If it wasn’t for bad luck, Helen Hawthorne won’t have any luck at all.
At least that’s the way it seems most of the time as Helen changes from one dead-end job to the next trying to stay one step ahead of her womanizing leech of an ex-husband, Rob. Helen is the heroine in HALF-PRICE HOMICIDE, author Elaine Viet’s latest installment in the Dead-End Job Mystery series.
Helen’s current job is at a high-end clothing consignment shop in South Florida. Vera, the shop owner, buys and re-sales designer apparel that is to die for in more ways than one.
A customer is found hanging by a Gucci scarf in the shop’s dressing room. The list of suspects includes the victim’s developer husband and a female county commissioner, as well as a neighbor from Helen’s apartment complex.
With the police turning the shop upside down looking for clues and no customers browsing through the racks, Vera ask Helen to solve the murder so life can go back to normal. As Helen works on the list of suspects, another murder victim is found. This time it’s her neighbor that was in the shop and a suspect in the first murder.
Helen’s unusual group of eclectic friends from the apartment complex returns including apartment owner, Margery, whose love of outlandish outfits and chain smoking habits are a stable force in Helen’s life.
To add to Helen’s stress, her mother had a heart attack with complications shortly after stopping Helen’s wedding and had to be hospitalized. When her condition takes a turn for the worse, Helen has to return to St. Louis to lay her mother to rest. While in St. Louis, Helen and her sister deal with their step father, Lawn Boy Larry, who tries to skimp on the funeral to save the money for himself.
Helen starts making arrangements to get her life back on track and legal. But, before she can her ex-husband turns up. Rob’s reappearance causes Helen more heartache and worries, even endangering the future of her young nephew.
Some how in the midst of all the craziness, including an attempt on Helen’s life; she and her true love, Phil, try a second time to get married.
From the first introduction to the chic consignment shop to the thunderstorm on the beach at the end, author Elaine Viets takes the reader on a whirlwind ride of fun, excitement, mystery and suspense. Follow Helen as she tracks her way through the list of high society suspects, political intrigue, and porcelain pineapples.
HALF-PRICE HOMICIDE is a stand alone book, although it is the ninth installment in the mystery series. First-time readers of the series won’t be left wondering what’s going on, but they will want to know all the crazy jobs Helen has had before along with all the mishaps she finds herself in.
Fans of the series will be reunited with some old friends and introduced to several new ones. In addition, they may find that the curse of Apartment 2C could be changing.
For a fun time in a hot city, check out HALF-PRICE HOMICIDE. You‘ll never look at designer labels quite the same.
For more information on author Elaine Viets or the Dead-End Job Mystery series, check out www.elaineviets.com or Break Through Promotions
Half-Price Homicide, A Dead-End Job Mystery by Elaine Viets, Obsidian Mysteries, @2010, ISBN: 978-0-451-22989-2, Hardcover, 264 pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.