Read shop till you drop by Elaine Viets Online


Once on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne is now going nowhere fast.  She traded in her chic life for a shabby one.  And now she's on the fun, jumping from city to city and dead-end job to dead-end job, trying to stay one step ahead of her past... After two weeks as the new salesclerk at Juliana's, Fort Lauderdale's ultra-exclusive clothing boutique, Helen still fOnce on the fast track to success, Helen Hawthorne is now going nowhere fast.  She traded in her chic life for a shabby one.  And now she's on the fun, jumping from city to city and dead-end job to dead-end job, trying to stay one step ahead of her past... After two weeks as the new salesclerk at Juliana's, Fort Lauderdale's ultra-exclusive clothing boutique, Helen still feels out of fashion.  And since the only crime likely to be committed around here is being old-or worse, looking old-Helen figures she is safe.  Until she discovers the manager has been embezzling money and selling designer drugs along with the designer clothes.  Add murder to the mix-and Helen's dead-end job is downright deadly....

Title : shop till you drop
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 8137302
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

shop till you drop Reviews

  • Jonathan
    2019-04-05 05:15

    Really 3.5 stars, but I rounded up.I have heard people simply raving over and over again about how good this series is, so when I saw this book at a rummage store about a year ago, I picked it up and bought it. Until now, however, I never got around to reading it. Shop Till You Drop was a funny, fast-paced start to a longstanding series that's a favorite with many cozy readers.Helen was a MC down on her luck. Unlike most cozy mystery main characters, we don't know much about Helen's past when we first start the book, finding out only a few vague details. However, the pieces of her extremely interesting past are soon put together. I loved Margery, Tara, and the rest of the supporting characters, and I hope we see them again in the next book.The setting was actually wonderful. Most of the story took place in a wonderful older apartment complex and Juliana's, an extremely upscale clothing store, and Ms. Viets did a wonderful job of describing both. The mystery, however, left a lot to be desired. There was no real climax at the end, and I didn't like the way the mystery was set up; you knew who the killer was for quite awhile and you just had to find the evidence. It was disappointing.Overall a solid book. I'll read the next one.

  • Diane Morasco
    2019-04-21 02:01

    Shop till You Drop is one of the best, laugh your butt off mystery books out there. Helen Hawthorne is one of the most impressive characters to come along in the saturated amateur sleuth genre. Elaine Viets has made her Dead-End Job mysteries must read. No matter what is going on.I was going through of one of my moody reading spells where you just couldn't find the right book to read & every unread book on your shelf just wasn't calling you. Shop till You Drop was shouting to be read.Well, I read it ~ in one sitting. I believe one of the reasons I think the Stephanie Plum series is a total snore fest is Elaine Viets. She is one of the reasons I am so darn spoiled by excellent writing, laugh-out-loud amusing adventures & characters so vile or so endearing you just want them to be real.Elaine Viets' Dead-End Job Mysteries are addicting... like grapes, peanuts, potato chips or M&M's... one just will not do.Ms. Viets creates such vivacious characters, I was tempted to go for a stroll along Las Olas Boulevard & ring the bell @ Julianna's. I just wanted to see Christina up close.Helen Hawthorne is one of the most riotous, sensational & vivid characters you'll ever encounter.The cast of secondary characters are delectable, whimsical & priceless.Elaine's plotting is ingenious & her wicked sense of humor is reason enough to pick up Shop till You Drop.This is definitely a series lovers of the cozy genre should scoop up & readers in search of incredible story telling should rush out to grab Shop till You Drop. Hurry go grab it. Heck, who am I kidding, order all of the books now. The only thing you will regret is waiting an entire year for the next hilarious mystery adventure w/ Helen & company.

  • Carol
    2019-04-11 01:07

    Read this as I had heard Elaine Viets talk about all the jobs she has held and how this inspires this series of dead end jobs.Light mystery, non-gory killing and some humor. Just what you'd expect from this low key, if not a cozy, at least, less violent entry into the mystery world. I started withas it is the first in the series featuring Helen Hawthorne. Will I read another? Perhaps, but will pick the job, rather than going in sequence. For me, a non-fiction journey with the author and the jobs she has held would probably be more satisfying.

  • Ellie
    2019-03-28 01:25

    Meet Helen Hawthorne, star of Elaine Viets' Shop Till You Drop. Helen on the run after an incident with a cheating husband and a crowbar and has left affluent (though dowdy) St. Louis for an impoverished life in chic (but sleazy) Ft. Lauderdale. Working off the books for cash, she is an assistant in a high end boutique. But anorexia and kleptomania are the mildest problems she sees. There are drug sales, hit men, and the murder of a co-worker to contend with as well.This book is a breathlessly fast read and lots of fun for lovers of cozies. I'm off to find myself the next in the series asap.

