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Board Stiff (A Dead-End Job Mystery #12)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  584 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont won’t be sparing the sunscreen on their latest assignment, but they’re about to find out murder is no day at the beach….

Will the Real Paddleboard Killer Please Stand Up?

There’s a dark cloud over Sunny Jim’s Safety First Parasailing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding business on Florida’s Riggs Beach—especially after one
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by NAL
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Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Apr 25, 2013 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
This twelfth novel in this entertaining and compelling murder mystery series, left me anything but bored stiff.

Private Investigator and married couple, Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have been delivered a plum summer beach job...find out who is sabotaging Sunny Jim's Safety First Parasailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding business on Florida's Riggs Beach. This idyllic job quickly transforms into a murder investigation when a client is killed riding one of Jim's Paddleboards.

Helen and Phil soon
Jun 05, 2013 Michele rated it liked it
This book was okay, pretty much same-old, same-old. I wish the characters would develope.
Helen is self-centered as always. We hear seven million times how attractive Phil is.
The plot was okay, easily figured out.
I'm not sure where this series is going,but I hope some new ideas come forth soon. I stay with the books because I likedthem in the beginning, but now, even the most loyal fans have got to be growing tired of the predictability.
Jan 18, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
Phil is working undercover at Sunny Jim’s Safety First Parasailing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding business on Florida’s Riggs Beach while Helen plays the tourist with her trusty video camera. They have been hired to figure out who was trying to put Jim out of business when stakes get raised considerably. A client was killed and Jim knows it was no accident.

There are no shortage of suspects, a cutthroat competitor wants Jim’s prime beach location, the nearby restaurant owner wants the space to enlar
May 04, 2016 Icewineanne rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
Hmmm........lots of good reviews but for me this was just an average cozy. Nothing special but an "ok" time-waster. If you're looking for a challenging read, look elsewhere. That said, it's a pleasant beach book which I'm sure is what the author intends.
"Board Stiff" is the 12Th in the Dead End Jobs mystery series and I've read every one of them. The reasons why I've stayed with this series will become quite obvious once you too become addicted.

1. They characters are not boring or repetitive. The action is new with each book.

2. The characters work well together as their relationships evolve.

3. The author took care to have the main characters in a collaborative P.I. business so they would be sought out by others and not stuck in their own env
Jun 07, 2013 Darcy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2013
The mystery in this one was average. I found myself hating Phil during the later portion of the book. I hated how he jumped to conclusions and was so judgmental. At one point I wanted Helen to find someplace new, especially when Margery started to chime in.
Kathy Warren
I love the Dead-End Job series. Helen is now married to Phil and both have their own detective agency. This lively plot and board humor is a great tea mystery. Perfect read for the summer and beach.
Karen Holman
Nov 12, 2016 Karen Holman rated it liked it
This book has an interesting set of characters, southern Florida setting, and an ending that sets the group for another story. copy right 2014
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jeanie

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

And you thought your job reeked. Or at least that you’ve had more than your share of positions that nobody should have to have. Maybe you are even a small business owner who has had a few challenges with the competition You can definitely appreciate the situation that Sunny Jim, of Sunny Jim’s Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental stand finds himself, when all is not sunny at Riggs Beach in Florida.

His business is quickly being r
Debbie Lester
May 12, 2014 Debbie Lester rated it it was amazing
Elaine Viets returns to her Dead End Job mystery series with her latest book, Board Stiff. Readers who are fans of the series love the sunny South Florida setting, complete with beaches, killer waves and plain old killers. This is a great whodunit featuring a paddleboard business and shady character who doesn't want it to succeed. This one is all about secrets and how they destroy lives. Viets does a fantastic job of keeping this long running series fresh and up to date. A great addition to the ...more
Gloria Feit
Sep 08, 2013 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
Elaine Viets’ newest entry in the Dead End Job Mysteries begins shortly after her protagonists, Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, have gotten married and started a private detective agency out of their condo office in Riggs Beach, Florida, a beach town just south of Fort Lauderdale.

Helen and Phil, now in their mid-40’s, with a reputation as the best private eyes in South Florida, are hired to work undercover for a paddleboard rental concession owner in Riggs Beach, where he needs help finding o
Valerie Andrews
Sep 10, 2016 Valerie Andrews rated it it was ok
Helen's got a boatload of secrets, and it's interfering with her marriage and her job. When one secret leads to blackmail, she has to tell her husband/business partner, who reacts in the extreme by throwing her out.

