Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$8.50
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Dust jacket has a slight tear and very minor edge wear. Pages are white and crisp with no writing or highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Whatever Doesn't Kill You: An Emma Howe and Billie August Mystery (Emma Howe and Billie Auguast Mysteries) Hardcover – May 16, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$12.99 $0.01

In the Barren Ground
Rookie cop Tana Larsson must track a killer—but can she survive the wild and frozen dark? Learn More
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Flat characters and sketchy plotting mar this second installment (after 1998's Time and Trouble) of Anthony Award winner Roberts's series featuring Tiburon, Calif., PI Emma Howe and her assistant, Billie August. Defense attorney Michael Specht hires Emma to look into the case of Gavin Riddock, a mentally handicapped young man who's been arrested for the murder of his only friend, Tracy Lester. The evidence against Gavin is circumstantial but compelling, and his social awkwardness means that there are few people who haven't already convicted him in their hearts. Frustrated with unproductive interviews, Emma turns the case over to Billie for a fresh perspective. Billie wants to prove herself to her aloof, demanding boss, but she must juggle the competing demands of being a single mother and a competent PI. Meanwhile, Emma tries to locate the birth mother of another client and soon finds herself threading her way through the adoptive mother's lies and misdirections. The tension between Emma and Billie is engaging, but the other characters are one-dimensional. The author's presentation of the murder investigation is perfunctory and sometimes illogical; readers don't get the sense that it is building to a real understanding of what happened. The investigators themselves are unbelievably slow in picking up obvious clues, while the final resolution comes by means of a deus ex machina. This one's unlikely to make new converts to the series.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Roberts, author of the Amanda Pepper mysteries, brings Marin County investigator Emma Howe and her assistant Billie August back for a second installment. When Gavin Riddock, the developmentally disabled son of a socially prominent family, is accused of murdering a young woman who was his friend, his lawyer hires Emma to find evidence for the defense. She assigns Billie to the case because it seems to be a fruitless task. Billie, desperate for approval from her gruff mentor, works hard on the search while Emma helps an adopted woman look for her birth mother. The adoptive mother throws many obstacles in her path. As things progress, there appear to be links between the two cases. The solution will lead readers through the politically and economically diverse areas of wealthy Marin County and move Billie and Emma to a new phase in their relationship. Roberts (nom de mystere of Judith Greber) has created an engaging pair of sleuths who tackle fascinating cases. Expect mystery readers to adopt them and eagerly await further adventures. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Emma Howe and Billie Auguast Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (May 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312262698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312262693
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,058,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like the two ladies, Emma and Billie, even better than I did Amanda Pepper, whom I enjoyed thoroughly. Maybe it's west coast bias. This second book in the series is stronger and tougher than the first. Roberts practically writes off the expectable mystery in the first pages, turning us in a less familiar direction. She has also captured completely an interesting aspect of Marin County very few, if any, others have -- the off-handed disdain and judgementalism of its residents for those who do not cleave to their own standards -- the way both Emma and Billie look at people who don't connect with them as "one-dimensional," or "stupid" or "doomed." (This attitude may not be restricted to Marin, but the style is unique.) They even look at each other that way on occasion. But under the superficial arrogance is a humanity which combines with the superciliousness to make complex interesting characters who struggle through the fog with intensity and some considerable charm. They're unpleasant in the same way Seinfeld's characters were unpleasant. You wouldn't necessarily want to know any of them, but they fascinate and teach and bring us a fair amount of laughter. And you come to like them and pull for them, despite everything, which speaks quite highly of the author's skill. Good book -- new direction for Ms Roberts, tougher, darker, grittier. Maybe some of her long-term fans might not like the direction, but this one does.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This novel seems like two novellas merged into one. Billie is trying to find evidence that a wealthy but mentally challenged young man did not kill his best friend. Emma tries to find the biological parents of an adopted child. Both of the plot lines would make excellent short stories, but they do not merge well into the same novel. Overall, I enjoyed it, but Ms. Roberts' work is generally better.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though I haven't read this book yet I know it will be good. I have not found any of Gillian Roberts books bad yet. I own every book in the series that she has written. I enjoy each one and wish there were more. She is a great writer and I miss not seeing any more of her books at the bookstores.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I am very fond of the Philadelphia-based Amanda Pepper mystery series by Gillian Roberts. That series is snappy, literate, and articulate. This was my first read of Roberts' Emma Howe and Billie August series. I am disappointed. It was flatter than a bottle of cheap New Year's Eve champagne left uncorked `til past St. Valentine's Day. No zip. No fizz.
Just a little over 1/3 of the way through this book, I said to myself: "Hmmm, self, it appears obvious what is afoot here. Or, peradventure, is the author throwing in a school of red herring?" Alas, amongst all the exotic animals in this tale of an over-privileged, "slow" boy-man accused of murder in Marin County, there is not a red herring to be had. What you read is what you get. At least there is some mystery to the genealogy of the other case being worked. The conflicting Point of View between Emma - the boss and owner of the P.I. agency, and Billie - her younger, new hire P.I. in-training, is good. But ultimately this is a mediocre mystery by an author who is usually much better. "I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia!"
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Emma Howe and Billie August are back and on not one, but two new cases, both which are interesting and cleverly presented. Like most of Gillian Roberts' mysteries, there is a very human element to all of her stories, and "Whatever Doesn't Kill You" is certainly no exception. Billie and Emma are great characters, and their vitality keeps the story moving even in times when it moves away from the particulars of the mystery. The ending is interesting and surprising, and replete with fun and suspense. This is a great new series and I can't wait for the next one!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on June 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Couldn't put this book down! Very good and keeps one wondering about the outcome. Highly recommend this book.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gillian Roberts has a talent for this sort of writing -- light, funny and addictive. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this book quite as much if I weren't already a devotee of the Amanda Pepper series. If you're not already a fan, I'd suggest starting with Caught Dead in Philadelphia. It could be my geographic prejudice, but I think the Pepper books are wittier and less predictable.
Although I find Emma (and Zachary) somewhat stereotypical, from past experience I know that Gillian Roberts' characters evolve, so I'm betting that these will as well. Otherwise, Billie could end up investigating Emma's demise. Still, it's Gillian Roberts and "cozy" mysteries don't get too much better than that.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse