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Half-Price Homicide

(A Dead-End Job Mystery #9)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  885 ratings  ·  74 reviews
The national bestselling author presents a high society murder mystery...

At Snapdragon, a high-end designer consignment shop, Helen is at the beck and call of snobby- yet frugal-customers. That alone is a deadly combination, especially with Chrissy, a drool-worthy fashionista who walks in with a purse to sell, and ends up screaming at her husband and another customer.

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Berkley (first published May 2010)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  885 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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May 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
What started out as a good heroine on the lam, a mystery series with a gimmick is winding down with a whimper. Helen Hawthorne has been on the lam because of a bad judgement over her divorce but she's been found out long ago. Her totally sexy mysterious boyfriend has evolved into a faithful fiance at her beck and call. She does resolve her marriage woes, her tax woes, and her life straightens out so she could get paid what she is worth. However, a mystery is set for another book, and the stage i ...more
This is the first Dead-End Job Mystery that I have read. Part of me wants to start from the beginning so I have an understanding of the character growth (and plot development) but there are far too many books and far too little time. In this installment Helen is working at a high-end consignment shop when a trophy wife meets a crushing end and Helen's prints are found on the murder weapon. Although there are legitimate reasons for that, she already has a strained relationship with the Detective ...more
May 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2010
I think this may be the last in this series and it's probably a good thing. I didn't care for Helen in the first book or 2 in this series and I felt that way about her again in this one. Rob's back and there's been a murder made to look like suicide in the consignment shop Helen's working in. Yada, yada, yada........
Donna in Southern Maryland
Aug 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is just perfect for a lazy couple of summer afternoons. Helen is one again working off the books, and once again, there's a murder. At least the police detective is really starting to look at her funny! Where ever she works, someone turns up dead! Oh, well, it's just a fun mystery series. I like the characters.

There's an odd situation that sets her up for future blackmail. Just when she's gotten her legal life back and gets married to Phil. Not a single mention of Clapton in this book
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ok so I'm jumping right in the middle of the book, no spoilers just some comments - I was a bit worried as to how the things will roll there, especially with her husband, I was slapping my had pretty hard at some points, but overall - loved it again. Definitely a series for me to catch up with!
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I just finished Half Price Homicide by Elaine Viets, in her Dead End Jobs series. Helen's mother dies, which presents a whole new ball game. There is of course a murder or two which must be solved as Helen works in an upscale resale ship.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy, mystery
Helen Hawthorne has had to take a string of jobs to stay under the radar of her ex-husband, who was handed half of her income in an unfair divorce decree. Her current job is working at a consignment store that caters to the elite who don't have quite as much money as they would like.

But when a customer is murdered in the store, Helen finds herself once again thrust into the police's spotlight as a prime suspect. She must solve the crime to free herself from suspicion.

I really enjoy this series!

Jun 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, finished
Oh goodness, where do I start to list all the things I did not like about this book. To anyone who compared Ms. Viets to the Stephanie Plum series and preferred this, this, .....trying to think of something to describe this waste of time and paper.
The writing was..... well, you know how you feel when you listen to a 15/16 year old talking and you're wondering if there is any occupied space in their head.....its like that. Actually its worse because there is hope for improvement for that person
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a good book. I have read many of the series (not in order) but it is easy to pick up where you left off. Helen is a great character. Besides her usual dead end job with high class princesses to deal with, now her mother falls ill. She is forced to go back home to deal unfortunate events, not to mention her mother's husband, who is a jerk. Now her ex husband has shown up demanding money, but she ends up dealing with him in an interesting turn of events. Of course her dreamy fiancé is the ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Another light read in this series. Helen is working in a consignment shop when the wife of a prominent real estate developer is murdered in one of the dressing rooms. The book moves quickly as Helen, her boss Vera, boyfriend/PI Phil all try to solve the case. Other events are part of the book but at times, distract from the overall plot. However, they all tie together in the sense of the series. I will definitely be continuing in the series; I think the ending leads to new plots.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
One chapter of Helen's life closes and another opens as she and Phil solve another murder and go back to Saint Louis to clean up her legal divorce issues so they can marry. It was, as usual, a great plot and full of small humorous parts...such as the reoccurring pineapple and other ugly knick-knacks. I love the new plot issues introduced in this volume. I'm curious how they will play out. Looking no forward to the next installment...
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was looking for a fun book with interesting characters and not too much thought needed. This was a great find in my local used bookstore. Though, it was #9 of the series I didn't feel like I missed too much, where the story didn't make sense. I do plan to find the first in the series and start from the beginning.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
The characters are ridiculous. I couldn't get into this book and gave up on page 13. Maybe because this isn't the first book in the series...
Kathy Bartlett
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Kathy by:
I have enjoyed this series but I felt like this one "jumped the shark." I'm done.
Nancy Keefer
Fun easy read to keep next to the bed or in the car so that you've got something when needed.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Every now and then, I get in the mood for a cozy mystery. Helen Hawthorne is the main character in the Dead-End Job Mystery Series by Elain Vies. Helen has a rather mundane personality. She's not like Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovich series, which I love; however, I enjoyed the book anyway. This was probably due to the rest of the cast of characters, which was a hodgepodge of Helen's friends and relatives in St. Louis and Fort Lauderdale. I especially liked the setting in Snapdragon's Con ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Helen Hawthorne won’t have any luck at all.

