Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dead Ex” as Want to Read:
Dead Ex
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dead Ex (Wollie Shelley Mystery #3)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  483 ratings  ·  55 reviews

Wollie Shelley—the endearing, idiosyncratic heroine of the award-winning Dating Dead Men and Dating Is Murder—returns in a funny murder mystery set in the world of television soaps.

When David Zetrakis, the producer of a popular soap opera, is found shot to death the day after Christmas, Wollie Shelley finds herself caught up in the murder investigation. Zetrakis was one of

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dead Ex, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dead Ex

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 712)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jill Bratcher
Dec 29, 2010 Jill Bratcher rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery fans, Los Angelinos, people who love to laugh
Shelves: harley
Kozak's third book proves no less enjoyable than her first two - "Dating Dead Men" and "Dating is Murder". Still funny, still a good mystery.

In this outing, Wollie has an on-going, if highly interrupted relationship with her "stalker" from the second book. The "theme" running through this adventure is "Greek" - with Wollie commissioned to paint a wall with Greeks, meeting Greek immigrants and enduring her own Greek dramedy. Her pal Joey from the first two books has been accused of killing (or as
Mark Baker
Ex-boyfriend David Zetrakis was dying of cancer. But that didn't stop someone from killing him. And when Wollie's best friend Joey becomes the prime suspect, Wollie steps in to solve the crime. This book has a soap opera setting and feel, which adds to the fun. The second half slows down a little, but the third in the series is still a great read.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
I was interested to find out that the author, Harley Jane Kozak, starred on soap operas. It's not surprising that Dead Ex set in the world of soap opera TV has great details. In this story, famous aging soap actor and producer David Zetrakis dies, but is his death natural, suicide, or suicide-assisted? Suspicion falls on Wollie's good friend Joey, also a former soap opera star, not to mention that David is her "dead ex." Besides being a suspect in the murder, Joey's married life seems to be fall ...more
By Harley Jane Kozak
ISBN: 9780385518024
Hardback, 338 pages, $21.95
Genre: Mystery

In the third book of the Wollie Shelley series, card designer Wollie Shelley is homeless and living with her boyfriend FBI agent Simon Alexander. Wollie receives an offer to be the dating correspondent on a talk show called SoapDirt, where she will be required to date celebrities and dish about them afterward. But before Wollie has her first date, her good friend David Zetrakis is found shot to death.
Julie Witt
I finished this book and I really liked it, just like I have liked all of Harley Jane Kozak's books. I will be honest, one of the main reasons I started reading her books is because I used to watch her on Guiding Light, and then Santa Barbara, and I was curious to see how she would transfer her acting to writing. I was pleasantly surprised! Curiosity is what got me to read her first book, but good writing and interesting characters kept me reading.

I have often heard her character, Wollie, compa
Laura de Leon
Apr 23, 2009 Laura de Leon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Janet Evanovich on
This book was a fun read (or listen, in this case).

I loved the main character, Wollie. I should have found her hard to connect with: a 6 foot tall denizen of the L.A. celebrity set (she isn't a celebrity herself, although she has a brush with it), but I was clearly riding through the book with her-- laughing as the situations she got into inspired some of her "alternative greeting cards", worrying about the trouble her best friend was in, concerned about her relationship with her boyfriend.

The b
Sep 22, 2008 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Stephanie Plum fans
This is the third book in the Wollie Shelley series. My first foray into this series was at the behest of my manager back when I worked in a bookstore. I was (and still am) a fan of the Stephanie Plum series and this is along those same lines.

However, Wollie is more like the average gal. Stephanie stumbles about in an almost cariacture fashion, a bit over the top so it's got a solid "fiction" feel to it, almost comic book-ish. Wollie's stories are more down to earth, more like what I'd expect i
Wollie Shelley artist and greeting card designer, must solve the murder of a terminally ill producer of a popular soap opera to save her best friend who is the prime suspect. In need of money when her FBI boyfriend asks her to move out, Wollie starts moonlighting as the dating correspondent for a soap opera talk show. Life is complicated by a Greek family, all of whom are illegal except for a 15 year old math genius who has been accepted by Caltech, that move in with her uncle. In her spare time ...more
Eh, this third book in the series was okay... I found it to be a little bit redundant and stagnant around the middle of the book; perhaps because the author had trouble filling up space without completely giving away who the killer was. The other two books in the series "Dating Dead Men" and "Dating Is Murder" are worth the read and the drive to your library to check them out. I finished the book because I had to complete the series. Some parts were still comical, but it was overall a bit dry co ...more
I really do enjoy this author - her books remind me a little of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. This installment is not my favorite of the series, but it did keep my attention and I enjoyed the characters. The foreshadowing of the ending was rather heavy-handed - as soon as they mentioned it I knew this was where they would end up. Don't want to say more in fear of spoiling anyone.

So overall - good book, could have been better, but still good, silly, enjoyable fun.
This is my favorite book of the series so far. In the previous books, I have felt like there wasn't enough character development. Having the plot focus around Joey, helps to develop a real character for her. The ending was weird though - not expected, but it also didn't make the most sense to me. Again, this is the kind of book I read before bed because it doesn't suck me in so thoroughly that I end up reading all night instead of sleeping. On to the fourth book!
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
I enjoy this series but it's no where near as funny as the Stephanie Plum series by Evanovich. I liked the soap opera scene and getting a taste of what it's like in Hollywood. I'm sure she wrote it a little over the top but she is an actress and has seen a lot of stuff happen over the years. I would have never guessed the murderer. I just knew it wasn't Joey. The only thing remaining now is will Wollie stay with Simon or find someone new in the next book?
John Wright
An easy fun read with just enough plot to keep you guessing, just enough wackiness to keep you laughing and not too much depth to tire the brain. Perfect for a long Sunday afternoon.

