The Pink Flamingo Murders

Jabberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
3
Free sample

From Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of the Dead-End Job mysteries—a gritty series featuring a no-nonsense female journalist who follows her stories wherever they may lead...especially if they lead to big trouble.

Francesca Vierling is always on the lookout for new fodder for her human-interest column in the St. Louis City Gazette. So she couldn’t be happier when a story unfolds in her own neighborhood. The grand—if slightly run-down—old houses of the South Side have become highly coveted overnight and renovators have sought to spruce them up.

But one renovator—known as Caroline the Rehab Wonderwoman—is a little overzealous and has been making more than home improvements. She has enemies all over the South Side, from disgruntled neighbors to intruding drug dealers to anyone who she considers not up to her standards. When those enemies start turning up dead, Caroline comes under suspicion—that is, until her own lifeless body is found with a gaudy pink flamingo lawn decoration planted in her chest.

With that many murders in a row, it doesn’t take Francesca long to discover that a tangled web of vendettas, backbiting, and gossip lies beneath the freshly painted facades.

Note: The author has made some minor revisions to the original text for this edition of the book.
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About the author

Elaine Viets has written 33 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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Jabberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
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Published on
May 15, 2019
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9781625673459
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Hard-Boiled
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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From Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author Elaine Viets—the thrilling mystery series about one woman trying to make a living... while other people are making a killing.

When Fort Lauderdale’s wealthiest want to discreetly trade their best barely-worn threads for cash, they bring it to Snapdragon’s Second Thoughts—which is where Helen Hawthorne finds herself selling the most chic second-hand clothing in Florida.

But the usual haggling turns homicidal when a particularly petty customer turns up dead—dangling by a darling Gucci scarf—and Helen's boss Vera is eyed as a suspect.

Helen knows Vera can drive a hard bargain but can’t believe Vera would resort to murder. And while she would like to help, a sudden tragedy forces Helen to return to St. Louis—where she has the chance to face the past she’s been running from.

Now, if Helen doesn’t quickly deal with her fugitive status—as well as her own fractious family—she won’t make it back home in time to prevent the police from making a very unfashionable arrest...

Praise for the Dead-End Job Mysteries by Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author Elaine Viets

“A stubborn and intelligent heroine, a wonderful South Florida setting, and a cast of more-or-less lethal bimbos...I loved this book.”—Charlaine Harris
“Brave Viets preps by actually working the jobs she describes in loving and hilarious detail, giving her offbeat series a healthy balance between the banal and the bizarre.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Laugh-out-loud comedy with enough twists and turns to make it to the top of the mystery bestseller charts.” —Florida Today
“Fans of Janet Evanovich and Parnell Hall will appreciate Viets’s humor.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Wit, murder, and sunshine . . . it must be Florida. I love this new series.”—Nancy Pickard
“A heroine with a sense of humor and a gift for snappy dialogue.”—Jane Heller
If you are upset that you couldn't get tickets for the world championship boxing bout, ask a friend to invite you to her next co-op apartment board meeting. The language may be more controlled than a left to the chin, but the passion behind it is sometimes no less fierce.

Returning from a visit to her son's family in California, retired attorney Martha Patterson steps out of the plane at LaGuardia into a New York City heat wave. OK. She'll get home to her air-cooled apartment, have a leisurely bath, rest up from two weeks with wonderful but energy-demanding grandchildren, and get back to gentle retirement, punctuated by the occasional commission to prepare a brief or other legal document for friends in the law.

The first sign of trouble is Boris, the doorman at her apartment house. Boris has shed the uniform coat that seemed almost a part of him and is in his shirtsleeves. The entrance door has been propped open, to very little avail. Boris makes it official. He is sorry to say it, but the air conditioning is out of order.

Tired, hot, anxious for respite, why does Martha agree to take a place on the board? There are only two ways she can only explain it to herself. Either she feels it's her duty as a long-time tenant--or she's a damn fool. The board meeting the next day seems to confirm the latter; she finds herself in the midst of turmoil, and tempers rise with the temperature. But could a fight over putting in a new kitchen or selling an apartment really lead to murder? The tenants' concerns seem unconnected to the death of a former archaeologist.

The dangerous task of finding the killer and fending off another murder falls on seventy year old Martha, who combines exceeding common sense with sharp intellect.

Sprague makes her characters live for us, taking us into the world of middle-class midtown Manhattan professionals, showing them as the sometimes flawed, mostly decent humans they are, and giving them one of the city's crimes to roil their lives and engage ours. Whether her readers live in the City or in an Iowa village, there is no mystery writer who shares her crimes and their solutions more effectively. Turn on your air conditioning and enjoy Gretchen Sprague's Murder in a Heat Wave!

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