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Josie Marcus, mystery shopper, made High Heels Are Murder "one of the funniest...mysteries to come along in ages."* Now the mall moll is back-and, with the murder of a scarf designer to solve, Josie's fit to be tied.... Retail spy and single mom Josie Marcus knows that mystery shopping isn't always glamorous-like when she has to sample greasy fast food...or when her best friend's husband, Jake, is accused of murder. Someone has killed Halley Hardwicke, the hot young designer of thousand-dollar Italian silk scarves, in the mall parking lot. Now the police suspect Jake, who lives near the wrap maven's home, because Halley and he were a little too neighborly. So Josie decides to go undercover to see if she can find some clues. And there's a lot more at stake than a scarf-even if it is to die for.
Living life on the lam and working wherever she can earn a paycheck, Helen Hawthorne has a knack for keeping a low profile. Her latest career cul-de-sac is in the complaint department of a snooty country club, which has lately dropped its standards so low that even Helen's sleazy ex-husband is welcome . . . . Once people were dying to get into the Superior Club in South Florida. Now they're just dying. Helen's living a life of quiet desperation in the Superior Club's complaint department, dealing with the petty gripes of the rich and spoiled. Then Rob, her deadbeat ex-husband, sails back into her life aboard the private yacht of his new lady, Marcella--known as the Black Widow for her string of dead spouses. The day after Rob gets a sock to the kisser from Helen, he's reported missing and his shirt is found covered in blood. Has the Black Widow struck again? Then why is Helen led from the club in handcuffs? When Marcella helps Helen get released, they enter into an uneasy alliance to find out what really happened to Rob. Helen's barely begun digging, however, when a club patron is discovered, his membership permanently expired. And he's not alone. Seems someone got more than a little teed off and killed the two with the nasty end of a seven iron. It's up to Helen to get to the truth--without getting clubbed herself . . . .
Did the doctor's callous bedside manner give a patient the urge to kill?It takes a truly sneaky person to keep a secret in a newsroom. St. Louis City Gazette columnist Francesca Vierling is just the woman to do it-especially to help hide her editor's bout with breast cancer. Now she's surreptitiously shuttling the editor to chemotherapy while finishing a column on gorgeous male stripper Leo D. Nardo. And it's all going without a hitch. . . . Until Leo disappears and somebody starts shooting the worst doctors in St. Louis. The first M.D. to go has a callous bedside manner that gives all his patients the urge to kill.The next victim is a master of misdiagnosis. As long as bad doctors are targets, the public isn't shedding a tear. But when Francesca herself is nearly gunned down, is it because she's hunting for Leo's hot body or a cold-blooded killer? Either way she has an adverse reaction to dying. The antidote? Discover the truth . . .From the Paperback edition.
Women would kill for Josie Marcus's job as mystery shopper, which takes her in and out of boutiques, supermarkets, even fast-food joints to report on quality and service. But it's hard work. Besides being a single mom to a nine-year-old, Josie is the undercover shopping police, protecting unsuspecting consumers everywhere. And she never falsifies her reports, even if it's a matter of life, death, or a red-tag sale.... Ah, the Danessa Celedine handbag. To have one is to invite envy and flaunt wealth, with each bag costing upward of five thousand dollars. When a large company considers paying millions for use of the Danessa name, Josie's hired to inspect the designer's stores anonymously. And each boutique is worse than the one before. Her less than stellar report provokes threats of a lawsuit...until Danessa is strangled with one of her own thousand-dollar snake-skin belts. Josie better bag the killer before she winds up in an ugly jail-house outfit herself....
Once on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne is going nowhere faster. Forced to trade in her chic life for a shabby one, she's now on the run, jumping from city to city and dead-end job to dead-end job, trying to stay one step ahead of her past . . . . Helen Hawthorne has just found her new calling as a telemarketer. And it's not long before she's disrupting dinner all over the country with her pesky calls. But during a phone survey to the home of Henry Asporth, she's the one who gets an earful when she overhears an argument, followed by a scream--and then dead air. Was someone being strangled? Or was it just a loud movie? Helen searches the office computer database to learn more about Asporth and the much younger woman he allegedly lived with . . . before she disappeared. And soon Helen's in over her head, chasing clues and trying to avoid a close call . . . with a killer.
