Cozy Wednesday with Author Elaine Viets (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Elaine Viets here today. I am a big fan of both of her series!

Hi Elaine!

Hi Everyone!

Faking It on Your Wedding Day
By Elaine Viets

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus is finally getting married. But she won’t have an easy time before she walks down the aisle. Lenore, her future mother-in-law, flies into St. Louis from Boca by private jet. Josie thinks Ted’s meddling mother should come in on a broom.
Josie loves Ted and wants to avoid an argument, but her patience is sorely tried. Lenore “helps” – read that as “tries to control” – their simple wedding until Josie wishes someone would lock up Lenore.

She gets her wish, all right. Lenore is arrested for murder. Dr. Ted has a woman stalker, and she winds up shot. Lenore is arrested for murder one.

Now Josie can’t marry Ted unless she finds the real killer.


Jewel Box – Interior
Jewel Box St. Louis



Ted and Josie do get married in the flower-filled Jewel Box in St. Louis, an art deco conservatory beloved by generations of brides. She has a traditional wedding cake with swags of white butter cream frosting.

Josie figured their wedding cake would cost about $400, but she hadn’t figured in a $50 delivery fee. She has to mystery shop wedding cakes and flowers to pay for the unexpected extra cost.

A wedding cake can cost a week’s salary or more. Way more, up into the hefty four figures. But some couples have their cake and eat it, too: They rent fake cakes for the wedding.

Those impressive cakes on display at the receptions are layers of iced Styrofoam. Some fake cakes have a top layer of real cake for the bride and groom to stage the cake cutting ceremony.

Other fake cakes have a secret compartment to hide a slice of real cake for the cutting photos.

Once the cake cutting is over, the fake cake is hustled away and the wedding guests are served slices of cheaper sheet cake.

Fake cakes can save couples real money, especially at big weddings. They just have to slice into the right layer for the cake cutting photos.

For couples who consider a traditional wedding cake a big, fat waste of money, a fake cake rental starts at about $125, plus shipping.

One major online company is (

Who gets fake cakes?

Hollywood celebrities. Corporations celebrating major milestones, including the Ford Motor Company. Even celebrity chef Duff Goldman had a fake cake for his book signings.

The TV show, “Whose Wedding Is it Anyway?” rented a fake cake. And so do couples who want a sweet show on their wedding day. After the wedding, the fake cake is shipped back to the rental company.

There’s only one drawback:
Make sure drunken Uncle Ray doesn’t try to snitch a slice of the fake cake.


Murder is a Piece of Cake:
Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper

Obsidian (November 6, 2012)
Publish by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Cozy Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451238511

Murder is a Piece of Cake (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #8)

Mystery Shopper Josie Marcus is thrilled to be getting married to Dr.Ted. Her boss gives her an early wedding present/assignment. Josie gets to investigate wedding cakes and flowers. She is also busy finalizing her own wedding plans as her future mother-in-law starts to drive her a little crazy with her “minor” changes. Still it is good to have “pistol packing” Lenore around when she comes to the rescue when a homicidal bridezilla named Molly threatens to kill Ted unless he agrees to marry her.

Josie thinks the pre-wedding drama is behind her and there will be smooth sailing ahead. Then Molly is found dead and the pistol packing mama is the prime suspect. Lenore is behind bars and the wedding is on hold. Josie has no choice but to track down the bridezilla killer so that her and Dr. Ted can get married and start their wonderful life together.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love this series!

Josie Marcus is an amateur sleuth everyone will love.  In this 8th installment to the Mystery Shopper Mysteries she pulls out all the stops. Planning a wedding, dealing with a bridezilla while not becoming one herself, and catching a killer. Then there’s her future mother-in-law and her helpful suggestions. While she was behind bars Josie felt obligated to accept every one, but she needs to keep her wedding  from becoming an over the top extravaganza.

This story will have you laughing out loud, following the clues, and wishing and hoping Josie’s dream wedding comes true. This is a fast paced mystery that will keep you guessing until the final clue is uncovered. 

The author also includes great tips if you are planning a wedding too whether you are the bride or even the future mother-in-law. 

Elaine Viets always gives us mysteries that  are fun and entertaining!  Keep them coming Elaine.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

A woman I can identify with! Elaine writes her novels with the help of Harry, a striped cat who sleeps by her computer and lashes the keyboard with his tail. He whips her into a writing frenzy. Harry collaborates on two series, the Dead-end Job mysteries and the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. She’s won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty awards. For more about Elaine check out her web site

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Elaine for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

84 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Elaine Viets (Giveaway too!)

    1. Thanks, Deanna. The Dead-End Job series is set in Fort Lauderdale. Josie’s series is set in my home town of St. Louis. Josie has an eleven-year-old daughter. Hope you’ll enjoy all 8 books.

    1. I like Josie, too. She’s not perfect, but she tries to be a good mother. Now that she’s married, that will add a whole new dimension to her life.

    1. It is, Sherry. It’s a good book to enjoy with a cup of tea — and a slice of real cake. Banana bread is my personal favorite.

