For today’s post, I am writing about Dying in Style by Elaine Viets which is the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Book 1. This cozy mystery has the following product description:
Mystery shopper Josie Marcus’s report about Danessa Celedine’s exclusive store is less than stellar, and it may cost the fashion diva fifty million dollars. But Danessa’s financial future becomes moot when she’s found murdered, strangled with one of her own thousand-dollar , snakeskin belts-and Josie is accused of the crime.
I downloaded this book for my Sony eReader after reading about Viets’s two series on the Cozy Mystery site where it was described as a “mommy track” cozy. I found the classification almost insulting so I decided to get it. This cozy focuses on a young, single mother who lives downstairs from her own mother in a duplex. Josie, the sleuth / mommy, gave up college and chose to be a mystery shopper so that she could have flexible hours and be there for her daughter.
Even though Josie enjoys her job most of the time, she finds it the center of controversy when she visits the posh stores of Danessa Celedine. Despite Danessa’s popularity giving to local St. Louis charities, Josie finds that her handbag and accessory stores are ill kept and selling shoddy work. When Josie’s report on Danessa’s store threatens a buy out from the Creshan Corporation, Danessa publicly attacks Josie and threatens to sue. Josie barely has time to deal with the fall out when Danessa and her partner are both found dead and Josie is the prime suspect. Josie must investigate to save her livelihood and to protect her family.
I liked this book for a quick read, and I liked the exploration of the relationship between Josie and her mother, but I did not find the “mystery” engaging. Josie never really got to know the other suspects, so neither did we. And, if we can’t get to know the suspects, we cannot solve the crime. I did like it enough to try one more in the series before I give it up, but the second book is not available for my eReader, so I will be jumping to book 3. Check back here next week to see how it turns out!
Until then, Happy Reading!