Mystery shopper-and solver-Josie Marcus made her debut in Dying in Style. Now brings back the undercover retail spy and single mom, who's out to change the world one boutique at a time.... There are some major benefits to Josie's job-like, oh, getting paid to shoe shop. But on the flip side, there are sleazes to deal with... like salesman Mel Poulaine. His employer, the chichi Soft Shoe store, thinks the heel's a little foo interested in his line of work-namely, handling women's bare feet. So they hire Josie to mystery-shop their St. Louis store and see whether Mel should get the boot. But one thing leads to another, and Josie finds herself in St. Louis's seedy underbelly. Before long, she gets caught up in a web of gambling, blackmail, and truly desperate housewives. And she hopes against hope that she won't end up murdered in Manolos....
Helen takes a job at a Bridal Salon. But when an obnoxious mother-of-the-bride is killed, and Helen's fingerprints are found on the murder weapon, she must solve the case to prove her innocence.
Living life on the lam--and working wherever she can find a paycheck--Helen Hawthorne has a knack for keeping a low profile. Currently she's mixing pay cuts with haircuts, working at a chic salon as a gofer for a famous stylist who's a passionate believer in do or die. Hair today . . . , gone tomorrow. Helen's latest gig is working in Miguel Angel's Fort Lauderdale hair salon, where a trim can cost as much as a car payment and a blowout can wipe you out. But when a famous husband of one of the salon's clients is murdered at their wedding reception, things get a little hairy. The salon gets tangled up in negative publicity when Miguel becomes a suspect, but he lies low by dressing in drag. Meanwhile, Helen is determined to find the murderer, who also favors spiked heels. When she starts getting threatening notes, she needs to cut to the chase and figure out who at the wedding was dressed to kill.
Helen has a new job "off the books" at Page Turners bookstore in Fort Lauderdale...until the owner is murdered. But since the arrogant Page Turner III had so many enemies, Helen will have to read between the lines to uncover the truth about a clever killer.
A humbug of a shopping mystery. . . From The Anthony and Agatha Award-Winning Author of Accessory to Murder. Includes insider shopping tips! Mystery shopper Josie Marcus doesn't get the appeal of the year-round Christmas shop. But when three such holiday houses pop up within two blocks, she's assigned to rate them anonymously. Easy enough, Josie thinks, until she realizes that shoppers at one store are finding a strange-even deadly-secret ingredient in their holiday cake. And Josie must get to the bottom of it all before someone else becomes a Christmas spirit.
Whacked with a lawn flamingo? A reporter wants to know--who killed with kitsch. . . The rehabilitation of North Dakota Place is a feel-good story--the kindSt. Louis City Gazettecolumnist Francesca Vierling likes to write. Grand houses restored to former glory. Pride in a neighborhood--and, like all good stories, this one has a hero, the woman who made it all happen, the city's guardian of good taste. Some call her a rehabbing saint, others a fanatic. The first death on North Dakota Place was certainly shocking but not entirely unwelcome--after all, the victim was a cranky old man who had been painting his house purple. The second death, of a drug dealer, brings tacit approval--and growing suspicion. But all bets are off when another victim is found, a socialite unceremoniously whacked with a pink lawn flamingo. Now the neighbors want Francesca to investigate. But her boyfriend wants her to commit to marriage, not crime. Soon the gutsy reporter is experiencing a deepening personal crisis--and something more heinous than vinyl siding: the dark secrets of heart, home, and blighted dreams. From the Paperback edition.
The open road. The wind whipping in your face. For both serious riders and the wanna-bes called RUBs--Rich Urban Bikers--riding a Harley is only part of the thrill. Putting on leather and acting out is the rest. Even Francesca Vierling, a St. Louis reporter who is a little too tall, smart, and sexy for her own good, is dressed to kill--for a biker's ball that will lead straight ahead to murder.The victim is a woman who lived well, married bad, and divorced hard. For Sydney Vander Venter, going from high-society wife to tough-talking biker chick was only a phase. One she didn't survive. Now Francesca must find out who ruined the annual Leather and Lace Ball by killing Sydney. But with her career crashing, her love life sputtering, and another murder waiting down the road, Francesca finds out firsthand how dangerous it can be when you're born to be wild--and dare to live that way too. . . .From the Paperback edition.
After two weeks as the new salesclerk at Juliana's, Fort Lauderdale's ultra-exclusive clothing boutique, Helen still feels out of fashion. But in a shop where the customers' collagen lips are bigger than their hips, who wouldn't? And since the only crime likely to be committed around here is being old-or worse, looking old-Helen figures she's safe. Until she discovers the manager has been embezzling money and selling designer drugs along with the designer clothes. Add murder to the mix and Helen is in deep trouble. To protect her secrets, she will have to solve the case herself--before her dead-end job turns deadly....
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