1st book in the series. I will read more in the series.
I liked this book alot. The back of the book states:
Six feet tall in flats, sleek, sexy Francesca Vierling is a brash columnist for a big-time St. Louis newspaper who makes her living by knowing the story behind the scenes-the secrets the other papers miss. But every secret has its price, and when her friends and sources begin turing up dead, Francesca finds herself fighting a new kind of deadline...
It's winter in St. Louis. The city's ethnically mixed population shares the snow, fights for parking spaces, and smells the everpresent oder of beer wafting fron the breweries. But for Francesca the violent deaths of two men-an elderly barkeep in a landmark St. Louis saloon and a colorful home remodeler-have plunged her into the stifling heat of a murder investigation. Now, from neat little houses with Virgin Marys in their yards to an underworld of transvestite nightclubs, Francesca is desperately searching St. Louis to identify a killer-who has already chosen her.
Elaine Viets is one of my favorite authors. She writes two series that I love, The Dead end job series, Helen Hawthorne, and the Josie, the mystery shopper series. Both are cozy in many ways.
I was hooked by the first sentence. This is one of her earlier books, written in 1997, and before we were all running around with cell phones, and easy google apps. It stands the test of time, and was a very good mystery and book. Not as cozy as the others. Even the theme isn't all that cozy, esp for 1997. This book involves a newspaper set in St Louis. Remember newspapers? They came out daily on paper. The main character writes a news column. And constantly needs a new story. Her editor wont publish anything "fringe" or not screaming of family values. You can see how the editor then wont publish the MC, coverage of a Drag Queen pageant or do a follow up on the death of a prostitute.
Near the end you will be smart enough to guess the real murderer. But you will enjoy the ride. There is more to the series. I do highly recommend the books if you can find them. They are harder to find as they are older books.