Dead End Jobs

Elaine Viets: A mystery for every mood


Helen Hawthorne came to South Florida on the run, working dead-end jobs for cash under the table. Now she's a PI, working a different low-paying job undercover in each novel.

Check out the first chapters for free

 

 

Newest Book!

Book 15

 

The Art of Murder

Synopsis
The art world is a happening place—but a brush with death shouldn’t be in the picture. Unfortunately that’s just what happens to Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery. While touring gorgeous Bonnet House, a mansion-turned-museum, they observe a painting class and note an up-and-coming artist. When they later see her deadly end, Helen is hired to canvas the crime scene—undercover, of course.

Sketchy suspects lurk in the victim’s bohemian past. Was the promising painter killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A rival using her artful wiles? With her husband Phil busy setting a trap for a gold thief, it’s up to Helen to paint this killer into a corner . . .

Published: 5/4/2016
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 304
ISBN 978-0451476135
Price: $25, hardcover
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Book 14

Checked Out by Elaine Viets

 

Checked Out

Synopsis 
Helen Hawthorne's search for a missing million dollars in a South Florida library leads to murder, and her private eye partner, Phil, is booked to broil in the sun while he hunts for a ruby necklace stolen at a scandalous party in CHECKED OUT.

Published: 5/5/2015
Publisher:  Obsidian
Pages: 280
ISBN 978-0-451-46632-7
Price: $24.95 hardcover

Publisher: NAL
ISBN 978-0-46633-4
Price: $7.99. paperback
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Book 13

Catnapped! by Elaine Viets

 

Catnapped!

Synopsis 
Socialite Trish Barrymore and her rich husband, Smart Mort, can agree on only one thing in their bitter divorce: shared custody of their beloved cat. But when Mort is found dead and the cat is being held for a half-million dollars in ransom money, it's up to husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont to go undercover in the world of cat shows to find the catnapper -- and Mort's killer. Another cat-tastrophe looms. Their home, Coronado Apartments, is slated for a tear-down when Margery, their landlady, is arrested for murder one.

Published: 5/6/2014
Publisher: Obsidian
ISBN: 978-0-451-46630-3
Price: $24.95 hardcover

Publisher: NAL, 2014
ISBN 978-0-451-46631-0
Price: $7.99 paperback

Publisher: Center Point
ISBN 978-1-62899148-2
Price: $34.95, large print
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Book 12

Board Stiff by Elaine Viets

 

Board Stiff

Synopsis
Private eyes Helen Hawthorne and her husband Phil Sagemont have a new assignment, and it's no day at the beach. Competition for tourist dollars is cut-throat in South Florida. Helen and Phil have been hired by Sunny Jim's Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental, because the owner believes someone is out to ruin his business. When Ceci Odell, an innocent tourist, dies in what looks like an accident, Sunny Jim insists she was murdered. Helen and Phil, along with dozens of others, saw her tumble off her paddleboard. Now they have to solve a murder with no witnesses and no weapon. The PI partners find dark undercurrents of corruption in the cheerful beachfront town, and the trail leads them back to Helen's hometown, St. Louis.

Published: 5/6/2014
Publisher: NAL
Pages: 294
ISBN 978-0-451-41910-1
Price: $7.99, paperback

Publisher: Center Point
ISBN 978-1-61173828-5
Price: $34.95, large print
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Book 11

 

Final Sail

Synopsis 
PI power couple Helen Hawthorne and her husband Phil Sagemont both have their hands full in this adventure. Helen has to catch an emerald smuggler while serving snobs, scrubbing floors, and cleaning up after a pampered poodle. She's undercover as a stewardess on a luxury yacht, and one crew member disappears during the trip. Was she lost without her boyfriend – or lost at sea?

While Helen cruises to the Bahamas, Phil has to catch a sexy gold digger who may have murdered her rich old husband. Phil's working undercover as the new widow's estate manager – and she wants Helen's hunky husband to go really undercover.

Published: 5/6/2013
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 289 paperback
ISBN 978-0-451-23770-5
Price: $7.99

Publisher: Center Point
ISBN 978-161173417-1
Price: $33.95, large print

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Book 10

Pumped for Murder

 

Pumped for Murder

Synopsis 
Fresh from their honeymoon, Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont open their private eye agency. Helen can't escape those dead-end jobs. Now they're a key to Coronado Investigations' success. Helen helps their first client, Shelby, who suspects her husband developed his killer body for another woman. Helen works as a receptionist at Fantastic Fitness to keep track of him. She discovers the world of extreme bodybuilding and learns she has to pump iron to keep her gym job. She and Phil have taken on a second case investigating a 1980s death that might be a "Miami Vice" murder. Phil must make a trip down memory lane he'd rather avoid – while Helen provides the sweat equity for their new agency.

Published: 5/3/2011
Publisher: Obsidian
Pages: 272
ISBN 978-0-451-23320-2
Price: $23.95, hardcover

ISBN 978-0-451-23505-3
Price: $7.99 paperback

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Book 9

Half=Price Homicide

 

Half-Price Homicide

Synopsis 
Helen Hawthorne sells the most wanted bargains at Snapdragon's Second Thoughts. The Fort Lauderdale consignment shop has designer duds to die for. Literally. The customers who bring in their barely worn fashions want money for reselling their clothes, but they don't want anyone to find out. Helen has her own wants: She wants to go home to St. Louis to clear her name. She wants her greedy ex-husband to disappear. And she wants to marry the man she loves. Helen will get everything she wants – and regret that she gets what she wants most.

