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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb
Once upon a time Helen was happily married, living in a mini-mansion and earning over six figures a year as a number cruncher. One day she came home early and discovered her husband in bed with their next door neighbor. After divorcing him she went on the run because she wouldn't obey a court order involving alimony.
She now lives in a tall old building in Ft...
Published on Dec 2 2003 by Harriet Klausner

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but . . .
Like another reviewer or two, I found some flaws in this book. First, the author almost lost me with the dumb name for the owner of the bookstore - Page Turner. Please! When you start tossing cutesy, highly unlikely names in a story (like Candy Cane), it's hard to take the writing seriously. Secondly, many things defied belief. I find it hard to believe many...
Published on Dec 29 2003 by D. Denny


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4.0 out of 5 stars This Was A Page Turner, June 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Helen Hawthorne is on the lam, from the law and her ex-husband.
To avoid detection, she only takes jobs where she can get paid under the table in cash.
She's been on her new job at the Ft. Lauderdale Page Turners Book Store for several months now, and although she had always thought working in a book store would be a wonderful job, she's been disappointed. Not only with the customers, but her pig of a boss Page Turner III.
Then disaster strikes her apartment complex. The Coronado Tropic Apartments are infested with termites and Helen and her neighbors are forced to move out for the weekend while the complex is tented and bombed.
The weekend at the beach, spent partly with her new boyfriend, Dr. Rich ends badly when after returning to the Coronado, Page Turner III is found with a huge knife in his back, on the bed in one of the apartments.
How did Page Turner die, and how did he end up in an apartment that was locked down and tented for termite extermination?
There are no lack of suspects, but when Helen's friend Peggy is arrested for the crime, (she had previously been engaged to him, and had threatened to kill him when she read he was engaged to another woman in the newspaper).
Helen is shocked, she didn't even know Peggy knew Page Turner, let alone would have ever gone out with him. But when the cops close the case, it's up to Helen and her landlady, Margery to find out who the killer is.
Was it his wife, jealous of his consant womanizing? Or the female authors who were all promised book signings for their Vanity Press books, if they spent some time in Page's office. And what about the rumors that Page videotaped himself with all of these women, and what other things might he have video taped?
And then there's another murder.
Highlights:
All the inhabitants of the Coronado Tropic Apartments. Peggy & her Parrot, Pete. Cal, the Canadian who is constantly complaining about everything American. Phil - the unseen, pot-smoking next door neighbor, are all amusing characters.
Margery - the 70ish landlady is a hoot.
Helen and Margery on a stakeout.
Helen's fellow employee's at Page Turner's and old Mr. Davies, who sits in the book store all day and reads.
The mystery. The killer was a surprise, but made perfect sense.
Helen confronting the killer. This part made me laugh out loud.
Helen having to read "Love and Murder - Forever: A Romantic Mystery or Mysterious Romance". which will qualify as one of the worst books, and titles ever written.
Lowlights:
I know Helen is ticked off, which is why she's living like she is, but it's stupid. NO ONE IS LOOKING FOR YOU. (I had to say it, but if she wasn't acting like this, it would ruin the series).
Dr. Rich: He appeared in the first book, and continued into this one. He was such a nice guy, that I don't understand why his character had to change so radically, it was a very unpleasant turn in the story. Couldn't she have just dumped him?
This was much better than the first book in the series - Shop Till You Drop, which had so many characters, I got confused.
Great characters. Great mystery. A thoroughly enjoyable book. Can't wait for the next one to be published.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Viets pens another winner!, April 20 2004
By 
Stacy Alesi "I am the BookBitch" (www.bookbitch.com) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
The Dead End Job mystery series is set in Fort Lauderdale, and features great stories interspersed with gentle humor. This one revolves around the murder of a bookstore owner named Page Turner (you gotta love it!) Our heroine is Helen, who feels the need to stay on the lam from her ex-husband, preferring to keep under his, and the law's, radar. So she takes jobs that are way beneath her talents and education (a former high powered CPA in her married life) and ends up working for cash in a small, independent bookstore that is owned by a real creep. When the creep gets killed, Helen can't help but get involved along with the zany cast of characters that populate this series. Sometimes I just want to read something light, fun and fast, and Viets always comes through.
