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Death on a Platter: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Josie, Marcus Mystery Shopper (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045123524X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451235244
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elaine Viets has actually worked those dead-end jobs in her mystery novels,just like her character, Helen Hawthorne. Over the years, Elaine has been a dress store clerk, phone book proofreader, babysitter, telemarketer, bookseller, and weed puller at fifty cents a bucket.  She is also the author of the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series and numerous short stories. Elaine has won an Anthony Award and an Agatha Award. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her husband, author and actor Don Crinklaw.  Please visit her blog: The Lipstick Chronicles.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It was a fun mystery as well as a romance.
gary lester
This is a book that you'll want read curled up in front of a warm fire.
Laura M. Rowell
This book was a good mystery and fun to read.
J & L Rigod

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell VINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Josie' latest assignment includes taste testing some of St. Louis' local cuisine for a City Eats Food tour. One of her stops includes a restaurant owned by one of Josie's mom's friends so they head there first. Tillie's Off the Hill is known for its toasted ravioli and Josie can't wait to try it. The ravioli passes inspection but the clientele of the restaurant falls far below standard. One in particular is awfully unruly. When he becomes the victim of poison linked directly to the food he is served at Tillie's the question becomes was he the real target or was someone trying to ruin the restaurant's reputation.

The police believe Tillie was trying to get rid of her customer permanently and arrest her for the crime. Josie's mom makes it clear to Josie she must find the real culprit as soon as possible. So Josie's is soon up to her neck in the investigation. She hopes to find that Tillie's cooking is not what did her customer in, but that someone else served up death on a platter.

Dollycas's Thoughts
I learned a lot about the foods that make St. Louis famous in this story, a few I wouldn't even go near, but that didn't keep me from loving this story. In fact most of Josie's comments and reactions made my laugh out loud.

Josie just can't say no to her mom and there were times I really wish she could as she kept putting herself in danger, but seriously how many of can say no to our mothers. This character is real through and through as are all the others which is why we invest our time into seeing what they are up to in each installment of this series.

The plot in this installment was very good too as we traveled to and fro trying to figure out who-dun-it.

Elaine Viets knows her stuff when it comes to cozy mysteries.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura M. Rowell on November 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that you'll want read curled up in front of a warm fire. If you've followed this series at all, this one just adds even more to the on-going saga of Josie Marcus. You don't have to read the prior books in the series to understand the story line. This one was full of rich details and had a great ending.
This time Josie mystery shops restaurants, and some of the things she tried had me cringing, but I loved every minute of the story and am eagerly awaiting the next installment!
If you're a cozy mystery fan, then this book is right up your alley!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Photos VINE VOICE on July 6, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mystery shopper Josie Marcus is handed a mostly appetizing assignment by her completely un-appetizing boss, Harry. She's going to have to eat a lot of St. Louis hometown food and report on it for a City Eats food tour. This is no hardship, except for the [cow]brains part - and she's hoping her foodie boyfriend Ted the vet will help her out on that one. But naturally, when Josie's on assignment, life gets complicated. Her first work on this assignment takes Josie and her mother Jane, to an Italian restaurant owned and operated by a childhood friend of Jane's. Tillie's restaurant does good business, deservedly so, but a drunk and disorderly customer is poisoned, and Tillie ends up in the slammer charged with murder.

Jane urges Josie to investigate, convinced the police won't find the truth. Josie agrees, and combines her food assignments with snooping around the people involved in the life of Carl, the victim. Along the way the reader learns quite a bit about St. Louis food, and meets Jane's plucky Shih Tzu, Stuart Little. Josie's daughter Amelia is growing through a few phases, as shown by her changing preferences as to her name: Mel, then A., and so on. Josie's also having to think where things are headed in her relationship with Ted. What's not to like? The guy is handsome, kind, thoughtful, sexy, and he cooks. Plus, he's a veterinarian and kind to animals. However, Josie has some serious man-mistakes in her past and is scared of making another one.

Viets mixes up all these ingredients with a sure touch, and delivers a well-done dish. Not raw, not overcooked. Just right. This cozy mystery was a fast but satisfying read, with some laughs and a few sighs too. I really enjoy Elaine Viets' mysteries, and this one met my high expectations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Feit VINE VOICE on March 13, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Death on a Platter" marks the return of Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper extraordinaire. This time around Josie is assigned by her boss, "Harry the Horrible," to mystery-shop restaurants in St. Louis for a food tour company based in New York City. At the top of the list of required dishes to be sampled are items considered delicacies, apparently seen to be "real" St. Louis food, e.g., [cow] brain and pig ear sandwiches, St. Louis pizza [who knew?], and toasted ravioli. While the first two are daunting to our heroine, the pizza, and certainly the ravioli, are another matter. Especially the ravioli, as her mother's best friend for about seventy years is none other than the owner of Tillie's Off the Hill [whose billboards, sweatshirts, etc. read "Get Toasted at Tillie's"], a bustling restaurant in the River Bluff area, on a street that has seen better days though it is now the object of a large conglomerate in the process of putting up casinos and trying to buy out all the businesses in the area. So far, Tillie, a widow whose daughter works in the restaurant with her, is the lone hold-out.

Josie's mom, Jane, now seventy-six years old, is invaluable to Josie in many ways: she lives, with her eleven-year-old daughter, Amelia, in a "mom-subsidized" apartment on the ground floor of her mother's house, "with her free maternal babysitter upstairs." This enables her to have Amelia attend an upscale school, with the help of a scholarship. For the past year, Josie has been dating Ted, a veterinarian, and is anxiously awaiting the proposal she fears/hopes is coming.

When Josie mystery-shops Tillie's restaurant, she witnesses a scene wherein a drunken customer, apparently a regular, becomes unruly [also a frequent occurrence] and Tillie is forced to call the police.
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More About the Author

I write my novels with the help of Harry, a striped cat who sleeps by my computer and lashes the keyboard with his tail. He whips me into a writing frenzy.
Harry collaborates on two series, the Dead-end Job mysteries and the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. He's doing a good job -- I just signed a contract with NAL/Signet for two more books in each series.

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