From the Cover: Living life one the lam and working wherever she can find a paycheck, Helen Hawthorne has a knack for keeping a low profile. But when her coworker dies, and her two-timing ex-husband tracks her down in South Florida, it going to get a lot harder to fly under the radar.....
Helen Hawthorne is on the run and her creep of a scumbag ex-husband, Rob, is still on the hunt, tirelessly tracking her down, hoping to collect on the alimony. Rob doesn't deserve a stinking nickel, he boffed whatever walked by and the judge taking his side. Okay, maybe she shouldn't have killed his SUV, but better it than killing Rob.
Helen has been force to take menial jobs, the only ones that paid cash, to escape the greedy clutches of her ex. No more corporate jobs, corporate lunches or expense accounts, and no more Rob. She'd take the menial over Rob any day, especially after walking in on his last conquest. Helen now lives in sunny South Florida far from St. Louis, away from the prying eyes of her meddling mother and the concern of her sister. The Coronado is the typical retro style apartment with a shimmering pool found in South Florida, not the best place, but not the worse either. And Margery, her landlord, keeps the place hopping with sunset wine at poolside and a hunk of a neighbor, Phil, next door to keep the nights from being lonely. If Helen could just lose the creep of an ex, who keeps searching endlessly for her, her life would be pretty good.
Helen now works for Sybil at the Full Moon Hotel, not a high class place, but kept clean by the maids. That's her job description now--maid, but it's good hard work and the pay comes in the right form. Denise, Cheryl, and Rhonda keep the work interesting and the occupants keep the work hard. People are such slobs on vacation! The third floor is the worst, and Helen and Rhonda, the newest hires, keeping pulling that duty. But there's always the treasure to look for in room 323. Rhonda, a red haired stick woman, moans her about life but brags about her new lover, a dark hair beach boy with money to spare. He's going to take Rhonda away from her troubles. When on the next day, Rhonda doesn't show up for work, Helen assumes the beach boy kept his word.
For all Helen's hard work, her mother sends Rob her way and as luck would have it, he picks the Full Moon as his choice for accommodations. Now if Helen wants to keep her job, she has to skulk around hiding from Rob. The service entrance to the hotel is next to the dumpster and her perfect hiding spot, but the most disgusting scent is wafting out of the dumpster. Helen, with Denise's prodding, crawls inside to find the missing Rhonda, green, purple, and dead. Now, not only does Helen have to duck her ex, but the police too.
Cheryl, the suffering single mother of a Down child, goes hysterical. After all the mean things they've said about Rhonda, lying dead in the dumpster outside the hotel, and then the slob in room 322. In the meantime, Rob has found Helen's apartment, but the wiley Margery sets Rob up on date with an old girlfriend, Marcella, the Black Widow of Florida. With any luck, Rob will meet his match.
Into the picture walks Rhonda's replacement, the gorgeous Craig, and Rhonda not even one day out of the dumpster. Craig as it turns out is a blond beach type boy....... Helen starts to put two and two together when Craig starts talking about Rhonda like they were old lovers. Did he murder Rhonda and throw her into the dumpster like yesterday's garbage? Will Rob marry Marcella and live happily ever after on her millions or will the next victim of the Black Widow be Helen's ex? And, worse yet, who killed the slob in room 322?
Murder Without Reservations by Elain Viets was published in May 2007. It's the sixth book in the Dead-End Job Mystery, no need to read them in order. For background information for her books, Ms. Viets tries out each job found in her novels. She's a brave woman! MWR is a fun filled book full of humor as well as mystery. How Helen gets herself in and out of trouble in too much fun! And then she has her own personal private detective to go home to at night, Phil. MWR was a very fast read, only a couple of hours. Margery is a cagey old gal with energy to spare and helps Helen keep out of trouble. If you'd like more information about Ms. Viets books, check out her website or at the Lipstick Chronicles. If you'd like a fun filled read, you'll like Murder Without Reservations.