Saturday, May 16, 2009

KILLER CUTS:  A Dead-End Job Mystery
By Elaine Viets

If you're not familiar with the "dead-end job" series, let me enlighten you.  Each book depicts a job that is often "invisible."  Most of us take the individuals who groom the dog, do customer service, or bring us water at the high-end hair salon for granted and we don't even see them.  One of the things I like about the dead-end job mystery series is that the author  works in each and every job represented in the books, so she has real insider knowledge about what it's like to actually walk in those shoes.

Helen Hawthorne has been "living life on the lam" ever since her divorce from her dead-beat husband.  A judge ruled that Helen should be the one to pay alimony.  She decided instead to just take off and has been avoiding her ex-husband by working a series of low paying, low profile jobs in Florida.

Helen's latest gig is working in a high-end hair salon where a trim done by Miguel Angel, the superstar stylist, can cost as much as a car payment.  Helen does heavy lifting when she brings the rich and famous clients the Fall issue of Vogue or water with lemon slices.  

One of Miguel Angel's  not-so-famous clients is to wed an ego-driven, ex-night club owner turned gossip blogger named Kingman "King" Oden.  Oden turns up dead at his own wedding reception after a public fight with Miguel Angel.  The salon gets tangled up in a web of negative publicity when Miguel is named as a primary suspect.  Helen becomes involved trying to help her boss prove his innocence as she tries to figure out who at the wedding was dressed to kill.

I always enjoy these books.  They are a wonderful escape.  I enjoy Elaine's storytelling style because of her ability to tell a story about a murder with a sense of humor.  She's funny without being inappropriate.  I like the way her character Helen Hawthorne thinks.  What do you think?

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