First go at this author. Too bad I read it first, I didn't know there were preceding books. If you like Evnovich you will like this one. Now that Stephanie has gotten so wacky, this will make a fun carry over.

It was a great book. I would highly recommend it. I think, since I haven't read the previous books, which all seem to be about the same person, Wollie, that Harley did a good job explaining who people were without spending too much time going over everything again. I actually are going to look into getting more of her books, because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Well written and fast-paced, this should've been 4 stars. The reason it wasn't was because it was a little bit too madcap for my tastes. There were a lot of very far-fetched situations going on and I just didn't buy the killer.

Plus, this was listed as a holiday murder, but while it was around Christmas, it had nothing to do with anything.
I haven't read a good murder mystery in a while so I was browsing the stacks at the library to find something that looked interesting. When I saw that Kozak had a relatively new book, and that it was a continuation of the Wollie Shelley saga, I was elated. Wollie is a great character, and Kozak is a great writer. A fun combination!
I let my kids RANDOMLY choose ANY book in the library for me to read! lol I was surprised they actually AGREED on one! It's a mystery, which is my favorite, so I think they made a whise choice. They chose well! It was suspenseful, fun and easy to read. I'll have to let my kids pick another book, hugh???
This was a very pleasant, diverting murder mystery for what turned out to be a very long week. Kozak has an insiders feel for the LA scene, soap dramas and a bit of the Illiad thrown in! I've driven through the Mount Olympus area of the hills and many of the homes are very Grecian indeed.
This was a good mystery. It's been such a long time since I read the last Wollie Shelley mystery that I can't remember if this was better or worse than the last, but I didn't guess the murderer, so that's always a good sign. Good characterizations, interesting plot. It's worth picking up.
I enjoyed this book although I think it was a little slow at times. I had the killer, but not the motive, figured out before the end. Lots of LA flavor in this book, especially the references to Wollie being in her car nearly all the time.
Linda Weatherbee
I had sort of low expectations for this book (the first one I read) but it was great! Snappy dialog, funny, and still a good mystery to be solved - and the ending wasn't pat. Look forward to reading more from her.
Keith Raffel
Bitingly witty, yet charming with an insider's view of television. What makes Dead Ex a must-read is its protagonist Wolly Shelley, a vulnerable but tough 21st century Alice in the Wonderland of 21st century Hollywood.
I started reading this book and I could not put it down until I finished it. This series is just funny, and I like the characters alot in it. Will read more if there is more to read.
this was your basic mystery..the ex gets murdered and the it looks like the friend did it...or did she??? a bit too wordy..i think the story could have been told in half the words.
Wollie's back to her hijinks, although this one is a little sadder, I like this mystery series pretty well, mostly for the characters, no big surprises to me on this one.
I loved this author's first book, Dating Dead Men. This one was OK....listened to it on CD on my drive to work and back....better than all the election stuff on the radio.

This was a great 3rd book and I look forward to reading the next one when Kozak writes it. I am glad to see Simon is was in this book
This was a fairly entertaining listen. I almost gave it two stars, because I didn't care too much for the narration.
Carole Denise Dixon
If there's a 4th, I think I will pass. Why are these SO tough to muddle through? Great stories, writing style...??
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23 24 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bubbles Ablaze (Bubbles Yablonsky, #3)
  • Dead Guy's Stuff (Jane Wheel, #2)
  • Dating Can Be Murder (Samantha Shaw Mystery, #1)
  • Motherhood is Murder (A Maternal Instincts Mystery, #2)
  • Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate (A Sophie Katz Murder Mystery #3)
  • Wanna Get Lucky? (Lucky O'Toole, #1)
  • Working Stiff (Sofie Metropolis, #4)
  • Unscrewed (A Chrissy McMullen Mystery #3)
  • Stamped Out (A Stamping Sisters Mystery, #1)
  • Cook the Books (A Gourmet Girl Mystery, #5)
  • Blood Atonement (Nigel Barnes #2)
  • No Woman Left Behind (Lexi Carmichael Mystery, #6)
  • Perdition House (Bay Tanner, #3)
  • Guise & Dolls (Gretchen Birch, #4)
  • Murder of a Royal Pain (A Scumble River Mystery, #11)
  • Highland Obsession
  • Flat Crazy (A Blanco County Mystery #3)
Harley Jane Kozak is an American actress and author. She was born Susan Jane Kozak in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Dorothy (Taraldsen), a university music teacher, and Joseph Aloysius Kozak, an attorney. She was raised in Nebraska and attended New York University.

Kozak has written four novels: Dating Dead Men (2004), Dating Is Murder : A Novel (2005), Dead Ex (2007), and A Date You
More about Harley Jane Kozak...

Other Books in the Series

Wollie Shelley Mystery (4 books)
  • Dating Dead Men
  • Dating is Murder
  • A Date You Can't Refuse
Dating Dead Men Dating is Murder A Date You Can't Refuse Keeper of the Moon (The Keepers: L.A. #2) Date You Can't Refuse, A

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »