The sixth installment of Elaine Viets's Dead-End Job saga -- which features lovable protagonist Helen Hawthorne, a successful career woman on the run from an irate ex-husband and an unfair legal system -- puts the hardworking heroine in her newest minimum wage job: a hotel maid.
Sybil's Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale seems like the perfect place to work for Hawthorne, who is desperately trying to keep a low profile from her lowlife ex, Ron, whom she owes thousands of dollars in alimony. But when a coworker is found murdered in the dumpster, the local police converge on the hotel -- and Helen -- and to make matters worse, her ex-husband shows up and rents a room!
Mystery fans who enjoy lighthearted literary hijinks -- books by authors like Janet Evanovich and Madelyn Alt, for example -- should definitely give Viets's Dead-End Job saga (Murder Unleashed, Just Murdered, et al.) a try. A word of warning: Viets took the research for this novel very seriously and interviewed numerous members of hotel housekeeping staffs before writing the book. The reality of working as a hotel maid is portrayed with incredible authenticity and is at times downright stomach-churning. Whoever reads Murder with Reservations will find it nearly impossible to ever sleep on a hotel bedspread again -- and don't even think about drinking the coffee... Paul Goat Allen