Dead Weight

Overview

When Berta Harris of E.J.’s Weight Watchers’ group succumbs to an untimely death, amateur sleuth E.J. is puzzled. Why was Kerry Killian, the realtor selling Berta’s house, was murdered the day after E.J. questioned her? What does this have to do with Berta’s mysterious death? And why would anyone in the group want to put on weight? As E.J. immerses herself in these big questions, her marriage to husband Willis grows increasingly strained. Can Pugh solve the mystery around the ...

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Dead Weight

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Overview

When Berta Harris of E.J.’s Weight Watchers’ group succumbs to an untimely death, amateur sleuth E.J. is puzzled. Why was Kerry Killian, the realtor selling Berta’s house, was murdered the day after E.J. questioned her? What does this have to do with Berta’s mysterious death? And why would anyone in the group want to put on weight? As E.J. immerses herself in these big questions, her marriage to husband Willis grows increasingly strained. Can Pugh solve the mystery around the deaths and save her own marriage?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Near the start of Cooper’s engaging 10th E.J. Pugh mystery (after 2011’s Full Circle), E.J. attends the memorial service at the Episcopal church in Black Cat Ridge, Tex., for 30-something Berta Harris, a member of her weight-loss group who was hospitalized and died of “complications.” At the service, various people offer a host of causes for Berta’s untimely demise. When a local realtor who was selling Berta’s house is found dead the next day, E.J.’s sleuthing instincts kick in, over her husband’s strong objections. Sharing narrative duties with E.J. is her 15-year-old daughter, Megan, who comments with wit and humor on her family, which includes an 18-year-old brother, an adopted 15-year-old sister, and a foster child (who’s “like a size three and I’m like a nine so I can’t borrow anything, so what’s the point?”). Fans of lighter mysteries may want to read this in one sitting. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Dec.)
Library Journal
E.J.'s cobbled-together family jumps into a case that involves tangled identities and old family hatreds. Big as Texas itself, this family-themed entry is number ten (after Full Circle) in a series that's celebrating 20 years. [See Prepub Alert, 7/2/12.]
Kirkus Reviews
A Texas romance writer's marriage may just be ruined by her inability to keep her nose out of mysterious deaths. Now that E.J. Pugh (Full Circle, 2011, etc.) has dropped some serious pounds, she's disquieted to learn that a member of her weight-loss group, Berta Harris, is dead under mysterious circumstances. Although she's more than busy with her 18-year-old son, Graham; her rebellious 15-year-old daughter, Megan; Bess, the girl she and her husband Willis adopted when her parents were murdered; and Alicia, their former foster child, she can't keep from sleuthing. Berta was living in a flip house belonging to her realtor friend Kerry Killian, who's soon found brutally murdered. Not so for Berta, who turns up very much alive, with no memory of who she really is, where she came from or who might want her dead. Kerry's husband, Ken, takes her in; E.J. is determined to discover her identity. After a fight with E.J., Willis goes home to his mother, leaving E.J with full hands but with nobody except Luna, the police officer next door, to look askance at her sleuthing. At length, the police arrest Berta, whom they've identified as Rosalee Bunch, for the murder of her mother in a trailer explosion they think Rosalee caused years ago. Uncovering the high school friendship between Rosalee and Kerry and finding the identity of several others always seen with them in pictures from their school days, E.J. hopes she'll soon learn the answers she seeks. E.J.'s fans, happy to see the continuing characters further fleshed out, will forgive the fact that this time the chase is more interesting than the capture.
Booklist
"Cooper’s breezy, sassy writing style; an unpredictable but intriguing plot; and a surprise ending make for an entertaining read and another successful entry in this engaging series"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727881953
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Series: E. J. Pugh Mysteries Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Rogers Cooper is half-Texan, half-Yankee, and now lives with her family in a small town in central Texas. She is the author of the ‘E.J. Pugh’ series and the ‘Milt Kovak’ series, amongst other books.

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