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Dying in Style (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #1)
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Dying in Style (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper #1)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,046 ratings  ·  78 reviews
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.
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Signet Book (first published 2005)
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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
In the first installment of Elaine Viets's Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series, Dying in Style, we were introduced to Josie Marcus. She was a single mother of a nine-year-old daughter in St. Louis and worked as a mystery shopper for the local mall. Her own mother wasn't much of a shopper herself. When she shopped at Danessa Celedine's exclusive store for her first assignment, she wasn't pleased with the handbags and wrote a negative review. In lieu of that, it provoked threats of an impending la ...more
To her mother's eternal disappointment, Josie is happy with her career as a mystery shopper. Sure, the pay is lousy and she sometimes walks ten miles in one day. Driving as much as 300 miles a day is hard on her car, but the job is perfect for Josie. She lives to shop, loves going undercover as a suburban spy, can't stand store employees who are rude to their customers, and best of all, her job leaves her plenty of flexible time for her nine-year old daughter, Amelia.

Josie's new assignment is a
Josie is a bit of a doofus. But she's also quite funny & clever at the same time. Her life's a bit of a mess & she doesn't assert herself half as much as she should. But she's an honest person at least. It's refreshing to see a heroine who is thoroughly ordinary & written in a realistic way. In most books the heroine has something super duper special about them. Most heroines have their shit together. In this case there isn't really anything special about Josie. She has a low paying ...more
This book was this month’s read for the Cozy Mystery Corner Group on Goodreads. I was pleasantly surprised by this cozy. Sometimes fashion themed cozies are filled with shallow brand name dropping characters, but this was not like that at all. Josie is a single mom, who works as a mystery shopper to support herself and her daughter. She carries out her job wearing a series of costumes to fit in with the nature of each of her jobs. The descriptions of how she gets into character are quite funny.

While I've read some of the Dead-End Job series, I'm new to this series. This book was o.k., but I'm not sure I'll read any more in this series; I've also slacked off the other series.
The pacing of the book was good; not too fast--easy to follow--and not too slow--didn't get bored waiting for what comes next. Josie seems to lack the common sense to solve crimes: she visits suspects with little back-up and no plan. Her support system--Alyce--is less prepared than she is. I knew there would be dr
Mandy Sickle
Josie’s life hasn’t been easy the daughter of a single parent and one as well she’s made the best out of life. She works as a mystery shopper which gives her the flexibility to be home when her daughter is. When Josie’s next assignment is the local fashion diva’s stores things go horribly wrong. Her boss says he will support her decision to give Danessa a negative review. When she shows up in his office he throws Josie under the bus causing her to defend herself against Danessa.

Next thing Josie
Shirley Worley
I enjoyed several things about the main character in this book. Josie has a nine-year old daughter and a mother who lives upstairs and is very focused on her family. I can certainly relate to those errant, crazy thoughts that can overcome a mother -- that a highly improbable disaster that might befall her loved one. She remains a loyal friend, even though there is a wide economic difference between them. She is not above taking whatever job necessary to provide for her daughter.

The plot was well
Dani "The REAL Cullens_Girl since 2002"
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
Ashland Mystery Oregon
I love Elaine Viets' Dead End Job series, and this Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series is just as fun and creative. Josie is a single parent, living with an aggressive and too-attentive mother. Mystery shopping gets Josie into some alternate dress/personalities, out of the house and into some pretty serious crime situations. This one is an upscale handbag chain that's up for a buyout.

Nice local local setting - the streets and shops of St Louis are familiar and contrast with the anonymity of myst
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
Meh. The story was OK, I guess. The author relied a bit heavily on "bedroom" humor - not my cup of tea. I didn't care for the mystery-shopping Josie (main character) very much, but I did enjoy her best friend Alyce, and her mother. I found some parts suspenseful.
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
OMG!! I loved this cozy mystery! ! What a great start to a series will definitely be reading more on!!

I loved the concept of Josie being a mystery shopper. There was suspense in the story. I thought I knew who was behind the murders but I was wrong. I love it when that happens!
Jennifer Hall
Dying in Style by Elaine Viets is a wonderful mystery book. I read it cover to cover. Dying in Style has some incredible characters, a good plot, and just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up to the end. A Five Star Read.
Tofu Fairy
I wasn't sure going into this if I would like it as I am not a shopping/fashion queen. LOL I needn't have worried. This book was real. One of the realist cozy mysteries I have ever read actually. It was more gritty and honest about everything from parenting to sex to murder to low paying jobs to horrible bosses to rich best friends to mother-daughter relationships. I loved it. My only complaint was that I could put it down. The storyline didn't exactly super hold my interest where I didn't want ...more
Meg Fee
I re-read this book for the first time in about 5 years. It only took the re-introduction to the bad guy to remember who done it. It's a good book, I have no regrets about reading it again. I enjoyed the story, her family is enjoyable, her mom and daughter are both integral parts of her life and her decision to be a mystery shopper (the flexible hours, certainly not for the money). Josie is a very good mystery shopper and an honest one. One day she is hired to mystery shop in Danessa, an expensi ...more
Dying in style was entertaining, and quite light for a murder mystery, an appropriate read for any age level, only possible trigger would be if you have a loved one that passed away who was murdered.
Tristen Weyer
I am not the biggest fan of mysteries, but this one was great. It kept me wanting to keep on reading because of the fashion part of it. This is a book for anyone who loves fashion and a bit of mystery to keep you on your toes.
It's a mystery set in St. Louis, how could I resist!

Okay, it was not exactly my cup of tea. The main character, has a 9 year old kid and lives with her mom, neither of which were characters I enjoyed. What I did enjoy? All the St. Louis references!! Even when I disagreed with some of them - why does she make South City sound like a dump?! - I did get a kick out of others: Schlafly, Monarch, St. Louis drivers (before they installed red light cameras), West County people, and those strange
Maria (Ri)
This is a fun cozy mystery. There are lots of great shopping tis and seeing into the world of a professional mystery shopper was fun, especially because that was my part time job in high school! No one ever suspected that a teenager on a date to the movies was actually the secret shopper! I was disappointed though in the stereotyping that ran rampant in this book. From the Russian spies to the town tramp, there are plenty of poorly drawn side characters that are pretty lifeless. I'm hoping that ...more
Kathy Warren
This read was entertaining with a touch a humor. Little drawn out at times but a good read.
Andrea Hagadorn Barnett
The book was great! Josie is like able, and funny. It was hard to put down!
It took me a while to get into the right mood reading this but it was a fun book to read... fun enough to read the next one :-)
I'll preface everything by saying I'm not the most fashion-forward person on the planet, and because of that, I'm honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It's not the deepest novel I've ever read, but hey, sometimes light reads are necessary. I'd definitely classify it as a "vacation read" because it's something that could easily be enjoyed at the beach or sitting poolside. And I also imagine it'd be fairly easy to get through if you have kids, as it doesn't take much to get back int ...more
There is a lot of humor in Elaine Viets' books, this one is no exception. I read her series Dead-end Jobs as well and thoroughly enjoyed it. This new series by her is just as funny and the characters are very likable. Plus, she does so much research for the "behind the scenes" part of her books that I just really enjoy all the stories and have learned a lot.

I also enjoy her books because there is no unnecessary raunchy sexual scenes nor undo details of violent murder.

NOTE: Do you want to laugh o
Nov 05, 2007 Krystal marked it as booksillprobablyneverfinish  ·  review of another edition
this is one of my grab and dash from the library. I got through 1/3 of the book and just couldn't take the writing any more. I wanted to give up earlier, but knew I didn't have anything else, so I trudged on. No more I say!
The writing is just not good. I knew the plot had issues, but thought it might be one of those quirky fluff novels that can make me laugh, so not the case.
It has been relegated to the "booksillprobablyneverfinish" shelf, and I can't say that I'm too upset over it, unless you
#1 in the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series. Rather drab series debut when compared to Elaine Viets 4 entries in the Dead End Job series.

Mystery Shopper series - 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.
What do you get when a single mother, employed as a mystery shopper, sharing a home with her mother finds her cover blown, a prominent city citizen dead and herself (hung over on margaritas) facing a lie detector test and a "person of interest" in not one, but TWO murders?

This series is going to be fun! Hottie coffeehouse guys, mothers with addictions to HSN, scads of crazy costumes and insane job assignments...

what more could a reader ask?
2.5 stars. Although I didn't rate this high, I still liked it. I just don't think it's worthy of a complete 3 stars. The book bored me about half way through, and even when it was to the climax of the book, I was bored. But I still loved the characters, and I laughed out loud. This is a series I wanna continue on with to see if I can get into any of Josie's other mysteries to solve, but if not, I'm gonna have to try another cozy mystery series!
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Fashion Book Lovers!: Dying in Style by Elaine Viets 13 15 Jan 27, 2011 10:37PM  
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  • Sit, Stay, Slay (Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery #1)
  • Blue Blood (Debutante Dropout, #1)
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  • Tressed to Kill
  • Alpine for You (Passport to Peril, #1)
  • How to Host a Killer Party (Party Planning, #1)
  • I Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A La Mode, #1)
  • Little Shop of Homicide (A Devereaux Dime Store Mystery #1)
  • Killer Mousse (A Della Cooks Mystery #1)
  • Death of a Neighborhood Witch (A Jaine Austen Mystery, #11)
  • Cooking Up Murder (A Cooking Class Mystery, #1)
  • The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #1)
  • The Chocolate Cat Caper (A Chocoholic Mystery, #1)
  • Dead Air (A Talk Radio Mystery #1)
  • Farm Fresh Murder (A Farmers' Market Mystery, #1)
  • Sink Trap (A Georgiana Neverall Mystery #1)
  • Deadly Advice (Advice Column Mystery, #1)
As a young girl, Elaine Viets was taught the virtues of South St. Louis: the importance of hard work, housecleaning, and paying cash. She managed to forget almost everything she learned, which is why she turned to mystery writing.

Living in South Florida has not improved her character. But it has given her the bestselling Dead-End Job series. Like her amateur detective, Helen Hawthorne, Elaine actu
More about Elaine Viets...
Shop Till You Drop (Dead-End Job Mystery, #1) Murder Between the Covers (Dead-End Job Mystery, #2) Dying to Call You (Dead-End Job Mystery, #3) Just Murdered (Dead-End Job Mystery, #4) Murder Unleashed (Dead-End Job Mystery, #5)

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