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Dead Head: A Dirty Business Mystery (Dirty Business Mystery #3)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Fugitive Mom. That’s the tabloid headline that has unearthed a whole world of trouble for Paula Holliday. Someone she thought she knew has been revealed to be an escaped convict. Hiding in plain sight—in her own New England town! 

Wanted criminals and secret identities have always seemed like the stuff of novels or television dramas to Paula. But ever since she somewhat acc
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Barbara ★
This started well but the ending was confusing and rushed.
May 02, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paula Holiday left the stress and grind of New York City for a “smaller and simpler life” in Springfield, CT. She runs a landscaping business, Dirty Business, helping realtors dress up the houses they’re selling and local businesses put in pretty patios. Her friend and client, Caroline Sturgis, has approached Paula about opening a business. The offer appears to good to be true and you know what they say about offers like that. When Caroline is arrested and “Monica Weithorn” is the name on everyo ...more
May 31, 2015 MrsJana13 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2012

Paula Holliday ist Gärtnerin mit Leib und Seele und betreibt daher gerne ihr Dirty Buisness. In der Gartenarbeit geht sie auf und genießt wie ihre Kinder wachsen und gedeihen. Allerdings ist Paula auch realistisch was das Geschäft angeht. In dem ländlichen Ort Springfield gibt es genug Konkurrenz und im Winter leider nicht so viele lukrative Geschäfte. Da kommt ihr der Vorschlag von Caroline Sturgis ein gemeinsames Geschäft aufzuziehen gerade recht. Aber noch bevor die Verhandlungen in die
Aug 03, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy, harris
Paula to the rescue, August 3, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: Dead Head: A Dirty Business Mystery (Dirty Business Mysteries) (Hardcover)
This is the continuation of the Dirty Business mystery series, which I had grown to love from the first of the series "Pushing Up Daisies".

Paula's relationships with Babe (owner of the Paradise Diner), Mike O' Malley (Sergeant at the local police dept.)and Lucy Cavanaugh (Paula's bff and journalist) have really begun to grow. Their inte
Jo-Ann Murphy
I won this book through the Goodreads giveaways.

A light enjoyable read. The main problem is the rushed ending.

The plot did not seem to be well thought out. I was not sure why everyone thought Caroline had their money or why the money was missing in the first place. It also did not seem plausible that our hero would trust the perpetrator so suddenly when they had only just met and lead him right into the Caroline's house. Not to mention, why Caroline's mother-in-law would send the children home
Ellz Readz
Jan 29, 2012 Ellz Readz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thoughts... Let me begin by saying two things. One, this is not my usual genre, I wanted to read this book solely for the cover. Second, this is book three in the Dirty Business series, which I did not realize until I was part way through the book. Keeping those things in mind, I enjoyed reading Dead Head.

While having a bit more background on the characters may have made it more personal, Harris did a brilliant job of creating a world where readers can jump in and make friends. The character
Apr 12, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DEAD HEAD by Rosemary Harris is an intriguing contemporary cozy mystery set in present day Connecticut. It is the third in "Dirty Business Mystery",but can be read as a stand alone. Book One,"Pushing Up Daisies,Book Two, "The Big Dirt Nap". It is written with depth and details.The characters are witty,intriguing,and love capture your heart. The plot is easy to follow and believable.It has a fugitive from justice,murder,female gardener's, mystery,suspense,Paula Holliday,a wise cracking amateur sl ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It was refreshing to read a good mystery after all of the romance stuff I've been reading of late. This was a good mystery in that the woman who was put into the position of having to find the "whistle blower" that put a woman who had excaped jail as a young person and lived in the community for years with a husband and children, an entire life that was so different of that from which she had fled. The women who has to find out who did the deed of contacting the authori ...more
Dec 13, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review: Dead Head by Rosemary Harris
I enjoyed reading Dead Head. It is the third Dirty business mystery. I now want to go back and read the first two and look forward to the fourth one coming out soon.
Paula Holiday is a gardner and she is known to look into things sometimes. She doesn't have an office but she hangs out in a diner and does planting for it.Caroline A friend wants to go into business with her and buy the old Nursery plant business. Caroline would front the money and put it
Dec 07, 2011 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Getze
Aug 12, 2011 Jack Getze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ms. Harris is a wonderfully entertaining writer, and you will love DEAD HEAD if you enjoy hanging out with quirky characters, laughing out loud, and don't need rough language or serious violence to have fun. The protagonist Paula -- a financially challenged landscaper -- has a tongue sharp enough to fell trees, knows where to kick aggressive males, and owns a very likeable view of the world. You will enjoy her comments on just about everything. Example: "She made disparaging remarks about my hai ...more
A financially well-off woman is found, after 20-plus years, to be a fugitive from the law; and a financially hard-up landscaper/gardener finds the person who turned her in.

