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Dying To Get Published (Jennifer Marsh #1)

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,039 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews

What does it take to get a book contract? That's the lament of every unpublished author--including aspiring murder-mystery novelist Jennifer Marsh.

After submitting eight diligently crafted manuscripts to every prominent publisher in New York, Jennifer has collected enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room. But that doesn't stop her from concoc
Mass Market Paperback, 225 pages
Published July 29th 1998 by Fawcett (first published March 1st 1995)
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May 09, 2015 Judie rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Marsh really wanted to have her book published. After holding Jennifer’s manuscript for a year, agent Penney Richmond told her it wouldn’t sell and refused to speak with her. Jennifer decided she would kill murder someone as a research project so her story would be more realistic and she would learn how murderers thought.
Jennifer talked to the other members of her writing class to get suggestions about how to commit the murder: gaining access to the victim, establishing the alibi, cho
Mar 12, 2013 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dying to Get Published is quirky and filled with many funny, head shaking moments. I originally decided to get the book strictly based off of the title and cover. I mean really, what aspiring writer struggling to get their name out there can't identify with a fellow writer who goes off the "deep end" just a little in the name of success. I believe the writing bug probably makes everyone slightly loopy. With that being said although there wasn't a huge amount of romance I enjoyed reading this boo ...more
Feb 10, 2015 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for free from BookBub. It sounded like a quick fun read. Well it was quick but I didn’t find it fun. The main character is Jennifer Marsh, a writer with 8 unpublished novels in her closet who is tired of being rejected by literary agents. She gets the wonderful idea from watching Oprah on how to finally break into publishing. Her plan is to kill a literary agent who rejected one of her novels, get arrested, have the perfect alibi so she’s not convicted, and use her newfound fame ...more
Cheryl Landmark
Aug 21, 2014 Cheryl Landmark rated it liked it
Quirky, funny at times, and a satisfying read for the most part. I liked this book but I didn't love it.

The main character, Jennifer, was likeable in many ways and I could definitely sympathize with her frustration at not being published. But...she also engaged in some very questionable and downright stupid decisions and actions. I could only shake my head at the depths to which she was prepared to go to get herself noticed, which, needless to say, backfired on her. What in heaven's name were yo
Aug 30, 2013 Jen rated it it was ok
Jennifer marsh can't seem to get published, why? Obviously her books are missing something. She decides to think like a killer, and plans to murder the literary agent who snubbed her book. I expected to like this book more than I did. It was a quick read, but I couldn't get into the characters at all. Jennifer annoyed me, especially when she drugged Sam just to see if he would think that they had spent the night together even if he couldn't remember it. And I didn't like how Jennifer justified c ...more
Alannah Davis
I've read a couple of later books in the Jennifer Marsh series. I snapped up this one, the first in the series, after finding I could get it on my Nook for free.

I very much enjoyed this. Witty, fun, and filled with delightfully whimsical characters such as the salty old lady who practically adopts Jennifer (who is in disguise as a frumpy pregnant woman at the time). I found the constant references to Jennifer's as-yet-unconceived child to be annoying and far too abundant. However, the rest of t
Borrow this one from the library if you can.. Was just okay for me.
Betty Ost-Everley
Aug 31, 2013 Betty Ost-Everley rated it really liked it
My, was that fun! Like Jennifer, I have also submitted a novel several times to receive a stack of rejection letters, and I immediately bonded with her character. I thought this was a great little read, and really enjoyed Fitzwater's humor, laughing out loud several times. I have already downloaded the second book in the series and can hardly wait to see what trouble Jennifer finds herself. Found myself comparing these favorably to the Richard Castle books. Highly recommend to those seeking a fu ...more
Mar 30, 2016 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Liked it enough to buy the next one in the series
The main character, as-yet-unpublished author Jennifer Marsh, decides to plan a murder in order to liven up her writing. A touch of realism, or writing what she knows by planning it. But when the murder really happens, her plans make her suspect number one.
It's an easy, quick-paced story, and Jennifer is a bit quirky. Nice, occasionally a dingbat, has her moments, but quirky. She has a new romantic intere
Ian Wood
Mar 16, 2015 Ian Wood rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Nov 25, 2014 Rhonda rated it really liked it
4 stars

This is the first book in the Jennifer Marsh series. It is actually the second I have read. So I knew who most of the characters were because I had read the seventh book first.
This is a light hearted cozy mystery. It shows how eager and desperate writers are to get their work published and noted.

