Pumped For Murder: A Dead-End Job Mystery

Overview

Back in Miami after a relaxing honeymoon, Helen Hawthorne and her new hubby Phil are opening their own PI agency—specializing in families with private problems. But even with a new business, Helen can’t seem to get away from those dead-end jobs.

Helen and Phil’s very first client is Shelby, a woman who wants them to spy on her husband, Bryan. Six months ago, he bought a gym membership—and now Shelby suspects he’s developing a killer body for another woman. Suddenly Helen finds ...

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Pumped For Murder: A Dead-End Job Mystery

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Overview

Back in Miami after a relaxing honeymoon, Helen Hawthorne and her new hubby Phil are opening their own PI agency—specializing in families with private problems. But even with a new business, Helen can’t seem to get away from those dead-end jobs.

Helen and Phil’s very first client is Shelby, a woman who wants them to spy on her husband, Bryan. Six months ago, he bought a gym membership—and now Shelby suspects he’s developing a killer body for another woman. Suddenly Helen finds herself back in a dead-end job at Fantastic Fitness, working as a receptionist to keep track of Bryan. The only catch is that to work at the gym, Helen has to stay fit and pump some iron herself.

To make matters worse, when their budding agency takes on another case involving a decades-old murder, Helen has to move her workouts to the wee hours of the morning just to keep up. With so much weight on her aching shoulders, will Helen catch a killer and get a body to die for—or just drop dead from exhaustion?  

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Viets offers a smooth blend of humor and homicide in her 10th mystery featuring dead-end job specialist Helen Hawthorne (after 2010's Half-Price Homicide). Helen and her new husband, Phil, have settled in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where they have formed a detective agency, Coronado Investigations. In their first case, Helen goes undercover as a receptionist at Fantastic Fitness to check out real estate salesman Bryan Minars, whose wife suspects he's been cheating on her with someone at the Fort Lauderdale gym. For their second case, Helen and Phil agree to help classic car restorer Gus Behr, who's convinced that his brother's shooting death 25 years earlier, written off as a suicide, was really a murder. The antics of fitness fanatics and some supercharged libidos in one case and a trip back to the drug-fueled wildness of the 1980s in the other keep Helen and Phil hopping in another satisfying outing. (May)
Kirkus Reviews

A husband-and-wife detective team takes on its inaugural cases.

Now that her ex-husband's body is tidily stashed under a church basement in St. Louis, Helen Hawthorne (Half-Price Homicide, 2010, etc.) is ready to start a new life. After years of earning sub-minimum wages to avoid paying alimony to her creepy ex, she and her new husband Phil hope that Coronado Investigations will produce at least a modest, steady income. But their first two cases don't look too promising. Custom auto restorer Gus Behr wants the pair to look into the cause of his brother Mark's death—25 years ago. Meanwhile, Shelby Minars hires Coronado for a more routine case: getting the goods on her cheating husband Bryan. Not only is the Minars case more routine, it drags Helen back onto more familiar turf.Since Bryan spends six hours a day working out, she gets herself hired as a receptionist at Fantastic Fitness, hoping to catch him in flagrante with whoever he's flagranting. Unfortunately, undercover work in a dead-end job comes with all the responsibilities of a real dead-end job, and soon Helen is breaking up fights between clients arguing over whether CNN or Fox News should be airing above the treadmills. Her prime headache is Debbi Dhosset, a body builder with zero percent body fat and 90 percent attitude, whose trainers Kristi and Tansi pump her up with enough steroids to turn her into a murderer. But when Debbi herself turns up dead, Helen ends up with a third, non-paying client: gentle Evie Roddick, who's accused of killing the girl with the killer bod.

Coronado's off to a respectable start with a variety of offbeat cases that should bring Helen a decent payday at last.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451235053
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Series: Dead-End Job Series , #10
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 464,401
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Viets

Elaine Viets has actually worked those dead-end jobs in her mystery novels, just like her character, Helen Hawthorne. Over the years, Elaine has been a dress store clerk, phone book proofreader, babysitter, telemarketer, bookseller, and weed puller at fifty cents a bucket.  She is also the author of the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series and numerous short stories. Elaine has won an Anthony Award and an Agatha Award. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her husband, author and actor Don Crinklaw.  Please visit her blog: The Lipstick Chronicles.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 26, 2011

    One of the best

    Helen finally got her man and the beginnings of a new life as co-owners of a private investigation company. They are handed two cases and with one of them Helen realizes she'll never get out of working dead-end jobs. I love my annual visits with Helen, Phil and their friends. Embarking on their cases has Helen working out in a gym and Phil dining on burgers at a bar. It was fun to watch both Helen and Phil tackle their cases together and knowing the truth may or may not hurt their clients. With exciting conversations and warm friendships, this was one of the best book in this wonderful series and I can't wait for their next adventure.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    Great New Mystery From Elaine Viets!!

