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Dying in Style

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Mystery shopper Josie Marcus's report about Danessa Celedine's exclusive store is less than stellar, and it may cost the fashion diva fifty million dollars. But Danessa's financial future becomes moot when she's found murdered, strangled with one of her own thousand-dollar snakeskin belts-and Josie is accused of the crime. Mystery shopper Josie Marcus's report about Danessa Celedine's exclusive store is less than stellar, and it may cost the fashion diva fifty million dollars. But Danessa's financial future becomes moot when she's found murdered, strangled with one of her own thousand-dollar snakeskin belts-and Josie is accused of the crime.


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Mystery shopper Josie Marcus's report about Danessa Celedine's exclusive store is less than stellar, and it may cost the fashion diva fifty million dollars. But Danessa's financial future becomes moot when she's found murdered, strangled with one of her own thousand-dollar snakeskin belts-and Josie is accused of the crime. Mystery shopper Josie Marcus's report about Danessa Celedine's exclusive store is less than stellar, and it may cost the fashion diva fifty million dollars. But Danessa's financial future becomes moot when she's found murdered, strangled with one of her own thousand-dollar snakeskin belts-and Josie is accused of the crime.

30 review for Dying in Style

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paula Adams

    Josie works as a mystery shopper in the St. Louis area as her job. She was sent to a 3 store chain of high end stores that sell most handbags. She ended up giving all of them bad ratings for many reasons. The next day she gets called into the office and blasted by the owner saying she lied and is out to get her when Josie has never met her. Plus her boss told her that her report was confidential and no one would ever know who wrote it. (Liar) Josie goes back to the last store which was the worse Josie works as a mystery shopper in the St. Louis area as her job. She was sent to a 3 store chain of high end stores that sell most handbags. She ended up giving all of them bad ratings for many reasons. The next day she gets called into the office and blasted by the owner saying she lied and is out to get her when Josie has never met her. Plus her boss told her that her report was confidential and no one would ever know who wrote it. (Liar) Josie goes back to the last store which was the worse and she was told that the woman who waited on her didn't work there and they had no idea who she was. She enters the store and there is no one there so she goes into the back room and finds the owner dead. Naturally the cops think she killed her. Now Josie and her friend Alyce have to investigate themselves to prove she is innocent and that that woman who waited on her does exist. I will continue with this series. I used to do mystery shopping for spare money and I picked the shops I wanted to do. They don't pay very much. I don't see how she can pay rent, put gas in her car, etc. I guess that's why they call it fiction.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Missi Martin (Stockwell)

    Dying in Style is the first book in the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper Mystery series by Elaine Viets and it sets the stage nicely for the series. Main character Josie Marcus is a single mom to her 9 year-old daughter Amelia but she has a lot of help from her mother, Jane. The three live is a duplex with Jane living above Josie and Amelia. Josie's job as a mystery shopper allows her to work around her schedule mostly so that she can be there for her daughter. Josie feels that she does a great job Dying in Style is the first book in the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper Mystery series by Elaine Viets and it sets the stage nicely for the series. Main character Josie Marcus is a single mom to her 9 year-old daughter Amelia but she has a lot of help from her mother, Jane. The three live is a duplex with Jane living above Josie and Amelia. Josie's job as a mystery shopper allows her to work around her schedule mostly so that she can be there for her daughter. Josie feels that she does a great job being fair to the places and the people that she is looking into until one job threatens everything !! Josie is given the assignment to shop at three of the Danessa shops in three different malls. This is a high end accessory store featuring very expensive purses made by a high profile member of society, Danessa Celedine. Danessa is known for her purses as well as her donations to charities all over the St. Louis area. She is also in the spotlight a lot because of her relationship with a Russian God by the name of Serge. After Josie visits the three stores, she finds that none of them hold up to the high standard that they should and Danessa is in the middle of a deal to sell them for $50 million. She warns her boss Harry before she sends in the reports that they are not good but he encourages her to send them as is. The next day Josie is called into the office and confronted by Danessa herself. Danessa claims that the reports are incorrect and wants them changed but Josie won't do it which leads to a heated argument with threats made. Before Josie can get another assignment Danessa and Serge are found dead....Serge at the house they shared and Danessa at one of the stores that Josie visited. When her fingerprints are found at the store, the detectives in charge of the case do not believe her story. Josie, with the help of her best friend, Alyce, decides she needs to find out who killed the power couple before her daughter loses her mom to jail. I am a huge fan of Elaine Viets and I LOVED her Dead-End Job Mystery series and after reading this first book in this series, I am sure that I will be thoroughly engrossed in it. Viets know how to put words to paper attracting readers and you cannot help but fall for the characters and want to see them get out of the messes they get into.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    What shopaholic doesn't want to read about a mystery shopper? Well, I almost abandoned this book half way through. I found most of the characters annoying and two-dimensional. However, Elaine Viets seems to have got more into her stride towards the end of the book, particularly where Josie and her mother's relationship was concerned, although Josie continues to make stupid decisions. What drove me to distraction, however, was the appalling editing of the book. I lost count of the inconsistencies What shopaholic doesn't want to read about a mystery shopper? Well, I almost abandoned this book half way through. I found most of the characters annoying and two-dimensional. However, Elaine Viets seems to have got more into her stride towards the end of the book, particularly where Josie and her mother's relationship was concerned, although Josie continues to make stupid decisions. What drove me to distraction, however, was the appalling editing of the book. I lost count of the inconsistencies and contradictions in the story. In Chapter 9, Josie promises her daughter that she'll make the school book sale tomorrow. By Chapter 13, the book sale is that night, even though the chapter covers events occurring the same day as in Chapter 9. In Chapter 10, Josie's friend Alyce voices her suspicion that a neighbour had an affair with one of the murder victims. When another neighbour confirms the affair in Chapter 20, the news comes as such a surprise to Alyce that she spills her drink. If the characterisation and editing improve, I'll stick with the series. If not, there are plenty of other cosy mysteries out there and, if I want to read more about the world of the mystery shopper, there's always Kate Harrison's Secret Shopper series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stormiestl

