Board Stiff (Dead-End Job Series #11)

Board Stiff (Dead-End Job Series #11)

4.1 17
by Elaine Viets

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Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont are about to find out murder is no day at the beach….

There’s a dark cloud over Sunny Jim’s Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental business on Florida’s Riggs Beach—especially after one of his clients is killed in a tragic paddleboarding mishap. Sunny Jim is sure it was no accident

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Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont are about to find out murder is no day at the beach….

There’s a dark cloud over Sunny Jim’s Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental business on Florida’s Riggs Beach—especially after one of his clients is killed in a tragic paddleboarding mishap. Sunny Jim is sure it was no accident, and he hires Helen and Phil to find the murderer.

Between competitors poaching his territory, the city threatening to revoke his license, and a wrongful death suit filed by the victim’s husband, Sunny Jim may soon be up the creek without a paddle. Luckily, he has Helen and Phil on his side. As the couple investigates, they discover dark undercurrents of corruption behind the cheerful facades of the beachfront businesses. But the sands of time are running out, and if they don’t catch the killer soon, Sunny Jim won’t be the only one to go under….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Viets’s entertaining 12th Dead-End Job mystery (after 2012’s Final Sail), Sunny Jim Sundusky, the owner of a Florida paddleboard concession, hires married PIs Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont to find out who’s been vandalizing his boards and otherwise trying to drive him out of business. When a customer, Ceci Odell, expires in the ocean on her rented board, Helen and Phil discover that Ceci’s death was no accident. A bitter ex-employee, the victim’s abusive husband, and greedy competitors all have a stake in seeing Sunny Jim fail—as do the city officials of fictional Riggs Beach, known as “Rigged Beach” for its rampant corruption. Meanwhile, a blackmailer threatens to expose the role Helen and her sister played in the disappearance of Helen’s ex-husband, Rob. Attempting to end the extortion, she reveals a deception that may leave her current marriage as dead as the murdered paddleboarder. Despite some clunky delivery of backstory, Viets shines at evoking Florida’s vibrant landscape and even more colorful characters. Agent: David Hendin, DH Literary. (May)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Dead-End Job Mysteries by Elaine Viets:

"[Viets writes] quick-witted mysteries."-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"A stubborn and intelligent heroine…a wonderful South Florida setting."-Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels

"Wickedly funny."-The Miami Herald

"[Viets] deftly balances comedy and tragedy."-Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Breezy, well-plotted…moves at a fast clip, fueled by Viets' perfect comic timing."-South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Kirkus Reviews
Florida private eye Helen Hawthorne (Final Sail, 2012, etc.) helps a small businessman fight city hall. Everyone wants a piece of Sunny Jim Sundusky. Bill Bantry, owner of Bill's Boards, wants his customers. Cyrus Reed Horton, owner of Cy's on the Pier, wants the tiny piece of land on Riggs Beach where Sunny Jim rents out his standup paddleboards; at $10 an hour, Cy can make a pretty penny parking cars on that beachfront plot. Riggs Beach mayor Eustice Timmons, Commissioner Charlie Wyman and Commissioner Frank "the Fixer" Gordon all want Sunny Jim out of the way in order to strike a lucrative deal with either Bill or Cy. So Sundusky hires Helen and her husband, Phil Sagemont, to find out who's been vandalizing his boards. The ante gets upped big time when novice Ceci Odell takes a board out against Jim's advice at high tide and drowns. Before the city fathers can pull Jim's ticket, the medical examiner notices that Ceci was stabbed. Suspicion naturally falls on Ceci's husband, Daniel, who harassed his pudgy wife mercilessly. Then waitress Joan Right tells Helen about seeing a diver lurking under the pier about the time Ceci drowned. It's a slender lead, but it just might be the break Coronado Investigations needs to keep Sunny Jim from being chased off Riggs Beach. Viets' 12th proves that moving Helen from dead-end jobs into full-time employment does nothing to stifle her quirky good humor.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dead-End Job Series, #11
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for the Dead-End Job Mysteries by Elaine Viets:

“[Viets writes] quick-witted mysteries.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“A stubborn and intelligent heroine…a wonderful South Florida setting.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels

