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Pumped for Murder
A Dead-End Job Mystery #10
Elaine Viets

May 2012 (paperback edition)/ 978-0-451-23505-3
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Newlyweds Phil Sagemont and Helen Hawthorne are getting started in their new PI agency. They live and work in Florida, which is a hotbed for family and relationship problems. Their very first case involves a woman who believes that her husband is cheating and wants them to prove it.

Because their client, Shelby, is suspicious of hubby Bryan's new-found physique, they decide that Helen will get a job at the gym and keep an eye on Bryan's activities. Bryan may or may not be sneaking around, but Helen finds plenty of unusual activities going on at the gym.

Since Helen is working early morning hours at the gym, Phil finds himself responsible for their second case. The case dates back to the 1980's, and the question of whether a man's death was suicide (as ruled by the police) or murder.
Pumped for Murder continues the series theme of Helen working at a dead-end job. As receptionist at the gym, it certainly wouldn't be a good career move. However, the investigation work is right up her alley, and she knows she can handle yet another temporary job.

I loved that Helen and Phil are now married, and the series has shifted to accommodate that change, as well as the opening of their PI agency together. The neighbors from the Coronado Tropic Apartments are along for this adventure, too, and in fact, the PI agency is christened Coronado Investigations.

Viets was able to merge Helen and Phil's union, while still letting their individuality show. The two investigations allow each to work alone and yet have each other for sounding boards and for backup.

The stories flow seamlessly, and enable the reader to work through the twists and turns without discovering what really are the facts of each case until very close to the end. I found Pumped for Murder fast-paced, action-packed, and comfortable with a familiar cast of characters as a back drop.

Pumped for Murder is a nicely crafted, cozy mystery, appropriate for ages teen and up, and this paperback version would make for a nice summer beach read.

Other Reviews in this series

Just Murdered, No 4   [review]
Murder Unleashed,
No. 5   [review]
Murder with Reservations,
No. 6   [review]
Clubbed to Death,
No 7   [review]
Pumped for Murder,
No 10   [review 1] [review 2]
Final Sail, No 11 [review]
Board Stiff,
No 12 [review]

Reviewed 2012
© 2012