Read Death on a Platter by Elaine Viets Online


Josie Marcus plans to savor sampling the local St. Louis cuisine for a City Eats food tour. But her appetite is ruined at Tillie's Off the Hill Italian Restaurant when another customer is poisoned. Was the victim the real target-or is someone trying to ruin Tillie's reputation? It's up to Josie to find a killer who has no reservations about preparing a dish to die for......

Title : Death on a Platter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451235244
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 279 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Death on a Platter Reviews

  • Linda
    2019-01-30 04:18

    Another fun shopping adventure with Josie. This time it is more mystery eating than shopping but Josie is up for the challenge even with some St Louis specialties like brain sandwiches. Her mother pushes her into investigating when her childhood friend is accused of murder (she happens to be the owner of one of the restaurants that Josie is shopping). Good mystery and good personal developments.

  • Susie
    2019-02-12 08:24

    I couldn't finish this book. I couldn't even get to the mystery! I understand that the author loves St. Louis, but it sounded like she worked for the St. Louis Board of Tourism. It felt like the reader was being lectured on all things St. Louis, specifically the pizza and the cheese that goes on it. I don't like being lectured when I'm trying to read a cozy mystery. It's condescending and unnecessary to the plot. Save it for travel brochures.Recap of what I read: The main character is a mystery shopper. Her assignment is to go to restaurants. After the aforementioned lecture on St. Louis, she gets around to her first restaurant. At this point the secondary characters, the obnoxious people in the Italian restaurant and the owner of the restaurant, were so abhorrent, I had to put down the book. If someone is banned from your restaurant, you don't let them back in! There are plenty of ways of doing this which don't cause a scene. If said person is allowed in the restaurant because their behavior is only bad when they're drunk, and their girlfriend sneaks them drinks, then don't serve either one of them. And you certainly would never purposely put peppers so hot in a sauce that you intend to blister the customer's mouth.Maybe the earlier books are better, but this just really didn't work for me.

  • Jeannie and Louis Rigod
    2019-01-18 06:38

    I will never look at our Rosary Beads in the same manner as before I read this book. That being stated, I think this was the best novel in this series yet. Josie Marcus, a single mother of one young lady wise beyond her years, pays the bills by being a 'Mystery Shopper.' In this volume Josie was shopping for traditional St. Louis foods and restaurants. Our talented Author, Elaine Viets, shows us a view of St. Louis which is honest and perhaps not favored by the Chamber of Commerce. I truly loved learning the history of the good, run-down, and restored neighborhoods of St. Louis. What I did not know was they have their own versions of Pizza, Barbecue, and a delicious, but calories laden version of Toasted Ravioli. To this native Californian, these dishes were heavenly and even shocking to my taste buds.The owner, Tillie of Tillie's Off the Hill, is accused of murder when a rowdy patron dies while eating a souped up version of the dipping sauce accompanying the famous Toasted Ravioli. Tillie is a life long friend of Josie's Mother and is commanded by the same to solve the murder now. During the solving of the crime, Josie finds out just how much her boyfriend really cares for her and her daughter. Her Mother, Jane finds herself a victim of a mail fraud scheme and daughter, goes through growing pains.This was a very nice murder mystery to sit down and become immersed.

  • Matt
    2019-02-09 04:31

    Another entry in a solid series about a single mom who serves as a mystery shopper to make ends meet and solves murders in the process. Viets's dialogue is occasionally painfully expository, and the first few chapters suffer from this, but the conversations are more natural by the end. Her characters are painfully polite and considerate, in line with the Midwestern values of the St. Louis setting but off-putting to this reader. The mystery itself is kind of blown in the crime scene - if you want the solution to hinge on a secret love affair, the man should probably not be described kissing away the tears of a woman who is supposed to be a stranger... unless Ms. Viets has a much different attitude toward the tears of strangers... This series is usually a solid B, but this entry just barely passed.

  • Karen
    2019-01-28 09:24

    One of the reasons I admire Agatha Christie's writing so much is that she has the gift of observing people and capturing human nature perfectly. Elaine Viets does not have that gift. One obvious suspect; one obvious motive; three red-handed red herrings; and the case is broken open by one overheard lover's dialogue/confession. Meh. And on the other hand, I really wish the 31-year-old protagonist would grow up.