Carolyn is a rich suburbanite with a husband and three kids, living in a nice neighborhood in Connecticut. Then some suspicious strangers came to town and blow her cover.

Years ago Carolyn was Monica. She lived in Michigan, and she had been sentenced to 20 years in jail on drug charges. She escaped. Now, after so many years of
Mar 06, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Really enjoyed this book.

I tend to gravitate to mysteries. I really like a complete story, which mysteries usually provide - a beginning, middle and end.

Having read so many, however, I am getting tired of the repetitive plots and characters. This has a jaded, woman central character, Paula Holliday, who has trouble with relationships with men, has her own profession (non-licensed landscape architect), but is has talent as an "amateur" investigator. These women are starting to become a cliche.
I have really enjoyed reading The Dirty Business Mystery series. Dead Head has a great storyline and held my interest the whole way through. I think you could get away with reading Dead Head even if you haven't read the first two books in the series but knowing the background certainly enhances the story. I love the characters in this series. Rosemary Harris has created a fascinating and entertaining cast! They are the type of characters that would make an excellent movie or TV series too.

I hope
Chi Dubinski
Jan 15, 2014 Chi Dubinski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paula Holliday, owner of Dirty Business landscaping, is keeping her head above water with her business--just. When a local well-to-do soccer mom, Caroline Sturgis, suggests that they go into business together, Paula drags her feet. She doesn't want to take on more debt, and to be honest, Caroline is just a little to fond of her afternoon drinks and never seems to finish what she starts. But Caroline has a secret, and it rocks this little Connecticut town. Fun series, with interesting characters.
Dec 15, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to resist a tag line that says "fugitive mom". As a resident of this small Connecticut town, Paula Holliday has already enjoyed some success as a sleuth in the earlier books in this series. I got a kick out of this mystery,and didn't find it a problem to enter the series with book three. Rosemary Harris has written a smart, contemporary style cozy. For those who turn up their noses as cozies because they think they always involve little old ladies and cats, think again! This is worth a ...more
Jul 11, 2010 Maryellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paula is a gardener trying to stay afloat in these hard economic times. Caroline is a member of the velvet headband brigade. Paula gets drawn into murder when Caroline is arrested. Well-written cozy mystery series.
Writing strong and true characters seems to be the author's strong point here. The only thing that irks me, and I've seen this in other cozy mystery books where a woman is the hero, is the adversarial relationship/potential romance with the local police chief/detective/sheriff. The wa
Mar 08, 2014 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, serial-cozy, 2014
In the third installment of the Dirty Business series, Paula Holliday is in way over her head in another mystery of her own. While her business is running slow, she watched one of her friends get arrested. While it shocked the sleepy town of Springfield, Connecticut, she uncovered the truth behind the backstory of that scandal. While she's uncertain on Mike O'Malley's feelings for her, she runs into some nefarious characters as possible suspects, while she fended for herself to get to the truth. ...more
Dec 29, 2011 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Head (Dirty Business Mystery #3) by Rosemary Harris

This series just keeps getting better. I read this in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. Paula and cohorts are finally coming into their own skin.
Everybody has secrets and Caroline Sturgis’s are a little more interesting than most. The suburban hockey mom is an escaped convict. Whoda thunk? Paula, Lucy, Babe and Mike O’Malley are out to figure out who leaked her new identity and why.

A fun, mystery and I am running out to get Slugfest (D
Donna Bills
Feb 12, 2012 Donna Bills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-reading
Paula, the owner of Dirty Business, a landscaping business, keeps getting tangled up in these little mysteries. In her latest adventure, a client who wants to be a business partner and friend has a secret that shocks their little town. Paula and her quirky friends are drawn into the intrigue. This is a great mystery for those of us drawn to snappy dialogue and an interesting plot more than explicit sex and violent struggles.

