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Dying in Style (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – October 4, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Viets is taking the mystery genre by storm...she can keep you wondering 'who done it?' while laughing all the way to the last page."
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.
Top customer reviews
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You would think this would be both fun and easy, but as anyone who has ever gone shopping knows, you can run into some really bad service, and if someone figures out you're the mystery shopper it could prove dangerous.
It was after doing a shopping trip to Danessa Celedine's shop that all the trouble started. It was bad enough that the shop wasn't as pristine as it was supposed to be and that the sales clerk was rude, but after turning in her report Danessa herself shows up threatening to sue Josie for the bad report. (She's trying to sell her business to a large corporation and a bad review could kill the whole deal).
It gets worse when her weasel of a boss takes Danessa's side and wants to lay her off. But all this becomes a moot point when Danessa ends up dead, strangled in her own shop. Surprise, Josie seems to be the top suspect to the police.
Just because she threatened to kill Danessa and the belt that she was strangled with only had Josie's fingerprints on it should make her top suspect. Then Danessa's boyfriend is found poisoned in their palatial home.
With all eyes on her, Josie decides she better do some investigating on her own, or her nine year old daughter Amelia will be visiting her on weekends at the prison.
Mystery shopper is an interesting and very different type of job for the heroine to have. I like the descriptions of Josie actually doing her job.
Josie is an interesting character, she lives with her mother and daughter Amelia.
Amelia, cute but not irritating and very smart. At times she appears smarter than her mother.
As in her other books, the dialogue is great and you get a real feel for the characters.
I don't know if the author is not able to write a good relationship for her heroine's or she really thinks all men are lying, cheating creeps, but as in her two previous series, none of the men in this book are interesting. In her Francesca Vierling series, the boyfriend is nice but she destroys the relationship for no reason and what was supposedly a happily married cop in the first book turned out to be a lying, cheating rat in the second. In her dead end job series, Helen's husband lied and cheated on her and then got alimony when she divorced him, her first boyfriend in Florida turned into an insane stalker and Phil the pothead turned out to be boring and not very sensitive when he became a real character and not just the guy no one ever saw. Of course in this series, her daughter's father turned out to be a lying bum. And everyone else, from the cops, to her best friends husband to everyone in the neighborhood is cheating on their spouses. Josie's two choices of men are Stan - who might as well wear a sign that says "NERD" around his neck and Josh, who owns a coffee shop. Josie finally thinks he's working up to ask her out when all he's doing is asking if she would read his unpublished novel.
Costume changes. I don't know why you have to change what you look like or wear to go mystery shopping. Isn't the point to see how they serve everyone. And I don't believe any company would want you to go mystery shopping at their place of business dressed up like a hooker. Everyone, including her daughter is embarrassed at how she is dressed, and tells her, but for some reason Josie thinks this is the way you have to dress to check out a Chicken Place.
Overall this is a fair read. Considering I didn't like the first book in both of her other series, I'm expecting this to get much better as it goes along.
I thought the mystery itself was a little boring, but Josie's detective work was very interesting to read.
Josie is an interesting enough character that I do want to get the next book in the series.
Josie gets a very interesting top secret assignment. She is to visit a high end handbag store. Based on her report all heck breaks loose. Josie has to solve the mystery to clear her own name and get her life back to normal.
This seems to be an entertaining series. I look forward to reading more.
Most recent customer reviews
not want to get away from it since iWork in a mall
to put it down.was hard.keep me in interested .told everyone about it.Read more