    This was the first time I have read and Elaine Viets book. I should be ashamed of myself because I live in St. Louis where is is from. I am captivated by Josie and her ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time! The ups and downs of what happened and the twist at the end was very unexpected. Well worth the read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This series just gets gooder and gooder!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Entertaining first book in this series. Josie has a fun job as a mystery shopper, but now, she'll have to add amateur sleuthing to her resume. The mystery shopper concept is fun and appealing. Entertaining first book in this series. Josie has a fun job as a mystery shopper, but now, she'll have to add amateur sleuthing to her resume. The mystery shopper concept is fun and appealing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bella Foxygobble

    At first the premise of this book seemed to be really great. What's not to love about shopping? Unfortunately, I found this particular character particularly unlikeable, mostly due to the fact that she makes TSTL decisions. She seriously had NO common sense which doesn't make for a desirable crime-solver for me. This book read basically like a VERY BAD Janet Evanonvich novel... it has a very similar style to it, but poorly executed. 1/2 way through I was ready to put it in the DNF file but I ende At first the premise of this book seemed to be really great. What's not to love about shopping? Unfortunately, I found this particular character particularly unlikeable, mostly due to the fact that she makes TSTL decisions. She seriously had NO common sense which doesn't make for a desirable crime-solver for me. This book read basically like a VERY BAD Janet Evanonvich novel... it has a very similar style to it, but poorly executed. 1/2 way through I was ready to put it in the DNF file but I ended up waiting for an appt while it was in my bag. The book does pick up for its somewhat predictable (and slapstick) ending. I'm not sure whether or not I'll continue on with this series. I do have the first book to Viet's Dead-End Job series so I'll be trying that one out first before closing the door.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 sta Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author. 5 stars... I loved this book! It had earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    This was a fun read. Josie is a single mom who supports herself and her daughter working as a mystery shopper. She wears various costumes depending on what type of establishment she is reviewing. The descriptions of her outfits and experiences are pretty humourous. When she reviews an upscale accessory boutique that is possibly being bought out by a conglomerate, she gives it a horrible review. When the owner berates her and her boss puts her on leave, she is angry. The owner of the boutique tur This was a fun read. Josie is a single mom who supports herself and her daughter working as a mystery shopper. She wears various costumes depending on what type of establishment she is reviewing. The descriptions of her outfits and experiences are pretty humourous. When she reviews an upscale accessory boutique that is possibly being bought out by a conglomerate, she gives it a horrible review. When the owner berates her and her boss puts her on leave, she is angry. The owner of the boutique turns up dead and guess who is suspected. Add in the life events of her mom and daughter and you have an enjoyable mix.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Originally published in 2005. Excitement and danger as mystery shopper Josie Marcus, single mom, tackles a high end shop owner after her undercover identity is blown when her assignment report isn't kept a secret by her boss Harry. A report that points out glaring customer service problems as the chain is set to go up for public shares. Look out Josie! And people think it's all about the glamour. For 2018-9 this isn't the latest in technology but based on the era it is an excellent book and potent Originally published in 2005. Excitement and danger as mystery shopper Josie Marcus, single mom, tackles a high end shop owner after her undercover identity is blown when her assignment report isn't kept a secret by her boss Harry. A report that points out glaring customer service problems as the chain is set to go up for public shares. Look out Josie! And people think it's all about the glamour. For 2018-9 this isn't the latest in technology but based on the era it is an excellent book and potentially great series. I love Elaine Viets Dead End Jobs series, the original ones were so great I still read them again for a reminiscence of previous jobs I've had.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Toller