  1. We were lucky with the wedding cake issue. My daughter’s then fiance had a very close friend who was a graduate of the C.I.A. and was a professional baker. He made her cake as a gift and also did the other two kids when they got married. Uri (the baker) is now considered a member of our family. He and his wife and kids are at all the family gatherings.

    I would love to be the lucky winner of Murder is a Piece of Cake.

  2. Hi, Bev. Never worked as a mystery shopper, but my mother did back in the 60s, so I grew up with the business. The mystery shopper questionnaires haven’t changed in more than half a century.
    Thank you all for stopping by.
    Heather, I think you and Josie will be the perfect match.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. I was lucky with the wedding cake. My beloved Aunt Pauline baked wonderful wedding cakes to help support her family of 6 kids. Her husband had died in the 60’s. The cake was beautiful and delicious.
    I love the books in both of Elaine’s series. If you haven’t read them, try then now.

  4. That’s interesting how people use these fake cakes. lol. I love both of your series & I’m excited to read this new one & Josie’s wedding episode!!

    1. Me, too. I finally broke down and bought a chocolate cake with butter cream icing and sugar roses. Yum!

  5. I had no idea that folks used fake wedding cakes these days! I love this series and have read all the previous books – can’t wait to read this one.

    1. Hi, Mom2. My mother was a mystery shopper. She said it was a good job when she had kids because of the flexible hours. Glad you liked the series.

  6. Love both series! I’ve met you here in Maryland at the Howard County Library. Hope you can come back soon!

    1. I remember that event, Susan. It was organized by Jacquelynn Morris and Kris Neri and other mystery writers were there — along with an audience of real readers.

  7. I always thought mystery shopping sounded like a fun job, until I read about Josie’s experience! Can’t wait to read the new book 🙂

    1. Mystery shopping, at least when Mom did it, was exhausting work. But she enjoyed mystery-shopping with her best friend, sort of like Josie and Alyce in my books.

    1. And I’d love to have you read it. Please do and let me know what you think. I’m starting the next Josie book after Thanksgiving.
      Speaking of which — have a happy holiday everyone. Hope you get to spend it with people you love.

  8. Elaine, you are a new author for me! I loved the excerpt-I can’t wait to read this. Thanks for a chance to win 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, June.
      I wish everyone could win. But if you can’t a paperback costs less than a grande latte — and there are no calories. Treat yourself.

  9. Keep on writing, Elaine. I’ve enjoyed both series so much. I didn’t know about fake cakes. That’s still pretty expensive to me. maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t have a wedding. For my daughter’s reception a talented friend of my Elaine made what I thought was very nice just for fun. I just supplied cake mix and supplies.

  10. Hi Elaine! It has been a long time since I planned my own simple wedding with my hubby…well, five years, and I am so thankful to have not had to deal with any chaos. It is certainly much more fun reading about it! I will have to check out the dead-end job series too, from being a singing telegram girl to a jewelry inspector, I feel like I can relate. 🙂

  11. I love to read mysteries .This is one I want to read. I never actually heard about renting a cake for a wedding so thats a new one for me. Cant wait to read it . Thanks for the review

  12. After recently finishing reading one of the books in the Dead End Job Series, I immediately added her to my short list of most favorite cozy writers. I want to read them all!!!

  13. Love the book! The photos have me planning a stop in Forest Park — I wonder if there will be an increase in visitors and/or weddings because of _Murder Is a Piece of Cake_.

  14. I hope so, Mary. I spoke to a group of high school students in suburban St. Louis and was sad that they’d never heard of the Jewel Box or been to Tower Grove Park. My New York editor was so impressed by my hometown’s beauty.

  15. I’ve been hooked on the series from the very first book. I’m excited to hear about Josie in her married life! I’m sure there will be plenty of entertainment.

  16. Josie is one of my favorite characters. I enjoy the interaction among the three generations.

  17. Irene, we have to correct that situation immediately. There are eight books in the Josie Marcus series, starting with “Dying in Style” and ending with “Murder Is a Piece of Cake.” You don’t have to read them in order, but you may like to follow how Josie’s character develops. Check out the first chapters and book order at

  18. Wow, I have got to read this series. This sounds great (and scrumptous too)! I guess I can read a book and eat the cake too. (Oh, so sorry. I just had to say it).

  19. I’m not familiar with this series but I’m looking to branch out from the mysteries I usually read…this series sounds interesting.

  20. Wow, I had no idea that people used fake cakes, so interesting! Your whole series sounds wonderful, I will be putting it on my wish list.

  21. My daughter and I are both big fans of this series as well as the Dead End jobs one. We never knew that about renting a fake wedding cake…and she’s a pastry chef! Thanks for all the great books!

  22. Love the sounds of this series!! Will have to check out the Dead End jobs one! Thanks for such a fantastic giveaway!

  23. I love the black & white cake pictured above, and I think the idea of a fake cake is great. Weddings seem to cost more than a down payment for a house…so every little bit helps in cutting costs. This book sounds like a fun read. I will add to my TBR pile.

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