  • Gwen
    2019-02-12 04:21

    This book made me simultaneously be a mystery shopper and try toasted ravioli! Not sure how I would have fared on pig's ears, but Josie came through with a new appreciation for distinct St. Louis fare and I have an appreciation for her knack of being in the right place at the right (or wrong) time.

  • Catherine
    2019-01-18 07:44

    Easy read that stands by itself. Description of the mystery shopping at restaurants was stomach turning. The characters were normal real people. I liked Mel and her grandmother. Pick this book up for a quick late night read.

  • Christine
    2019-02-17 07:35

    Excellent -- 4 1/2 starsIt sounds like a dream assignment. Single mom Josie Marcus loves the flexible hours of being a mystery shopper, and now she’s been asked to help a food tour group select the restaurants they will visit. Josie is given the assignment to taste such local St. Louis cuisine such as thin-sliced pizza, toasted ravioli, and gooey butter cake. What’s not to like? Josie finds out when she see fried cow brains and barbequed pig ears are also on the menu. If this isn’t enough to make her rethink the assignment, an obnoxious customer of a potential restaurant on the tour is poisoned and the restaurant owner is the prime suspect. Tillie is an old friend of Josie’s mom, so Jane insists that Josie drop everything to help prove her innocence, even if it puts Josie’s life in danger!"Death on a Platter" is an excellent cozy mystery and a wonderful tribute to St. Louis cuisine. Those familiar with St. Louis favorites like “t-ravs” will appreciate seeing them front and center in a mystery story. Foodies not from the area will enjoy learning about new delicacies like Kakao Chocolates and specialty stores such as Vom Fass. A cornucopia of Information is provided as part of the storyline as Josie makes her mystery shopper visits, as well as in a detailed summary at the end of the book.The Mystery Shopper series is my favorite of the author’s series. The author’s wonderful sense of humor is evident in all her books, but Josie is a character to which any working mom can relate. Josie tries her best to balance her responsibilities to her daughter, mother, boss, and boyfriend. In addition, her best friend Alyce accompanies her on many of her mystery shopping adventures. Alyce is a stay-at-home mom from a wealthy suburb, but she is sweet and as down-to-earth as Josie and they make a fantastic team, in both shopping and investigating. In some of the prior installments of this series, Josie’s mother Jane and her daughter Amelia have each come across as self-centered, demanding, and ultimately annoying. This time around, while there are some tensions between Josie and Jane and between Josie and Amelia, the issues are believable and add to the story instead of taking away from it. Jane is a difficult character to get to know and sometimes hard to take, but this time there are a few touching scenes between Jane and Josie and we get to see past Jane’s sometimes gruff demeanor. Amelia acts like a typical young teen with all the good and bad that comes with that age group, but is an enjoyable part of this story.Josie’s veterinarian boyfriend Ted isn’t thrilled with Josie’s investigating, but he is more likeable than ever in this installment of the series. Josie feels that she has been unlucky in love, but Alyce helps her look at her situation in a new light. Ted, through his words and actions, shows Josie and the reader that she may have a keeper this time.You will definitely want to dig in to this fun new mystery by Elaine Viets. Everything comes together in this one – plot, characters, and subject - to make an especially appealing book. Those who enjoy their mysteries with plenty of humor, like a mystery by author Laura Levine, will want to get to know Josie Marcus. While you’re reading this fun mystery about a falsely accused cook, you may find yourself longing for a gooey butter cake or a chocolate truffle. That’s okay. Even if you aren’t located near St. Louis, there are website listed at the back of the book for a few places mentioned in her book that will ship throughout the U.S. This review was originally written for The Season E-Zine. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  • Gloria Feit
    2019-02-05 12:25