Jennifer Marsh is a single writer who has 8 finished novels in her closet. She is tired of getting rejected. She gets a idea that if she commits a real murder with a alibi and lead the police righ
Rachel Olivier
Mar 08, 2014 Rachel Olivier rated it really liked it
I think I got this for free from Amazon? Or it was from a gift card. Anyway, I did enjoy reading this. The main character, Jennifer Marsh, has eight unpublished manuscripts in her closet and she's out for blood for real this time in an attempt to get noticed by a publisher. In her half-hearted and bungling attempt to figure out how to murder the agent from hell, she ends up being set up for the murder herself, even though she didn't commit it.

So, I loved the side characters in this. I'd love th
Dec 28, 2013 Readingmom rated it it was ok
I was hoping this book would be another well written, quick read. Instead, I received a mediocre "mystery" that centered around an unlikable protagonist who I kind of preferred be jailed rather than being able to clear her name.

In case you can't tell, I was not a very large fan of this book.

My main problem is the protagonist. Jennifer Marsh is a mystery writer who has eight books written, and none of them published. Despite her persistence in trying to find an agent, she has received some intere
Babus Ahmed
Sep 27, 2014 Babus Ahmed rated it really liked it
Jennifer Marsh is a budding writer with 8 unpublished crime novels under her belt. She decides to try and commit a murder in order to get some first hand experience in her subject of choice and to do away with a "career SOB" of a publishing agent, however on the execution of her plan she has second thoughts but not without putting herself in the frame of a murder.

A hilarious and well written novel that I thoroughly enjoyed on the whole but the romance aspect of the plot didn't hit the right not
Andy Dale
Feb 21, 2015 Andy Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a humorous mystery book about a frustrated mystery writer. This writer is angry at a book editor who won't accept her book to be published and plans to kill her. She doesn't seriously want to do it and before she can kill the editor someone else kills the editor. The writer enlists the help of some funny girlfriends who are also writers to help her investigate the murder. She has a hunky boyfriend who helps her too. The story was a bit far fetched, but the reader can gather that as you r ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humor
We've all heard the stories Dr Seuss was rejected numerous times before he finally got the Cat in the Hat published. When an aspiring mystery writer is rejected over and over she figures she needs a new hook. Oprah gives her a clue, be arrested for murder and then acquitted. While she bumbles through her plan to kill a cruel literary agent she meets a newspaper reporter who wants to investigate a local news reader suicide and needs her help.

Lots of cute, eccentric characters add charm to this cl
Book #1 in Jennifer Marsh Mysteries

This book took awhile to set up. I mean, it started with the protagonist in jail, contemplating how she got there, but there were two stories in one here and the actually murder took three-fourths of the book to happen. There were some funny bits in here and I read it faster than I thought I would. But as I was reading this for the second time (the first reading took place at least two years ago,) I remembered the details of the story, but I still could't remem
Jennifer Marsh is a mystery writer who cannot get her book published. One day she comes up with this brilliant idea of why her manuscripts keep getting rejected, she needs to think like a murderer. All she needs to do is find someone to kill.

She decides that she is going to kill the literary agent Penny Richmond. All she needs to do is get herself locked up for the murder, and have herself a good alibi that the police cannot prove that she did not commit the murder. Jenifer comes to her senses a
P S Karr
Jan 28, 2014 P S Karr rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Are You Dying to Get Published? Innocuous words every wannabe author may be asked frequently, but they take on a whole new meaning in Judy Fitzwater’s humorous mystery. Jennifer Marsh is a character that will grow on you and thankfully, we can meet her again via other books in this series. Jennifer Marsh has plunged into full time writing. Apart from some part time waitressing jobs for her caterer friend, she writes all the time.

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Jennifer Wilson
Jul 10, 2014 Jennifer Wilson rated it liked it
As I am from Atlanta – where the novel is set, and work in the publishing biz, I couldn’t resist trying out Fitzwater’s debut mystery novel. Follow struggling writer Jennifer Marsh, as she does everything she can to get published – including murder? I LOL’d more than once and totally identified with this aspiring author’s frustration over rejection letters, arrogant literary agents, and stuffy social scenes. Enjoyable but a bit shy of a big time series.
Feb 19, 2015 Marti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard to understand why this would be called a 'tour de force.' Jennifer, the main character needs to find another career choice. The schtick about her pretending to be pregnant, talking to 'Jaimie' wears quite thin--at least she finally dispenses with it. Probably the best part comes at the end and would need a spoiler alert as she almost destroys a house. It is admirable that she has adopted a retired greyhound, but to call it little?
Aug 31, 2014 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Apart from having a great title, the plot was well written and full of interesting twists! Jenny, the unpublished but determined author of mystery books, decides to get involved first hand in a murder, but she finds herself in the middle of not one, but two "real" murders.
The story was fast moving and keeps the reader reading to find out "Who dunnit!"
"Dying " to read other Jennifer Marsh mysteries!!!
Kim Brown
Apr 02, 2015 Kim Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Choosing someone to murder was not as difficult as Jennifer thought it would be."

