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Dating Dead Men (Wollie Shelley Mystery #1)
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Dating Dead Men (Wollie Shelley Mystery #1)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,352 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Los Angeles greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley is dating forty men in sixty days as research for a radio talk show host's upcoming book, How to Avoid Getting Dumped All the Time. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to Rio Pescado--a state-run mental hospital--and is momentarily taken host ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 20th 2004 by Broadway Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,493)
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Lisa Kay
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★★★★✩ I like to make greeting cards. In fact, my BFfL (best friend for life) insists on dragging me out of the house (and away from my books!) every now and then to a card-making class. I love a good mystery, too. Throw in a little romance and I’m ecstatic. Combining these three elements, the bases of this series, piqued my interest when I saw book #4 was on audio at my public library (everyone knows I’m addicted audiobooks).

Since Debbie, one of my GRs friends, has a fit every time I start a ser
...more
Shauna
Many years ago, I used to browse the library stacks to find things to read. Once in a while I'd get lucky and come across something that I really liked. This book was one I found in that way. I remember really enjoying it--finding it terribly quirky and funny--part mystery--part romance. Lately, I've found the desire to revisit some of my past favorites to see if they still hold up to my memories. This one did. I enjoyed it just as much this time around. Call it chick-lit if you will, but I thin ...more
Amy
It's funny - I love to read this author's blog, but this book was so all-over-the-place. I did like the main character, Wollie, but thought it was nuts how far she would go for a man she didn't know (who could be a murderer). The storyline was uneven and disjointed.
Mark
I first knew Harley Jane Kozak for her work as an actress (she played Rick Moranis’ wife in the movie "Parenthood," among many other roles); "Dating Dead Men" is her first book in the series featuring L.A. greeting card artist Wollie Shelley who is participating in a research project, dating 40 men in 60 days. Her plans hit a speed bump when she finds a body at the local state mental hospital where her schizophrenic brother P.B. is a patient.

When Wollie gets taken hostage soon after by a charis
...more
Jennifer A.M.
Sep 12, 2007 Jennifer A.M. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chick lit/mystery
It was ok. The middle dragged, but the ending wasn't too bad. I might pick up the next in the series, but then again, I might not.
M. Garzon
I have to say I'm quite surprised at some of the poor reviews this book has gotten. It may not be a great work of literature but then, it clearly does not pretend to be. It's a lighthearted, clever, madcap mystery with an odd romance thrown in. Add an interesting family and two quirky friends and you've got a winning, albeit unusual, cocktail.

The characters were all well-developed and the plot, though a bit convoluted at times, was well thought out. I loved Wollie's character and the author's br
...more
Marfita
Dec 05, 2010 Marfita rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephanie Plum fans
Shelves: cozies, mysteries
I counted 60 characters, all requiring their own names. Well, except the Vons bag lady. The main characters' names are a bit contrived (mostly the Shelleys), but this was a good read. I will definitely continue with the series.
There is a certain amount of amusement with the rush to date 50 men, but mostly this is a Cozy Thriller - if there is such a thing. Wollie is pursued by the mob, assassins, all in the week where her greeting card shop is being evaluated by secret shoppers to see if it's up
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 14, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Can't Get Enough of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This was trying I think for a chick lit feel, with a blend of mystery, humor, and romance told first person in a breezy voice. Wollie Shelley is the proprietor of a card shop and is part of the "Dating Project" requiring her to date 40 men in 60 days. Her life is complicated by her brother, who resides in a mental hospital. Given that the start to this novel reads like whacky, whimsical chick lit--which I wouldn't mind so much, if it had not veered into cheesy, off the rails romance aisle. In th ...more
Meg
Picked this up in the audiobooks section of the library because I needed something for my commute. Figured it would be light chick lit.

While the protagonist was likable, this is a story that tried to do too much and took too long. First she's going on 30 blind dates, then she meets a dark/handsome/dangerous stranger, then she tries to help him get out of trouble, then she has to save her brother from murder charges?! All while harboring a fugitive ferret?