  • Stina
    2019-04-18 23:05

    #37 for 2011Meh. I didn't hate this book, but mainly because it didn't try hard enough for me to actually work up any serious expectations. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that good, either. Not good enough for three stars, anyway. Just shy of mediocre, I suppose. Lots of contrived and/or predictable elements. Characters that are either made of cardboard or internally inconsistent. And I do hate it when the author's petty personal biases are so transparent. Ms Viets obviously has an ax to grind when it comes to Canadian men, and this does not interest me as a mystery reader.I have the next few books in the series, so I expect I will read the next one and see if there is any improvement. But if book #2 weren't set in a bookstore, I would probably just give up now.

  • David Caldwell
    2019-03-25 01:20

    I was lucky enough to get to meet this author while attending a bookstore manager's meeting.This is a nice cozy style mystery. Helen has a good job but then her life goes haywire. She finds herself running from her past as she travels from town to town and taking dead end jobs. Naturally she is trying to keep a low profile so when she stumbles across some funny business and a murder at her salesclerk job, she tries to quickly solve the murder before anyone takes too close of a look at her and the past from which she is running.These mysteries will strike a cord with anybody who has ever been stuck in a job that is deemed a dead-end.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-08 23:17

    I thought this book had a good plot and mystery. I'm glad it's a series as I'll be able to connect more with the main characters. I grew to like Hellen as well as the landlady, Peggy and Pete the parrot, and detective Grace.While I liked the characters, I'd have liked some more character development. The writing style seemed too under-developed for the subject matter and main character's age. Also, there were some predictable moments in the story.Overall, shop Till You Drop was a good mystery and a good start to a series however, it left me wishing for more.

  • Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
    2019-03-30 02:08

    This is the first book in the series by Elaine Viets about Helen Hawthorne who is lying low and taking jobs where she can be paid cash under the table so that her ex husband can't find her. They divorced but the judge said he was entitled to half of her income since he "supported" her....yeah right, typical male judge!I read this series out of order and while I don't think it hurt anything it would be better to read in order. So this is the first book, enjoy!

  • Heather L
    2019-04-15 22:22

    Not being a fashionista, I never intended to read this series, and would not have picked up this book had the author not been selected as a featured author of the month in the Cozy Mysteries group. Those who love fashion may appreciate this series, but I personally do not feel compelled to seek out the next book.

  • Terri
    2019-04-23 23:22

    Met this author at a recent writers conference. So far, very much enjoying the book. A nice, humorous, light read and it's my first time reading her work.Really enjoyed this book. A cute, humorous, fast read. Enjoyable mystery and I'll be reading the others in this series.

  • Chelsea
    2019-04-18 23:12

    Read it again on February 3, 2014. Fun read again. :-D. Great cozy mystery with likable and real characters.

  • Missi Stockwell
    2019-04-03 01:00

    The Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets has been around since 2003 and there are 15 books in this series to date. I may be getting around to them late but I can assure you that I will be reading ALL of them !!Shop Till You Drop is the first book in this series and it was so fun and easy to read. You will instantly love Helen Hawthorne, the main character, as well as feel sorry for her. She had a great life in St. Louis...she had a husband, a nice house and a 6 figure paying job. Until she caught her husband cheating on her and she went crazy. And to make matters worse, the judge sided with her lazy, cheating husband and wanted her to continue to pay the man a percentage of her future earnings.... So she up and leaves and ends up in Fort Lauderdale working under the table, just making ends meet and staying under the radar so her ex will never get another dime from her !!! Well the job she has seems to be a pretty good job. She's working at a high-end clothing store .... where customers have to ring a doorbell to obtain access into the store !!! Helen's boss Christina is the manager and she knows the in's and out's of all the "popular" girls. Not only does she know the in's and out's but she knows some pretty heavy secrets.....secrets that get her killed !! Leaving Helen to fend for herself and try to figure things out. How can you not like a story where the main character is "running from the law", living in a little apartment complex with some interesting tenants, working with the police while trying to keep her past a secret, and trying to find out how Christina could afford the lifestyle she was living on the salary she was receiving as well as solve her murder.Oh and Helen knows that she can't work at Juliana's for much longer and trying to find another job where she can get paid under the table is not that easy. You cannot help but love her determination to keep her whereabouts from her ex-husband and the courts but feel sorry for her for having to live the way she is.I fell in love with Shop Till You Drop for so many reasons and cannot wait to read the next book in this series......Murder Between the Covers. I know that it will be just as great because I know where her next dead-end job is going to be and I LOVE IT !!!!