NOTE: Another reviewer expressed serious disbelief about employers paying their employees under the table. That is extremely naive...I believe it was 60 Minutes that did a piece on this a few years ago, and as a long time south Florida resident and former New Yorker, I can say unequivocally that it goes on every day and in all sorts of businesses, from mom & pop stores to doctors' offices to pre-schools to law firms to bookstores...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but . . ., Dec 29 2003
By 
D. Denny (Indianapolis, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Like another reviewer or two, I found some flaws in this book. First, the author almost lost me with the dumb name for the owner of the bookstore - Page Turner. Please! When you start tossing cutesy, highly unlikely names in a story (like Candy Cane), it's hard to take the writing seriously. Secondly, many things defied belief. I find it hard to believe many employers would agree to pay their help in cash "under the table". A scumbag like Page Turner (there's that dumb name again!) would, but Helen also found a manager of a major "Wal-Mart-type" discount store willing to do so. Why would an employee want to be paid cash? For the reasons our heroine, Helen, wanted to - so there is no paper trail and no record of her. Why would a person do that? The only reason I can think of is Helen's reason, she is on the lam. Why would an employer be willing to take on someone running from the law?
Some of the characters are not well fleshed out - when she talked about "Denny" or "Brad" at the bookstore, I couldn't remember which was which. The older stuffed-shirt of a clerk/manager, Albert, was a more well-drawn character. The old guy, Mr. Davies, who came in to sit and read all day, was sweet.
I did disagree, however with the criticism one reviewer had about why Helen was running. For most of the book, we only know she caught her husband with another woman and grabbed a crowbar. Did she kill him? His lover? I felt the author did a good job of keeping that titillating fact dangling just long enough.
Despite some flaws, I found myself continuing to pick up the book and read it - and that is worth 3 stars. The flavor of the locale (Florida) is well done, and Helen and her landlady, Margery are characters you want to get to know.
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4.0 out of 5 stars solid who-done-it, Dec 26 2003
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This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Once upon a time Helen was happily married, living in a mini-mansion and earning over six figures a year as a number cruncher. One day she came home early and discovered her husband in bed with their next door neighbor. After divorcing him she went on the run because she wouldn't obey a court order involving alimony.
She now lives in a tall old building in Ft Lauderdale working dead end jobs that pay her in cash. Her latest job is at Page Turners as a bookseller. The owner is a slimy married man who cheats on his wife in the back room of the bookstore. It comes as no surprise to anybody that somebody kills him but what shocks Helen is that his body is found in her neighbor and good friend Peggy's apartment. The police arrest Peg because she once had an affair with him and she vowed to get even with him for cheating on her. Helen is positive that Peggy is innocent and goes to some outrageous lengths to prove it.
Elaine Viets is a great writer whose characterizations are simply superb. In MURDER BETWEEN THE COVERS, she has created a tough, independent yet very vulnerable heroine who comes across as a believable person who stands by her principles even when they cost her everything. The victim in this case is so evil readers will wonder why someone didn't kill him sooner.
Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars an engaging read in spite of the few "niggles" I had..., Dec 22 2003
By 
tregatt (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Once Helen Hawthorne was the very picture of success: she led a chic and trendy life, was married and had a brilliant career. But all that came to a crashing halt one day, and now Helen is on the run, all alone, almost penniless and moving from one dead-end job to another, valiantly trying to stay as many steps ahead of her past (and the law) as possible. Helen's latest job is as a cashier at Page Turners, a bookstore in Fort Lauderdale. The store is owned and managed by Page Turner III, a mean spirited drunk, who knows practically next to nothing about the book business (or books for that matter), and who is loathed by his wife and employees. But when he's found dead, and Helen's friend and neighbour, Peggy, is arrested for the crime, Helen realizes that she will have to put her personal feelings about her employer and her fears about being discovered by the police behind her in order to help Peggy by discovering who really murdered the much detested Page...
