Elaine Viets–Witty Writer, Broadcaster, Newbie Private Eye–10 Questions

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I don’t write reviews on amazon. OK, I wrote maybe three–but I had to be highly motivated and passionate about what I was reviewing to dip into that cesspool of bizarreness. And I was. Elaine Viets, mystery writer, had begun a new series at the time, and I was wildly in love with it. Here is part of what I wrote:

“Helen Hawthorne, once quite successful, is forced to lay low, changing cities and jobs as quickly as she used to change her designer shoes. Her new profession, salesclerk in a chi chi Florida boutique whose green door keeps out lowlife Sears Robuck rejects, forces her to do more than cater to collagen frozen faces. Underneaththe fashionable facade, a nefarious manager has embezzled bucks, and when a murder occurs, Helen must find the perpetrator before her past catches up with her. A six toed cat, a real character of a landlady, and very cheap wine bought by the case, comfort Helen as she works to solve the crime.”
The review was written about the Dead End Job series starring Helen Hawthorne, a woman on the run and forced to take jobs that pay under the table. Elaine would work in the various positions she writes about to make Helen’s experiences as realistic and truthful as possible. And they are. She has written a slew (11) of Dead End Job books since the debut–Shop Until you Drop, including one on my  Best 100 Mysteries of All Time list–Murder Between The Covers.  Apparently one exceptional series is not enough work for Elaine, she created another with a secret shopper, Josie Marcus, her latest, Murder Is a Piece of Cake, just released. (That’s number 8.) I’m clearly biased–I’ve known, admired, and called Ms. Viets a friend for over a decade. But even if I’d never met her, I’d still love her rich characters, witty dialog, and satisfying plots. Here’s the 10 questions and answers.

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Murder Between The Covers. Best 100 Mysteries of All Time

 Murder Between the Covers—Elaine Viets–IP Oh what a perfect book for independent booksellers to revel in. The action takes place in a chain store, albeit a small one in Florida, but still oddly reminiscent of the local B&N. And why is that? Because Ms. Viets, the author of the Dead End Job series, worked at … Read more

Elaine Viets Discusses the Tourist Problem in Florida–Via Her Novel, Of Course

One of my favorite traditional authors is Elaine Viets who writes two different series, one set in St. Louis, the other in Florida. Her Helen Hawthorne Florida series is witty, character laden, and downright great. I hope to have a full interview with Ms. Viets soon. But until then, here is her blog from The … Read more

The Best 100 Mysteries of All Time–Ten More Titles

The Best 100 Mysteries of All Time–10 Titles-Number 2    Stone Quarry—  S. J. Rozan  1999-St. Martin’s Press-IP   To read a synopsis go here:   https://bookshopblog.com/2011/11/05/no-79-stone-quarry-best-100-mysteries-of-all-time/           Billy Dead—Lisa Reardon–Viking Publishers-1998–IP   To read a synopsis of the book go here:  https://bookshopblog.com/2011/08/12/no-90-billy-dead-best-100-mysteries-of-all-time/       Murder Between the Covers—Elaine Viets–2003—-IP   To … Read more

Comfort Reads

Have you ever had a particularly crappy day and needed something to read that would be familiar, give a cozy feeling, a sense of comfort to you? If sick, in bed or the hospital, are the books you crave of a nature to cheer you up? These are called ‘comfort’ reads. Where the phrase comes … Read more