    I very luckily won an advanced reading copy of Elaine Viets latest book in the Dead End Job mystery series, Pumped for Murder, on her website. I have read this entire cozy mystery series by Elaine Viets and have been enjoying it immensely. She has developed a great group of supporting characters for Helen Hawthorne to interact with. Newly married Helen and her husband Phil live in the Coronado Tropic Apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Elaine makes living at the Coronado sound like so much fun that I want to live there too!

    In this first outing of the newly formed detective agency, Coronado Investigations, that Phil and Helen have formed they are investigating two cases. The first is investigating a possible philandering husband for client Shelby. In order to investigate Shelby's husband, Helen takes a job at the gym Shelby's husband Brian frequents, Fantastic Fitness. As a low paid receptionist at the gym, Helen is still taking on a dead end job but for a better reason this time out. And she may even get into shape at the same time!

    The second case is a 25 year old case that has long been considered a suicide. Phil and Helen's client Gus Behr believes that his brother may have actually been murdered and has them investigate...but will their client like what they find out.

    I highly recommend this latest outing for our Dead End Job detective, Helen Hawthorne. I love being back with these great group of characters in South Florida! Another winner from Elaine Viets!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Elaine Viets provides another great mystery worth reading

    After settling most of her legal problems in St. Louis, Helen Hawthorne reclaims her identity and marries her lover Phil. They met when both rented apartments in the Coronado Tropic Complex. They also decide to open up their own private investigative firm with an office in one of the apartments they are leasing thanks to a landlady who believes in them so only charges them a fee of $1 per year for the rental.

    After recommendations from their neighbors, two clients hire them. Gus the car mechanic thinks someone years ago murdered his brother although the police ruled his death a suicide. Shelby wants them to determine whether her husband is cheating on her at Fantastic Fitness where he spends most of his time. Helen obtains a dead end job as a receptionist at Fantastic Fitness. While she never sees her client's husband philandering with women, she sees a lot of illegal activity including steroid use by body building competitors. One of the women training for a competition is murdered and a bull-headed cop abuses an elderly and the timid woman and then arrests her.. Helen vows to find the real killer while she and Phil work on satisfying their paying customers.

    Phil a licensed P.I trains his wife so she can also be certified as their professional and personal relation adds a new dimension to the long running Dead-End Job mystery (see Killer Cuts and Clubbed to Death). The two paying cases and the third unofficial inquiry are filled with action as the fascinating cases rotate prime focus. Elaine Viets provides another great mystery worth reading as even with her name cleared; the heroine ends up working a dead-end job; albeit undercover.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    Great read!! Love this series! It's hard to put down after you s

    Great read!! Love this series! It's hard to put down after you start!

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    highly recommended for light reading

    I did not think that I would find much interest in this book since I bought it on a whim; it set on the bookshelf for a month after purchase before I picked it up to read but after reading it, I was glad that I had taken a chance on it. It was funny and a quick read; ideal for a great escape afternoon. I will definitely buy others written by this author. I found the characters not only believable but likeable as well. I imagine that this book would appeal to others like myself who enjoys a well written mystery without graphic gore. It is what I call a "pick me up, relax with a laugh and feeling good" book.


    Lee

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I love this series!

    This is a really good series. I've actually been reading it while riding the bike at the gym and it makes the time fly by! Would also make a great beach read.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!

    10th in the Dead-End Job Mystery Series


    Helen Hawthorne and her new husband Phil have opened their own Private Investigation Agency. Thanks to their friends at the Coronado Tropic Apartments they get their first clients.

    Shelby wants them to spy on her husband who she believes is being unfaithful and Gus wants them to investigate the death of his brother than happened back in the 1980's.

    To follow Shelby's husband Helen takes another Dead-End Job at Fantastic Fitness, since Shelby's husband Bryan seems to spend most of his waking hours there. She gets the job with the condition to get her body back in shape, so in addition to the actual job she needs to also spend time working out.

    The other case keeps Phil hopping during the day but he also needs Helen by his side as the investigation leads them into the late evening and sometimes early morning hours. It is not enough that one job expects her to lose weight, but both jobs are putting an enormous weight upon her shoulders. Can they get pumped up and solve these cases and others that pop up along the way or will the weight of it all cause Helen to collapse under the pressure?


    When I reviewed the last book in this series Half-Price Homicide I was worried about the future of this series because that book tied up a lot of loose ends, but Elaine Viets didn't let me down, she is taking Helen in a new direction with her own Private Investigation Agency. Due to the clients the agency takes on Helen's dead end job adventures continue and I am loving it!!! Great mysteries, some crazy new characters plus the wacky ones we have grown to love, the residents of the Coronado Tropics Apartments are back. These books are so much fun to read and this one is no exception. Loved it from start to finish and can't wait for the next one!!





    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian/NAL, a division of Penguin Publishing . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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