Pumped for Murder by Elaine Viets
(NAL, 2011, 304 pages)
Pumped for Murder by Elaine Viets is the latest novel in the Dead-End Job mystery series. The Dead-End Job series features Helen Hawthorne, a woman on the run from her past. Helen leaves her high-paying job in St. Louis and takes a series of low-paying jobs in Florida to avoid being found by her ex-husband. In Pumped for Murder, Helen takes a job at a Fitness Club. Where Helen works, murder is sure to follow. This novel involves the murder of a woman bodybuilder, a cheating husband, and a man looking for answers to his brother’s murder which occurred twenty-five years earlier.
Elaine Viets now lives in Ft. Lauderdale, but was born and raised in St. Louis. Ms. Viets worked as a regular columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for many years before pursuing other career opportunities, including writing mystery novels. The six-toed cat, Thumbs, featured in the Dead-End Job novels is based on the cat of a former St. Louis Public Librarian, Anne Watts.
Pumped for Murder is a quick, fun read. Helen Hawthorne is a quick-witted heroine who is surrounded by a cast of characters. There is her aging landlady who loves to wear the color purple. There is the neighbor who walks around with a parrot on her shoulder. And, there is Helen’s pet, the six-toed cat. This novel is suggested for anyone looking for a quick mystery and a little light reading.