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Murder Unleashed (A Dead-End Job Mystery #5)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Helen Hawthorne has no choice but to take on a series of dead-end jobs to make ends meet. Unfortunately, they're exposing her to a lot of people who end up dead. Her latest gig at the Pampered Pet Boutique isn't proving to be a warm and furry exception-and now she's got a murder to solve and a kidnapped pup to find, all before a Category 3 hurricane hits.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Signet (first published 2006)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was a little disappointed in this book for reasons I'm not sure about. Normally when I start a Dead End Job book I can't put it down but I could put this one down. It was still good, just missing something.
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun-n-easy
I'm glad I stuck with this - I always gave up after reading the first 50 pages, but it is a light read so I kept going. It was entertaining; not sure if I will read any others in the series, but this was good for a light weekend of reading!
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Wow! Great plot twists and turns in this one! Loved the grocery store scene near the end! Remind me not to shoot my mouth off about "crazy old ladies" in the produce section!
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Just a mindless, fun read.
Enjoyed it taking place in Ft. Lauderdale and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL (some details changed)
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was very good. It did have some swear words in it. The characters are great and this book. There is a lot of twist in this book. The character Helen in this book gets into some strange things like somebody is trying to murder her after finding out something. The landlady Margery is hilarious. She always rents out one apartment building to crooks. There is some sex but not detailed too much. So far this is probably the least favorite book of hers so far. This book took me either two wee ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another installment in the Dead End Mystery series with most likeable heroine Helen. Nothing wrong with this book. It's a fun read. Not so sure about the hurricane part and why the residents didn't evacuate but it's fiction and hopefully people know not to risk their lives in real life. Loved the pet shop setting and all the canines in the book.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Elaine Viets is a standout author, and this book is no different.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Deb Monnier
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Not a bad book. Kept me guessing until the end. Will probably read another book.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review
In ‘Murder Unleashed’, Helen works at Pamper Pet Boutique. Her hectic days of running around while the customers’ dogs are treated like kings and queens are numbered when a demanding client (Tammie) ends up dead. Helen becomes the top suspect for her murder and has to figure out the identity of the murderer before she winds up behind bars.

Initially, this case was quite interesting. How could it not be? A woman is found naked by the pool except that she’s not sunbathing or enjoying the beautiful
Aug 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Murder Unleashed: A Dead-End Job Mystery, is the 5th book in the Dead-End Job mystery series. In this series, Helen is on the run and takes a series of dead end jobs to make ends meet.

In this instalment, Helen is employed at Barker Brothers Pampered Pet Boutique. When she delivers a dog to one of the clients, she finds that client dead by the pool with a pair of scissors sticking out of her chest. Because of her past, Helen’s afraid to call the police and runs away instead. Later that afternoon,
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I finished Murder Unleashed by Elaine Viets this morning. This is about the 3rd book I've read in this series so I am well acquainted with the characters.

In this mystery Helen Hawthorne is working at the Barker Brothers Pampered Pet Boutique by the upper crust members of Lauderdale, Florida. Jeff is the owner and manager of the Boutique with Jonathan and Todd as the groomers.

Helen has continued to reside at the Coronado apts. with Margery as her landlady (and then some) and Phil as her neighbo
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5-florida
Helen Hawthorn is forced to work dead end jobs to escape spending the rest of her life paying alimony to her cheating house-husband. She goes on the run, finding a permanent home and good friends in Fort Lauderdale, but her dead end jobs keep getting her in trouble. Her latest is at Pampered Pets Boutique where the furry clients have better lives than most humans.

Helen is not having a good week. First, one of the pet owners comes on to her, next she finds a body, and last, she allows a high earn
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Good mystery and plot.

Having lived in central FL for several years, I can say without a doubt that hurricane parties exist and people get super-excited about them...much like the snow-loving Northerners get excited about a blizzard getting ready to hit. Both are nuts, in my opinion.

I figured half of it out right away and the other half later on. Still a couple f-bombs and I don't like that at all. Phil has a language problem. Think of some less crude expletives, please. Thanks.

This book wasn't
Rogue Reader
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I so enjoy Viets' Dead-End Job Mysteries. As one well known author says, "I wish I'd have thought of that!" In Murder Unleashed, Helen's stuck in an upscale dog grooming shop, with bitches on all sides. Helen Hawthorn's down to earth, down and out life never fails to amuse and engage - the players are almost always just horrible. Publishers Weekly says of Viet's work, "Wry social commentary..." and it's true when you think about the jobs.