Will it be easier to solve their current client's problems – someone is trying to wreck his paddleboarding business – or to prevent her impending divorce? Will the increasing number of dead bodies and other serious crimes lead to her swan song as a PI?

Unfortunately, I quit caring abou
Jennifer Vido
Apr 29, 2014 Jennifer Vido rated it it was amazing
Business is not what it used to be at Sunny Jim’s Stand-up Paddleboard Rental on Riggs Beach. With fierce competition from a back-stabbing competitor, Jim Sandusky is struggling to keep his Floridian business afloat. From corrupt town officials to angry shop owners giving him grief, Jim is feeling pressure from all sides. With nowhere else to turn, he takes matters into his own hands by hiring private investigators Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont to get to the bottom of this sordid mess.

When a
Jennifer Perkins
Nov 09, 2013 Jennifer Perkins rated it liked it
I was happy to see heroine, Helen Hawthorne, in “Board Stiff” grow to reflect her new life with husband and investigative partner, Phil Sagemont. They team together in their detective agency Coronado Investigations to find out who is trying to frame the owner of Sunny Jim’s Paddleboarding for murder and put him out of business. I love how Helen is paid to sit on the beach; this would be my ideal job! The book was a nice quick read and a pleasant story to follow. I do enjoy this series and will ...more
Apr 23, 2014 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"Board Stiff" is a cozy mystery. This book was the twelfth in a series, but this story did not spoil the mysteries in the previous books. This series does have an ongoing mystery, though, that is solved in this book. All the needed background to that mystery was given in this story, so you don't need to read the previous books to understand what is going on.

I was initially very intrigued by the paddleboarding mystery as it could have been a complex and clever mystery. While they know who is like
May 06, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
Board Stiff: A Dead-End Job Mystery may have most of its action centered on a small stretch of beach in Florida but this is no simple beach read!

On a South Florida beach where businesses take tourist dollars very seriously, Sunny Jim of Sunny Jim's Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental, hires Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, husband and wife private eyes, because he thinks someone is vandalizing his business with the intent to get him off the beach. Helen and Phil naively think their task is simply to
Jul 14, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Coronado Investigations is hired to find out who's trying to put a paddle-boarding operator, Sunny Jim, out of business at Riggs Beach. Meanwhile, one of his customers is murdered. Is this part of the villain's plan or did the lady's jerk of a husband have a hand in her death? Along the way, Coronado Investigations finds much corruption at Riggs Beach. Meanwhile, back in Missouri, Helen's sister has some alarming news about their "secret" that causes Helen to come rushing home. Very surprising ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it
#12 in the Dead End Job series. Not quite up to the series standard. The murder of a client at a paddleboard franchise where Helen is working undercover is rather thin. Meanwhile, for someone who has followed the series, the backstory about Helen's ex is repetitive and tiresome and the resulting marital strife between Helen and Phil does not fit the light tone of the series.

Dead End Job series - Sunny Jim Sundusky, the owner of a Florida paddleboard concession, hires married PIs Helen Hawthorne
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Aug 17, 2013 Rachel Kramer Bussel rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that Helen Hawthorne and her Dead End Job series have grown on me; I got into Viets' books through her other series, the Josie Marcus personal shopper series. But Helen and her now husband, Phil, have grown on me. Plus, this "dead end" job is pretty interesting--Helen gets to lie on the beach and be on the lookout for who might be messing with Sunny Jim's Paddleboards. The murder of a tourist doesn't seem like a murder, and Helen and Phil have to do a bit of digging, uncovering ...more
Jun 15, 2014 Fred rated it really liked it
Board Stiff is the twelfth book in the A Dead-End Job Mystery series.

Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, husband and wife PI team, have been hired by Sunny Jim to investigate who might be trying to sabotage his business. Possibly a disgruntled employee or Cy Horton owner of Cy's On The Pier Restaurant and Bait Shop. Cyrus would like sunny Jim's spot so that he can expand his business.

