Every "Dead-End Job" mystery by Elaine Viets is fabulous. In each novel, protagonist, former corporate executive, Helen Hawthorn, works at a different job. The jobs, in a hair salon, bridal shop, dog grooming business and other businesses, are described as dead-end only because Helen becomes involved in murder investigations in each job. What Viets gets right every time is the warmth and honesty many of Helen's co-workers (except for the killers) bring to the job and to their friendships with Helen. In "Board Stiff," Viets brings to life the waitress who has graduated from the school of hard knocks, and the board-rental business owner who is under attack. Viets also brings back at least one tough and likeable character from prior books.
Viets creates well developed plots and smart protagonists with unique voices, including her tough, engaging landlady; Pete the parrot; Phil, Helen's handsome, silver haired, PI husband with the ponytail; and Thumbs, Helen's big, six-toed cat. (Disclaimer: I have a bias in favor of Thumbs because I am owned by a big six-toed tabby.) If you love a good mystery involving engaging, likable characters, you will love this book.
Print Length: 289 pages
Publisher: NAL (May 7, 2013)
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC