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

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,247 Ratings  ·  94 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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(showing 1-30 of 2,632)
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Oct 20, 2011 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2014 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-cozy, 1-09
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
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
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
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
Jun 08, 2014 Fanficfan44 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Creative Caprice
Jul 25, 2016 Creative Caprice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the cozy mystery series "Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper". I thought it was an excellent introduction and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had the right blend of plot, setting, mystery and humor. A light, easy to read book that was entertaining from start to finish.

Josie Marcus is a great main character. She was particularly well developed, funny, a little off the wall at times, with some problems to work through and a complicated life. The author also took the time to develop
Rogue Reader
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
Oct 20, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series just gets gooder and gooder!!!
Barbara M
I like Josie Marcus. She's a single mom and her 9 year old daughter, Amelia, is a delightful character. Josie lives in the downstairs apartment of her mother's house, her mom,Jane, lives upstairs and often takes care of Amelia, picking her up at school when needed. This seems to give Jane the right to pop in on Josie at any time of the day.

To make ends meet, Josie is a secret shopper. Her boss sends her to shop a very high end store that sells purses in the in the four digits. She finds the stor
Carla Johnson-Hicks
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 ...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
Lea Williams
Mar 31, 2015 Lea Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I would considered to be a comical preppy Mistry book. A lady with the struggles of being a single parent with a crazy mother who is trying to set her up with the frumpy next-door neighbor. She finds herself in a horrible situation. Well a couple of them if you count the next-door neighbor.
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!
Jun 13, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good start to a new to me series. Mystery shoppers are something I have heard about and now I have a better idea os what they do, although I hope most of them do not become embroiled in a murderor three. I will be looking forward to reading more of this series.
Jennifer Hall
Feb 26, 2014 Jennifer Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jenn-s-favorites
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
Nov 06, 2013 Tofu Fairy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 12, 2011 Meg Fee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2016 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Elaine Viets' other Dead-End Job series very much and liked my intro to this one (mystery shopper) as well. Her female leads sure do have mother problems, but I like how this one is working its tug of war out. It will be interesting to see how the male characters develop in this series.
Dec 05, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy
"Dying in Style" is a fun, quick read from Elaine Viets. The characters are quirky, and the premise of a mystery shopper who gets into trouble is funny and cute.
Tristen Weyer
Sep 17, 2014 Tristen Weyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 07, 2011 Susie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, st-louis, series
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
Patty Allen
Mar 26, 2015 Patty Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dying in Style is a really fun book with a good mystery with a lot of twists and turns.
Andrea Hagadorn Barnett
The book was great! Josie is like able, and funny. It was hard to put down!
Aug 24, 2014 Paola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 :-)
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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)
  • I Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A La Mode, #1)
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  • Dead Air (Talk Radio Mystery #1)
  • Killer Hair (Crime of Fashion, #1)
  • Cookie Dough or Die (Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery, #1)
  • 50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls, #1)
  • Farm Fresh Murder (A Farmers' Market Mystery, #1)
  • Cooking Up Murder (A Cooking Class Mystery, #1)
  • This Pen for Hire (A Jaine Austen 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...

Other Books in the Series

Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper (10 books)
  • High Heels are Murder (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #2)
  • Accessory to Murder (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #3)
  • Murder with All the Trimmings (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #4)
  • The Fashion Hound Murders
  • An Uplifting Murder (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #6)
  • Death on a Platter (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #7)
  • Murder is a Piece of Cake (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #8)
  • Fixing to Die
  • A Dog Gone Murder (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper #10)

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