I figured I would ride it out for the com
...more
Elizabeth
The book could not keep my attention for more than a few moments at a time. The pace was frenetic, the characters inconsistent and what I understood of the plot was improbable. Miss Golly Wolley wants to own her own business on the one hand but does insane things like breaking into a hospital past midnight to leave her brother aluminum foil for no particularly good reason. Basically she is the kind of woman who walks down a dark alley in the middle of the night and then wonders how she could be ...more
Bill Reinehr
This is an award winning book. It pulled in an Agatha, an Edgar and a Macavity for best first novel. I think it has a great title. It also seems to me that it was downhill from there. She knows how to write and was obviously influenced by Janet Evanovich - not a bad thing. But being zany is really tricky. Our heroine, Wollie, is trying to run a gift card shop at the same time that she is engaged in this marginally scientific project to date 40 guys in 60 days. Wow! Talk about zany. And she has a ...more
Ronna
Wollie Shelley was working hard to have her franchise, "Wollie's Welcome Greetings", pass muster with the national offices, when she gets a strange phone call from her brother, PJ. PJ is happily living in the local mental hospital because of his schizophrenia, but an illness has caused him to be off his meds for a few days. He's calling Wollie, all upset about a dead body, but he's not making much sense in the telling, so Wollie drives out to the hospital to see what is going on. But there IS a ...more
Robin
Greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley is dating 40 men in 60 days as research for a talk-show host's upcoming book. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to a state run mental hospital--and is taken hostage by a charismatic "doctor" who is on the run from the mob. Wollie is afraid her brother, a paranoid schitzophrenic living at the mental hospital, is somehow involved in the murder. So, rather than go to the author ...more
Susan
I couldn't identify with the wacky characters. Their behavior was hard to believe. This was less humorous or entertaining than the first Stephanie Plum. The story is mostly visual; could be a TV movie for a teenage audience. I won't read any more in this series or anything else written by Harley Jane Kozak.
SuperWendy
I got to around the 120 page mark and then just couldn't take it anymore - skimming to the end. The plot was all over the place. I swear the heroine doing the speed-dating thing felt added on because it was like some editor told her "you need a gimmick like cats who can bake and/or knit for it to be a cozy!" The story would have been a lot better served had that just been dumped entirely, oh and if the characters behaved in a remotely believable manner. The fact that the heroine readily hitched ...more
Patty
Your belief in reality and your idea that humans are reasonably rational must be suspended to a certain extent while reading this suspense/romance/comedy, probably because to accomplish all 3 genres in one book, Kozak had to throw reality and rationality out the window. She also has to let the plot get out of control rather frequently.

If you don't mind the unbelievability and you enjoy hearing about frequent wardrobe changes (most of few which put our hero in very inappropriate garb), fancy cars
...more
Jennifer
OK story, OK characters - the best friend MADE the book! Laugh-out-loud dialogue for best friend - wish all the characters were like her!
Maureen
I enjoyed the light tone and pace of this book, but I found the ending messy.
Mark Baker
A call from her brother sends Wollie off on a wild ride while she's in the middle of a dating project and trying to help her greeting card store take off. Has her brother really witnessed a murder? Or is it his paranoid schizorenia acting up again? A twisty novel with great characters. Just pay attention at the beginning because a lot is thrown at you quickly.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Kari Anderson
Wollie is under some serious pressure. She is trying to keep her gift card store afloat, she’s in the midst of dating 40 men for research for a book by a famous love doctor, and now, she’s found a dead body.

A patient at the mental hospital where her brother is also staying is found shot to death and while Wollie tries to stay clear of the murder, she ends up getting into it deep.

Now an uber hottie, who may possibly be a convicted felon is trying to keep her safe as mafia men start following her,
...more
Julianna
Aug 30, 2009 Julianna rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Watson Book Club
It was a good book. The character's were interesting,and believable. The primary characters are likeable. The plot is well thought out and sound. The book would have been much better if the author had stuck to the original premise of the book, which is gleamed from reading, the dating game. When this idea for the book morphs from this into a more comlicated romantic mystery the author's writting lacks the necessary momentum to keep the reader fully engaged.
I would have liked the novel more if t
...more
Darcia Helle
This is a good light read. Those who like Janet Evanovich will probably enjoy this author. The plot was intriguing and kept me guessing most of the way through. The characters were funny, if not sometimes over the top with their antics.

