Fit to Be Dead

Fit to Be Dead

by Nancy G. West


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* Lefty Award Finalist for Best Humorous Mystery

Aggie Mundeen, single and pushing forty, fears nothing but middle age. When she moves from Chicago to San Antonio, she decides she better shape up before anybody discovers she writes the column, "Stay Young with Aggie." She takes Aspects of Aging at University of the Holy Trinity and plunges into exercise at Fit and Firm.

Rusty at flirting and mechanically inept, she irritates a slew of male exercisers, then stumbles into murder. She'd like to impress the attractive detective with her sleuthing skills. But when the killer comes after her, the health club evacuates semi-clad patrons, and the detective has to stall his investigation to save Aggie's derriere.

Praise for FIT TO BE DEAD:

"Nancy G. West's fine writing and clever plot reveal her mad sense of humor...She has produced a beautifully written book, brimming with wry humor, and a cleverly woven mystery. Highly recommended! I am very pleased to see there is a follow-up Aggie Mundeen novel, Dang Near Dead." - Diana Hockley, Australian Mystery Novelist and International Reviewer for NetGalley and Kings River Life Magazine.

"West's main characters' histories suggest they could fill a series. I hope so. I love this book!" - Rollo K. Newsom PhD, Professor Emeritus, Texas State University, and an Editor of Lone Star Sleuths.

"Fit to Be Dead has it all: intriguing characters that point to romance, an engrossing plot, a compelling puzzle and well-disguised clues-a fun read." - L. C. Hayden, Award-Winning Author of the Harry Bronson Mystery series.

"Aggie Mundeen's wry observations on life, death, and the struggle to whip mind and body into shape make Fit to Be Dead delightful. Joining a health club has never been so dangerous...or so amusing." - Karen McCullough, Author of Shadow of a Doubt and A Question of Fire

"Fit to be Dead is a satisfying read with powerful characterization, plot twists and a feisty believable protagonist." - Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

Books in the Aggie Mundeen Humorous Mystery Series:

SMART, BUT DEAD (#3) March 2015

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940976372
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 07/29/2014
Series: Aggie Mundeen Series , #1
Pages: 246
Sales rank: 865,277
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

