Final Sail by Elaine Viets/50% Off Murder By Josie Belle: Reviews/Giveaway

Jun 30, 2012 | 2012 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Terell Byrd

This week we have a double header of great cozy mysteries & giveaways with a review of Elaine Viets latest book Final Sail & the first book in a new series, 50% Off Murder, by Josie Belle. Instructions at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of both books!

Final Sail by Elaine Viets

Husband/Wife team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have split up in this newest installment of the Dead-End Job Mysteries. Not that their marriage is over, far from it. Coronado Investigations has only two operatives and their cases require one to remain on land and the other to take to the high seas.

Phil remains in Florida trying to find out if the late Arthur Zerling made the mistake of marrying a Black Widow. Like the spider of the same name, young wife Blossom Zerling is accused of killing her mate. Will Phil be able to remain undetected as he searches for the true cause of Arthur’s death or will he be caught in the web of lies the sexy Blossom has spun?

Meanwhile, Helen pursues an emerald smuggler on a yacht in the Atlantic. To gather information, Helen has taken another dead-end job. This time she is serving as a replacement stewardess on the yacht “Belted Earl” as it cruises from Florida to the Bahamas. Helen struggles with seasickness and twenty hour workdays and as she tries to discover which member of the crew has a side job bringing illegal gems into the U.S. Dusting and track vacuuming become dangerous chores as she searches for the island booty. Diamonds are not the only stones that are bought and sold with the shedding of blood. Will Helen still be alive and onboard when the yacht makes port? You will have to read the book to find out!

Viets’ mysteries are great fun. This book should be at the top of any list of summer reading. Set in warm Fort Lauderdale, furnished with a treasure hunt and a classic cat and mouse game with a killer, this volume is the perfect accompaniment for a cold beverage and a long summer evening. Helen and Phil are old enough to be comfortable with each other, but the new career as private investigators still has a few bumps for the relationship of the charming couple. In this novel, I particularly enjoyed the nod to the mistress of mystery, Agatha Christie. And of course the continuing homage to Margery Flax in the wonderful character of the Coronado landlady who shares her name and penchant for purple.

50% Off Murder By Josie Belle

Maggie Gerber, the heroine in this book, is my nominee this year for my new best friend. Forty-one and old enough to know better. Forty-one and young enough to get into serious trouble. Not that she tries to get in trouble, it just finds her. And she is a world class expert at the sport of open mouth, insert foot. My kind of gal!

Some years ago, Maggie started The Good Buy Girls, a group of women who meet weekly to help each other find the best deals and save money. What started as the necessity of couponing and buying on sale has solidified friendships, old and new.

In this volume, one of the members, Claire the librarian, becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The victim is found in the library basement and it turns out that the quiet, mousy Claire has a past she prefers not to talk about.

As if that wasn’t enough trouble, Sam Collins has retired from the Richmond police force and come home to fill the position of sheriff in the small town of St. Stanley, Virginia. Sam was the handsome football hero that all of the girls drooled over, all but Maggie. Now Sam is back and sparks fly.

Will the Good Buy Girls stop Claire from being convicted of murder? Will Maggie find the real killer and still be alive for next month’s big sale? Will Sam and Maggie ever bury the problems of the past? Read the book and find out!

This is a very amusing book from an author with a great track record. She has several pen names including Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries). There are some laugh-out-loud funny scenes and real feeling in the relationships. I particularly like Josh, Maggie’s great nephew. The scenes with little Josh have a very sweet ring of truth to them.

This is the first book in a new series; The Good Buy Girls Mysteries.

To enter to win a copies of Final Sail & 50% Off Murder, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Sail/50”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 7, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Want to know how to see your ad like this at the end of an article? Email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] for more info.

Terell Byrd is a native Fresnan, who was born, raised, & educated locally. In the course of a mad gypsy life, she has taken classes in Electrical Engineering, broken into bank vaults at night & worked as a Tax Examiner for the IRS. Recently, Terell became president of the San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters In Crime. She now lives quietly, with more cats.


  1. I appreciate the review. I am already a fan of Elaine Viets’ Dead End Jobs series. I look forward to finding out about the Josie Bell series.

  2. Wow, what a giveaway! 2 great books by 2 great writers. Whoever wins will definitely be getting some good books to read.

  3. Great review! Can’t wait to try the Josie series and I know I like the Dead End series.

  4. Nice reviews. These sound like fun books.

  5. Both these books sound like great reads from your review. Thanks for having the give-away!

  6. Ooh, the Viets books sound great!

  7. I really enjoy the dead end jobs series. The new series sounds like good fun.

  8. I’ve read all of Elaine Viets’ dead end job books so far, would love to read the new one. And the Josie Belle book sounds great too.

  9. We have a winner! Thanks for entering and keep coming back for more!
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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