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Murder with Reservations (Dead-End Job Mystery) Hardcover – May 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Yuppie-turned-menial-job-hunter Helen Hawthorne, still on the run from her deadbeat ex-husband, is keeping a low profile with backbreaking work as a maid at Sybil's Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in Viets's humorous and socially conscious sixth whodunit (after 2006's Murder Unleashed). Helen's sister warns her that her ex, Rob, is hot on her trail, determined to hunt her down and claim his settlement money, but the heads-up doesn't alleviate Helen's fear and anger when she spies Rob checking in at her place of employment. Her postmarital troubles soon take a backseat to the main mystery, though: six months earlier, a bank robber checked into the Full Moon and supposedly stashed his loot ($100,000) somewhere on the premises before he was killed in a shootout. Helen's co-worker Rhonda goes missing, and a new cleaning guy shows up who's a little too cute to be true before Viets ties it all together for some rollicking fun and felony tempered with a dash of Nickel and Dimed. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Elaine Viets is fabulous." -- Jerrilyn Farmer
"Humorous and socially conscious...rollicking fun."
"Fans of Janet Evanovich and Parnell Hall will appreciate Viets's humor."
"Viets knows how to turn minimum wage into maximum hilarity." -- Nancy Martin
"Helen Hawthorne is one of my all-time favorite mystery characters--smart and funny with a huge heart...the writing is top-notch." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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From her dry social commentary to her honest look at what makes pet owners tick, Viets has an unparalleled eye for detail. She's the chick-lit equivalent of Charles Dickens with her ability to emphathize with the poor and unfranchised. Her on-the-run heroine Helen Hawthorne has lots of reasons to want to remain anonymous. Not the least of these is hunky Phil, a guy who's terrific but not so perfect he's impossible to believe. When Helen becomes a murder suspect, she marshalls all her resources and doggedly (sorry!) tracks down the killer.
Viets has created a new life for Helen, one that becomes more rich and satisfying with every book. Her portrayal of Florida's mood before, during and after a hurricane is stunningly accurate.
Most chick-lit mysteries are entertaining and fun. Viets takes the genre to a new dimension by making her readers more socially conscious. She brings a gentle humanity to all her characters. The dog groomer Superstar in this book is a prime example.
Dead-End? I hope this is just the beginning for Viets and Company.
It is amazing what people will do for their dogs. High end clothes, jewelry, leashes, and furniture for dogs are available in this store. They even have a pick up and delivery service for grooming. Early on Helen finds a dead body while delivering a freshly groomed pooch.
Helen shows her love for animals in this book. She does some of her best detective work in the whole series. With help from her boyfriend, Phil, her landylady Margery, and friend, Peggy, she solves many mysteries.
Helen works as a hotel maid. I gained a lot of insight into this thankless occupation. After a couple of weeks on the job, Helen discovers a dead body in the hotel dumpster. To add to this stress, her ex-husband, Rob, has tracked her down.
The support of her ladlady and boyfriend help make everything all right.
You will enjoy this book!
I am starting "Clubbed to Death" right now. I hope Helen grows a brain - and a backbone - in the next installment.