Sunday, January 6, 2008

MURDER WITH RESERVATIONS: A Dead-End Job Mystery By Elaine Viets
Elaine Viets has done something I find interesting. In her dead-end job mystery series, she populates the novels with people who are often "invisible," even though they stand right in front of us doing their job. These are the people we take for granted like the hotel maid, Helen Hawthorne, in this novel. Viets actually goes "inside" the dead-end job and works to get a feel for how the job and the people feel. I think it's quite effective.

Helen Hawthorne is hiding. She works as a hotel maid at Sybil's Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale feeling safe until one of her co-workers if found dead in the hotel dumpster. Helen found the body and that means she will have to talk to the police. To make matters worse her ex-husband is hot on her trail. Fortunately, the police don't seem too concerned about the body of a murdered maid, but Helen's sketchy story draws the suspicions/span> of a hard boiled detective. The plot thickens as treasure, more murder, and a sexy man enter Helen's world.

As I read the book, I became aware of how little attention we pay to some people. We take the services they perform for granted and often don't see the individual at all. Everyone has a story. Even though Helen Hawthorne's is fiction, as they use to say on the old TV show, "there are a million stories in the naked city." I found the novel, as usual, well-written with interesting characters and plot twists. If you like a mystery, you will probably enjoy the work of Elaine Viets! What do you think?

Another book by this author reviewed here: Accessory to Murder

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