    When Josie Marcus, Maplewood mystery shopper, is hired to shop the Danessa stores she is more worried about how her mother will feel than anything else. Danessa is supposed to be selling her business to a corporation and they are having the stores mystery shopped to make sure their are no problems before they acquire the stores. When Josie shops the stores and files a bad shopper report, she is threatened by Danessa. Then Danessa and her partner, Serge are killed and Josie is questioned by the p When Josie Marcus, Maplewood mystery shopper, is hired to shop the Danessa stores she is more worried about how her mother will feel than anything else. Danessa is supposed to be selling her business to a corporation and they are having the stores mystery shopped to make sure their are no problems before they acquire the stores. When Josie shops the stores and files a bad shopper report, she is threatened by Danessa. Then Danessa and her partner, Serge are killed and Josie is questioned by the police and they think she killed Danessa. How Josie discovers who killed Serge and Danessa makes for a wonderful, really entertaining story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lena H.

    I really enjoyed this book! Josie was a fun character and it was cool to read about mystery shopping. I love Amelia and Jane was sweet, their living situation is nice and leaves Josie open to do investigation. Throughout the book I couldn't put my finger on the killer but no matter what I might have come up with I'd never have guessed the outcome. Very good ending! I'm excited about continuing the series! I really enjoyed this book! Josie was a fun character and it was cool to read about mystery shopping. I love Amelia and Jane was sweet, their living situation is nice and leaves Josie open to do investigation. Throughout the book I couldn't put my finger on the killer but no matter what I might have come up with I'd never have guessed the outcome. Very good ending! I'm excited about continuing the series!

  13. 4 out of 5

    ☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎

    Rating 3.5 stars Josie was a fun character to read including mom and her best friend Alyce. I wasn't sure what was happening when she went fake shopping but damn did her troubles add up throughout the day. When her and Alyce decided to do some investigating on their own that's when lots of things started to get messy but also very interesting. I wonder what mess she will get into next. Rating 3.5 stars Josie was a fun character to read including mom and her best friend Alyce. I wasn't sure what was happening when she went fake shopping but damn did her troubles add up throughout the day. When her and Alyce decided to do some investigating on their own that's when lots of things started to get messy but also very interesting. I wonder what mess she will get into next.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Such and fun AND funny read! Josie and Alyce are my favorite best friend duo. Looking forward to digging and discovering more with this series. Highly recommend this series to my cozy mystery friends.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Burke

    I hate shopping, but I love these books. Josie is funny, raunchy, and detail oriented. She actually solves mysteries instead of just being there at the right place and time. The "outside of the mystery" plot is realistic and entertaining. I highly recommend them for solve good light reading. I hate shopping, but I love these books. Josie is funny, raunchy, and detail oriented. She actually solves mysteries instead of just being there at the right place and time. The "outside of the mystery" plot is realistic and entertaining. I highly recommend them for solve good light reading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Entertaining High-fashion purses, mystery and murder complicate the life of a mystery shopper, a single mom who is doing her best. This interesting mystery involves several suspects and motives.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Very good. The only complaint I have for this book is the language. Fortunately, it was only used a few times and not through the book. Otherwise, this book was outside the box from most cozy mysteries, and that may it rather unique. I would recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Trammell

    Terrifyingly Silly Who knew murder could be funny (in a sad, yet understandable way). Crazy loveable main characters. Semi-evil bad characters who get what they deserve. A zany plot with a death & near-death ending. Must read to understand how that works.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read others in the series. #readforkimberly I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read others in the series. #readforkimberly

