Dating Dead Men
By Harley Jane Kozak
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780767921237, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 15, 2005
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Los Angeles greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley is dating forty men in sixty days as research for a radio talk show host’s upcoming book, How to Avoid Getting Dumped All the Time. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to Rio Pescado—a state-run mental hospital—and is momentarily taken hostage by a charismatic “doctor” who is on the run from the Mob. Wollie fears that her beloved brother, a paranoid schizophrenic living at Rio Pescado, is involved in the murder, so rather than go to the authorities, she decides to solve the crime on her own. As she meets up with an array of small-time crooks and swaggering mobsters only slightly more sinister than the men she’s been dating, Wollie realizes that “getting dumped” is the least of her problems. Finding true love, she discovers, sometimes means learning how to avoid getting killed . . .
Harley Jane Kozak is an actor whose screen credits include Parenthood, The Favor, and Arachnophobia. She lives in California with her husband, three children, two dogs, and a cat. She is working on a sequel to Dating Dead Men.
“Dating Dead Men, Harley Jane Kozak’s hilarious debut novel, proves that the search for love can be as funny as it is deadly, as it ricochets from one madcap misadventure after another with the speed of a bullet and the uproarious fun of a three-ring circus. An absolutely delightful tale, told with warmth and charm.”
—Kris Neri, author of the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award-nominated Tracy Eaton mysteries
“Dating Dead Men is the funniest mystery I’ve read in ages. Any woman who has ever wondered how many more Mr. Wrongs she’ll have to date to meet Mr. Right will love this book.”
—Jan Burke, author of Nine
“Dating Dead Men is a page-turning romp alive with fresh, quirky characters and inventive situations that left me anxious for another date with Wollie Shelley, provided author Harley Jane Kozak is amenable next time around to a man who’s still breathing.”
—Robert S. Levinson, author of Hot Paint and The John Lennon Affair
“Harley Jane Kozak fashions a doozy of a debut, starring cars, cads, clothes, and an L.A. gone hilariously mad.”
—Mary Daheim, author of The Alpine Pursuit
“Wollie Shelley, Kozak’s entrepreneur extraordinaire, manages to deal with a murder, the Mafia, an appealing but mysterious love interest, and a killer who wants to see her dead, all with originality and humor.”
—Lee Harris, author of Murder in Hell’s Kitchen.
“Lots of action, quirky characters, an engaging new sleuth who designs greeting cards, and a ferret named Margaret—what more could any reader want? Dating Dead Men is a superb debut.”
—Valerie Wolzien, author of A Fashionable Murder
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org