    “Death on a Platter” marks the return of Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper extraordinaire. This time around Josie is assigned by her boss, “Harry the Horrible,” to mystery-shop restaurants in St. Louis for a food tour company based in New York City. At the top of the list of required dishes to be sampled are items considered delicacies, apparently seen to be “real” St. Louis food, e.g., [cow] brain and pig ear sandwiches, St. Louis pizza [who knew?], and toasted ravioli. While the first two are daunting to our heroine, the pizza, and certainly the ravioli, are another matter. Especially the ravioli, as her mother’s best friend for about seventy years is none other than the owner of Tillie’s Off the Hill [whose billboards, sweatshirts, etc. read “Get Toasted at Tillie’s”], a bustling restaurant in the River Bluff area, on a street that has seen better days though it is now the object of a large conglomerate in the process of putting up casinos and trying to buy out all the businesses in the area. So far, Tillie, a widow whose daughter works in the restaurant with her, is the lone hold-out.Josie’s mom, Jane, now seventy-six years old, is invaluable to Josie in many ways: she lives, with her eleven-year-old daughter, Amelia, in a “mom-subsidized” apartment on the ground floor of her mother’s house, “with her free maternal babysitter upstairs.” This enables her to have Amelia attend an upscale school, with the help of a scholarship. For the past year, Josie has been dating Ted, a veterinarian, and is anxiously awaiting the proposal she fears/hopes is coming.When Josie mystery-shops Tillie’s restaurant, she witnesses a scene wherein a drunken customer, apparently a regular, becomes unruly [also a frequent occurrence] and Tillie is forced to call the police. When Josie returns the following day, the same man, once again drunk, loudly complains that his ravioli is too bland and demands it be made spicier. Immediately upon eating the replacement dish, he is struck ill and has to be taken to the hospital, where he soon dies; Tillie is arrested and charged with his murder. Jane demands that Josie investigate and find out who else might have wanted the man dead. When she identifies three possible suspects, Jane tells her “The police aren’t going to clear Tillie’s name. They think they’ve got their killer. It’s up to you to find the real murderer.” And Josie has no choice but to comply.This is another fast-reading, delightful entry in a very enjoyable series. The characters are endearing, especially the ‘tween’ Amelia, changing her name as often as her jeans, Ted, who Josie loves but fears marrying, and Stuart Little, the hero shih tzu. The book ends with several St. Louis-area shopping tips, and a preview of the author’s next book, which will be a new entry in her Dead End Job mysteries. Recommended.

    2019-01-19 11:29

    Josie’ latest assignment includes taste testing some of St. Louis’ local cuisine for a City Eats Food tour. One of her stops includes a restaurant owned by one of Josie’s mom’s friends so they head there first. Tillie’s Off the Hill is known for its toasted ravioli and Josie can’t wait to try it. The ravioli passes inspection but the clientele of the restaurant falls far below standard. One in particular is awfully unruly. When he becomes the victim of poison linked directly to the food he is served at Tillie’s the question becomes was he the real target or was someone trying to ruin the restaurant’s reputation.The police believe Tillie was trying to get rid of her customer permanently and arrest her for the crime. Josie’s mom makes it clear to Josie she must find the real culprit as soon as possible. So Josie’s is soon up to her neck in the investigation. She hopes to find that Tillie’s cooking is not what did her customer in, but that someone else served up death on a platter.Dollycas’s ThoughtsI learned a lot about the foods that make St. Louis famous in this story, a few I wouldn’t even go near, but that didn’t keep me from loving this story. In fact most of Josie’s comments and reactions made my laugh out loud.Josie just can’t say no to her mom and there were times I really wish she could as she kept putting herself in danger, but seriously how many of can say no to our mothers. This character is real through and through as are all the others which is why we invest our time into seeing what they are up to in each installment of this series.The plot in this installment was very good too as we traveled to and fro trying to figure out who-dun-it.Elaine Viets knows her stuff when it comes to cozy mysteries. She writes fun, fast paced mysteries with plucky protagonist that keeps us coming back for more.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian. 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.”