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Fit to Be Dead 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
YvonneReviews More than 1 year ago
Retired from her banking job in Chicago, Aggie Mundeen moves to San Antonio where she is busy studying “Aspects of Aging” at the local university, and writing a column “Stay Young with Aggie”. She is unmarried, overweight, almost 40, and struggling to eat healthy and exercise. Aggie is a realistic character who many readers can identify with. We’ve all been there, but most of us don’t find ourselves in the middle of a murder investigation while going to the gym. Just Aggie’s luck, she goes to the gym and immediately finds a woman in the pool, unconscious and near death. Aggie is sure this is no accident. However, she’s the only one thinking that way. Sam Vanderhoven is a handsome detective she knew in Chicago. After he loses his wife and daughter in a horrific accident, he moves to San Antonio, too. Aggie seeks his help with the investigation, but then decides to do her own sleuthing. Although she’s also hoping her relationship with Sam will be a bit more deeper than this case. Aggie is a “larger than life” character. She’s strong, funny and smart. This is the first book in the Aggie Mundeen series. It started off kind of slow for me, but then after a couple of chapters, it just took off. Humor is spread throughout the book…so many great one liners. I didn’t want to put it down. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series. FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Cadfael More than 1 year ago
Aggie Mundine has retired from a banking career which she loathed, describing herself as a “squirrel counting nuts.” Having reached over thirty – it is hinted, not yet forty – she moves to Texas, where she plans to continue answering letters to her column, “Adventures in Staying Young” and contemplate what else to do. Realising that she’d better look the part in case someone sees her less than sylph-like self and discovers she is the author, Aggie joins a health club where she inadvertently stumbles across an attempted murder on her first visit. This novel was a delight to read. Some readers would deem it a “cozy” but it goes much deeper. The reader gradually discovers that Aggie is hiding a heartbreaking secret, one which she would rather the man whom she hopes will eventually return her affection, Detective Sam Vanderhoven, would rather not find out. In spite of Aggie’s confident exterior, she is lonely and looking for love. Her column keeps her motivated to attend Aspect of Aging at the University of The Holy Trinity and exercising at the health club gives her a rather unfortunate glimpse of the singles scene. When her curiosity gets the better of her and sleuthing takes over, in Aggie’s words, “underneath this veneer of healthy living, repressed fury was biding its time.” The characters are everyday and totally believable. Aggie comes across as a very attractive woman (the men address her chest) Sam is extremely likable with appalling fashion sense and the gym bunnies are right on target. N.G West’s fine writing and clever plot reveal her mad sense of humour. I alternated between chuckling and sober reflection, but there is one place in this novel where I roared with laughter. I never give spoilers so you have to buy this book learn why! Ms West has produced a beautifully written book, brimming with wry humour, and a cleverly woven mystery in this perfectly-paced novel. Highly recommended! I am very pleased to see there is a follow-up Aggie Mundine novel, Dang Near Dead.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Aggie Mundeen, single and pushing forty, fears nothing but middle age. When she moves from Chicago to San Antonio, she decides she better shape up before anybody discovers she writes the column, “Stay Young with Aggie.” She takes Aspects of Aging at University of the Holy Trinity and plunges into exercise at Fit and Firm. Rusty at flirting and mechanically inept, she irritates a slew of male exercisers, then stumbles into murder. She’d like to impress the attractive detective with her sleuthing skills. But when the killer comes after her, the health club evacuates semi-clad patrons, and the detective has to stall his investigation to save Aggie’s derriere. Dollycas’s Thoughts This story takes place in 1997 as Angie has left behind the stressful banking life in Chicago and has moved to San Antonio. She has enrolled in Graduate School and writes the Staying Fit With Angie column. Sam Vanderhoven has also moved from Chicago to San Antonio where he is a detective with the SAPD. He moved there about a year before Angie after losing his wife and child in a terrible accident. Angie Mundeen is a very engaging character who has had some heartache in her life and she has a secret. A secret that is trying to desperately keep from her friend Sam, who could become more than just a friend. Angie is well past the age of 30 and her body is out of shape, not a good thing for someone writing about keeping fit. She decides to join a gym to lose some weight and gain some muscle tone and life just gets crazy from there. Within moments of entering the gym she finds an unconscious woman floating in the pool. From there the author pens an entertaining mystery. Nancy G. West has a great sense of humor, this book is really funny. Angie’s interactions with the people at gym are hilarious as she learns to use the equipment at the gym. Blended with the humor are fantastic clues that help solve the mystery with some very interesting twists. My only negative critique would be that more groundwork needs to be laid regarding Angie’s column. Readers see her receive the letters and write her advice but we need to know where and how they are published. West has laid a foundation with these characters that can lead to a very enjoyable cozy mystery series. I hope she meets Mr. Pilates in the next installment.
SarahSmith More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed the mystery of who killed Holly and why, but the premise of Aggie having to be the one to solve the crime is laughable.  If Aggie were the main suspect in the murder and the police were focusing on her rather than the real killer I would probably be able to suspend my disbelief that an ex-banker from Chicago, who is now a graduate student in liberal arts in San Antonio would need to solve the crime.  But the fact remains she does not have the training to investigate a crime, nor to protect herself, since the killer obviously has a grudge against her too.  Plus she has a detective friend, Sam, on the San Antonio police force, but due to some flimsy reason, doesn't want to have him involved.  Spoiler alert, that never works.  The secondary characters all have these tragic losses, but the one I didn't understand was Meredith's loss of her husband Conrad.  I felt that it should have had a more prominent spot in the story, but it seemed more of an aside.  It would have made more sense to have it as he died accidentally not as some sort of murder investigation that Sam was a part of.  Aggie was a bit pretentious, but that just made me like her more.  This is my first book by Nancy G. West and I would like to see how the series plays out, so I will continue to check in on this series.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
