Guest Post with Giveaway ~ The Art Of Murder by Elaine Viets


The Art of Living

          I don't enjoying looking at rich people's art and old furniture, so I'm not a fan of most house museum tours. There's only one exception:

Fort Lauderdale's Bonnet House Museum & Gardens.

           I can't wait for you to read The Art of Murder, my May Dead-End Job mystery. The Art of Murder opens at Bonnet House, where I worked as a volunteer greeter.

           Bonnet House was the colorful home of artists Evelyn and Frederic Clay Bartlett. Evelyn took up collecting miniature orchids at age 101, and lived to be 109. Their house was filled with light, life and color.

          Bonnet House was Frederic's idea of a Caribbean plantation house. It's built around a courtyard sheltered by feathery palms and bright with flowers. The house has whimsical touches: gilded baroque columns swirl around the drawing room doors, balconies are frosted with New Orleans wrought iron, and Evelyn's collection of brightly painted wooden animals, including giraffes and ostriches, are everywhere.

          Evelyn loved animals, and Bonnet House still has swans and a troupe of adorable monkeys living on the grounds. The monkeys, the last of Evelyn's pets, escaped from a bar.

          Frederic built Evelyn the charming Bamboo Bar and Shell Museum as a birthday present. Most men won't even fetch their wives a drink, but Evelyn had a custom-built bar. Evelyn drank exotic Rangpur lime cocktails, made from maple syrup, rum, and Rangpur limes she grew in the gardens.

          Vibrant Bonnet House seemed the perfect place to start Helen's fifteenth adventure. Helen and Margery are touring the mansion-turned-museum when they see Annabel Lee Griffin, a young, talented artist, at a museum painting class. Later, they also see Annabel's deadly end. Helen is hired to investigate her death. Was Annabel killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A lover from her bohemian past? Helen has her own brush with death as she searches for this artful killer.

          Next time you're in Fort Lauderdale, visit the Bonnet House museum at It's even prettier than these Website photos. See how Frederic and Evelyn mastered the art of living.

post-divider rightartSeries: Dead-End Job Mystery (Book 14)
Publisher: NAL (May 3, 2016)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0451476131
ISBN-13: 978-0451476135
ASIN: B013Q70G1G
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


From the national bestselling author of Checked Out, Helen Hawthorne must pose as a painter at Fort Lauderdale’s famous Bonnet House Museum to catch an artful killer . . .

The art world is a happening place—but a brush with death shouldn’t be in the picture. Unfortunately that’s just what happens to Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery. While touring gorgeous Bonnet House, a mansion-turned-museum, they observe a painting class and note an up-and-coming artist. When they later see her deadly end, Helen is hired to canvas the crime scene—undercover, of course.
Sketchy suspects lurk in the victim’s bohemian past. Was the promising painter killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A rival using her artful wiles? With her husband Phil busy setting a trap for a gold thief, it’s up to Helen to paint this killer into a corner . . .

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of The Art of Murder to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on June 5th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

post-divider right

It’s midnight on a moonless night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From my office window I see boats with no running lights slipping down the Intracoastal Waterway. What illegal cargo are they carrying: drugs, guns, people? I’ve used them all in my Dead-End Job mysteries.

Across a canal, my window overlooks a million-dollar condo where mysterious neighbors hold parties in the dead of night. Everyone dresses in black evening clothes. They became the inspiration for my short story, “Vampire Hours.”

South Florida is the setting for my Dead-End Job mysteries and many short stories. It’s the inspiration that feeds my dark side.

My roots are in the Midwest, where I set my Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. St. Louis is very different from Fort Lauderdale. Its people have pasts, families and neighborhoods. If someone new moves into a community, a St. Louisan can make a few calls and find out where the newcomer went to school, if he has a drinking problem, if she’s divorced, and where the person works. It’s a big small town.

Not so in South Florida, where one of my snowbird neighbors turned out to be a drug dealer. I should have known that a pilot didn’t make enough money to own a Porsche, a Harley, a state-of-the-art sound system and a beachside condo unless he was flying in a very special cargo. Florida’s rootlessness and St. Louis’s structured life are important facets of my series.

These two locations drive my mysteries and occasional fictional forays into other worlds. My vampire short stories take place in Fort Lauderdale. My paranormal story, “The Bedroom Door,” is set in St. Louis and features a woman based on my Grandmother Vierling, who swore she had second sight.

Josie Marcus is a St. Louis woman. She’s connected to her community, the suburb of Maplewood. She has a mother, a daughter, and a job, where she fights for better treatment for the mythical Mrs. Minivan, the American shopper.

“Death on a Platter” is my seventh Josie Marcus mystery. The eleventh Dead-End Job mystery, “Final Sail,” will be out May 1, 2012. In a good series – and I hope mine fit that description – the characters grow and change.

Josie, a single mother with an eleven-year-old daughter, has a talent for friendship as well as solving mysteries. She tries to help her daughter develop into an independent young woman. She fights her own tendency to fall in love with the wrong men. As a member of the sandwich generation, Josie has to care for her mother as well as her daughter.

Helen Hawthorne is a St. Louis woman on the run in South Florida. After nine Dead-End Jobs, she changed the course of her life. Helen and I both worked those same awful jobs from salesclerk to telemarketer. In her tenth adventure, Helen and Phil, her new husband, open a private eye agency called Coronado Investigations and open new possibilities to keep the series fresh.

 Don’t worry, Dead-End Job fans. Helen is still working those low-paying jobs, only now she goes undercover as part of her private eye investigation.  I’m going to classes at private investigators conferences and asking private eyes I know for their help. I also took the Death Investigators course at St. Louis University to give the series authenticity.

I promise you that some things will not change. Both series will still be as entertaining as I can make them.

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Dead-End Job Mysteries


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  1. I enjoy reading guests posts and getting a glimpse at the author. Your book sounds fun and that cover art is fantastic. How can I resist!

  2. Suzanne Marzano says:

    After reading your post how did I not find your series before this?  Dead End Job series sounds perfect for my reading taste.  Thanks

  3. Della Williamson says:

    You know.  This is really kind of funny, ironically.  I just finished an excellent read last week where a guy committed the perfect murder.  The cops know how he did it.  And pretty much why.  But there is no way to prove it.  In thinking over the story and the way the guy got rid of his wife and a rival.  Dead Man's Tale by James D. Doss.  Great writer.  Cozies all.  And the asides?  Hilarious.  I am looking forward to this book.  Thanks for the chance to get it.

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