  • Kathy
    2019-01-17 10:31

    Elaine Viets has done it again! She has highlighted the fun and substance of St. Louis while presenting her readers with an interesting and entertaining mystery. (Bonus for me was getting a copy signed by Elaine when she came to our local bookstore, All On The Same Page http://www.allonthesamepagebookstore.... !)In "Death on a Platter," mystery shopper and Midwestern suburban mom Josie Marcus has just been handed an assignment to sample a wide variety of St. Louis food specialities as the city prepares to host a City Eats Food tour. Her list ranges from standard St. Louis fare such as toasted ravioli, "square" pizza and specialty chocolates to brain sandwiches and BBQ pigs ear. As she begins her tasting assignment, she witnesses an unruly customer at a restaurant that could be on the tour. When she goes back to the restaurant to check on additional information, the same unruly customer creates a huge scene before suddenly getting sick and later dying. Josie finds herself knee-deep in searching for the killer after her mom's childhood friend (and owner of the restaurant) is arrested and charged with murder.In addition to having her mother demand (read: blackmail) her into finding the real murderer, Josie is trying to deal with her daughter's ever changing personality as she enters her teen years. She's also falling further in love with her veterinarian boyfriend - will the relationship end or will he ask her to marry him? I highly recommend this fun mystery for those who love mysteries, food, and/or St. Louis! Enjoy!!

  • Saadia
    2019-02-02 05:22

    I like this series featuring Josie Marcus and her sleuthing about in St. Louis.In this story, she is asked to sample local food specialties, some of which she has never tried in her life: fried cow brains on a sandwich! Barbecued pig ears! Oh la la!In this case, she is balancing her relationship with her mother and her tween daughter, and the solid romance with the veterinarian boyfriend, while figuring out who put poisonous castor beans in a restaurant serving of toasted ("fried") raviolis. Her suburban mom and BFF Alyce comes through as a food tasting partner, a shopping partner and a cheerleader for marriage.Interesting descriptions of the local police characters -- they show up on the scene but are not thrilled to have Josie stumbling about, obviously.Josie somehow manages to find the villains through common sense deduction and almost gets herself killed.Well, I can live without sampling the strange delicacies but I like this spunky lady and her cast of characters.

  • Darcy
    2019-02-11 09:34

    At first glance Josie's shopping assignment seemed like a good one at first glance until you find out she had to eat pig's ear sandwiches and cow's brains sandwiches. I think for that alone I would have turned down the job, I had a hard time just reading it. I was glad this wasn't my book to read during lunch!!They mystery blended good with Josie's job. I also liked the connection with her mother. Although I did hate the mother a little bit in this book. She became a harpy with Josie, wanting her to help her friend. I get that, but there were a couple of times when what she wanted put Josie in danger, she knew that but didn't care.Ted was a bright spot in the book. He managed to soothe all 3 women at one time or another and was right there always supporting Josie. Josie's paranoia with Ted and their relationship made me laugh and be mad at the same time. You would think she would be pass those issues.The ending was cute and just what everyone needed.

  • Ed
    2019-01-29 06:17

    Although the foods that Josie is required to sample in her 7th assignment repel her, the victuals sound appealing to me.Mystery Shopper series - Josie Marcus feels apprehensive about her new assignment-a culinary tour of St. Louis that includes sampling not only pizza and toasted ravioli but also brain and pig ear. At Off the Hill restaurant, owned by 76-year-old Tina Minnelli, a friend of Josie's mother, Jane, drunk and troublemaker Clay Oreck collapses and dies after demanding and getting hotter sauce for his ravioli. When Tillie is arrested for Clay's murder, Jane insists that Josie find the real killer. Josie identifies a number of suspects, including Clay's wife, Henrietta; his girlfriend, Gemma ; and chef Jeff.

  • Ann
    2019-02-16 04:38

    Josie Marcus is a Mystery Shopper. She is also a single mom with an 11 year old daughter. She attends a restaurant owned by Tillie, an old friend of Josie's mother. While there on assignment, she witnesses a very upsetting event when Clay, a drunken customer, is asked to leave. Tillie calls the drunk's wife who confronts him and his girlfriend. The next time she visits the same restaurant, Josie witnesses the death of the drunken customer and the arrest of Tillie for murder. Jane, Josie's mother insists that Josie find out who murdered Clay. This is a good story but the mystery wasn't very difficult to figure our. I liked Josie and the other characters. This could be a good series.

  • Dee ReneeChesnut
    2019-02-08 10:36

    Death on a Platter is the seventh book in the Jose Marcus, Mystery Shopper, and I eagerly anticipated its release. This is an entertaining series with believable supporting characters and with fun shopping tips. Of course there is a mystery to be solved and Viets writes that skillfully. I learn that St. Louis pizza uses Provel cheese, a processed cheese that fuses provolone, Swiss and cheddar. There is a dessert treat called a Gooey Louie cake which comes in fourteen flavors. This particular book combines my preferences for a cozy nmystery and armchair food travel. I recommend it to fans of the series. It can also be a mystery that stands by itself.

