Fast-paced, and with bonus tips, too

Fix­ing To Die Au­thor: Elaine Vi­ets Pub­lisher: Ob­sid­ian, 304 pages, fic­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS - Re­view by OLINE H. COGDILL

FOR many of us, shop­ping is a kind of sport as we fer­ret out the best deals. Just look at the pop­u­lar­ity of the var­i­ous shop­ping blogs. And be­ing a mys­tery shop­per, as is Josie Mar­cus in Elaine Vi­ets’ hu­mor­ous se­ries, sounds like a dream job.

While Vi­ets, who lives in Florida, keeps this se­ries light and amus­ing, she also shows how greed and fraud can bring out the sin­is­ter side of people. Vi­ets’ skill at weav­ing darker tones into an am­a­teur sleuth mys­tery shine in the highly en­ter­tain­ing Fix­ing To Die.

The ninth novel in this se­ries finds Josie mys­tery shop­ping for her boss as well as for her­self. Josie and her hus­band Ted Scotts meyer have been mar­ried a few months now and are ready to move into a home of their own.

The cou­ple may have found the per­fect place in a good neigh­bour­hood, and Josie is ready to plunge into the world of re­hab­bers and con­trac­tors.

But be­fore the con­struc­tion dust can set­tle, a dead body is found in the back yard and Josie be­comes in­volved in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Vi­ets’ en­er­getic sto­ry­telling keeps Fix­ing To Die go­ing at a brisk pace, as she weaves in the emo­tional cost of home buy­ing, deal­ing with con­trac­tors, and the lengths that some own­ers will go to ready their dogs for the show cir­cuit. A solid fam­ily dy­namic adds tex­ture to Vi­ets’ story. As a bonus, Vi­ets, who also writes the Dead-End Jobs se­ries set in Florida, in­cludes sev­eral pages of use­ful tips for the home re­hab­ber. – Sun Sen­tinel/ McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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