Three Bedrooms, Two Baths, One Very Dead Corpse: An Amanda Thorne Mystery

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Location, location, location. Like any realtor worth her designer sling-backs, Amanda Thorne knows the golden rule of selling homes. Unless, of course, the prime property includes one very dead corpse...

Amanda is pretty resilient, but she's taken a few hard knocks since she moved to plush Palm Springs. After a divorce from her husband and business partner, Alex, she's determined to make it on her own in real estate—despite scorpions, 100-degree heat, and an encounter with a ...

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Location, location, location. Like any realtor worth her designer sling-backs, Amanda Thorne knows the golden rule of selling homes. Unless, of course, the prime property includes one very dead corpse...

Amanda is pretty resilient, but she's taken a few hard knocks since she moved to plush Palm Springs. After a divorce from her husband and business partner, Alex, she's determined to make it on her own in real estate—despite scorpions, 100-degree heat, and an encounter with a cactus en route to her first big listing. And when she finally arrives at the Mid-century modern manse, a lifeless body in the living room really ruins the ambiance.

Amid the shattered Eames surfboard table and vintage glassware lies local environmentalist Doc Winters, his mouth stuffed full of rocks. Since Doc's main cause was opposing development in the pristine, tremendously valuable Chino Cone mountains, every realtor in town is suspect.

So Amanda embarks on her own investigation. With the help of Alex—who it turns out is gay but still her Best Friend Forever—her red-hot geriatric neighbor, Regina, and the reluctant cooperation of dishy Detective Ken Becker, she sets out to unravel the truth.

After a fellow real estate agent is murdered, some pissed-off Black Widow spiders planted in her car, and a body found floating in her pool, it's clear someone wants Amanda's inquiring mind off the market—permanently. But she's tracking down this killer...even if it leads her to death's handcrafted, Mission style door.

Advance Praise For Three Bedrooms, Two Baths, One Very Dead Corpse

"In this wild cross between Agatha Christie and Million Dollar Listing, it's an Open House for laughter and suspense when murder brings down the Palm Springs housing market, and the only thing cool about the blistering desert heat is real estate agent and amateur sleuth Amanda Thorne, who is crass, brash and totally hilarious as she tries to unmask the killer." —Rick Copp, author of Fingerprints and Facelifts

"Home inspection takes on hilarious new meaning in David James's laugh-out-loud whodunit in which plucky real estate agent Amanda Thorne gets both her first listing in Palm Springs, and a dead body to go with the property. This is a truly fun, funny, and romantic romp through the murderous business of selling houses. Buyers beware: You'll laugh your subprime off!" —R.T. Jordan, author of Set Sail For Murder

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
James’s sparkling debut introduces an appealing new sleuth, dizzy Palms Springs, Calif., realtor Amanda Thorne. Still adjusting to single life after divorcing Alex, her super successful but decidedly gay husband, Amanda yearns to become Apex Realty’s number one agent. Sadly, her first showing of a major listing is a total disaster when she discovers environmentalist Doc Winters fatally poisoned. As Amanda races to clear her name, Alex lends support and police detective Ken Becker offers welcome romantic distraction. Since Doc was against the development of land on the Chino Cone, a local landmark, Amanda suspects that pro-development realtor Mary Dodge might be guilty. The subsequent murders of another agent and Doc’s girlfriend add a stressful twist, and Amanda figures there’s more at stake than just closing a deal or saving the environment. Witty, accident-prone Amanda should attract fans of Rick Copp, Laura Levine, and R.T. Jordan. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Hosting a broker's open house is a natural for a real-estate agent. But Amanda Thorne turns it into a three-ring circus when she arrives late and finds a corpse in the living room. VERDICT In this series debut, Palm Springs will never survive Amanda's antics or her potty mouth. Sadly, the author does not have a clue about women.
Kirkus Reviews

Ex-spouses team up in a new venture—solving murders—in James's raucous debut.

Alex and Amanda Thorne have a great relationship. They love and respect each other; they support each other in adventures and in their realty business; and they finish each other's sentences. It's too bad their marriage didn't fare as well. Apparently when Alex turned out to be gay, being married to Amanda just didn't make sense anymore. Amanda's determined to make it in the hot Palm Springs realty market without Alex's help—until she finds local activist Doc Winters dead and splayed on the floor of her latest listing. Because Alex can't resist the intrigue of a mystery, he and Amanda team up once more in witty banter and mystery-mongering. Cue the local residents, a series of over-the-top caricatures from Amanda's elderly, oversexed, oversharing neighbor Regina Belle to Doc's widow Monica Birdsong, whose fake breasts accompany her on her quest for higher consciousness. As a bonus, Alex isn't the only man taking an active interest in Amanda's well-being. Hot homicide detective Ken Becker is keeping one eye on the case and the other eye...

Though the precious dialogue steals the stage from the plot, the chapter titles alone are worth the price of admission.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758206312
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a fun amateur sleuth tale

    In Palms Springs, California, realtor Amanda Thorne struggles with adjusting to being single following her divorce from her gay husband Alex. Amanda buries herself in her work with her goal being recognized as Apex Realty's top agent.

    Her showing of a major listing becomes ugly when she finds the corpse of environmentalist Doc Winters, who was poisoned. Amanda assumes she is a person of interest to the local police so with Alex at her side she investigates to clear her name; at the same time police detective Ken Becker keeps coming around because he just wants to take her out. The realtor's theory is that pro Chino Clone landmark developer Mary Dodge eliminated Doc for his opposition to her project. When another realtor and Doc's girlfriend are murdered, Amanda changes her assumption. Something greater than a land dispute must be the motive, but nobody knows what that could be.

    Amanda makes for a fun amateur sleuth tale as she is an intelligent klutz who totally misunderstands the signals of the cop. Readers will laugh at Amanda's amusing escapades as she lands in one accident or incident after another.

    Harriet Klausner

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