“Wickedly funny.”—The Miami Herald

“[Viets] deftly balances comedy and tragedy.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Breezy, well-plotted…moves at a fast clip, fueled by Viets’ perfect comic timing.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Board Stiff 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanna be a dancer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry rise but i have tgo.see you tomorrw
JKW24 More than 1 year ago
This is another Dead-End Job mystery.  . . therefore, you are familiar with the major characters and their ongoing development.  This book holds it’s own without your having read the others. There is enough background for comprehension of the whole story without bogging it down.  Board Stiff is a page turner, it is also intricate and surprising all throughout. She is a fun and talented writer.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
Elaine Viets’ newest entry in the Dead End Job Mysteries begins shortly after her protagonists, Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, have gotten married and started a private detective agency out of their condo office in Riggs Beach, Florida, a beach town just south of Fort Lauderdale. Helen and Phil, now in their mid-40’s, with a reputation as the best private eyes in South Florida, are hired to work undercover for a paddleboard rental concession owner in Riggs Beach, where he needs help finding out who is behind the vandalism and sabotage at his business, theft of his equipment, and competitors who seem to really want to put him out of business. The couple accepts the job, Helen feeling that “I’m getting paid to sleep late and sit on the beach,” and Phil that he can get paid while sitting drinking beer with some guys on the beach trying to gain their confidence and information, seemingly a win-win situation. The crimes have been reported to the authorities, but they are convinced that no “official action” can be expected in a town like Riggs Beach (known as Rigged Beach since Prohibition days and rumored to be fairly uniformly corrupt). Their client’s problems multiply exponentially when a female tourist, one of his clients, tragically dies; he is threatened with revocation of his license and the City lease on his valuable beach property, as well as a wrongful death lawsuit by the victim’s husband. Helen and Phil are tasked with proving their client was blameless in her death. Things become more complicated, on a more personal level when a situation regarding Helen’s sleazy ex-husband, thought dead, comes back to haunt them, almost literally, affecting their marriage and their partnership, and overshadowing the case they are trying to solve. Ms. Viets always manages to come up with a good old-fashioned mystery, which, while containing a murder or two, is more lighthearted and contains less blood and gore than many others in the genre, and is a decidedly pleasant way to spend a summer, or even late summer, day. It is, as were the prior books by this author, recommended.
VictoriaAllman More than 1 year ago
The next installment of Elaine Viet's Dead End Jobs series is as funny and action-packed as her previous titles. Focusing on the beach concessions of Fort Lauderdale, Viet's has a knack of highlighting all the great things about life in Fort Lauderdale as well as all the craziness. Even though her characters are wacky they are not over-the-top and are extremely believable. Board Stiff has inserted a curve in the series with Helen finally admitting to her husband a secret from her past. This admission makes this book more personal and emotional.  I've loved each of the books in this series and Board Stiff is a great addition. It is a fun, fast read that will leave you smiling. Victoria Allman author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Phil is working undercover at Sunny Jim’s Safety First Parasailing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding business on Florida’s Riggs Beach while Helen plays the tourist with her trusty video camera. They have been hired to figure out who was trying to put Jim out of business when stakes get raised considerably. A client was killed and Jim knows it was no accident. There are no shortage of suspects, a cutthroat competitor wants Jim’s prime beach location, the nearby restaurant owner wants the space to enlarge his parking lot, and the victim’s husband seems pretty shady himself and more so after he files a wrongful death suit. But Phil and Helen uncover much more as they investigate. Dirty politicians, dirty cops and many secrets seem to be the norm at this beach. Helen and Phil need to catch the culprit before the tide turns and they all get washed away. Dollycas’s Thoughts One of my favorite series. Viets tops herself this one with a big surprise. I had a little inkling at the end of Final Sail but never imagined that it would play out the way it did. Valerie Cannata finds herself right in the middle of the investigation and my favorite lady in purple, Margery, plays a key role as well. That Margery is one wise woman who never fails to put a smile on my face.  The time we had more than just one character to hate. Daniel was a terrible husband, Cy was a terrible boss, Frank was on the take and Randy was out for revenge.  The author has readers paddling at a fast pace to uncover the killer.   A smart mystery that is fun and very entertaining. I recommend reading the series in order because each builds to the next.  Helen’s evolution from the beginning of the series until now is remarkable. All the books would make great Summer Reads!!!
moose55 More than 1 year ago
Was a good fast read,,, Love her books,,,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Elaine's books for years and her latest addition to the Dead End Job mysteries does not disappoint. The stories take you along with the adventures of Helen and Phil as they solve any murder that comes their way. You fall in love with all the characters and can almost put yourself in the stories as they happen in sunny FL. Always ready to read the next installment!
KarenDyer More than 1 year ago
