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Sunday February 16, 2014 MYT 7:00:00 AM
Sunday February 16, 2014 MYT 8:21:46 AM
By Oline H. Cogdill
FOR many of us, shopping is a kind of sport as we ferret out the best deals. Just look at the popularity of the various shopping blogs. And being a mystery shopper, as is Josie Marcus in Elaine Viets’ humorous series, sounds like a dream job.
While Viets, who lives in Florida, keeps this series light and amusing, she also shows how greed and fraud can bring out the sinister side of people. Viets’ skill at weaving darker tones into an amateur sleuth mystery shines in the highly entertaining Fixing To Die.
The ninth novel in this series finds Josie mystery shopping for her boss as well as for herself. Josie and her husband Ted Scottsmeyer have been married a few months now and are ready to move into a home of their own.
The couple may have found the perfect place in a good neighbourhood, and Josie is ready to plunge into the world of rehabbers and contractors.
But before the construction dust can settle, a dead body is found in the backyard and Josie becomes involved in the investigation.
Viets’ energetic storytelling keeps Fixing To Die going at a brisk pace, as she weaves in the emotional cost of home buying, dealing with contractors, and the lengths that some owners will go to ready their dogs for the show circuit. A solid family dynamic adds texture to Viets’ story. As a bonus, Viets, who also writes theDead-End Jobs series set in Florida, includes several pages of useful tips for the home rehabber. – Sun Sentinel/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
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