Helen while video taping what is going on at Sunny Jim's, notices that Ceci, a novice Stand-Up Paddleboarder, is h
Dec 14, 2013 Juanita rated it liked it
I mostly enjoyed this installment. Helen and Phil are hired to investigate a paddleboard shop on the beach, so she gets to play a tourist, which is a far cry from some of her earlier dirty jobs. I liked that there were many possible perps in the case, it wasn't quite so easy to figure out who did it. I like Joan's character, the waitress who worked in Cy's restaurant (view spoiler) ...more
Kevin Lanahan
Jun 02, 2013 Kevin Lanahan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, chick-lit
I read the Dead-End Job mysteries because the author is a fellow St. Louisan and a very funny writer. She used to be a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and lived in my neighborhood in the late 80s. She was always able to capture the flavor of a town and give you an idea of what life is like there.

Carl Hiassen and Dave Barry have been writing about Southern Florida and its characters and politics for years, so the plot dreamed up in this one doesn't seem too far off the map. As usual, n
Victoria Allman
Jun 03, 2013 Victoria Allman rated it it was amazing
The next installment of Elaine Viet's Dead End Jobs series is as funny and action-packed as her previous titles. Focusing on the beach concessions of Fort Lauderdale, Viet's has a knack of highlighting all the great things about life in Fort Lauderdale as well as all the craziness. Even though her characters are wacky they are not over-the-top and are extremely believable.

Board Stiff has inserted a curve in the series with Helen finally admitting to her husband a secret from her past. This admis
Sep 27, 2014 James rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Helen and Phil are hired to investigate the goings on around Sunny Jim's Paddleboard business in Riggs Beach, Florida. Someone is trying to put Sunny Jim out of business. Is it his competitor, Bill's Boards, or Cy's restaurant who wants the space for additional parking? As the investigation begins, one of Sunny Jim's customers, dies in an accident or is it? It is murder. As Helen and Phil dig deeper, they discover more and more corruption in Riggs Beach. To make matters worse, Helen's ex is ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Robert rated it liked it
Not as good as her other books in the series. A little too much "romance." I do approve the logical transition to a married couple though.
I hate the term "cozies" as it seems to imply for women only. I'm a guy who likes mystery books with some humor and this series does that. Also like the ones by Laura Levine.
I would have given it a 4 or 5 if it had less romance. Her early novels did not seem to have as much. Will probably purchase the next book in the series soon.
I have read a couple of the Jo
Rogue Reader
Oct 27, 2013 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it
Elaine Viets never fails to amuse me, and of her two series, I especially like her Dead-End Job mysteries. I've missed a few because the narrative arc has advanced nicely! Helen's circle of friends has grown and so has her investigations, this one has Helen lounging on the beach with an eye on Sunny Jim's Stand-Up Paddleboard shop, in what must be one of Florida's most corrupt towns. Old and new threats interweave the storyline and Helen emerges triumphant again.

Thanks Ashland Public Library!

May 18, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
I love the Dead End job mysteries by Elaine Viets. This one was no exception. The story involved the murder of Ceci, a tourist from St. Louis, murdered while paddleboarding. The plotline concerning Helen's no good ex-husband, Rob, also (hopefully) makes its final appearance. I felt the books lost their way a little bit with the last Rob plotlines but this one, while a little far fetched, seemed fitting. No Peggy and her parrot in this one either. Personally I think Margery ruled in this one! A ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Erin rated it it was ok
I had previously given up on this series, but picked this one up at the library since it was set on the beach, which is always my weakness... it's definitely the last one. While corruption is always very believable, the rest of the plot (from the return of helen's ex from the dead to her new husband freaking out over her hiding the fact that she was blackmailed from him) was not. I just stopped caring where the book went after the couple's little tiff.
Sep 06, 2016 D rated it really liked it
Fun. I'm interested to read more from this author.
May 10, 2013 Mare rated it really liked it
Following Helen on her adventures is always enjoyable and this one was a rousing good time. As always the characters are well written and incredibly easy to believe in, Helen's job is a trial, and the excitement is finely paced. This is a series that continues to entertain me and I hope that Ms. Viets continues to keep Helen on the go. I recommend this to anyone looking for a truly feisty and resilient heroine.
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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

A Dead-End Job Mystery (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • 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)
  • Murder with Reservations (Dead-End Job Mystery, #6)
  • Clubbed to Death (Dead-End Job Mystery, #7)
  • Killer Cuts (Dead-End Job Mystery, #8)
  • Half-Price Homicide (Dead-End Job Mystery, #9)
  • Pumped for Murder (Dead-End Job Mystery, #10)

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