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Dead Ex (Wollie Shelley Mystery #3)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  535 Ratings  ·  61 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)
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(showing 1-30 of 832)
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Pat Roberts
Sep 17, 2016 Pat Roberts rated it really liked it
Kodak is back to her strong story line laced with great humor.
Jill Bratcher
Dec 29, 2010 Jill Bratcher rated it really liked it
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
Blow Pop
Sep 20, 2015 Blow Pop rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff, reviewed, 2015
Content warnings: death, attempted murder, drug use, gambling, alcohol use, alcohol abuse, kidnapping

Ok I really liked the Greek kid (whose name is escaping me at the moment). I like kids who are portrayed as smart and encouraged to follow their dreams and given the resources to do so.

Simon's pissing me off with his secrets. I mean I know he's FBI and there's a lot he can't say. But he could say "I'm going to have to appear to be dating (x number) of girls to get information about something I ca
Nov 01, 2015 Els rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Het eerste boek dat ik vastneem van deze auteur. De tekst op de achterflap trok me aan en toen ik een positieve reactie op de cover zag staan van een van mijn favoriete schrijfsters in dit genre, was ik helemaal verkocht.
De titel geeft natuurlijk weer waar het over gaat. De cover is mooi, maar ik kan hem eigenlijk niet echt koppelen aan de inhoud.
Het verhaal zelf dan. Het begon goed, maar al snel kwamen er dingen bij waarvan ik niet snapte wat die er bij kwamen doen. Ze hadden totaal niets met h
Mark Baker
Mar 03, 2014 Mark Baker rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2007
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.
Mar 21, 2012 Dlora rated it liked it
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
May 23, 2008 Christy rated it really liked it
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
May 14, 2011 Julie Witt rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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 really liked it
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
Mar 19, 2010 Susan rated it liked it
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
May 21, 2016 Alpa rated it it was amazing
i love this series! funny heroine, great characters, and moments of deep emotion to ground the characters and actions.

now, i'm off to find the next book!
Jenn Swanson
Jan 21, 2016 Jenn Swanson rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This was an entertaining story. Would definitely recommend.
Jul 25, 2016 Kay added it
Shelves: fun, mystery, fiction
Totally fun novel continuing to follow the life of Wallie Shelly. Dead bodies and a mystery.
Jun 07, 2013 Storm rated it it was ok
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
Aug 07, 2010 Kallierose rated it liked it
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.
Oct 22, 2012 Katy rated it liked it
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)
Jan 28, 2009 Cindi (cheesygiraffe) rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
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
Mar 14, 2011 John Wright rated it really liked it
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.

Jan 07, 2011 Season rated it liked it
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.
Dec 10, 2008 Grey853 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
Aug 19, 2008 Shauna rated it really liked it
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!
Nov 18, 2007 Gayle rated it liked it
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???
Sep 30, 2007 Julia rated it liked it
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.
Sep 09, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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.
Feb 05, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads, audio
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
Jul 19, 2009 Linda Weatherbee rated it it was amazing
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
May 13, 2013 Keith Raffel rated it it was amazing
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.
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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

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