Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Dead End Jobs makes for a mystery…

June 9, 2005

After my batch of exceedingly bad books over the weekend, I decided to cleanse the reading palate so to speak and take a wander into the death side of reading. Chortle. In other words, I picked up a mystery to read today.

I didn’t want too much blood and mayhem, wanted something lighter but not totally fluff, hoped for a bit of romance, would settle for a relationship. Not too stringent requirements I thought, so I pulled out the latest Dead-End Job Mysteries by Elaine Viets. Okay, Okay, I saw it in the Borders on Sunday and bought it. And I’ve got this problem with books lingering unread in my house, so its time was up.

JUST MURDERED by Elaine Viets
The first book in the series SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP was amusing but just enough to establish the Viets name in my brain. Unfortunately, I missed the next two books — never heard when they were available or saw them in the stores — then at the signing on Sunday, the current book in the series JUST MURDERED was at the front tables and I decided to see if the series held up. Little did I know I’d need a change of pace!

Helen is at a new job — sales associate in a bridal shop. As usual she manages to get fouled up with a murder, the usual nastiest one on the scene, mother of the bride suffocated in her daughter’s bridal gown. What a waste of Vera Wang! Although to be honest, since I’ve got a 20s daughter who’s addicted to all gowns Vera, I don’t think from the description the cobwebby gown was a Vera, it sounded a little strange, not as magical as a Vera. Although it was a gown to make an ugly duckling bride beautiful. It was a waste as the murder weapon.

But back to the story, the bride who was a nasty case herself, the groom, the ex-husband and even the boss are all suspects. And the police are in no hurry to find the killer while Helen worries about her outstanding warrants finding her (she’s on the lam from a court ordered alimony payment in St. Louis — don’t ask, it’s a rather tenuous excuse for the lame jobs, interesting but tenuous and there is NO wrath like a woman scorned). And then there is Phil who Helen apparently picked up in the last book I missed. There was much too much angst in this one, too many times Helen dropped poor Phil. If she’s going to get a new guy at least give him the benefit of the doubt, if not, then use him for sex. Sheesh. The mystery was passable and I might try to find the two books I missed in the middle — I’d like to at least know where Phil came from and my daughter does have that dreaded telemarketing job for the summer. Maybe it will be fun?!?

The series in order:

Helen escapes to Florida and is a shop girl in a high end boutique.

So much botox, you can never be TOO thin or too greedy!

It’s a killer to be beautiful.

It’s an adventure in the shelves.

Helen’s got more than the recent thriller on her hands when she works at a book store.

And we thought it was just the VISA bill after a book store run that was a killer…


Helen’s new job is safe — manning, or womanning the phones in a telemarketing setup.

Who’d want to kill a telemarketer?

Thank goodness for caller id!


Death in the bridal party.

The real story of the fun in a bridal shop and bridezillas with moms. It had to come from some gene pool.

I’m not rabid about the series, but if you’re in need of a light mystery the Viets are a good bet, you’ll enjoy the Coronado in South Florida and Viets has a very nice writing style and voice. She seems to be growing into this series, so why not try it?

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