Elaine Viets' Dead End Jobs Series goes Digital!

Shop till you Drop Cover



Regular readers of this blog already know that I’m a huge fan of Elaine Viets’ Death Investigator series, starring the intrepid Angela Richman. You can read about that series here. Now Viets comes back with her light and humorous, bestselling and now classic, Dead End Job Series. 

Viets researched  these books herself by taking the same sort of low-level dead-end jobs—telemarketer, shop clerk, dog groomer, wedding dress saleslady, and so forth—as those held by the series' protagonist, Helen Hawthorne. Elaine Viets

Until now this classic series was only available in printed form. I love the covers on the hardbacks great for reading in bed or in the easy chair. But what about the doctor’s office, the long line at the checkout, or on the long airplane flight? It’s nicer to be able to pull up one book after another on the phone or the iPad.

Well, now we can. The first thirteen books in the  Dead-End Job mysteries have been re-released by JABberwocky Literary on March 6 as e-books, with new covers by the award-winning Jenn Reese at Tiger Bright Studios. (Among other marvelous reads, JABberwocky also publishes Charlaine Harris' Aurora Teagarden backlist). 

Helen Hawthorne didn't start as the kind of person who needed a dead-end job. At first she lives in St. Louis and has a job in high-finance, beautiful home— and a good-for-nothing husband she catches in the act with their neighbor. When she divorced the bum, the judge saddles Helen with alimony. Helen refuses to pay her ex, tosses her wedding ring in the Mississippi River and goes on the run.

She wind up in Fort Lauderdale, natch, working dead-end jobs for cash under the table. Follow Helen as she learns to thrive in subtropical South Florida. She forms a new family at the Coronado Tropic Apartmerns, with Margery, her landlady who always wears purple, Peggy and her parrot Pete, and other colorful characters.

In these thirteen novels, Helen changes. She goes from a bitter woman who distrusts men to a happily married bride. She becomes a private eye. She still works those low-paying jobs, but now she's undercover.

Though now billed as classics, Helen's in-depth exploration of the pink-collar world has become timelier since the series started.


Dead End Job Series Covers



Now you can read the first 13 Dead-End Job mysteries as e-books:

  1.      (1) In Shop till You Drop, Helen sells bustiers to bimbos.
  2.      (2) Next, she works as a bookseller in Murder Between the Covers.
  3.      (3) Then she's a telemarketer selling septic tank cleaner in Dying to Call You. (Wish I’d been there to hear that pitch.)
  4.      (4) After that, Helen works at a bridal salon for Just Murdered. (Viets has done all the jobs she’s written about, including selling wedding dresses. She says after that job she wonders why there aren’t more murders). 
  5.      (5) During a hurricane, Helen tracks down a killer at a posh dog grooming salon in Murder Unleashed.
  6.      (6) In Murder with Reservations Helen is a hotel maid, and finds out why you shouldn't use a hotel coffee pot. 
  7.      (7) In Clubbed to Death, Helen works at a country club, solving the problems of people who have no problems. The club's motto should be "Do you know who I am?"
  8.      (8) From there, she's a gofer at a high-end hair salon where a color and cut cost more than a car payment in Killer Cuts.
  9.      (9) In Half-Price Homicide, Helen's working at a resale boutique where trophy wives with controlling husbands get their folding money.
  10.      (10) In Pumped for Murder, Helen explores the fascinating world of women's competition body building, where "ripped and stripped" competitors live on three ounces of chicken – a day.
  11.      (11) Next, Helen is a stewardess on a luxury yacht for Final Sail, and learns to vacuum in the tracks. (It's an art.)
  12.      (12) Life's a beach in South Florida, but the friendly folks selling parasailing and paddle boarding are in cutthroat businesses. Helen's role in Board Stiff is no day at the beach.
  13.      (13) The fur flies when Helen is a groomer for pedigreed show cats in Catnapped!           

Get the whole set or treat yourself to the books you missed. Prices start at $2.99 and go up. Check them out here

Remember, there are no calories in binge reads!


  • ...fabulous. I fell in love with her dead-on funny Dead-End Job Mysteries and so will you. -- Jerrilyn Farmer, author of Mumbo Gumbo
  • Elaine Vets has come up with all the ingredients for an irresistible mystery.... I'm looking forward to the next installment... -- Jane Heller, author of The Secret Ingredient andLucky Stars
  • I loved this book.... Tons of fun. ....this book has it all. -- Charlaine Harris, #1 bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern vampire series
  • Real landmarks and restaurants are sprinkled throughout, giving a dose of realism to Shop Till You Drop. -- Oline Cogdill, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, May 11, 2003
  • Wit, murder and sunshine...it must be Florida. I love this new series by Elaine Viets. -- Nancy Pickard, National Bestselling Author of Ring of Truth



Elaine Viets with her Jaguar, Black Beauty
Elaine Viets with her Jaguar, Black Beauty


Elaine Viets has written 32 mysteries in four series: the bestselling Dead-End Job series with South Florida PI Helen Hawthorne, the cozy Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper mysteries, and the dark Francesca Vierling mysteries. With the Angela Richman Death Investigator series, Elaine returns to her hardboiled roots and uses her experience as a stroke survivor and her studies at the Medicolegal Death Investigators Training Course. Elaine was a director at large for the Mystery Writers of America. She's a frequent contributor to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and anthologies edited by Charlaine Harris and Lawrence Block. Elaine won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty Awards.


  • In St. Louis: on Mother's Day, May 13, Elaine Viets will l do a special event for Left Bank Books in St. Louis's Central West End. See her website.


  • In Jefferson City, MO, May 15: Viets will speak at the Yellow Rose Luncheon, Tuesday, May 15, in Jefferson City, MO.This luncheon is a Celebration of Women of Achievement given by the Jefferson City Zonta Club. Tickets are $35. Order yours online here.



This blog is part of a tour organized by the International Thriller Writer's Association FEARLESS BLOGGER tour. The Fearless Bloggers were created by Alison McMahan to help new thriller writers who were members of ITW promote their work. Blogs are written about new thrillers by thriller writers. All work is done on a volunteer basis. Other blogs in this tour include: