I really enjoyed this book. I thought it would be a fluff book, like Janet Evanovich or the Flower Shop mysteries, which are nice light reads, good for reading at bedtime. But this had some fascinating elements to it: the women who shopped at the store in question were "kept" women who had to have plastic surgery to stay young and starved themselves to be thin and attractive or their boyfriends would find "better" girlfriends. Wow, does this happen in real life? It was rather sad and pathetic, but very interesting. Oh, and the mystery part was good too.
This one should have 5 stars!!! Literally, I did not stop reading it until I finished it!! I loved her characters, even the "unloveable" ones!! The main character Helen Hawthorne has moved to South Florida from St. Louis to avoid her ex-husband. Working in a stylish shop selling clothes to ladies with model figures for mucha money, she meets some strange people and works with some, too. Just enough suspense and humor scattered throughout kept me happy and very interested!!!
Cute first book in a new series. Helen Hawthorne used to have an upscale lifestyle, but she's now in hiding from something in her past, and is living in southern Florida. A co-worker from her dead-end job ends up dead, and she works to solve the mystery with several of the ritzy shoppers at her high end boutique coming up as suspects.
Our main character, Helen is on the run from her ex-husband, and is forced to work crappy under the table jobs because the divorce court ordered Helen to pay 1/2 her earnings to her ex.
While I enjoyed Helen, I had a difficult time connecting with her. We never get any type of desrciption of Helen, except she is "womanly" sized, and at the very end of the book, find out she has dark hair. I much more enjoyed her landlady, Margery, whom I envisioned as the landlady in the movie Something about Mary.... ahahaaa I also had difficulty distinuguishing the suspects, as they were all pretty much described as skinny and blonde.. LOL
Even though I enjoyed this cozy, the book was way too long. The first 150 pages dragged on and on. The action didnt pick up until the last 100 pages, when the sleuthing finally started. The ending was extremely rushed. Even though it was fun to read, its forgettable at best, but I will continue the series, and hope they get better. :P
Not my cup of tea. I really didn't like the main character all that much and certainly disliked the subject area. It was hard to develop any sympathy for the main character. That said, it is still a typical cozy mystery and a very quick read.
A tongue in cheek comedy. Helen, on the run herself, takes dead-end, off the books jobs so she won't be found. As a clerk in a high end fashion boutique, she figures the only crime the clientele would be guilty of is getting old. Embezzlement, drugs, blackmail, murder and mysterious pasts combine to put Helen in the hot seat. She'll have to solve the crimes to keep HER past a secret, or else....
Helen Hawthorne, the lead character, used to have a great job and a great marriage, until she found her husband in bed with the neighbor... She destroyed the car, divorced the man and is on the lam since her ex-husband wants to sue her for alimony.
She has to take jobs off the books so she cannot be traced. In this first book, she's working at an exclusive women's clothing store â all clothing sized zero, two or four â all high end. When she starts to find illegal operations, she starts to think about getting another job.
When someone dies, she stays to get enough evidence to solve it.
I like both of Elaine Viet's series very much. This is the first in The Dead End Job books. The main character, runaway Helen Hawthorn, is very believable as she struggles through jobs without being found. The stories in all of the books give you a close view of the downside of some of these while being amusing and entertaining. Viet's Mystery Shopper is excellent, also.
I really liked this book! It was well written and had some interesting true-to-Florida characters. I wish my apartment complex had neighbors that interesting! :) A good read for anyone who has ever worked retail and hates snotty customers. :)
This is the first book I've read by this author. The clothing store named Juliana's in this story has some interesting customers. Also the employees that work there. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The plot developed quickly and something was always happening to move the story forward. Lots of quirky characters. A quick, fun cozy. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Very enjoyable, first book in series. Helen is on the run and working low-paying jobs "off the books." A little matter of finding her hubby in bed with the neighbor & Helen finding a crowbar handy.... Wonderful characters, locale (sunny Florida), snappy dialogue. Can't wait to read the rest of the series and others by this author.
A humorous read with snappy dialogue; also some mystery! Lots of fun as well as intriguing characters. Locale is in Fort Lauderdale, so author enjoys describing the various people
that live and/or migrate there.