At least that’s the way it seems most of the time as Helen changes from one dead-end job to the next trying to stay one step ahead of her womanizing leech of an ex-husband, Rob. Helen is the heroine in HALF-PRICE HOMICIDE, author Elaine Viet’s latest installment in the Dead-End Job Mystery series.

Helen’s current job is at a high-end clothing consignment shop in South Florida. Vera, the shop owner, buys and re-sales designer ap
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it
When the judge awarded Rob half his wife's earnings for life, Helen Hawthorne refuses to pay this outrageous alimony. She leaves her affluent home in St. Louis and goes on the run until she reaches Fort Lauderdale where she works at a series of dead end jobs. Helen also meets her fiancé private investigator Phil at the apartment complex they both live in. Phil wants to marry her, but before they can Helen must return to St. Louis to fix her legal and financial liabilities.

Meanwhile she works at
Raiveran Rabbit
Nov 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: avoid-reading
This is the first book I've read in the series. I'm sure I've mentioned before; since I started reading these "cozy"-type mysteries, all of which feature a single woman with a crap relationship in the past, I've grown more horrified as I've noticed the mean, petty, narrow-sighted and just plain evil aspects of these MCs' actions. This MC isn't any different. She's selfish, immature, and sports the optional "Cozy mystery relationship action figure", who's of course obedient, supportive and seemin ...more
I have read this series in order. It's a good summer beach want to relax type read for the mystery reader. It been a while since I read the others and I am now catching back up on the series. The one thing I do not like is that you do need to read in order as the sub plots go in order. Some how I wishes these were numbered so I know which to read. I have the next four ready to read and it was a bit confusing as to which to read next so I have kind of spoiled a few things.
My other small complaint
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm not a fan of this author's writing style. It seems like two different people wrote this book. In one chapter, the main character mentions another character in the book, and in the next chapter, when that same character is mentioned, she has to be reminded who he is. This happens in book-time maybe a day after she was talking about him.

Character personalities aren't consistent or realistic. I get the feeling this series is just the author's way of putting her real life experiences in book fo
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Well, I must admit that this title started with a BANG, but quickly lost momentum for me. Helen, the main character and amateur sleuth, has a likable AND plausible personality. She's a little like STEPHANIE PLUM of the Janet Evanovich Series, but less funny. There were so many plot lines that were going on in this book and each of them had a logical, albeit incomplete, place. I felt that the storyline was too rushed and not all the threads were adequately "flushed" out...And without going too ov ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
This was sort of a stupid book. Helen Hawthorne, has left St. Louis to go to Florida to escape the alimony she is supposed to pay to her divorced husband. She works at a consignment store where a rich customer is murdered in the dressing room. Meanwhile, her estranged mother broke up her next wedding and dies in Florida. Helen takes the body back to St. Louis because the mother's husband doesn't want to pay anything, and more strange activities take place during funeral activities. Back at home, ...more
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it
The book was good, but I'm not sure I like the twist at the end with the ex-hubby. It doesn't sound like Helen and her sister make very good choices.After all helen has been trhough she enters into her new marriage with a lie looming over her head? Perhaps this is a way of keeping the series going? I will read the next one and see where the author is going with this but I hope it's not going to get too much more far-fetched and silly. The witty humor of the first few novels really appealed to me ...more
Jul 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Helen Hawthorne is hiding from her ex-husband. He was awarded 1/2 of all of her future earnings by a judge in their divorce. She is working at a high-end thrift store when one of the customers is found dead in the store's dressing room. Helen needs to stay in town because her mother is dying in a local nursing home. She is engaged to be married and needs to get things solved and the problems with her ex solved so that she can start her new life with no extra baggage. This is kind of cute but I d ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
#9 in the Dead End Job series. Helen finds yet another off the books job to avoid paying alimony and yet another corpse to challenge her sleuthing abilities. Luckily she has an understanding landlady and a loving fiancée for support in this light hearted Florida cozy.

Dead End Job series - Helen Hawthorne and Vera Salinda, the owner of Snapdragon's Second Thoughts, are shocked when Chrissy Martlet, a wealthy developer's trophy wife, is found coshed, then hung with a scarf. Identifying Chrissy's k
Jun 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Without spoilers-I like the Dead End Job series and Elaine Viets, but this book, although I enjoyed reading it is left some loose ends, weird loose ends. Although I can guess where perhaps her last book in this series will take us(I am guessing there will be one more to wind up the series), it was as if Ms. Viets threw in a twist she'll have to revisit and it just sort of appeared at towards the end of the book like it was just thrown in. From the reading of this one, if she doesn't do a "wrap u ...more
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is 9th in the dead end job series. Helen is tired of being on the run and goes back to St Louis to clear her name anf finally get married. She still has to work so she works in an expensive consignment shop. A customer is killed at the shop after having a fight with her husband and Helen has to figure out who did it to save her friend and the shop. This did have a really questionable incident towards the end of the book that made you wonder if you wanted to continue with the series. It real ...more
Norma Huss
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I won this book, and I'm so glad. I've read several of the Dead-End Job Mysteries, both before and after this episode, but I'd missed this one---and I'd missed an important element in the overall arc of the series. (Shouldn't do that!)

In this episode, Helen Hawthorne works at a high-end used mostly clothing store. She wants to clear her name of alimony evasion and marry the man she loves. But a lot more happens, of course. There's murder at the shop, and family upheaval. Let's just say, great r
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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

Other books in the series

A Dead-End Job Mystery (1 - 10 of 16 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)
  • Pumped for Murder (Dead-End Job Mystery, #10)
  • Final Sail (Dead-End Job Mystery, #11)