  • Teresa
    2019-03-28 06:12

    A slightly more gritty cozy mystery, the first in the series, that brings Helen in as a fugitive from the Midwest who has to work in dead-end jobs so her ex-husband can't find her. It's a cute way to have a character in various situations while getting to know them. In this, Helen is working in a high end Las Olas boutique and comes across blackmail, drug-running, and MURDER. (teehee)More like 3.5 stars but rounded up because the start to the series was fun and I didn't hate the characters (although they were decidedly characteratures).

  • Becky
    2019-04-07 05:09

    Though I've read most of the books in the Elaine Viets series "Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper," this is the first I've read in the "Dead-End Job" series. It's a bit darker than the Josie Marcus series, with characters with mob connections, as well as brief mentions of darker crimes. However, the main character, Helen, is likable and relatable. Based on her wacky connections and her terrible job, I'm curious to see what's in store for her in future installments of this series.

  • Bonnie Ainsworth
    2019-04-06 05:17

    I've had this series on my "to be read" List and actually started these books yesterday. So far, I've read the first two books and I'm really enjoying this series. Kudos to the author. I look forward to reading the next several books.

  • ChickLit Cafe Book Reviews & Author Services
    2019-04-06 06:22

    Great Read

  • Annice22
    2019-04-21 01:25

    This was a good read but I was surprised by the casual use of racism that was within the story.

  • Carroll Gross
    2019-04-09 23:08

    Summer readsI enjoy a good murder mystery and this book fills the bill. But how does the old landlady manage a new pedicure every day?

  • Pam Fischer
    2019-04-02 05:10

    Was slow at times but I overall liked it

  • Sonja
    2019-04-04 22:06

    This was a fun book! I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more.

  • Danielle
    2019-04-03 23:06

    Reminds me of my year in Florida and my dead end job! Amusing.

  • Sonja
    2019-04-23 03:07

    Really enjoyed this one!

  • Cindyanne
    2019-04-07 01:17

    Not one of my favorites, but the mystery does keep you engaged.

  • Joanna
    2019-04-01 00:09

    I made it halfway through and decided there are lots of other books I'd rather spend my time with.

  • Nancy
    2019-03-29 02:02

    I had to read a cozy mystery as part of my annual challenge here at the library. Not my usual thing, but I really enjoyed Shop Till You Drop! I liked the protagonist and how the author slowly revealed her backstory. The women who shopped at the boutique were a hoot! I am not familiar with southern Florida culture, but the portrayal of the characters was very entertaining. Cinematic, comical scenes kept me amused. Shop Till You Drop was featured on the Palm Beach Post's list of "Sweet, Sun-Baked, Sixteen Florida Books You Must Read." I rarely take time to read series, but I may need to make an exception for this one.

  • Paige Kuether
    2019-04-08 23:26

    Very different, enjoyed reading this book

  • Elusive
    2019-04-16 04:59

    In ‘Shop Till You Drop’, Helen Hawthorne is doing her best to leave her old life behind. Goodbye steady career and hefty paycheck, all because of her now ex-husband who had cheated on her thus resulting in her public display of anger. That had lead to an unpleasant court case. Therefore, Helen wants to keep a low profile but little does she know that her job as a salesclerk at a luxurious boutique, Juliana’s will make that incredibly challenging indeed.This book offered a wonderfully cozy, breezy story which had the perfect blend of mystery and suspense combined with a dash of humour. It took a while before reaching the starting point of the mystery but it was worth the wait. In the meantime, the author did a good job creating a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere at the glamorous boutique frequented by women who were obsessed with their looks and money. The intricate descriptions of the store and clothes left me with no doubt that everything about it was indeed pricey and exclusive.I really liked the main character Helen as she was smart, sharp, cautious and patient. Despite thinking that the customers were pathetic for focusing so much on snaring a rich man and willing to undergo unauthorized surgeries in order to look younger, she didn’t openly look down on them. Instead, she joined the conversations and even gave them a piece of her mind at times. Her straightforwardness was simply admirable. I enjoyed reading about her carrying out her own investigation while simultaneously trying to avoid her name from appearing in the papers.The mystery was appealing in its simplicity. When a certain character mysteriously disappeared only to turn up dead, there’s a nice pool of suspects comprising Juliana’s regular customers. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the murderer was but I didn’t think that there was (view spoiler)[another person involved (hide spoiler)]. Anyhow, the explanations were logical and left me feeling satisfied that the case was well and truly closed. Plus, there were a few red herrings which would certainly keep any reader guessing and wondering. Apart from Helen who was a fleshed out character, the other characters were distinguishable. Her landlady Margery was especially memorable thanks to her no-nonsense approach, quick wit and colourful clothes. The author’s repetition regarding the colour of her outfits and nail polish was distracting and annoying though. Another tenant, Peggy with her parrot Pete was pretty fun and interesting. I was curious about Helen’s neighbour, Phil who constantly smoked pot but rarely appeared in public. Helen’s friend, Sarah was helpful but I got the impression her character was only created to help Helen solve the case. Of course, I’d have to mention Helen’s boss Christina who was full of secrets. I’d definitely like to read about her past.Overall, ‘Shop Till You Drop’ was a light-hearted, enjoyable mystery with a diverse cast of characters. It delved into the vast difference between the lifestyles of the rich and the poor while maintaining a sunny tone coupled with brilliant writing which kept me turning the pages.