3 1/2 STARS Fit to Be Dead is an entertaining story. It keeps up the suspense of who the murder is till revealed. Some points of the plots seem weak. Has humor. the characters are likeable and would love to see more. Also clean read. Aggie Mundeen is single and almost 40. She is back in college. She also writes a newspaper column Stay Young with Aggie. She wants to solve a murder to impress a detective. Aggie goes to Fit and Firm Health Club to try and get in shape. She has a eventful first day. She meets a lot of guys who flirt with her. She also finds and help save a life Holly. Weak part for me was that she thinks she might have been poisoned at a health club so she takes some containers of different things and takes to lab for testing. She does not tell her cop friend and warn people about products. Also she goes through a lot of steps to lose the cop watching her house to keep her safe. Holly Holmgreen someone caused her to be almost killed in the swimming pool. If Aggie had not gone over to meet her and realized that she was not breathing and got her help so fast. Aggie has lots of suspects for who she has offended lately. The setting of the story is San Antonio, Texas. A lot of the story also happens to be the gym. I would read another Aggie Mundeen mystery in the future. I was given this ebook to read and in return agreed to give honest review of it by Net Galley and Henery Press
VeronikaJ More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. A great book for my vacation. It was funny, witty. Great choice of words that enabled easily to connect with the main character. I would definitely recommend!
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Fit To Be Dead - Aggie Mundeen Mystery 1 Author: Nancy G. West Published: 7-29-2014 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 280 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths ISBN: 9781940976372 ASIN: B00M4KIX44 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Aggie Mundeen has left her banking vice presidency job in Chicago and moved to San Antonio, Texas. Aggie, a woman of undetermined age, somewhere between 31 to 39. Afraid someone might recognize her as the author of Adventures in Staying Young, Aggie signs up for the Aspects of Aging Class at the University of the Holy Trinity and joins a fitness center to firm and tone her muscles. When Holly Holmgreen is struck down by a car after being nearly electrocuted in the pool Aggie knows it was no accidental hit and run and begins to snoop around for clues to have as to who has targeted Holly and why. A lively Mystery that will have you chuckling as you read. Aggie has a quick mind with acerbic wit. The characters are well developed, but I did have a hard time warming to Aggie and her obsession with staying young and youthful looking. I understand those that have a hard time as the age. My one sister nearly had a nervous break-down when she turned 30. We all prayed night and day to help her through it even though I personally did not know why she was so upset. As she approached 40 we all help our breath, but she was fine. I did enjoy the plot and found it flowed smooth and was fast moving. I give Fit to Be Dead a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a most unusual read for a cozy. The characters needed a little more depth and the story was a little hard to follow in places; the flow just wasn't smooth. On the plus side, this could develop into a good series with some work. This is a review, not a synopsis so read that for the story line. Overall, I might try the next in series to see if the concerns were just in keeping with a first book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
megHan-sHena More than 1 year ago
Aggie Mundeen Mystery 1: Fit to Be Dead I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review during the blog tour.  No other consideration was offered, expected or received. I am a huge lover of mysteries (one of my favorite genres, my favorite sleuth being Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot) and am always looking to find new ones to try.  When I read the description on this one - and saw that it was set in the city that I live in - I thought this could be a great read.  I was right and wrong. I was expecting a light mystery, one that I could just breeze through, the kind of book most people consider "summer reading."  What I got was a cute mystery.  I mean, it was cute - I did get my bit of light reading and breezed through the story quite quickly - but when I was telling my mom about it, she said "Mysteries aren't supposed to be cute," and I agree with her there.   After the incident in the pool on the day Aggie starts at Fit and Firm, I was interested to find out what was going to happen next and kept reading.  It got even more interesting after the murder.  There were some funny parts too.  But I felt like I was reading a romance that was trying to disguise itself as a mystery novel - and was trying too hard to be cute and funny.  I actually thought this was just me - I'm not really a fan of the romance genre - but when I sat down to write this review, having no idea where to start or what to even say, I took a look at some of the other reviews to see if other people felt the same way that I did, and there were a few that did. I think my major issue with the book was Aggie herself.  I didn't like her, from the very first pages.  She cared too much about looks and came across, at least in my opinion, as an unhappy know-it-all who constantly wanted all attention on her.  I also felt like she "played dumb" to get guys to notice her, something I just can't stand.  I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen to the other characters - a few I really got into - and not really caring to find out more about her.   I do plan to read book #2, though.  I'm curious to see how things progress and if she matures any as the series goes on.  I may like her more if she does.