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Honestly Dearest, You're Dead (Dek Ekstrom Mystery #2)

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  153 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
A Safe Place for Dying, the first in Jack Fredrickson’s highly acclaimed Dek Elstrom mystery series, was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First Novel. Now, Chicago P.I. Dek Elstrom is back in an electrifying new mystery.

A lawyer calls Dek with a fast, seven-hundred dollar proposition. A dead client named Dek to execute her will. No matter that Dek didn’t know the wo
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published January 8th 2008)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3* of five

The Book Report: The book description says:
A Safe Place for Dying, the first in Jack Fredrickson’s highly acclaimed Dek Elstrom mystery series, was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First Novel. Now, Chicago P.I. Dek Elstrom is back in an electrifying new mystery.

A lawyer calls Dek with a fast, seven-hundred dollar proposition. A dead client named Dek to execute her will. No matter that Dek didn’t know the woman. No matter, too, that the woman’s estate was only worth a
James Thane
Jul 02, 2012 James Thane rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Dek Elstrom is a PI who's down on his luck and barely scraping by, reduced to living in an old turret that he's slowly rehabbing in Rivertown, Illinois. It's the middle of winter; he has no heat; he has practically no money, and he's also recently divorced.

From out of nowhere, and attorney in the tiny town of Rambling, Michigan calls Dek and tells him that a woman named Louise Thomas has named Dek executor of her will. Dek has never heard of the woman, but there's a $700.00 fee for handling the
Dec 16, 2015 Viccy rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Dek Elstrom gets a phone call from an attorney in Indiana, telling him a woman has named him the executor of her will. She has disappeared and the police believe it was foul play. Dek drives to the very small town in Indiana and discovers something violent obviously happened, but without a body, the police are less than interested in pursuing the case. As Dek continues to investigate, he becomes convinced something more is going on. And, he uncovers a secret from deep is his past in his tiny, bl ...more
Debbie Heaton
Aug 05, 2014 Debbie Heaton rated it really liked it
In Fredrickson’s mystery novel, former Chicago investigator Dek Elstrom has managed to clear his name of some trumped-up charges and now makes a meager living uncovering information for clients willing to pay for it. Out of the blue he learns that he has been named the executor of some stranger’s will. Heading off to West Haven, Michigan, Dek hopes to collect a quick paycheck making quick work of handling a will. But once there, he realizes that Louse Thomas’ death is anything but easy. To all a ...more
May 10, 2012 Albert rated it really liked it
Jack Fredrickson may have created one of the most likable anti-heros since Fletch. Honestly Dearest, You're Dead is the second in the young series of novels to feature disgraced Chicago PI Dek Elstrom. Dek is a down on his luck PI who fell on the wrong side of a much publicized corrupt city government and media run wild. Now, slowly rebuilding his life along with rebuilding an inherited turret he lives in, just the turret not the whole castle; Dek is trying to get his credibility, his wife and h ...more
Jan 25, 2010 Angela rated it liked it
I first learned of this book through Suzanne Beecher's email reads. What I had read entertained me, so I decided to check the book out of the library.

Dek lives inside what looks like a castle turret in a small town in Illinois. He receives a phone call from a lawyer in a small town in Michigan, who tells him he's been named executor for a woman's will. The name isn't familiar to Dek, but he must drive to Michigan in order to settle the estate and get on with this life. What follows is a trail of
First Sentence: She wouldn’t have heard the back door glass being punched out, not in those winds.

Investigator Dek Elstrom is unemployed, broke and living in a 5-story turret with no castle. He is contacted by an attorney in Michigan and advised that he has been named executor by a woman who was murdered, but that he doesn’t know. When Dek visits where the woman was living, there is an object he first thinks may have been connected to someone from his past. Dek determined to learn more about thi
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
of your pants mystery is a fascinating change of pace from the usual whodunnits. Readers will enjoy Dek’s self-deprecating humor as he struggles to put the pieces of his life back together. There are four books in this series and this is a reprinting by a new publisher so we can hope there might be more of Dek’s adventures in store soon!
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
Official Review @ Coffee Time Romance & More
Nov 28, 2010 Beverly rated it really liked it
I just finished this one and really liked it. The main character is a bit eccentric. He's a "researcher" that can't get a job because of bad publicity. He's inherited from his grandfather a tower, that was meant to be the start of a castle. He lives in it even though it is and in need of repair.

