Women Sleuths

Dying in Style (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, Book 1) by Elaine Viets

By Elaine Viets

Secret client Josie Marcus's file approximately Danessa Celedine's unique shop is lower than stellar, and it can price the style diva fifty million funds. yet Danessa's monetary destiny turns into moot while she's came across murdered, strangled with considered one of her personal thousand-dollar snakeskin belts-and Josie is accused of the crime.

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Living with Jane’s hero worship was hard enough. “So elegant,” Jane would sigh when she saw Danessa’s photo in the paper. “So generous,” Jane said when the TV news showed Danessa signing a check for a children’s home. “So intelligent,” Jane said when she read about the Creshan deal. ” Josie heard the rest of that unspoken sentence: And you didn’t. Take that, Mom, Josie thought. I’m sitting in judgment on the great Danessa. But she couldn’t say anything. She wouldn’t, either. Josie had her principles.

She had a closet full of disguises. One day she was a haughty lady in Prada, shopping the designer boutiques. The next day she was a hillbilly in a halter top, slouching through concrete-floored discount stores. She loved the disguises, even though some of them embarrassed her mom. Josie loved the danger. Store employees resented mystery shoppers. The last time Josie had been busted, she’d caught a cashier red-handed in a returned-goods scam. The crooked employee figured out Josie was a mystery shopper, followed her to the parking lot and threatened to beat her up.

GBH, Mom,” she said. “I don’t want to,” her mother said and stuck her lower lip out like Amelia. Josie laughed. “You have to. ” Since Josie was a little girl, if a family member said “GBH,” you had to give her a Great Big Hug. It was a sacred rule. GBH had stopped many a family fight. Jane laughed, too. Josie held her mother, breathed in her shampoo and Estee Lauder bath powder, saw the age spots on her hands. “Thanks, Mom. ” Jane sighed. ” “My job is to help customers. ” “No good will come of this sneaking around,” her mother said.

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