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Saturday, July 5, 2014

73) Board Stiff by Elaine Viets

The Blurb :

There’s a dark cloud over Sunny Jim’s Safety First Parasailing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding business on Florida’s Riggs Beach—especially after one of his clients is killed in a tragic paddleboarding mishap. Sunny Jim is sure it was no accident, and he hires Helen and Phil to find the murderer.

Between cutthroat competitors poaching his territory, the city threatening to revoke his license, a restaurant owner wanting his beach spot for a parking lot, and a wrongful death suit filed by the victim’s husband, Sunny Jim may soon be up the creek without a paddle.

But he does have Helen and Phil on his side, and as the couple start to investigate, they discover dark undercurrents of corruption behind the cheerful facades of the beachfront businesses, as well as domestic secrets. But the sands of time are running out, and if they don’t catch the killer soon, Sunny Jim won’t be the only one to go under….

My Thoughts :

The Dead-End Job Mysteries is one of my favourite cozy mystery series and I always look forward to reading a new installment because the author really has made the series shine in more ways than one.  The dead-end job angle has evolved into something so much more over the years and I can only praise the author for keeping the series fresh and original.  You won't find any extreme over the top storylines that make you cringe but good honest mysteries being solved by hard working people you can respect and like.

Helen is an amazing character and she has been a great friend.  I like how she thinks and she isn't trying to be somebody special or different.  Just herself.  Phil, Margery and the other regular characters make the series even better.  Now that Helen has a support system and partners she can trust it makes the crime solving even more fun.  The location grabs me every time and I wish I could be driving around with Helen in Florida doing surveillance or questioning people.  She has gotten so good at it all!

This time around the dead-end job is paddle boarding but it gets much bigger than that.   This time around Helen doesn't have to do the hard labour but she does end up doing a lot work as she tries to solve a murder and get to the bottom of some questionable dealings on the Beach.  On top of all this there is a little blackmailing problem she has to take care of back home in St. Louis and there are some interesting developments all round from that little story.

So this was another great addition to the series and it is hard to believe that the series is already twelve books in.  Actually thirteen because there is already another new release out.  Which brings me to a little moan and groan.   The last few books have only been released in hardback and even on Kindle are priced up near the twenty dollar range.  Which isn't putting me off the series but forcing me to wait till the price comes down or the paperback is available.  I love this series a lot but I can buy four books for the price of this one.  So I wait.

However much this series costs now I still love it.  I can't wait to read the next installment and was happy to see a novella in this series on Kindle so I have snapped that up to read very soon.  This is one of the best Cozy mysteries out there and I can only keep recommending it and hope it keeps getting more new installments.  Also I will keep mentioning that the author should try something with a paranormal twist...it is all the rage nowadays and I think she would do an amazing job at it.  Also try her Josie Marcus series!  Another great series that I can't get enough of!

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