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Death on a Platter: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2011
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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.
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Josie takes a friend to the restaurant to show her how good it is. The food is great, but the drunk is there and causes a scene because the sauce isn't hot enough. Tillie spices is up, a lot, brings it back out, he tastes it, says he's burning, falls off his stool, and is hauled off to the hospital. Tillie had called his wife to come get him, and she screams when he collapses and follows him to the hospital, where he dies. She immediately says she'll sue Tillie's. Tillie is arrested and taken to jail. It turns out that the drunk was poisoned!
Jane, Josie's mother, insists that Josie find out who really poisoned him. Ted, a veterinarian and Josie's boy-friend, is very worried about the danger of her looking for a murderer. After yet another murder, the chase goes on.
The story shifts between the murders and the romance between Josie and Ted.
(The story also has a lot about exotic or unusually prepared foods which is interesting!)
I found the book fun to read and recommend it. I read it as a paperback with 269 pages, some shopping tips about St Louis, and a preview of the next 'Dead-End Job' series. (It came out in May, 2012. Obviously I didn't read 'Death on a Platter' as soon as it came out!)
Josie Marcus, a single mother of one young lady wise beyond her years, pays the bills by being a 'Mystery Shopper.' In this volume Josie was shopping for traditional St. Louis foods and restaurants. Our talented Author, Elaine Viets, shows us a view of St. Louis which is honest and perhaps not favored by the Chamber of Commerce. I truly loved learning the history of the good, run-down, and restored neighborhoods of St. Louis.
What I did not know was they have their own versions of Pizza, Barbecue, and a delicious, but calories laden version of Toasted Ravioli. To this native Californian, these dishes were heavenly and even shocking to my taste buds.
The owner, Tillie of Tillie's Off the Hill, is accused of murder when a rowdy patron dies while eating a souped up version of the dipping sauce accompanying the famous Toasted Ravioli. Tillie is a life long friend of Josie's Mother and is commanded by the same to solve the murder now.
During the solving of the crime, Josie finds out just how much her boyfriend really cares for her and her daughter. Her Mother, Jane finds herself a victim of a mail fraud scheme and daughter, goes through growing pains.
This book was a good mystery and fun to read.
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!