  • Barbara M
    2019-04-05 04:01

    Slow start but the last quarter of the book moved right along and connected. I chalk that up to the first book in the series. I've met Elaine Viets a couple of times now and I know how funny she can be so I have faith in the next book. The main character Helen Hawthorne (not her real name?) is hiding out so her deadbeat, cheating husband can find her. Helen's story is kept under wraps by the author, until she reveals the full story of what happened in her previous life, a little more than half the way through the story. All the reader knows is that she caught her stay-at-home husband naked with her pretty neighbor. She's run away after a court date and is determined that he won't find her. She has a job being paid under the table at a very exclusive dress shop in Fort Lauderdale. That sounds good but it is a "dead-end job" - hence the series title. Helen senses some under-handed goings on at the shop but when murder happens, Helen is afraid her hide-out might be exposed to her husband. She may have to solve this crime in order to stay out of the limelight.Viets has created a loveable character in Helen's landlady the purple-wearing Margery. The real villain is hidden with quite a few red herrings until the that last part of the bookl. Viets pays homage to another author friend - Deborah Sharp by naming an area near Ft. Lauderdale (Sharp's hometown and the setting of this novel) as Himmarshee Village. Sharp's fictitious setting is Himmarshee Florida near Lake Okeechobee.

  • Marci
    2019-04-04 02:24

    Helen Hawthorne is a woman with a secret! She is on the run from a court order to pay alimony to her cheating ex-husband, Rob. Helen, a PR person in a respectable St. Louis company has been the bread winner for several years, while Rob stayed home. All that changed when she came home early from work and caught Rob kissing the neighbor. When the divorce judge ordered her to pay alimony, Helen fled St. Louis, refusing to pay money to her cheating ex-husband. She ends up in Fort Lauderdale trying to stay off the radar of law enforcement. In order to do so she needs to take jobs that pay “under the table.” She discovers Juliana’s, an exclusive boutique, where women must be buzzed in beyond the green door. The women who frequent Juliana’s are trophy wives or mistresses to older rich gentlemen. Their lives are very different from Helen’s. They get the latest cosmetic procedures and spend more money than Helen earns in a week on a purse. Things change for Helen when her customers began to turn up murdered. Helen fears the women murdered might be a result of something fishy going on inside Juliana’s. These fears escalate when someone is found murdered inside Juliana’s itself. Can Helen manage to keep a low key profile while a murder investigation is going on around her? Will the publicity allow Rob to find her? Shop Till You Drop is the first in the series with the 11th book in the series being released May 1st. These books are the perfect read for a long beach weekend.

  • Laura
    2019-04-18 01:14

    In summary, this book was really ok. I hesitated between 2 & 3 stars, but in the end had to go with the 2.Due to some drama with her ex-husband, Helen is forced to only take dead-end jobs that will pay her salary in cash with no official records. Helen is thrilled to land a job at a clothing store until she starts noticing some strange things that don't quite add up and finds herself in the perfect position to solve the case.Some good things: The book is fairly clean. There is a reference to something very crude, but no bedroom scenes & no long descriptions of anything rated R. This was a pleasant surprise for the chick-lit genre.The book is also really light and fluffy. No deep meaning, no deep character development. Just a breezy read that is enjoyable. Some short-comings:The crude reference.I got all the main characters, but all the supporting characters (the store customers) were tricky. They all were gorgeous with rich boyfriends/husbands. Their profiles were all so similar, it was hard to keep them straight. Even at the end, when the killer was revealed, I was scratching my head at who it was. It made the reveal much less exciting because I had to rack my brain for which character it was.Overall, not a bad book. If you are looking for something really light and fluffy, this is a good choice. If I came across the next book in the series, I would probably read it.