Board Stiff, by Elaine Viets

nitabee's review against another edition

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I mostly enjoyed this installment. Helen and Phil are hired to investigate a paddleboard shop on the beach, so she gets to play a tourist, which is a far cry from some of her earlier dirty jobs. I liked that there were many possible perps in the case, it wasn't quite so easy to figure out who did it. I like Joan's character, the waitress who worked in Cy's restaurant
Spoilerbut felt like it was pretty obvious she was going to be killed for talking to Helen. I was slightly disappointed that she died because I kinda think Helen could use more friends. Whatever happened to Peggy from the Coronado? She wasn't in this book and it's been a while since I read the last one. I'm glad the blackmailer in St. Louis plot line is wrapped up, even though it turned out Kathy was right and they hadn't really killed Rob. I guess that was a tidier solution than having it be a neighbor, and now Rob really is gone, so that's good
. Looking forward to the next book.

dollycas's review against another edition

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Phil is working undercover at Sunny Jim’s Safety First Parasailing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding business on Florida’s Riggs Beach while Helen plays the tourist with her trusty video camera. They have been hired to figure out who was trying to put Jim out of business when stakes get raised considerably. A client was killed and Jim knows it was no accident.

There are no shortage of suspects, a cutthroat competitor wants Jim’s prime beach location, the nearby restaurant owner wants the space to enlarge his parking lot, and the victim’s husband seems pretty shady himself and more so after he files a wrongful death suit.

But Phil and Helen uncover much more as they investigate. Dirty politicians, dirty cops and many secrets seem to be the norm at this beach. Helen and Phil need to catch the culprit before the tide turns and they all get washed away.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
One of my favorite series. Viets tops herself this one with a big surprise. I had a little inkling at the end of Final Sail but never imagined that it would play out the way it did.

Valerie Cannata finds herself right in the middle of the investigation and my favorite lady in purple, Margery, plays a key role as well. That Margery is one wise woman who never fails to put a smile on my face.

The time we had more than just one character to hate. Daniel was a terrible husband, Cy was a terrible boss, Frank was on the take and Randy was out for revenge. The author has readers paddling at a fast pace to uncover the killer.

A smart mystery that is fun and very entertaining. I recommend reading the series in order because each builds to the next. Helen’s evolution from the beginning of the series until now is remarkable. All the books would make great Summer Reads!!!