Deep Sea Dead: A Pauline Sokol Mystery

Deep Sea Dead: A Pauline Sokol Mystery

by Lori Avocato

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Pauline Walks the Plank . . .

A confirmed landlubber, insurance fraud p.i. Pauline Sokol's never heard the call of the sea - or if she has, she didn't pay attention. But now the former RN is donning her nurse's whites once more to go undercover as part of the medical team of the Golden Dolphin - a lavish luxury liner that's setting sail for Bermuda.

There's something fishy going on aboard the super-deluxe dinghy, and it's Pauline's job to be the ship's designated secret snoop - if she doesn't get too distracted by the motley crew of friends and relatives who've decided to sail along with her . . . and by her sexy supervising fellow investigator, Jagger. But when a dead body turns up - in Pauline's cabin, no less! - and another nurse goes missing, Pauline realizes she may be over her head in shark-infested waters. And getting safely onto dry land may be a long swim back!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060837006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/25/2006
Series: Pauline Sokol Mystery Series Series , #4
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,203,455
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

After serving in the Air Force as a registered nurse, Lori Avocato decided to give up nursing to write fiction. She lives in New England and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, PASIC, NINC, Romance Writers of America, the Author's Guild, and Sisters in Crime. She's raising two teenage sons (heaven help her!), and one darling dog, Spanky. Lori is the author of six novels featuring Pauline Sokol: A Dose of Murder; The Stiff and the Dead; One Dead Under the Cuckoo's Nest; Deep Sea Dead; Nip, Tuck, Dead; and Dead on Arrival.

Read an Excerpt

Deep Sea Dead

A Pauline Sokol Mystery
By Lori Avocato

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Lori Avocato
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060837004

Chapter One

"What? A boat? I mean a ship? I could fall overboard and drown! It could sink! Look at what happened to the Titanic!"

My skuzzy boss, Fabio Scarpello, glared at me with -- well, one could never really know what Fabio thought, so I decided not to even guess.

It was more than likely X-rated anyway.

He puffed on a relit cigar. "The ship sails from New York to Miami to Bermuda and back. Who the hell ever heard of an iceberg in those waters?"

I wanted to argue that there might be pockets of cold water out in the Atlantic that could form into an iceberg, but I knew my imagination was just trying to come up with some wild excuse not to go. I wasn't going to mention my being prone to seasickness though. Fabio would turn that into something embarrassing.

After a few more puffs, he said, "Look, doll -- "

"Don't call me doll. Ever." I sat straighter in my seat across from his mold-covered desk. Okay, maybe mold-covered was a bit strong, but I was guessing there had to be something growing beneath the used paper plates, coffee cups, piles of ashes and files. He had my folder in his hand.

"Okay, newbie -- "

"Pauline, Ms. Sokol or Investigator Sokolwill do fine," I started to sip on my decaf cafe latte that my coworker, friend and roommate Goldie had made me earlier, then decided it more than likely had been contaminated when I'd walked into Fabio's office.

He cursed under his breath. "Investigator Sokol is a stretch, but if you want to keep your freaking job, you better take this freaking case. High seas or not."

A nurse on a cruise ship.

I should have been excited about the assignment. I mean, come on. Salty sea air, wind in my hair, sun, bronzed males, coral sand of Bermuda and . . . waves. My stomach lurched.

And back into the old nursing career. That same career that I kept vowing I would never go back to. Damn.

He shoved the file toward me. "Want it or not?"

Not would have been my first choice. Pauline Sokol was not one for change. Pauline Sokol was not one for water transportation. And Pauline Sokol was not one to be stuck out in some nautical God-knows-where, investigating medical-insurance fraud . . . alone.

Admittedly, I've never been out of New England for a vacation or any other reason, and that probably had something to do with my reluctance to try new things. Hope Valley, a very "ethnic" community, had been my home for thirty-five years -- and I kinda liked my feet on Mother Earth.

But there were those nasty things called bills that had invaded my life. And they required being paid. And that required money. Sigh. I looked up to see Fabio tapping his cigar into the dirty ashtray.

Amid the flying ashes, he asked, "Well?"

I snatched the folder. "When do I leave?"


"Friday? It's already Wednesday."

"One of the staff nurses onboard got, er . . . sick. It's perfect. Just perfect. Bon voyage, doll."

I decided to ignore Fabio calling me doll again since my mind got stuck on the word Friday. April 13. Perfect. My new assignment would start on an unlucky day. I hurried out of his office and paused in the hallway for a breath of fresh air.


I spun around to see my tied-for-best friend in the world, Goldie, rushing down the hall. My other roommate and other tied-for-best friend in the world and Goldie's "honey" was Miles Scarpello. Fabio's nephew. Adopted. His saving grace.

There is a God.

Goldie dressed in Gucci, Prada and Armani. Sometimes from the ladies' department, sometimes from the men's. But I still loved him, and he always looked like a movie star. Today he ushered in spring with a pink, black, white and orange spiral-patterned sweater over black slacks and a pink camisole top. He wore a Sandra-Dee-blonde ponytail wig that looked more real than my natural blonde hair. Looked very sixties. And very beachy. How fitting.

Maybe I could borrow the outfit for my cruise.

"So, Suga" -- he yanked me into his office, which looked like a cross between New Orleans (Goldie's hometown) and the jungle. Gotta love his unusual taste -- "what's your new assignment?"

I held the folder out toward him as if it were a snake. "Here, you look. I don't have the stomach for it so early in the morning."

Goldie patted my head in a very Goldie-like sort of way. "Let's take a look-see." He ripped a pink-printed nail through the end of the envelope, and amid the tearing sound mumbled, "Shit."

