Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Killer Cuts by Elaine Viets

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Killer Cuts by Elaine Viets. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Killer Cuts by Elaine Viets

by
A Dead-End Job Mystery with Helen Hawthorne

NAL Books (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-451-22686-0 (0451226860)
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-22686-0 (9780451226860)
Publication Date: May 2009
List Price: $22.95

Review: Helen Hawthorne is still trying to dodge her ex-husband and a court order to pay him half her wages by moving around southern Florida and taking various minimum wage jobs in Killer Cuts, the 8th mystery in this entertaining series by Elaine Viets.

Helen has worked in a bookstore, a dress shop, and as a telemarketer. She's now a "gofer" in an upscale hair salon. Upscale doesn't begin to define it, though; luxury car payments are less than a wash, cut, and set here. The owner, Cuban-born Miguel Angel, counts as his clients the cream of Ft. Lauderdale society. One of these is Kingman "King" Oden, the host of a cable television show and a first class gossip. When he's murdered, at his own wedding, Miguel comes under suspicion. The two were having a heated argument just prior to the murder. But surely there must be other suspects, reasons Helen. After all, King wasn't above snooping into every closet of the high and mighty, ferreting out secrets that all involved would rather not be made public. And they were all there: being the social event of the season, King's wedding was attended by all who loved, but mostly all who hated him. Helen, soon to be married herself to her private investigator fiancé Phil, makes a promise to Miguel that she'll find the true killer and prove his innocence.

Killer Cuts is a study of contrasts, from those who have everything to those who have nothing, from the well-to-do and the well-connected to desperate runaway girls and ruthless con men, from jealousy and greed to, well, more jealousy and greed. The book is fast-paced, lively, populated with entertaining and interesting characters, and a real pleasure to read. For those who enjoy a mix of comedy and crime, Killer Cuts is … ahem … a "cut" above the rest.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Killer Cuts and to Breakthrough Promotions for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Helen Hawthorne’s latest dead-end job is 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 one of the salon’s most famous clients, gossip blogger and cable-TV show host Kingman “King” Oden is murdered at his own wedding, things get a little hairy and King becomes the prime suspect. To save her boss—and her job— Helen is determined to find the murderer. When she finds herself the target of threatening notes, it’s more imperative than ever that she figure out who at the wedding was dressed to kill.

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