At times the similarities between the characters of Evanovich's Plum series and the characters in Dating Dead Men were a little too glaringly obvious. The main character, Wolley, is much like Stephanie Plum in that she acts brave while secretly being scared. She
...more
Dlora
What a fun murder mystery with likeable, quirky characters. Marci recommended this book and for some reason I thought it was a kind of paranormal with the main charcter actually dating people who were dead. But no, Wollie (named after early feminist and author of Frankenstein, Mary Wollenstone Shelley) has embarked on a research project to help gather data for a talk-show host on dating. While Wollie would love to find the perfect boyfriend she is also interested in the money she'll earn so she ...more
Sally Bennett
This book fits squarely into today’s popular trend of “spunky, fashion-challenged modern woman runs across a dead body and gets pulled into a complicated, dangerous situation where she finds romance.”

Kozak fleshes out the heroine by making her a hopeful greeting card shop owner with unique family dynamics including a mother who lives in an ashram, an uncle who hosts poetry readings, and an institutionalized brother she helped raise, along with a Jewish Holocaust survivor whose posthumous voice s
...more
Jill Bratcher
Dec 29, 2010 Jill Bratcher rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, Los Angelinos, people who love to laugh
Shelves: harley
I have three loves in reading: Sci-Fi, Mystery/Thriller and Laughter. This one satisfies the latter two of those three admirably. This actress cum writer makes me laugh OUT LOUD...a LOT. And she spins a good tale while doing it.

I adore her wonderful protagonist, Wollie (Wollstonecraft) Shelley - a woman living in Los Angeles who's 6' tall, busty and blonde, but in every other sense so NOT your typical heroine or Hollywood type. She can't lie to save her life. She designs greeting cards but signs
...more
LJ
DATING DEAD MEN – G
Harley Jane Kozak – 1st book
Los Angeles greeting-card artist and card-and-gift shop manager Wollie Shelley is dating forty men in sixty days as research for a bestselling author’s book, How to Avoid Getting Dumped All the Time. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body and is momentarily taken hostage by a charismatic “doctor” who is on the run from the Mob. Wollie fears that her beloved brother, a paranoid
...more
Carol Siegel
Fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny!

Wollie Shelley is a fabulous character. She struggles with keeping her business afloat, trying to find a decent man in L.A., and worrying about her institutionalized brother, all while keeping a self-deprecating sense of humor. If you're looking for a highly entertaining quick read with vividly developed characters, this is it.
Lee
I wanted to try this, because I remembered the author from the movie "Arachnophobia" in the late '80s. This first in her Wollie Shelley, the greeting card designer is truly - chic-lit.:)
With some very funny dialogue, antics and of course trying to figure out the mysterious hunk, that has caught her eye. Fun, quick read.
Petra
I listened to this while jogging. It's actually not a bad book for this purpose: it's easy listening, has enough situational conundrums, is funny and the action moves fairly quickly. This is a light, humorous mystery that is entertaining and enjoyable.

Jennifer
I'm trying to find something to fill my "Spellman Files" niche until the next one comes out. This does have a bit of a feel of a Stephanie Plum novel (without the cussing). The main character Wollie is in a crazy situation - trying to date 40 men for a research project, keep her greeting card shop open, when she stumbles upon a dead man. I like a lot of the characters - especially Wollie, but I do feel really sad about her mentally ill brother P.B. I kindof wish the author had handled his charac ...more
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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
More about Harley Jane Kozak...
Dating is Murder Dead Ex A Date You Can't Refuse Keeper of the Moon (The Keepers: L.A. #2) Madeeda

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“The first two times, I said "Sorry" just out of habit, and then decided that being a hostage means never having to say you're sorry.” 3 likes
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