"Shit? What does shit mean?" I slumped down on the zebra couch, feeling a bit faint. I think the color drained from my cheeks upon hearing Goldie's tone alone.

He looked at me for a few seconds. I had the sudden thought that he was making up some kind of lie. That hurt, but if Goldie lied to me, it would have been for my own good.

"I . . . well, what I meant was . . . Shit, you get to go on a cruise to some warm, sunny island, and I'll be stuck in stupid Hope Valley, Connecticut, with temperatures in the fifties all month." He took a gigantic swig of his coffee. Goldie never swigged.

I could only stare. Was Goldie really concerned with the temperature? Or had he seen something in the folder that I should be worried about? After several minutes of silence and then him offering me another latte over and over, I finally asked, "Gold, are you lying to me?"

"Yes!" flew out of his mouth on a breeze. He flopped onto his leopard chair and looked at me with a pitiable glare. "I'm sorry, Suga. But, Bermuda. Bermuda! Ber . . . mu . . . da!"


Excerpted from Deep Sea Dead by Lori Avocato Copyright © 2006 by Lori Avocato. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Laura Van Wormer

“A fresh, new voice in mystery . . . great fun and a diverting escape.”

Lisa Gardner

“Fans of Evanovich are sure to enjoy this funny, fast-paced series.”

Christopher Whitcomb

“An outrageous romp of a novel; a laugh and a shiver — a book I just couldn’t put down.”

Merline Lovelace

“A hilarious roller coaster ride.”

Harriet Klausner

“A wonderful debut mystery . . . a solid who-done-it, chick lit style.”

Nancy J. Cohen

“Clever, comical, and gutsy, Pauline Sokol is the perfect sleuth.”

Carolyn Hart

“Sexy and sassy . . . a sure prescription for outrageous sleuthing.”

Customer Reviews

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Deep Sea Dead: A Pauline Sokol Mystery 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im working my way through the entire series. Pauline is adorable.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Insurance fraud inspector and former nurse Pauline Sokol is unhappy with her newest assignment, her sleazy boss Fabio Scarpello tells her to stop fretting about icebergs and forget the Titanic. Reluctantly she joins the medical team of the Golden Dolphin luxury liner as a nurse while the vessel sets sail for Bermuda because the alternative is unemployment. --- Pauline¿s tied for best friend Goldie and her squeeze Miles booked passage on the luxurious ship to provide her support though the former fears crossing the infamous Bermuda Triangle. Also on board are Pauline¿s parents, whom the undercover insurance agent assumes is coincidence and the enigmatic Jagger, who insists he is her backup only. However, as she investigates what is going on the Golden Dolphin, someone prefers to eliminate the crew including nosy nurses. FBI Agent Tim Harwinton, attracted to Pauline, struggles to keep her safe while Jagger skirmishes with not beating up the Fed for trying to steal his role. --- Homage to Poe aside, only Pauline could go first class on cruise ship and find corpses in her room as once again she stars in her fourth delightfully wacky whodunit. Tim adds freshness as his interest professionally and personally in the heroine brings out the beast in Jagger who does not like the Fed poaching. The murder mystery as always is fun to follow as Pauline constantly lands in peril with two studs fighting over who should rescue her. DEEP SEA DEAD is a terrific cuckoo¿s nest homicidal investigative tale. --- Harriet Klausner
silverdaisy1975 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth book in the Pauline Sokol series by Lori Avocato.In this installment of this series Pauline, an ex-nurse turned insurance fraud investigator is going on the high-seas. Terrified of the water, Pauline must go undercover ,once agan as a nurse, aboard a cruise ship to investigate their medical staff. Going along on the cruise is her friends and family, and of course her love interest Jagger. This was not the best book so far in the series but it was an enjoyable read. The characters have really grown into there own and are very likeable and funny. If you are reading the series you will enjoy this book, but if you are just starting I recommend starting at the beginning.As I have done with every book in this series I am going to mention the Stephanie Plum series parallels. This series ripped-off the character and family ties from the Evanovich series. I want to state this because it ticks me off, but at the same time this series is good. If you haven't read the PLum series, it won't bother you at all, but if you have you are going to be annoyed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At "laharpe" res 2. It's close enough for now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great and fun read! I plan to read all the books in this series. HINT, It would be nice if they were all in E Book form.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This time the whole wacky crew is going out to sea. To investigate her newest insurance-fraud case, Pauline Sokol must don a nursing outfit again. This time Pauline goes undercover as part of the medical team of the Golden Dolphin - a lavish luxury liner that is setting sail for Bermuda. With Pauline's fear of water and Goldie's fear of the Bermuda Triangle, the cruise is bound to be interesting. ...................... When Pauline learned that Goldie and Miles would be sailing with her, but only as passengers and to give moral support, she was thrilled. But when Pauline learned that her parents purchased tickets too, she felt only concern that something horrible could happen. Of course the handsome and mysterious Jagger is nearby. Yet this time Pauline is the real investigator and he is only there in case back up is needed. One thing is for sure, when you sign on as part of this ship's crew, you put your life on the line. .................... ***** Unlike the previous mysteries, Jagger actually slips and lets his feelings for Pauline show a bit. However, Jagger has some major competition aboard in the form of FBI Agent Tim Harwinton. Author Lori Avocato kept me guessing as to whom the guilty are, so you best pull out your best magnifying glass for this case! Oh, and if you are a fan of poetry by Poe, watch for the cute little nod of respect the author tosses out. I could not help but chuckle. Once again, OUTSTANDING! *****