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Kill the Competition (a humorous romantic mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Stephanie Bond
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There’s only one sure way to get to the top: Kill the competition.

Belinda Hennessey moved to Atlanta to start over from a disastrous relationship. She’d dreamed of a glamorous life and successful career…instead, her love life is nonexistent, her accounting job for a furniture company is uninspiring, and the only way she can deal with the seething traffic is to join a carpool with three female coworkers. But on her first day driving carpool, Belinda rear ends a cop…and her day continues to slide when she learns the woman she replaced in the carpool died after falling down an elevator shaft at their office building.

The women in her carpool have widely different personalities: a big-haired southern woman with a noisy family and a shopping habit, a young mailroom employee married to a guy who needs a green card, and a widow who’s secretive about why she has to skip the carpool on certain days. One thing they all agree on: Their boss Margo is a tyrant.

So when Margo cozies up to Belinda, she smells a setup. And Belinda starts to wonder if maybe the dead woman knew something about the business that got her killed. At least things are heating up between her and the cop she rammed—a relationship that comes in handy when Belinda finds a body in the trunk of her car. When she’d moved to the big city, this wasn’t the kind of headline she’d been hoping to make!


"With a fast pace that moves the story along and smart snappy dialog between the characters, Ms Bond has penned another fascinating read that will leave her readers wanting more from this talented and imaginative author." --A Romance Review

"Stephanie Bond is in her usual rare form, and that form is utterly delightful. KILL THE COMPETITION is an excellent, fast-paced, sexy story. Ms. Bond's talent for creating characters is superb, and you feel like you know them personally. Her narrative is so descriptive that I smelled the exhaust fumes along the Georia 400 and I-85 to downtown Atlanta. All in all this was a fun read." --AOL Romance Fiction

"Whatever kind of book you want, you will probably find it in KILL THE COMPETITION. Laughter, suspense, passion, and female bonding all combine in this realistically complex and sometimes whacky book. Ms. Bond has created magic, and she pulls more than one rabbit out of the hat to surprise her readers." --Academic Planet

"With such an omimous title as KILL THE COMPETITION, readers probably expect plenty of suspense and tense drama. But Ms. Bond skillfully manages to infuse the serious business of murder with enough charm, romance, and humor to give the story a fun, light-hearted feeling." --Romance Reviews Today

"DO read this novel." Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite its title and blood-red cover art, this tart, down-to-earth tale from Bond (I Think I Love You, etc.) focuses more on the nature of female friendships than on the murder mystery that throws the heroine's life into a tailspin. New to Atlanta, finance specialist Belinda Hennessey is glad to have her carpool mates to take her mind off her failed marriage. Before she can get too comfortable, however, she hits Officer Wade Alexander's police cruiser, misses a crucial meeting and clashes with her malevolent boss, Margo, who wants her to overlook the fact that the company they're merging with may have fudged its numbers. Belinda reluctantly agrees and then finds herself in hot water when Margo turns up dead. Though at times too gullible for her own good, Belinda comes into her own over the course of the novel. Her uncertainties about her job, her zany friends and her budding relationship with Wade are ably portrayed, as is the setting (Bond describes Atlanta's traffic as only a resident could). Clever snippets from the carpool quartet's work-in-progress, a relationship dos and don'ts book for women ("DON'T underestimate the extent to which men underestimate women"), leaven the story, as does the women's banter. Readers who prefer heady sex and romance won't find either here, but for those who appreciate fun, classy, relationship-centered tales: DO read this novel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Stephanie Bond walked away from a corporate computer programming career to write fiction full-time. To date, Bond has written over 60 romance and mystery novels.  She lives in midtown Atlanta. For more information, see Stephanie Bond's Amazon author page.

Product Details

  • File Size: 990 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Publisher: NeedtoRead Books (October 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060E7MSS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,475 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining August 22, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading Bond's "Got Your Number", I swore I'd never pick up another one of her books. But I'd heard so many good things about "Kill the Competition" I had to give her another chance. And boy, am I glad I did!

"Kill the Competition", while not being a particularly steamy read, was extremely enjoyable. The mystery kept me captivated, the by-play between the carpool gals was interesting and funny, and the question of which man the main character Belinda would pick was a nice switch on most romances where the hero is slated from the beginning.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having just moved from Cincinnati to Atlanta, financial expert Belinda Hennessey adjusts to her new town. She knows that her new town is more expensive than her previous one and that the rush hour traffic into the city is unbearable especially from the north side. Thus she has joined those drives using the HOV carpool lane into and out of the city.
Belinda works on an assessment whether her new firm Archer Furniture should acquire the mom and pop Payton Manufacturing. Her boss "Maniac Margo" wants the report done yesterday (weekend or not). Belinda concludes that the potential new addition cooked the books, but Margo tells her to be quiet. Reluctantly Belinda agrees being the new kid on the block and wary to make waves. Not long afterward, someone murders Margo with the evidence pointing towards Belinda due to the fiscal cover-up or a member of the car pool who have had run-ins with the now dead queen of nasty.
KILL THE COMPETITION is a delightful relationship drama with a strong police procedural plot to anchor the tale. Though the romance between Belinda and police officer Wade Alexander is warm and fun to observe and the murder investigation cleverly intertwined into the prime plot, the tale belongs to the four female car poolers. Their outlook on Atlanta, work, and men forge a strong bond between them and make for a witty novel that readers will cherish especially if you ever been stuck in Spaghetti Junction (Atlanta's most notorious parking lot during the rush hour).
Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Would we be Without our Girlfriends? April 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As several other reviewers noted there are a few typos, but as far as repetitive words etc, this is the authors style. This is why she may be getting 'so many' 5 star votes, votes that are from long time fans and feel comfortable with this style. This is an author that once you've read her first book, and IF you are able to fall in love with that book, will captivate you with the rest of her books. This is a 99 cent book sometimes get what you pay for. Typos are a small price to pay for an excellent story and wonderful characters!