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katy Smith

    This took I while to get into but I ended up liking it and will read the next in the series

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Dauber

    Loved it! It was fun and entertaining, and kept me on the edge of my seat right until the very end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    well written. ..held my attention. ..will read more of these books!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bentonkk

    so glad i discovered Elaine Viets. I just wish her books were available from library in kindle format instead of just pdf

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Lipinski

    Well written mystery with a touch of romance. Believable characters. Something going on throughout the story to keep your interest and turning pages.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A mystery shopper does battle with her boss, the client and her Mom and daughter. A lot to deal with plus investigate several deaths. Good plot, fun characters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Di

    Rating is more like a 2.5 - Read for #Book1CoziesClub If you enjoy shopping, I think you will really enjoy this series. Unfortunately for me, though learning about the profession of mystery shopping was interesting, I couldn't really get into this story. This book took me about a month to finish, which kind of tells you how invested I was. Josie as a character, I could relate to a bit because we are both single parents who's mother helps us out with babysitting/raising our child. Thankfully my mot Rating is more like a 2.5 - Read for #Book1CoziesClub If you enjoy shopping, I think you will really enjoy this series. Unfortunately for me, though learning about the profession of mystery shopping was interesting, I couldn't really get into this story. This book took me about a month to finish, which kind of tells you how invested I was. Josie as a character, I could relate to a bit because we are both single parents who's mother helps us out with babysitting/raising our child. Thankfully my mother is nothing like Josie's and the way her mother acted is something that bothered me about this story. While I could relate to Josie on that one point, there were a lot of things that I couldn't relate to about her as well though. The fact that she and her best friend constantly refer to one character as a derogatory term for a woman who is promiscuous didn't sit well with me. They are supposed to be women in their thirties and they rarely call this woman by her name in passive conversation without adding the derogatory term. Extramarital affairs are also a prominent theme in this story line in regards to several characters we meet throughout this first installment. While that didn't bother me, I wanted to mention it because I know it can be something that bothers others. I personally do not think this series is for me, but the author does write a couple other series that are not shopping related that I will probably check out in the future.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erik Sapp

    The idea for this book was good, but too often, I was pulled out of enjoying the book because of a plot hole. (SPOILER) Josie is accused of lying about being at the store. Video - either the store or the mall 0 would show she was there. But that never seems to be brought up. Then a few pages later, suddenly there is video for something else. Fingerprint analysis take weeks or months, not hours to do. Josie and the killer get into a massive fight lasting several minutes in a public place, but there The idea for this book was good, but too often, I was pulled out of enjoying the book because of a plot hole. (SPOILER) Josie is accused of lying about being at the store. Video - either the store or the mall 0 would show she was there. But that never seems to be brought up. Then a few pages later, suddenly there is video for something else. Fingerprint analysis take weeks or months, not hours to do. Josie and the killer get into a massive fight lasting several minutes in a public place, but there is no one to see it. (END SPOILER) I liked the characters and there is some decent character development. But overall, this book just isn't good enough to want to read any more of the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allison Ann

    Not a fan of this trend of single women with HORRIBLE mothers who think that their lives are nothing without a man. Is there really as much emotional blackmail out in the world as there is in cozy mysteries? Because my gods and little fishes, if my family and friends tried to force me into something I didn't want, I would refuse. Be a grown up Josie. Not a fan of this trend of single women with HORRIBLE mothers who think that their lives are nothing without a man. Is there really as much emotional blackmail out in the world as there is in cozy mysteries? Because my gods and little fishes, if my family and friends tried to force me into something I didn't want, I would refuse. Be a grown up Josie.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    I only purchased this book because it was set in St Louis. It was fun reading about familiar locations. Unfortunately, that was all the fun to be had. The plot has holes and is confusing at times. Josie is erratic and desperate for a boyfriend. The pacing is slow and the ending is similar to another Evanovich book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    If ever you wanted to be a mystery shopper, this book might change your mind - it isn't all fun and games, perhaps it could even be murder! Fun little cozy mystery with a shopping theme - of course a little romance and family fun. If ever you wanted to be a mystery shopper, this book might change your mind - it isn't all fun and games, perhaps it could even be murder! Fun little cozy mystery with a shopping theme - of course a little romance and family fun.

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