Board Stiff: A Dead-End Job Mystery may have most of its action centered on a small stretch of beach but this is no simple beach read! On this beach in South Florida, the fight for tourist dollars doesn't stop at anything, not even, it turns out, murder.   When Sunny Jim of Sunny Jim’s Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental, hires Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, husband and wife private eyes, because he thinks someone is vandalizing his business with the intent to get him off the beach, Helen and Phil have no idea just how far the fight for tourist dollars will go. But when a customer of Sunny Jim’s has an accident while using his equipment, and the accident looks less and less like an accident, Helen and Phil become embroiled in a case with a clear motive and a beach littered with suspects but weapons, witnesses and which suspect are not clear at all.  While the answers run far, far deeper than business competition, and while this mystery is no easy whodunit, no book of Ms. Viet’s would leave it at that. In addition to the murderous dangers of the dirty beach in South Florida, Helen has shared her past with Phil; but, not quite all of it, and she knows that when she tells him the rest of the story she will be sorely testing the strength of their young marriage.  Not only that, but Helen needs to take action, action that takes her back through the years and back to her home town. This is the 12th in this terrific, entertaining series. Board Stiff: A Dead-End Job Mystery can stand alone but if you are new to this series then you have the joy of 11 (count them--eleven!) entertaining books ahead of you to read! For those of you not new to this series, there’s a special treat in store for you when one of our favorite characters pulls out all the stops to help Helen and Phil!
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Board Stiff is the twelfth book in the A Dead-End Job Mystery series. Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, husband and wife PI team, have been hired by Sunny Jim to investigate who might be trying to sabotage his business. Possibly a disgruntled employee or Cy Horton owner of Cy's On The Pier Restaurant and Bait Shop. Cyrus would like sunny Jim's spot so that he can expand his business. Helen while video taping what is going on at Sunny Jim's, notices that Ceci, a novice Stand-Up Paddleboarder, is heading toward the piers pilings, some place she was warned to stay 500 feet away from. She falls and is swept into the rip current. Ceci's husband is constantly insulting her and the first thing he says after learning that Ceci is dead is that he will sue Sunny Jim for everything he has. Helen and Phil are not sure that Ceci's drowning was an accident and start to investigate. In the meantime they also get proof that Sunny Jim's is being sabotaged. As they begin looking into exactly who is responsible, they soon find that corruptions is running rampant in Riggs Beach, from the police to the elected officials. A fun and entertaining book with interesting characters.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Elaine Viets returns to her Dead End Job mystery series with her latest book, Board Stiff. Readers who are fans of the series love the sunny South Florida setting, complete with beaches, killer waves and plain old killers. This is a great whodunit featuring a paddleboard business and shady character who doesn't want it to succeed. This one is all about secrets and how they destroy lives. Viets does a fantastic job of keeping this long running series fresh and up to date. A great addition to the series.  What I liked: Who doesn't like a great husband and wife investigative team. Helen and her husband Phil have survived 12 books now and are going strong. I think they make such a fantastic team. Viets makes sure that each book explores more about them, especially, Helen. She has changed and grown so much throughout the series that I always wonder if there is anymore to learn about her. But Viets always comes through and gives readers a little something more to endear them to this character. In Board Stiff readers may find that there are still a few secrets in Helen's closet and Phil has a few of his own. Great characters from a very talented writer. This series features the bright and sunny setting of the beach. South Florida seems to be the perfect setting for a great mystery. When Viets first started this series, I didn't think it would be one that would last this long. I am from the country and didn't think there would be that may interesting scenarios around a beachside town. I was wrong. The beach setting takes on all the characteristics of a character in this series, since it is so important to the overall fabric of each book. In Board Stiff we had a paddleboard business in trouble and Helen and Phil are called in to see who wants it to close and how far they will go to make it happen. I loved the theme, and the setting was perfect. This would make a perfect beach read. The mystery wasn't necessarily all about murder this time. Accidents start to happen and eventually it all comes down to secrets. I thought Viets did a great job with the theme and carried it through every aspect of the book from the mystery elements to Helen's personal life. It gave the book a lot of continuity and it felt like every eventually started fitting together like the pieces of a puzzle. It was probably one of my favorites of this series because the beach was literally littered with evidence.  What I didn't like: I certainly didn't know there were that many dead end jobs in a small beach side town. But Viets continues to come up with them and she continues to thrill fans with good quality writing and engaging characters. Not much to criticize here.  Bottom Line: This is a great series with a beautiful sunny setting for murder. I liked the character development that Viets gives readers in Helen and I thought this particular dead end job was interesting. This would make a great beach read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kwh13 More than 1 year ago
The Dead End Job Series by Elaine Viets is an entertaining series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the characters...just a fun easy reading book. I have read another of Elaine Viets books and knew I would enjoy this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago