Dying to Lose Weight

Apr 14, 2018 | 2018 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Denise Dietz

This week in honor of Earth Day we are primarily featuring ebooks. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the first book in the Diet Club series, Throw Darts at a Cheesecake, and a link to preorder Denise’s new book and ones from her series from Amazon.

After I lost 55 (and a half!) lbs. on Weight Watchers, I became a group leader/lecturer for the organization. One night, while watching my dieters weigh in—and smiling as my adorable nuns crossed themselves before stepping on the scale—I had an epiphany. What if there was some nut killing off dieters when they reached their goal weight? Wouldn’t that make a fun mystery?

First, a title. I had read a quote on dieting by the late, great Gilda Radner: “Eating is self-punishment; punish the food instead. Strangle a loaf of Italian bread. Throw darts at a cheesecake. Chain a lamb chop to the bed. Beat up a cookie.”

That gave me a series: four books.

I quit my job at a newspaper, wrote Throw Darts at a Cheesecake during the day, and waited tables at night, certain it was only a matter of time before I’d be rich and famous.Diet Club Cheesecake mystery

It took seven years and twelve rewrites to find a publisher.

And although Throw Darts at a Cheesecake was optioned by an actress who now, at age eighty, is too old to play my diet club leader 🙂 , it was never filmed, and I’m still waiting to become rich and famous, especially rich.

The good thing about being a writer is that, while wallpapering a room with rejections, you can keep on writing. By the time I contracted Cheesecake, I had finished Beat Up a Cookie, sold three romances to Kensington, and completed the first draft of my Colorado doorstop…uh, saga, The Rainbow’s Foot.Diet Club Cookie mystery

Many authors have experienced the following:

“What do you do…for a living, I mean.”
“I’m an author.”
“Have I heard of you?”

One day, while flying to Someplace U.S.A., I had a long layover in Dallas. A young woman and I were standing together. After “What do you do?” (etcetera), she said, “Have I ever heard of you?”

Tired and somewhat snappish, I said, “Probably not!” She said, “What’s your name?” I replied, “Denise Dietz.”

Beat Up a Cookie,” she shouted in delight. “I loved that book. But I had to wait until my dad finished reading it. He loved it, too. He’s a big M*A*S*H fan.” (In Beat Up a Cookie, Hot Lips and Frank lookalikes are being murdered.)

I’ve lived off that compliment for years. 🙂

My Diet Club Mysteries backlist is available at the Kindle store. In order of publication: Throw Darts at a Cheesecake, Beat Up a Cookie, Chain a Lamb Chop to the Bed, Strangle a Loaf of Italian Bread (nominated for a Left Coast Crime “Leftie”).Cirque book cover

This May a new novel, Cirque, a history-mystery-western co-starring P.T. Barnum, [written by my alter-ego Mary Ellen Dennis], will be available from Five Star/Cengage in hardcover and ebook. Right now it’s up at Amazon for pre-order.

To enter to win an ebook copy of the first book in the Diet Club series Throw Darts at a Cheesecake, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “cheesecake,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 21, 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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You can also use this link to purchase theses books on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

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Denise [Deni] Dietz, aka Mary Ellen Dennis, is a USA Today bestselling author of four Diet Club Mysteries, The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter, the Anthony-nominated Annie and the Grateful Dead, plus many more books and stories. When she was in grade school, Deni hid her mom’s hardcover Gone With the Wind inside her Dick and Jane reader. She got caught, learned her lesson, and hid her dad’s Perry Mason paperbacks, instead. As Senior Editor for Five Star Mysteries, Deni loved paying it forward by contracting un-agented, first-book writers. www.denisedietz.com.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds like an interesting idea. I like mysteries with a different twist

  2. Another author I haven’t read. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  3. This is a new author for me. The book sounds really good.

    Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  4. Another new to me series & author.

  5. Glad she never gave up on pursuing her passion to write!

  6. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the chance.

  7. We have a winner!


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