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Dating Is Murder

Dating Is Murder

Book 2 of the Wollie Shelley series

"Wollie Shelley is...big-hearted and just as big a smash here as in her debut. Lively prose, seamless plotting— and, good golly, there's Wollie."
   —Kirkus (*STARRED REVIEW*)

Wollie Shelley, the plucky amateur sleuth Kirkus Reviews called "funny, brave, smart, and altogether the fetchingest crime heroine since the early Stephanie Plum," returns in Dating is Murder, Harley Jane Kozak's sequel to her critically acclaimed debut novel, Dating Dead Men.

Having survived serial dating in Dating Dead Men Wollie takes on a new challenge by participating in Biological Clock, a reality show featuring women "d'un ge certain." The goofy TV production is yet another means to help Wollie save her greeting card line (Good Golly Miss Wollies) and care for her mentally ill brother, P.B. In the midst of all the wicked dating fun, Wollie finds herself looking into the disappearance of Annika, a German production assistant who also works as an au pair for Maizie Quinn, a glossy Encino supermom. The hunt for Annika, who's also Wollie's math tutor, proves to be far more intriguing than being one of three women dating three men while waiting for the audience's verdict "on which combination of genes should produce a child." Wollie's investigation soon brings her onto the radar of a sexy pseudo-stalker federal agent, who keeps warning her off the case, to no avail... (PW)

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Praise

"For those who don't know Wollie Shelley from 2004's Dating Dead Men, allow us to introduce her. She's a six-foot L.A. blonde who designs greeting cards to pay the bills and solves mysteries because she just can't help it. In Dating Is Murder, Wollie moonlights as a contestant on Biological Clock, a low-budget reality dating show that may or may not be connected to an international drug ring and the disappearance of her German au pair friend, Annika. When Wollie vows to find her pal, she ends up smack-dab in the middle of a hefty FBI probe. Actress-turned-author Kozak (her credits include 1989's Parenthood) has a breezy style and delightful wit that leave us with just one question: When's book 3?" Grade: A-
—Entertainment Weekly

"Ever since bounty-hunting heroine Stephanie Plum burst onto the mystery scene in 1994—sporting spandex, big hair and a New Jersey background rich in blue-collar humor—there has been a slew of authors and publishers seeking to tap the vein that Plum's creator, Janet Evanovich, has so expertly mined . . . Kozak balances the needs of the mystery with the wackier elements of her story . . . it is the voice of Wollie, who is fast approaching 40, that is spot-on perfect, humorous and poignant enough by turns to win the series new fans and make Kozak a contender in the never-ending quest for the perfect quirky mystery."
—The Los Angeles Times

"If you missed actress Harley Jane Kozak's first mystery about Wollie (for Wollstonecraft) Shelley, Dating Dead Men, be reassured that the paperback version will be filling up airport departure lounges as we speak. And the same zest—Janet Evanovich with class—enlivens Kozak's second book, Dating Is Murder. This time, Shelley gets involved in a reality-TV show called Biological Clock, an idea so good that some producer must already be working on it: an audience chooses the six best potential parents from a panel of contestants. There's more than ticking clocks at stake, of course, as Shelley goes to great pains and lengths to find out what happened to a clean-living young woman who was trying to teach her math."
—The Chicago Tribune

". . . Kozak delivers an entertaining bit of murderous chick-lit . . . It's pure screwball fun all the way . . . "
—The Denver Post

"[A] stellar second adventure, set against the L.A. backdrop her actor-creator knows so well.... As witty as early Evanovich and as irresistible as current Crusie, Kozak establishes her unique voice in Wollie's wistful, self-deprecating but stubborn working-class persona that fans of diva lit (chick lit that's grown up and added a body count) will love. The pace of this quirky cool mystery never falters, and the breezy characterizations will inspire more than a few to ask the author, "So, you gonna play Wollie in the film or what?"
—Publishers Weekly (*STARRED REVIEW*)

"Featuring wonderful characters...Kozak's smart whodunit is as fresh and funny as her first "dating" mystery, Dating Dead Men. Libraries of all sizes will definitely want both titles."
—Library Journal (*STARRED REVIEW*)

"Shelley, the appealingly quirky heroine of Kozak's first mystery, Dating Dead Men, has just had her heart broken by her fiance, Doc, who has left L.A. to be with his daughter in Japan. Wollie has been persuaded by her friends to take part in a reality dating show, Biological Clock, where the audience chooses the best potential parents among three couples. But Wollie is distracted by the disappearance of Annika, an au pair who was serving as Wollie's math tutor. A frantic call from Annika's mother worries Wollie, but when she goes to the police, they are completely uninterested, so Wollie takes it upon herself to search for the girl. Her quest to find the supposedly clean-cut au pair leads Wollie to a possible drug connection and some questionable men, including a handsome thug who starts tailing Wollie. This delightful follow-up to Kozak's first outing surpasses its predecessor and will have readers anticipating Wollie's third adventure."
—Booklist

"Kozak demonstrates once again that she has the real stuff. Combining lighthearted humor and romance with a suspenseful plot, she has created a compelling story."
—Chicago Sun Times

Doubleday, hardcover, March 2005, ISBN: 978-0385510349
Broadway, paperback, March 2006, ISBN: 978-0767921244