Sheesh...what does a woman have to do to get noticed? Jennifer Marsh has concocted a brilliant plan to get her book published. The twists and turns, re-twists and re-turns that happen next, you have to read for yourself There's even a few laughs along the way. Did I mention she's willing to do ANYTHING to get published!
Melony Gallant
May 31, 2014 Melony Gallant rated it it was amazing
This book was really fun to read. Even though the character is completely wrong in doing what she does, I found myself rooting for her the whole way through. I was thinking just as hard as her to solve the crime and dang it, I really hoped my theory was right. I loved that it was more than a regular love story and that it got me to care about everyone- except penny. Recommend it till I'm on my death bed!
Syd Perry
Aug 20, 2014 Syd Perry rated it liked it
I got this as a free kindle book. Their ploy worked; now I'll be buying the rest of the series.

This was a lighthearted mystery with a bit of romantic comedy thrown in. Not my usual chiller thriller fare, but it's good to have a change of pace to keep balanced. The main character is goofy and likable. The ending was somewhat suspenseful and it had a happy ending. Altogether, a satisfying read.
Susan Miller
Jul 31, 2015 Susan Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the adventure. Plotting to kill off a literary agent that is nasty and rejected manuscripts, alas Jennifer is not the only one that has received the bad news from this agent. Someone else beats her to the murder, yet she finds herself charged with the crime. How can she clear her name and possible find a potential father for the yet conceived child she would like to have?
Judith Cranswick
May 28, 2014 Judith Cranswick rated it liked it
A fun read cosy.I liked the premise of the novel - what writer with enough rejection letter to paper a wall in their study - would not? Unfortunately, the finished product doesn't quite come up to scratch mainly due to the need for more work on the characters and an uneven pace. I will read more in the series in the hope that the writer will get better with more experience.

Catherine Leggitt
Jul 08, 2013 Catherine Leggitt rated it liked it
The premise of this book is very cute. Jennifer Marsh, a wannabe mystery writer who was snubbed by a literary agent sets out to write a mystery about the agent's murder. Research for said book requires a bit of playacting, even to the point of arriving at the agent's door with a gun. There are the requisite plot twists and cast of eccentric fellow writers and journalists. There's even a bit of romance.

Typical of many contemporary novelists, this book doesn't quite make the big time. It's good bu
Jan 08, 2016 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish that I could give this book a 2 & 1/2 star review. This series has a lot of potential to be very funny and have great mysteries to solve. There were a few times that I felt that there was a miss for a very funny scene to be completed and the author just skipped over it to quickly. Unfortunately there were too many times that Jennifer went on internal debates with herself that were very redundant throughout the story.

I found this book to be a delight. It has a good christian heroine who is trying to do her best to become a mystery writer. She has a critique group of other aspiring writers who are zany,believable and an all around group of people you wouldn't mind meeting. Jennifer may be a little obsessive but her heart is always in the right place. She might be able to write about murder, even plan a murder, but commit murder -- no way! The problem, of course, arises when she plans a murder but someone else ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Dying to Get Published 1 4 Feb 09, 2013 03:58PM  
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Judy Fitzwater loves a great mystery. That's why she started writing novels, and why her Jennifer Marsh mystery series was born. Murder is nothing to laugh at, but how Jennifer thinks is, and that's what made writing the Jennifer books so much fun. The first in the series, DYING TO GET PUBLISHED, was sold without an agent to Ballantine Books, a division of Random House. It went on to receive an Ag ...more
More about Judy Fitzwater...

Other Books in the Series

Jennifer Marsh (6 books)
  • Dying to Get Even (Jennifer Marsh Mysteries, #2)
  • Dying for a Clue (Jennifer Marsh Mysteries, #3)
  • Dying to Remember (Jennifer Marsh Mysteries, #4)
  • Dying to Be Murdered (Jennifer Marsh Mysteries, #5)
  • Dying to Get Her Man (Jennifer Marsh Mysteries, #6)

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