  • Debra
    2019-01-19 10:37

    Elaine Viets loves St. Louis --- and she makes me want to make a culinary visit. Even the brain sandwich sounds worth a sample, at least.When Josie Marcus, mystery shopper, is sent on a mission to rate signature St. Louis foods, you know that she will be involved in a murder. What really motivates me to keep reading, however, is not the murder but the characters. Josie, her mother, her daughter all remind me of people that I know in real life. I want to alternately hug and slap them them. Ms Viets' books are engaging, and would be rated even higher were the puzzle elements of the novel handled more deftly. Nonetheless, I definitely do enjoy her series, all of them.

  • AllisonJunkans
    2019-01-30 05:35

    I would rate this book a 3.5 if I could. Although mystery books are not my genre of choice, I really enjoyed this book. Elaine Viets is from St. Louis and obviously loves the city. The main character in the book is a mystery shopper who is rating real St. Louis restaurants. I loved learning about the history of St. Louis restaurants and food. My favorite part was her shopping tips at the back that discussed St. Louis' history more. I would definitely read one of this author's books again

  • Jacquelynn Fritz
    2019-01-30 12:28

    Josie Marcus is a mystery shopper and her new assignment is to sample local St. Louis foods. She goes to Tillie's Off the Hill Italian restaurant with her mother who knows the owner to try the toasted ravioli. On a return visit she witnesses another customer death. He has been poisoned and Josie's mother wants her to solve the mystery. Mom is a little overbearing and the food Sophie has to sample is not part of my diet, but otherwise I liked the book.

  • Kim
    2019-01-18 09:23

    A bit disappointed because I felt as if Viets kept repeating the same things over and over again to fill up the pages. I have to do as my mother says because she's my baby-sitter and I just don't know if I can marry the vet. While both are important to the story line, there was still a mystery going on.

  • Becky
    2019-02-11 06:34

    I didn't enjoy this installment in the Josie Marcus series quite as much as I've enjoyed the others. I figured out the method of murder very, very early in the novel. And I must disagree with the dining tips at the end - Viets claimed St. Louis is the most unique "food city" east of California. Chicago could beat St. Louis in a heartbeat.

  • Diane
    2019-02-02 10:19

    As you can see by the number of stars, this was just a so so read for me. I like Josie and the relationships she has with various characters in the series. The mystery was mildly intriguing. Mom falling prey to scam artists...kind of had a been there done that feel. I enjoy seeing Amelia grow up and try new new things...guess I'm just relationship oriented in general.

  • Norma Huss
    2019-02-06 11:23

    This is the first of Elaine Viets Mystery Shopper series I've read. I rather think I prefer her Dead-End Job series, but Elaine pulled me into this story. Josie was mystery shopping St. Louis foods, and she wasn't too sure she wanted to try things like cow brain sandwiches and fried pig ears. I was with her on that. And, I was with her all the way with the mystery as well.

  • Bevjirwin
    2019-02-13 10:18

    another pleasant cosy read. i love books like this to intersperse with the heavier long,involved,twisty ones. do love mysteries. viets is always fun and entertaining to read. her dead end job series is very good.

  • Kate
    2019-02-14 08:15

    3.5 fun silly fluffy and entertaining! One of the better ones I have read in this series, and I liked all the info about St. Louis, especially since I didn't know any of it! It made me want to visit the city and hang out with Josie. Fun summer read!

  • Joan
    2019-02-08 04:18

    The story is entertaining. The best part is the descriptions of St. Louis restaurants.

  • Julie
    2019-02-05 05:36

    This one was better than the last couple in this series. And I liked how it ended on such a happy note. But does this mean she is ending the series?

  • Melodie
    2019-01-22 05:43

    I think this is the best book in this series. The way it ended, it could be the last in the series. I hope not. I'd like to see where Josie goes now!

  • Joanna Warrens
    2019-01-26 06:44

    Lots of fun!

  • Marcie
    2019-02-08 12:23

    OK beach reading. Maybe I'll go to St. Louis sometime.