If you love novels that are centered around women friends and how they can one minute love you and the next nearly hate you (or think you've committed murder!) then this novel--actually ANY Stephanie Bond novel will be for you.

It takes a long time for the murder to be committed in this book, but that's OK since we are spending the time learning about Belinda ( a new Georgian transplant from Cincinnati) and the women she will be commuting with to her new job. We will also see her building (or trying to build relationships ) with a sexy voiced traffic reporter, and Wade, the police officer whom she hit the very first day of her commuting.

The mystery will be why is her nasty boss Margo trying to get her to fudge on a report, why is Melinda so reluctant to talk about her es-husband,why did another woman working for the company have 'fallen' down an elevator shaft, and who is trying to maybe kill Belinda. When Margo is found dead in a VERY compressing place things REALLY go from bad to worse for Melinda.

The epilogue is extremely clever so make sure you read beyond the authors notes so you don't miss it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comedy and Suspense Collide. November 15, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Belinda came to Atlanta hoping for a fresh beginning to heal her heartache and embarrassment. It is not long before she is involved in a carpool with three other women at work. The morning drive is spiced with girl talk, gossip, writing a relationship Do's and Don't's book, and the sexy traffic reporter's voice. Then, life gets interesting.
First, they have a car wreck, with a to die for cop. Then, Belinda begins breaking a few rules and confronts their "witchy" with a B boss, only to land a promotion as a result. Then, she runs into none other than the sexy voiced man and finds out there's more to him than a voice. She is also discovering that she has an eerie amount of things in common with a dead woman. All of that would be fine, except for one thing, there's a dead woman in her trunk, and it the top candidates for the killer are either Belinda or those closest to her.
**** Whatever kind of book you want, you will probably find it in Kill the Competition. Laughter, suspense, passion, and female bonding all combine in this realistically complex and sometimes whacky book. Ms. Bond has created magic, and she pulls more than one rabbit out of the hat to surprise her readers. ****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Romance--AT ALL. July 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is not a romance--not in any way shape or form. I decided to try this book because I've heard a lot of really good things about Ms. Bond and since it was available on Kindle Unlimited, I figured I'd go for it.

The synopsis clearly states that Belinda gets closer to the cop whose car she hit at the beginning of the book. What it doesn't say is that there is barely any interaction between the so-called hero and heroine for the first half of the book. I had to keep going back here to the book's description to see if maybe I read the thing wrong because there was more about Belinda and Julian than there was about Belinda and Wade. When they were together, I just wasn't feeling it. There was no chemistry between the two. Were we supposed to root for them simply because they had their hearts broken and were both left with cantankerous cats? Sorry, but I just didn't get it.

The only reason I even finished this book was because I wanted to find out who the killer was and in the end it wasn't worth the time i spent reading it. Anticlimactic would be an understatement.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fun to read
Published 3 days ago by kathryn p. clow
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fun to read,. Denise🌹
Published 5 days ago by Denise Hills
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
horrible book.
Published 8 days ago by Patrick J. Gorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fun, entertaining read
Kill the Competition is another fun, entertaining book by Stephanie Bond. It's easy to like and empathize with her characters.
Published 8 days ago by Lori
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to read novel
Fun to read novel. I could not put it down. Hope there are more books in this series because the end left me wanting more.
Published 12 days ago by Diana Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Very fun good read. So happy she let us know what was in the letter! I was dying to know.
Published 1 month ago by Lou Ann Barkdull
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Stephanie Bond Book
My favorite Stephanie Bond book to-date! Definitely kept me guessing who the killer was right up to the end of the book.
Published 1 month ago by Dee Hugg
4.0 out of 5 stars And it didn't have dead spots where it was boring.
It keep the suspense going. And it didn't have dead spots where it was boring.
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 1 month ago by Rubye Jewel
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book! Definitely a fun read!
I loved this story. I was actually sad when it ended. It was a great story, with great characters, and a storyline that keeps you guessing until the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ColoArtist
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More About the Author

Stephanie Bond was several years into a corporate computer programming career when an instructor in her night school MBA program remarked that she had a flair for writing and encouraged her to submit one of her projects to academic journals. "But," Stephanie says, "all I could think was 'I wonder if I could write a romance novel?'" Bond grew up on a farm in eastern Kentucky where the entertainment choices were few. Luckily, she had a beloved aunt who shared her passion for reading. "When she visited once a year, she brought boxes and boxes of gothic novels by Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney and lush historical romances--I was in heaven! So suddenly thinking about writing in the genre of the books I loved was very exciting." After writing every spare moment for two years, Stephanie sold her first romantic comedy manuscript, IRRESISTIBLE? to Harlequin books. Two years later, she walked away from her corporate career to write commercial fiction full time. To date, she's published over 60 romance and mystery projects with Random House, St. Martin's Press, HarperCollins, and Mira Books, and is most well-known for her BODY MOVERS humorous mystery series. Her newest series is TWO GUYS DETECTIVE AGENCY (about two sisters whose last name is Guy). Stephanie lives in midtown Atlanta and is probably working on a story at this very moment.

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