Ms. Harris'writing style just keeps getting better. I will be looking f
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Dec 17, 2011 Jo (Mixed Book Bag) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a nice cozy mystery. The third book in the series apply named "The Dirty Business Mysteries" (the protagnist is a landscape gardener) the mystery in Dear Head revolves around a woman who walked away from prison 20 years ago creating a new identity. She has just been caught and Paula Holliday, our landscape gardner tuned sleuth, is ask to find out what really happened. The plot is well-developed, the characters are believable, and the story moves at a nice pace. My only complaint is that ...more
Aug 21, 2010 Kayte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok, so having read all three of the Dirty business series to date, I can honestly say that I'm ambivelant about any further books. They weren't bad, they weren't fantastic, but the latest installment just follows the exact same formula set up by the first two. The ending felt like it was a long time coming, and then no action, just resolution. It's like eating a donut. It seems like a good idea, you like the way it tastes while you're eating it, but afterward, you just feel kinda...let down.
Apr 24, 2012 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle-books
Dead Head by Rosemary Harris was a light but well written, quick witted mystery involving my favorite gardener turned investigator. Harris has fleshed out her characters - they are well developed and the personalities and dialogue are not stilted or contrived and her stories read well. In Dead Head, Paula's friend, Caroline, is arrested for being a supposed drug dealer who escaped from prison some 18 years ago. Paula becomes embroiled in the case and does her best to exonerate her friend.
Gardener/landscaper Paula Holliday and others in the exurban town of Springfield are shocked when the feds arrive to accuse a respected citizen of being a wanted prison escapee. Paula is asked to investigate and figure out who tipped off authorities, but soon learns that everyone thinks it was she herself who is the tipster. To clear her own name, she must plumb her friend's past, all the way back to the original conviction two decades earlier.
Oct 17, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I picked up this book solely on the fact that I liked the cover, even though this is the 3rd book in a series and I hadn't read the previous two. I think it can be read as a standalone novel though. This is a quick read and the plot is very interesting- complicated enough to keep you interested, but no so much so that you get confused and give up. I look forward to reading more by Rosemary Harris.
#3 in the Dirty Business Mysteries series. Paula Holliday is a landscape gardener in Connecticut in this quirky, funny series. Recommended.

Dirty Business Mysteries - Paula Holliday learns that one of her best clients, Caroline Sturgis, is actually Monica Jane Weithorn, who escaped prison 25 years earlier. Paula had been considering going into partnership with Caroline. Caroline's distraught husband hires Paula to discover who turned his wife in to the authorities.
Jun 17, 2016 Dianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
For me, a 3-star rating is a good one. I give 4 stars to books that I really love, that I find worthy, that stand above the rest. Five stars are the rare gems.

So this is a good solid 3-star mystery. I had read book #1. The fact that I skipped over #2 (unintentionally) wasn't a problem. But knowing the set up from the first book, I'm sure, was helpful.
I'm going back now to find books #2 and #4.
Oct 05, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa, what happened toward the end of this book? It was great; interesting, plot twists, mysterious characters, then...well I guess Rosemary Harris had a deadline to meet because there is no other plausible explanation as to why the ending occurred so quickly and haphazardly. It was a bit confusing and anticlimactic. Disappointed with this one.
Sep 21, 2012 Lorri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in this series that I have read, but it was easy to follow along. I liked most of the characters, especially Babe. She had spunk. I went back and forth a few times trying to guess 'who done it', but was a little surprised by a few events. It seemed like Paula was more intelligent than the police, asking questions that they didn't care to. All in all, a pleasant read.
Richard Becker
This is an exceptionally good cozy mystery. I enjoyed the setting in suburban Connecticut. I enjoyed the clever Paula Holliday and her group of friends from the diner and her reporter friend Lucy. The mystery was well laid out and the fugitive mother angle was interesting. This is a well-written story that I highly recommend.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

ROSEMARY HARRIS has worked in marketing for Crown Publishers and American Express Travel Related Services and as a producer for Disney/ABC and WNET. She lives in New York City and Connecticut.

* Dirty Business Mystery
More about Rosemary Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Dirty Business Mystery (5 books)
  • Pushing Up Daisies (Dirty Business, #1)
  • The Big Dirt Nap (Dirty Business, #2)
  • Slugfest (Dirty Business Mystery #4)
  • Corpse Flower (Dirty Business Mystery, #2)

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