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Death Will Extend Your Vacation (Five Star Mystery Series) Hardcover – May 11, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Five Star Mystery Series
  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (May 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432825771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432825775
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,049,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Recovering alcoholic Bruce Koehler and his friends Jimmy the techie and professional codependency counselor Barbara buy shares in a Hamptons condo where occupancy is limited to the “clean and sober.” Their summer vacation is transformed into something very different, however, when they find the body of their housemate, Clea, an investigative journalist, while out on a hike. Clea was passionate about environmental issues, and she had several ex-boyfriends. The police are not interested in maintaining the anonymity that these 12-steppers cherish, so Bruce and his friends work hard at finding the killer before too much becomes known about their personal lives. Readers will enjoy the good-natured humor of the characters as well as some keen social satire as they try to blend in with the tony Hamptons setting. --Barbara Bibel

More About the Author

Elizabeth Zelvin is a New York City psychotherapist and mystery writer. Her latest novel, VOYAGE OF STRANGERS, is about what really happened when Columbus discovered America and is the sequel to the Agatha-nominated short mystery story, "The Green Cross." Liz's mystery series featuring recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler started with DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER and includes the novels DEATH WILL HELP YOU LEAVE HIM and DEATH WILL EXTEND YOUR VACATION as well as a novella and several short stories. Liz is a three time Agatha Award nominee and a Derringer Award nominee for Best Short Story. Liz's author website is at

As Liz Zelvin, she is also a singer-songwriter with an album of original songs, OUTRAGEOUS OLDER WOMAN, available on Amazon. Liz's music website is at For more than a decade, she has worked with clients all over the world as an online therapist at Liz is also a poet with two books of poetry published, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, and a doting grandma.

Customer Reviews

I am so glad as I noted to purchase every book she writes.
Amazon Customer
While the story was interesting, there was a little too much time wasted on descriptive adjectives!
This was a good read and very interesting plot with quirky characters.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Feit VINE VOICE on May 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The newest in this author's "Death Will . . . " series brings back the Three Musketeers, Bruce Kohler [recovering alcoholic], his best friend, computer nerd Jimmy, and Jimmy's girlfriend, Barbara, self-described codependent, this time embarking upon a summer holiday in the Hamptons in the fictional town of Deadhampton [nee Dedhampton]. On only their second day, they stumble upon the body of one of their housemates, apparently drowned, possibly the victim of foul play. The dead woman was, as are our protags, among those staying in a "clean and sober" group house, all of the occupants being members of one or more twelve-step programs for compulsives, whether it be AA, Al-Anon and the like or one of the lesser-known programs (at least to this reader) such as SCA (Sexual Compulsives Anonymous) or SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous).

The police treat the woman's death as "suspicious," but Barbara, self-described as having "a disease of not minding my own business," is not content to leave it to the professionals, and does some amateur sleuthing of her own. And when another body turns up, things heat up. The second victim is a wealthy developer, and the hostility between the local farmers, the developers and the environmentalists make for a healthy suspect pool. Or is it more personal than that?

There are some lovely descriptions of the beauties of the Hamptons, e.g., "The cove nestled in the curve of the towering cliff between two headlands. The far end shimmered in a veil of haze. In the foreground, sea and virgin sand sparkled, every glint, grain, and droplet crisply delineated. Surf crashed intermittently on a broad border of flat, hard-packed beach the color of coffee cream.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Chow on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One would think that a vacation trip to the Hamptons would be an excellent idea for a relaxing escape. However, for recovering alcoholics Bruce Kohler and Jimmy Cullen, being dragged to a group sober house by Jimmy's co-dependent girlfriend Barbara Rose proves to be a less than ideal holiday, especially when the trio end up nearly tripping over the body of one of their roommates, an attractive journalist named Clea. Considering that the house is full of recovering addicts with anonymous last names, the investigation proves to be a challenge for both the housemates and the police. When the death toll rises and the pressure increases, it's no surprise that compulsive fixer Barbara nudges, prods, and nags Jimmy and Bruce into a full-fledged investigation of their own.

Zelvin brings a unique twist to this amateur detective series by having investigators whose past histories with addiction affect how and why they become involved in murder investigations. This is definitely a character-driven series, and the relationships between the three friends are as complex as they are fascinating. Barbara's personality occasionally grates the reader for being as irritating as she is helpful, and it is her compulsive need to "help" others that compels her to involve herself in lives of those she believes are needy. What is interesting about this novel is how the pressure of the investigation leads to Barbara discovering her own addiction, although the resolution seems a little too quickly resolved. The byplay between the three friends continues to drives the mysteries and it will be a treat to see how a new twist in Bruce's life will affect the friends. Overall, this is an enjoyable mystery with an author whose background in psychotherapy allows for a credible and extremely interesting glimpse into the lives of the addicted.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Susan R. Chalfin on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A highly enjoyable new entry in the series featuring recovering alcholic Bruce Kohler, his two best friends, recovered alcoholic Jimmy Cullen, and Jimmy's girlfriend, co-dependent therapist Barbara Rose. As with the previous books in the series, a prime attraction is the warm, humorous relationship of the three protagonists. This novel also features wry descriptions of the Hamptons scene, and the class antagonisms among natives and summer people, as well as among different groups of vacationers. The "clean and sober" summer house where the protagonists vacation provides a new venue for murder, an intriguing cast of suspects, and a new love interest for Bruce.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Blake Borate on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There was nothing humorous about this book about a bunch of unlikable people living in sober living vacation home in the Hamptons. They are all there from various groups from AA to NA to SA. There was nothing to like about anyone in this story and it was just plain stupid.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MD on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Happily the summer season is just around the corner and Elizabeth Zelvin's newest, Death Will Extend Your Vacation, is perfect summer reading! Regular readers of this terrific series will be pleased that Jimmy and Bruce, recovering alcoholics, and co-dependent Barbara are back. This time the three are on vacation in the Hamptons where they have taken shares in a clean and sober group house. But, their vacation starts off badly when the dead body of an investigative journalist, Clea, who was sharing their house, washes up on the shore. Needless to say, the inhabitants of the vacation house - each with his or her own particular addictive behavior are prime suspects.
Concerned about being the focus of the police investigation, particularly since some of them have secrets they would prefer to keep hidden, the three decide to try and find out who murdered Clea. But, as they soon find out, the killing doesn't stop there and there are several viable suspects. So, who can be trusted? The only ones the three are sure of are themselves so they decide they have to find the murderer before summer ends - or their lives do.
Elizabeth Zelvin, a social worker and alcohol counselor (among other careers), writes about substance dependency with a sure hand and her dialogue rings true, including the inner musings of her characters. This series is itself addictive - but of a relatively harmless type! Enjoy!
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