Published: 5/1/2010
ISBN 978-0-451-22989-2
Publisher: Obsidian
Price: $22.95, hardcover

Publisher: Center Point
978-110-285893-0
Price: $33.95, large print

Publisher: NAL, 2011
Pages: 278
ISBN 978-0-451-23154-3
Price: $7.99, paper
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Book 8

Killer Cuts by Elaine  Viets

 

Killer Cuts

Synopsis 
Helen works as a gofer at a chic salon, where a trim costs as much as a car payment. Things get a little hairy when gossip blogger and cable TV host King Oden is murdered at his own wedding. Superstar stylist Miguel Angel is the prime suspect and Helen has to figure out who was really dressed to kill at the fashionable wedding.

Published: 5/4/2010
Publisher: NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 451228545
Price: $6.99

Publisher: Center Point
ISBN 978-1602-85535-9
Price: $31.95, large print
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Book 7

Clubbed to Death by Elaine Viets

 

Clubbed to Death

Synopsis 
Once people were dying to get into the Superior Club. Now they're just dying. Helen work at the club's complaint department, handling the problems of the rich and spoiled. Her deadbeat ex-husband sails back into her life and she's accused of his murder. Someone got teed off and whacked a club member and a manager with a seven iron. Helen has to get to the truth without getting clubbed herself.

Published: 5/1/2009
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 9780451225252
Price: $7.99
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Book 6

Murder With Reservations

 

Murder With Reservations

Synopsis 
Helen Hawthorne is working as a maid at a Fort Lauderdale tourist hotel, making 38 beds a day and cleaning up after folks who think a vacation is dropping towels on the floor. One of the maids winds up dead in a Dumpster. Then, a hotel guest dies in the shower, and Helen is launched into a world of intrigue, missing bank robbery money and murder. Worse, her ex-husband turns up, looking for the cash he claims Helen owes him. She has to evade her ex and save herself from a possible murder charge.

Published: 5/1/2007
Publisher:  NAL
ISBN 978-045-122111-7
$21.95, hardcover
Pages: 288

ISBN 978-0-451-22383-8
Price: $6.99, paperback
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Book 5

Murder Unleashed

 

Murder Unleashed

Synopsis 
Helen Hawthorne's latest gig at the Pampered Pet Boutique started as a dog lover's delight. But now she's got a murder to solve and a kidnapped pup to find, all before a Category 3 hurricane hits.

Published: 5/1/2007
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 451221087
Price: $7.99
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Book 4

Just Murdered

 

Just Murdered

Synopsis 
At Millicent's Bridal Salon, Helen deals with bridezillas who need two gowns for their day and weddings that cost as much as a mansion. Helen is surprised when the rich, obnoxious mother of the bride is found dead just before the wedding – and shocked when the police find Helen's fingerprints all over this murder. Helen has to find the killer quick, before this wedding turns into her funeral.

Published: 5/3/2005
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 0-451-21492-7
Price: $6.99
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Book 3

Dying to Call You by Elaine Viets

 

Dying to Call You

Synopsis 
Helen Hawthorne has found her new calling. She's a telemarketer, disrupting dinners and waking up sleepers all over the country. During one survey, she gets an earful when she overhears an argument, followed by a scream, then dead air. Was someone strangled? Or was it a movie? Helen can't prove she heard a murder, much less who did it. She's soon chasing clues and avoiding a close call – with a killer.

Published: 10/5/2004
Publisher: NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 0-451-21332-7
Price: $7.99
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Book 2Murder between the covers by Elaine Viets

 

Murder Between the Covers

Synopsis 
Helen Hawthorne has a new job off the books at Page Turners bookstore in Fort Lauderdale. It’s run by the awful Page Turner III. His enemies would fill volumes. When Page turns up dead in the bed of Helen’s red-haired neighbor, Peggy, Helen has to save her friend to save herself. The key to the killing is in the bookstore -- if Helen can only read between the lines.

Published: 12/2/2003
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 0-451-21081-6
Price: $7.99
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Book 1

 

Shop Till You Drop

Synopsis 
Once on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne is going nowhere fast after being forced to trade in her chic life for a shabby one. Now she's on the run, working as the new salesclerk at Juliana's, Fort Lauderdale's ultra-exclusive clothing boutique, a shop where the customers' collagen lips are bigger than their hips. Since the only crime likely to be committed around here is being old—or worse, looking old—Helen figures she's safe. Until she discovers the manager has been embezzling money and selling designer drugs along with the designer clothes. Add murder to the mix and Helen is in trouble. She either has to solve the case before the police uncover her own deep secrets—or start looking for a new nowhere job.

Published: 5/6/2003
Publisher:  NAL
Pages: 288
ISBN 0-451-20855-2
Price: $7.99
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Killer Blonde an e-Novella by Elaine Viets  

Novella
Killer Blondes

Synopsis 
South Florida sleuth Helen Hawthorne gets a history lesson from her landlady Margery Flax. In the 1970s, while pushing papers in a dead-end job, Margery witnessed a battle of the blondes between vivacious Vicki and meticulous Minnie for a promotion that would take one of them to the top of the corporate ladder. But when their office politics turned dirty, the blondes got dangerous—leaving one of them dead and one of them a killer whose identity Margery has kept secret for more than forty years…

-----------------------------

Publisher: Obsidian
Pages: 83
Price: $2.99

Reprinted as an e-book only. Killer Blonde previously appeared in the paperback novella collection, Drop-Dead Blonde. Please note: Killer Blonde is 50,000 word novella, not a full-length Dead-End Job novel.

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