the kindle price is almost $15. While I like these characters & prefer to read my mysteries on my kindle, that price is a little much for me. It's a shame that it is pricier than the others - if not I would have gone ahead and downloaded it, too.

I'm looking forward to watching the characters develop in this series, even if having to jump back and forth from paperback to kindle is annoying.
Fun reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.