Lots of action, quirky characters, an engaging new sleuth who designs greeting cards, and a ferret named Margaret -- what more could any reader want? Dating Dead Men is a superb debut.
Los Angeles greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley is dating forty men in sixty days as research for a radio talk show host's upcoming book, How to Avoid Getting Dumped All the Time. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to Rio Pescadoa state-run mental hospitaland is momentarily taken hostage by a charismatic "doctor" who is on the run from the Mob. Wollie fears that her beloved brother, a paranoid schizophrenic living at Rio Pescado, is involved in the murder, so rather than go to the authorities, she decides to solve the crime on her own. As she meets up with an array of small-time crooks and swaggering mobsters only slightly more sinister than the men she's been dating, Wollie realizes that "getting dumped" is the least of her problems. Finding true love, she discovers, sometimes means learning how to avoid getting killed . . .
Dating Dead Men will keep readers guessing until the final bullet is shotand cheering for the irresistible Wollie as she makes her way out of confusion and into the welcoming embrace of Mr. Right
It was a cigarette burn.
I could scarcely have been more shocked if I'd discovered it on my own flesh, appearing out of nowhere, like stigmata. But it wasn't on me. It was on my grass green carpet, Aisle 3, Condolences/Get Well Soon, where I knelt, rooted in horror.
"Dear God," I said. "Dear God. Dear God."
"Girl, get a grip," Fredreeq called out, barging through the front door of my shop, Wollie's Welcome! Greetings. "I can hear those 'Dear Gods' all the way out to the parking lot. Did someone die? Is it Mr. Bundt? Please tell me Mr. Bundt died and I can take the day off and go to the beach."
"He's not dead. He's due here any minute. I was doing the final Dustbusting, and look, look--" I waved at the carpet. "At the last inspection, Mr. Bundt questioned the decor. I told him it was French Provincial. I can't pass this off as French Provincial."
"No." Fredreeq loomed over me. "Cigarette burns are strictly Trailer Park. ...
If you liked Dating Dead Men, try these:
When a murdered waitress is unceremoniously dropped off at his door, charming mortician-about-town Hitchcock Sewell investigates and his delving takes him down an increasingly twisted and wicked trail.
Palm Beach private investigator Archy McNally takes on the murder of a socialite and uncovers a thorny tangle of blackmail and deceit, south Florida style. Vincent Lardo continues the series started by Lawrence Sanders.
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