The story starts when he gets a call from a lawyer telling him he was named executor of an estate for a woman he didn't know. He finds out she was murdered and she had more than one identity. About half w
Apr 13, 2015 Terri rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Just wish I had discovered these to read in sequence. It is a bit disconcerting to read a later book in the series, when they each build on one least the background story. But it's a good mystery and I need to find the4 others.
Mar 06, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
The main character is not what is to be expected. This book held my attention from the first page to the last. Dek has a heart and a history that has to be settled to move on with his life. His interactions with law enforcement is a source of entertainment.
Jan 21, 2009 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-michigan
Down-and-out documents inspector Dek Elstrom gets a mysterious commission to settle the estate of a woman he doesn't know. How the reclusive woman, living in Michigan, ever heard of an Illinois investigator is one mystery; how the woman was murdered and why no-one seems to be investigating are two more. As layer after layer of deceit is peeled back, Elstrom is brought back to the most painful episode of his all-too-painful life, taking a fair amount of physical punishment as he confronts a wintr ...more
Aug 07, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
This was a happy accident book - I've never heard of it, and had nothing to recommend it except its placement on the library display. I really enjoyed it, though it was a bit of a slow starter. It was a well-laid plot though, and was successful at layering the mysteries of present and past, and bringing them both satisfying conclusions in a really well done series of revelations rather than a giant climactic moment. On the surface, it seems like a familiar story, but somehow manages to avoid a l ...more
Jun 23, 2009 Julia rated it liked it
Thus Dek Elstrom mystery still finds our down and out private eye living in and renovating his turret, while trying to outlast the Rivertown city hall on the zoning restrictions matter. Dek is called, out of the blue, by a lawyer in Michigan. He's been named executor of a will for a woman he's never heard of, one Louise Thomas. He heads to MI with thoughts of the $700 he'll make, where he discovers on site that Louise just hasn't died, but was murdered. The discovery of an old Underwood typewrit ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Margee rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Great locales--Chicago and the 'wilds' of Michigan, along with the suburban turret occupied by the down-on-his-luck detective--make this a fun read, in spite of the book's noir-ishness. The main characters, as well as the action, keep the story moving, as Dek Elstrom bounces between states, juggling the rehab on his turret with a job thrust upon him involving the settling of a mysterious woman's estate. The book's unfortunate title doesn't adequately reflect the story's dark dealings, but it tur ...more
Feb 23, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed the story because Dek Elstrom is certainly a flawed "hero" and I don't often get to read mysteries set in southwestern Michigan. I know that I had a hard time following the twists clearly with the dead bodies and set up for visitors which almost made me put it down, except that I wanted to see where the mysterious benefactor had come from and whether or not Dek would make it further into Michigan.
Aug 11, 2009 Corinne rated it it was amazing
I'm liking Dek Elstrom as a recovering P.I. He is handed a will naming him executor for a person he's never heard of. So he visits the house, picks up the car, and that's about the end of it. Except.....there are hints that not everything is as it seems. The banter Dek has with his lifelong buddy Leo, as well as the internal dialouge Dek engages in is entertaining. I look forward to a new book by Fredrickson.
Mar 11, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This mystery was morally and emotionally satisfying, but also entertaining. I loved the protagonist--career in the dumps; personal relationships awry; Oreo-obsessed; and filled with nothing but the best motivation.

The story was complex enough to keep me intrigued, but also humorous enough to keep me smiling. I'll look forward to reading another Jack Fredrickson mystery.
Betty Dickie
Mar 17, 2009 Betty Dickie rated it really liked it
This is the second in my series of irresistible titles (the first was Crazy fool kills five). I'm glad I picked this one up. I love the way the man rights. Dek Elstrom is a great character, living in a stone turret, fighting city hall. I have added his first book, A Safe Place for Dying, to my list and can't wait for his next one.
Mary Kay
Dec 26, 2009 Mary Kay rated it liked it
You would think this book would be funny, but it's not. "Honestly Dearest" is the name of an advice column syndicated in local shopper-type newspapers. The columnist is implicated in murders & explosions & general mayhem & is also connected to our hero,Dek's, past.
Julie Ford
Jul 28, 2011 Julie Ford rated it it was amazing
This book was just really fun to read. The narrative and dialogue were witty, the pacing was perfect, the mystery only a tad predictable, but in a good way. All in all, a great book for both male and female readers.
Apr 28, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Another great mystery by Jack Fredrickson!! Very well thought out story line with many unexpected twists and turns along the way. Mystery with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. 8 out of 10 on this book.
Aug 03, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
An interesting story of kids growing up without supportive parents and the long lasting feelings of guilt from youthful mistakes. Also a very well constructed and interesting mystery.
Donna Jo Atwood
May 04, 2009 Donna Jo Atwood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
One of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Flawed hero, convoluted plot, odd-ball best friend. The only bad point was all the snow.
Apr 01, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing
This is my second Jack Fredrickson/Dek Elstrom mystery. It takes a little while to get started in the story but once in I'm hooked.
Sep 06, 2014 Noor rated it liked it
I just read it because I had read the last one, so I had to read this one too. Better than the last one, but more depressing.
Feb 25, 2009 Ladiibbug rated it liked it
#2 Dek Elstrom mystery series

Follows #1 A Safe Place for Dying

Jul 09, 2009 Gerry rated it really liked it
I need to read some more of this series (Dek Elstrom) I enjoyed this book!
Apr 27, 2009 Patwente rated it liked it
Good murder mystery. Kept me interested from beginning to end!
Sep 02, 2009 Barbi rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
very strange. not much else I can say about it.
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Jack Fredrickson’s first Dek Elstrom mystery, A Safe Place for Dying, was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His short fiction has appeared in the acclaimed Chicago Blues and in Michael Connelly’s Burden of the Badge anthologies. He lives with his wife, Susan, west of Chicago, where he is crafting the next Dek Elstrom novel.

* Dek Ekstrom Mystery
More about Jack Fredrickson...

Other Books in the Series

Dek Ekstrom Mystery (5 books)
  • A Safe Place for Dying
  • Hunting Sweetie Rose: A Mystery
  • The Dead Caller from Chicago: A Mystery
  • The Confessors' Club: A Dek Elstrom Pi Mystery Set in Chicago

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