Viets writes of friendship too, friends that almost always
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
#5 in the Dead End Job series. Helen's dead-beat ex-husband, with the aid of a crooked judge, has a court order for Helen to pay him 50% of her salary as alimony. She has sworn never to pay him a cent and has moved from St. Louis to Florida and begun to work off-the-books jobs to stay below the legal radar. A fun series but some jobs and entries are more entertaining than others.

Dead End Job series - Helen is working off the books at a pet boutique. A valuable dog is picked up by an estranged h
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I am amazed that you can turn any job into an amateur private investigator. "Dead End Job mystery" tagline caught my eye. This time, Helen works as a clerk/receptionist at a high-end pet boutique. I was pleased with the book. The mystery, the characters, the actions, were believable. The pace was great. I could not put the book down.
In the end, I reflected on the high class portrayed in the book. Everyone has a secret, and everyone want to be loved, or at least accepted. I am thankful for those
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy, mystery, fiction
I've been reading the Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets in order, which is actually sort of a rarity for me. (I usually start with whichever title I happen to buy first, then jump around based on what I get next). I'm pleased to say "Murder Unleashed" may be my favorite book in the series so far. Helen and her friends at the Coronado are quirky and quite fun. I adore Phil, too. This story had some wacky, very "Florida" characters, and being a fan of dogs helped too. However, I found th ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another fun and lighthearted dead end job mystery. I really enjoyed the series a great deal. Not to give too much away but it was really nice to see Helen actually quit one of these jobs voluntarily rather then be forced out by circumstances or a nasty boss. I have to admit that I didn't see this one coming… Wasn't sure who the killer might be but I think I pegged wrong. Lots of interesting twists and amusing ones as well. I'm a very big animal lover so I appreciated a focus in a pet store. The ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This mystery is entertaining and fun, which is just how I like them. I appreciate that Helen is learning and growing from her experiences. I can not identify with how people treat their pets better than most people treat other people. I am more of a people person. I could identify with some of the characters at the pet store and Helen's apartment complex. This was interesting and I look forward to reading more of this series.
In the fifth installment of Elaine Viets's Helen Hawthorne series, we found Helen into another pickle of hers in Murder Unleashed. She now worked in the Pampered Pet Boutique. Every time she worked at a dead-end job, it had exposed her to a lot of dead people. At her latest job, it would be no exception. When someone wound up dead, she had a new murder to solve and find a kidnapped pup, all before the Category 3 hurricane hits Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book so much it earned my coveted 5 star rating.. Published 10 years ago as the cozy genre as we know it today was emerging, this book is a wonderful example of what a great cozy should be.. Great mystery, many re-herrings, continuing character development of Helen, with her romance to Phil important and developing, but not at the expense of the pace of the mystery.. A quick but very engaging read; I could barely put it down! Looking forward to the next one in the series..
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I met Elaine Viets recently in NC where she was doing a book tour. Her personal story was so interesting I decided to try one of her dead-end jobs series. I started with Murder Unleashed because it features dogs, one of my favorite animals. While working at a pet boutique in her new South Florida location, our protagonist Helen becomes involved in the murder investigation of two of the boutique's clients, a hurricane, and her new lover. Never a dull moment. Next I may try the cat novel.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Is it me or do the police in the surrounding districts not talk to one another?
Each book has new detectives and it amazes me that none of them have ever heard of someone like Helen?

I think I figured out the killer at the beginning but I wasn't sure. And I swore something was up with Jeff but not what he was up to. Did that make sense to anyone other than me?

Phil. Phil, Phil, Phil.
White Hair, White Knight? Hmmmm!
I think this is the last one this series I'll spend my time on. They are cute-ish, but how many times can one woman really find a dead body / be an innocent involved in a crime. It's like Angela Landsbury on "Murder She Wrote" - wouldn't people just stop inviting her anywhere after a while. Meh . . . feeling crabby. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it.
May 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Hmm. It is getting slightly annoying that the main character (or I guess the author) has memory lapses from one book to the next - either that, or the author likes repeating herself. I guess I shouldn't read more than one from the series at once.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This was cute but there was a weird leap in the middle of the book that connected some characters that I didn't see coming. Sure, it made the mystery come together, but it seemed to come from out of nowhere. I'll probably read more of these Dead-End job stories. Nice, light and fun.
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This series is a hoot! I did read 3 books out of order, by accident, but it was okay, each book is great as a stand alone and when I realized it and went back, it wasn't rehashing everything that had happened before.
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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
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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 with Reservations (Dead-End Job Mystery, #6)
  • Clubbed to Death (Dead-End Job Mystery, #7)
  • Killer Cuts (Dead-End Job Mystery, #8)
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  • Pumped for Murder (Dead-End Job Mystery, #10)
  • Final Sail (Dead-End Job Mystery, #11)

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