Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Elaine Viets on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
Dying in Style (2005), High Heels Are Murder (2006), An Accessory to Murder (2007), Murder with all the Trimmings (2008), The Fashion Hound Murders (2009), An Uplifting Murder (2010), Death on a Platter (2011), Murder is a Piece of Cake (2012), Fixing to Die (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Fixing to Die, courtesy of the author's website.
Mystery shopper Josie Marcus has been happily married to veterinarian Ted Scottsmeyer for months. But her newly wedded bliss is about to be cut short....
Josie and Ted have finally tied the knot, and they’re ready for the next step: buying a house. Ted’s business partner, Christine, has one she’s willing to sell, but it needs a lot of love. Luckily, the newlyweds are up for the challenge.
But when they tear down a rickety gazebo in the backyard, they find the body of Christine’s sister, a free spirit who supposedly took off six months before. The police arrest Christine for murder, leaving Ted to work overtime at the office to cover for his partner. With no time to work on the house or be with her husband, Josie will have to find the real killer quickly, before both her house and marriage are beyond repair....
Elaine Viets returns with the latest book in the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series, Fixing to Die. Fixing to Die is the ninth book in the series and finds lead character Josie finally, happily married to her Veterinarian husband Ted and looking for a new home of their family. Viets moves between the main mystery involving a murder victim found under the gazebo and a secondary mystery involving her daughter and cyber-bulling. Fans of the series will see less mystery shopping in this one, but more focus on Josie's life and her family, as well as, her sleuthing skills. Viets gives readers a great cozy with an interesting theme.
Josie Marcus is one of my favorite cozy heroines. She has been through the ringer but she has finally married the love of her life and they are now looking for a love nest to raise their family. I liked the fact that Viets keeps Josie true to her original character, even though the circumstances of her life are changing. Josie is just as curious and inquisitive as always. When Ted's partner is accused of murdering her estranged sister, Josie is on the case. She can't seem to stay out of it when someone she cares about is knee deep in a mystery and I love that about her character. It is also apparent in the side mystery involving her daughter.
Viets does such a remarkable job of putting all the pieces of the puzzle throughout the book in such a way that the reader could figure it out, if they could just see the cover of the box. It's funny how she is able to keep you right on the verge of knowing who the killer is and then she throws in a monkey wrench and you're uncertain again. That happens about a dozen times in this one and I never did get it until the end. I didn't have any problems figuring it out once it was revealed, Viets had been deftly alluding to it all along. I loved the mystery aspect of this one and found it very entertaining.
The side story involving Amelia and the cyber bulling she was experiencing was also very good. Not only does this happen every day, it is a serious issue that needs attention and I think Viets did a good job of making readers aware. I also loved Amelia's character as she is developing in the series. She reminds me so much of a Josie and it's obvious to me that she will be a great sleuth too one day. She was such a refreshing character in this story and I thought she added a lot to this book.
There isn't much mystery shopping in this one, as the focus is more on Josie and Ted's new life and the relationship between them and Amelia. I liked the change of pace and thought it was necessary at this point in the series. Readers got to focus a little more on Josie's sleuthing as well. I don't think it deviated too far from the theme of the series. It just took a little break from it. Looking forward to the next one in this delightful series.
Fixing to Die is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Elaine Viets is an Agatha and Anthony Award–winning author who also writes the Dead-End Job Mystery series. She was also given the key to the city of Maplewood, Josie’s hometown. Her mother was a mystery shopper in Elaine’s hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Elaine has served on the national boards of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her husband, reporter Don Crinklaw.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Fixing to Die by Elaine Viets.
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