by Elaine Viets
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the entire set of Dead-End Job books, and a link to purchase them from Amazon.
Readers ask me about a scene or a character in my Dead-End Job mysteries: Why did this character have to die? How come the villain got away in that book?
I tell them, “I can’t remember.”
“Well, you wrote it,” the readers say.
Yes, I did. But once I finish one book, I’m on to the next.
I can’t read my novels when they first arrive from the publisher. That’s when I see all their faults and none of their virtues. If I read the books, I’ll wish I’d written them better.
But distance cures that. I had to reread all my Dead-End Job mysteries. I have four mystery series: the Dead-End Job series, a collection of funny mysteries set in South Florida, there’s the cozy Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper mysteries, plus the Francesca Vierling newspaper mysteries. My current series is the forensic mysteries with death investigator Angela Richman.
My agent, Joshua Bilmes, is president of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York, and he wanted to re-release my backlist. JABberwocky represents award-winning authors including Charlaine Harris, Brandon Sanderson, Toni Kelner, and Tanya Huff, and his agency has made books available from two dozen of their clients within its e-book program.
Done right, re-releases are expensive; re-releasing my 23 books (thirteen Dead-End Job mysteries and ten Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper mysteries) can cost a solid five figures, and JABberwocky fronted the money. The re-released novels will have new covers and fresh cover copy. We started with the Dead-End Job mysteries. Jenn Reese at Tiger Bright Studios designed thirteen clean, bright covers with a different symbol and color for each novel.
Meanwhile, I had to read all thirteen Dead-End Job mysteries, and correct the small errors that happen when the files are converted to book format, plus the occasional typo.
When I reread Shop till You Drop fifteen years after I wrote it, this novel almost seemed like it was by someone else. In Shop, Helen works at an ultra-exclusive dress shop called Juliana’s. She discovers the manager has been selling designer drugs along with the designer labels. Some lines made me laugh. How about this one, when two customers meet at the shop?
“As they stood implant to implant…”
In Murder with Reservations, Helen works a hotel maid, cleaning rooms with the stolid Denise. But Denise changes when she sees the new hire – a handsome young man:
Denise was smiling like a love-struck teen when she talked about him.
“How old is this guy?” Helen asked.
“He’s twenty-four,” Denise said. “They were very good years.”
In Murder with Reservations, Helen tells Phil, her future husband, how she feels about cooking:
“I hate to cook,” Helen said, “but I love good food. Most nights I settle for scrambled eggs or tuna out of the can.”
“I’m hopeless,” Helen said.
“How come women who can’t cook are proud of it?” Phil said.
“Because we’ve escaped a drudgery men never have to face. Some men think cooking is creative. Women like me think it’s a trap. We’re afraid we’ll have to waste our time making meals instead of doing what we really want.”
Some Dead-End Job lines were wistful. In Murder with Reservations, Helen reaches this realization about her ex-husband, Rob.
“Helen stared into the dark and knew this sad truth: Divorce bound her to Rob more than marriage ever did.”
But I also enjoy a good villain. In Clubbed to Death, I married Helen’s ex off to Marcella, the Black Widow. Marcella, a fabulously wealthy aging beauty, had five – or was it six? husbands die “accidental” deaths. The Black Widow says to Helen,
“Treachery can seem so sweet. So can revenge.”
Another favorite character is celebrity hairstylist, Cuban-American Miguel Angel in Killer Cuts. He tells King Oden, a sleazy Hollywood gossip blogger,
“I didn’t tell your competitors that your son is a bastard, like his father. The boy’s problem is an accident of birth. You are a self-made man.”
Get all thirteen Dead-End Job e-books, or treat yourself to the mysteries you missed. Prices start at $2.99 and go up. Check them out here: awfulagent.com/ebooks/elaine-viets.
To enter to win an ebook copy of the entire set of Dead-End Job books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “deadend,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 24, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
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