A great "dead-end job mystery" by Elaine Viets. The plot focuses both on Helen, a woman working a thankless, badly-paid job in an upscale women's clothing shop, as well as the women who purchase high-end attire there. Both seem equally trapped, at various points throughout the story, making for interesting commentary on a woman's place in society. Fun, funny, light-hearted murder mystery (if such a thing exists), with an emphasis on staying out of the limelight that'll wreck a girl's complexion.
Loved it. As soon as I read a bit of this, I knew I would be looking for the rest in the series. This cozy has it all (for me anyway)believable characters, and boy are they characters! The love interest segments are so true to life, and nothing perfection to be found- I think what I like the best, however, is the setting, south Florida, in all it's retro majesty of a 1950's rental complex with the antique furnishing, parrots in the trees, screwdrivers by the pool, and a quirky landlady, who is also a friend to Helen, however blunt! The herione, main characte Helen, is as real as my next door neighbor, and the book just flows with laugh out loud page turning fun. The high end dress selling, and it's botoxed clients are a hoot. Very entertaining cozy.
The first book in the Helen Hawthorne Dead-End Job series is an enjoyable enough read. The plot was stretched a bit thin for my taste. After all, how many women can one woman find a way to blackmail? I have read the second book in the series already and will probably read the rest eventually.
This is such a fun book - the first in a series. I enjoyed meeting Helen, the main character who is beginning a new life. The mystery was interesting and the characters are well developed. I enjoyed this one and have enjoyed the other books in the series as well.
Meet Helen Hawthrone. She had a great life, things were going well till. . . She then found herself working as a salesclerk at a clothing boutique making minimum wage under the table. But then things seemed off at the Boutique and when the manager did not show up on Monday, Helen knew something was up. She had to figure things out before her past caught up to her.
The writing is OK. Not the best mystery I have read but a nice easy read.
A Dead-End Job Mystery
1. Shop Till You Drop (2003)
2. Murder Between the Covers (2003)
3. Dying to Call You (2004)
4. Just Murdered (2005)
5. Murder Unleashed (2006)
6. Murder with Reservations (2007)
7. Clubbed to Death (2008)
8. Killer Cuts (2009)
9. Half-Price Homicide (2010)
10. Pumped for Murder (2011)
11. Final Sail (2012)
12. Board Stiff (2013)
13. Catnapped! (2014)
14. Checked Out (2015)
I enjoyed this book. The teasers throughout the book about why Helen is in a dead end job led to a surprising revelation at the end. The side characters are well developed and the actual murderer was a surprise.
Once on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne traded in her chic life for a shabby one, on the run, jumping from city to city and dead-end job to dead-end job. After 2 weeks as the new salesclerk at Julianas, she discovers the manager has been embezzling money, selling designer drugs and......
Once on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne is going nowhere faster. Forced to trade in her chic life for a shabby one, she's now on the run, jumping from city to city and dead-end job to dead-end job, trying to stay one step ahead of her past....
After two weeks as the new salesclerk at Julianna's, Fort Lauderdale's ultraexclusive clothing boutique, Helen still feels out of fashion. But in a shop where the customers' collagen lips are bigger than their hips, who wouldn't be? And since the only crime likely to be committed around here is being old -- or worse, looking old -- Helen figures she's safe. Until she discovers the manager has been embezzling money and selling designer drugs along with the designer clothes. Add murder to the mix and Helen is in deep trouble. To protect her secrets, she will have to solve the case herself -- before her dead-end job turns deadly....
Once on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne is going nowhere faster. Forced to trade in her chic life for a shabby one, she's now on the run, jumping from city to city and dead-end job to dead-end job, trying to stay one step ahead of her past...
After two weeks as the new salesclerk at Juliana's, Fort Lauderdale's ultraexclusive clothing boutique, Helen still feels out of fashion. But in a shop where the customers' collagen lips are bigger than their hips, who wouldn't? And since the only crime likely to be committed around here is being old--or worse, looking old--Helen figures she's safe. Until she discovers the manager has been embezzling money and selling designer drugs along with the designer clothes. Add murder to the mix and Helen is in deep trouble. To protect her secrets, she will have to solve the case herself--before her dead-end job turns deadly...