A husband and wife detective duo teams up to split the work.
Finally out from under the radar, Helen Hawthorne (Pumped for Murder, 2011, etc.) is eager to help her new husband, Phil, build Coronado Investigations' client base. Soon enough, they have a promising client. Rich, angry Violet Zerling hires the pair to prove that her father’s sexy, young wife, Blossom, poisoned him. But the ink is barely dry on the mail-order ordination Helen uses to perform Arthur Zerling’s funeral when Phil packs her off to pose as a stewardess on the Belted Earl, whose captain suspects one of his crew is smuggling emeralds. Helen is reduced once more to cleaning rich people’s bathrooms and doing their copious loads of laundry—the same kind of menial tasks she lived on while hiding from ex-husband Rob. She can’t decide whether she’s more appalled by the mounds of cigar ash loudmouthed Scotty Crowne leaves for her to clean, the red wine his perky wife, Pepper, deliberately spills on the thousand-dollar sheets, or Earl Briggs’ bejeweled wife, Beth, who lets her poodle piddle wherever. Just as Helen begins to bond with the two other stewardesses, Louise, the younger, jumps ship. Mira, the senior stewardess, insists that storm-weary Louise hitched a ride home on a fishing charter, but Helen suspects foul play rather than foul weather. While Helen hunts hidden gems aboard the Earl, Phil’s busy tracking Blossom, ready to wrap the case the minute his wife makes port.
Doubling the mysteries doesn’t really double the fun in Viets’ convoluted eleventh.