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by Elaine Viets

Pub Date: July 5th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-72785-029-4
Publisher: Severn House

A boorish businessman just can’t stop dying.

Even though Sterling Chaney was a drunken lout who cheated on her at every opportunity, his long-suffering wife, Camilla, still arranges the send-off of Sterling’s dreams, complete with a burnished-bronze Promethean casket that sets his estate back a cool $30,000. Which turns out to be money well spent, since, in the middle of the eulogy, who should appear at the door of the church but the dearly departed himself, drunk as a skunk but still able to appreciate Camilla’s last generous gesture of love? Camilla’s appreciation, on the other hand, is fleeting. Days after she learns that the corpse found in Sterling’s Porsche actually belonged to a thief who stole it shortly before the fatal crash and welcomes her errant husband back, she finds orange lipstick on the collar of his shirt and throws him out. Meantime, Sterling’s become a celebrity, appearing on news shows across the nation and drawing the eye of investigative reporter Valeria Cannata. She turns a feel-good piece about the man who crashed his own funeral into an exposé of his phone-sex business, complete with interviews with the women who work there. Now Camilla is not only a wronged wife, she’s also a social outcast, married to a man whose vast fortune rests on the exploitation of the most desperate. When he crashes his brand-new red Ferrari and dies for real, she’s in a jam: The police have ample cause to arrest her, and the judge won’t order release on bail. Only her best friend, death investigator Angela Richman, believes she’s innocent. Angela takes on the whole police force, including her boyfriend, to prove her point.

Catchy hook, draggy investigation, and a solution from out of left field. At least that pricey coffin doesn’t go to waste.