While the previous reviewer is correct in saying that Helen stumbles about quite a bit while trying to figure who may have murdered the unlamented Page Turner III, what one has got to keep in mind is that Helen is not really a private detective, and that she's not even all that sophisticated. She's just a capable woman of above average intelligence. And once you come to grips with that mental image of Helen, then reading "Murder Between the Covers" becomes a much more enjoyable read. I liked the fact that because Helen wasn't exactly sure of how to go about proving that Peggy hadn't committed the murder, trying to discover who the actual murderer was wasn't all that easy. I also enjoyed Elaine Viets's accurate description of what being a book salesperson is actually like. However, while the novel was engaging and enjoyable, I did have a few problems with the book. 1) Because I hadn't read the first book in the series, I started assuming that Helen was on the run from the law because she had committed a much more serious crime (like murder), the truth was a little anticlimactic (it was revealed about two-thirds through the novel). Personally, I would have preferred it if the authour had clarified everything at the beginning of the book. And 2) I do think that the mystery subplot could have been a little tighter. As it was, Helen managed to solve the mystery due to luck and happenstance. And while there were a lot of potential suspects, clues were in short supply. On the other hand, the authour's character portrayals were quite good and her style of writing engaging. So that I'd vote "Murder Between the Covers" as a good read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not good, Dec 10 2003
By 
Kimberley Wilson (VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
If you read the blurb for this book it sounds like this is going to be a lot of fun. Actually it's not. The book is not good at all. The reluctant sleuth, Helen, who we are told is very smart, and savy is on the run from the law back home in St. Louis and now jumps around the country working for cash and living quietly. Once she made a six figure income and now she's half a step from poverty. It's kind of like a female Fugitive but the heroine is such an annoying and stupid woman you won't care about her plight. This is a short book but Helen falls into bed with two terrible men in the space of a few days. The character learns nothing and shows no growth at all.
The mystery actually is set up well. Page Turner III, the victim is a swine who no one misses after his death. Helen stumbles and bumbles her way through this case and finally figures it out with a few pages to spare at the end.
I just didn't like this book and won't buy more from this series. The heroine was just too dumb, the humor was flat and the side characters were stereotypical.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb, Dec 2 2003
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This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Once upon a time Helen was happily married, living in a mini-mansion and earning over six figures a year as a number cruncher. One day she came home early and discovered her husband in bed with their next door neighbor. After divorcing him she went on the run because she wouldn't obey a court order involving alimony.
She now lives in a tall old building in Ft Lauderdale working dead end jobs that pay her in cash. Her latest job is at Page Turners as a bookseller. The owner is a slimy married man who cheats on his wife in the back room of the bookstore. It comes as no surprise to anybody that somebody kills him but what shocks Helen is that his body is found in her neighbor and good friend Peggy's apartment. The police arrest Peg because she once had an affair with him and she vowed to get even with him for cheating on her. Helen is positive that Peggy is innocent and goes to some outrageous lengths to prove it.
Elaine Viets is a great writer whose characterizations are simply superb. In MURDER BETWEEN THE COVERS, she has created a tough, independent yet very vulnerable heroine who comes across as a believable person who stands by her principles even when they cost her everything. The victim in this case is so evil readers will wonder why someone didn't kill him sooner.
Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!, March 3 2004
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Hi! I read the first book in on this series and I LOVED MURDER BETWEEN THE COVERS. I like Helen and all the other zany characters. It is humourous and witty. Why I personally think Helen has no reason to run (a good lawyer could get her out of her troubles and back to making money) I want the series to continue. Who knows...maybe she will end up making everything right in the end.
I think the majority of you guys that think Viets is a terrible writer are just jealous that she has a SIX book deal with the second largest publisher in the world! Ms. Viets, keep up the good work and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!:-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Florida Mystery, Jan. 31 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
If you like mysteries with realistic characters.....if you have a sense of humor....if you like to read about books....then you will really like this book.
It's right up there with the Stephanie Plum series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, Aug. 11 2010
This review is from: Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
I loved this book! I like all of her books! They are so good and great to read!
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Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery
Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery by Elaine Viets (Mass Market Paperback - Dec 2 2003)
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