Mystery Shop Company

Elaine Viets is probably one of the most ‘fun’ writers I
know. I mean, she’s a special gal – and
I’m not just saying that because we share a first name. Honest. But I love telling her – "Oh, Elaine! You look just gorgeous (which she is)." It just has a nice ring to it, you
know? Kinda like a personal echo? Anyway, you’ve all heard that mantra –
‘write what you know’ – Elaine Viets does exactly that! She has worked in a bookstore (Murder
Between The Covers), a bridal salon (Dying To Call You), and with her fifth
novel coming out next month – MURDER UNLEASHED – her first hardback (where she
belongs!) – she worked at a high-end dog boutique! I mean, this is suffering for your craft! This is a writer who brings you the real
inside dope, so do yourself a huge favor – get thee to a bookstore and load up
on a fun Florida ride with Elaine.

And now – a few things you never knew about Elaine Viets! 

EE: Word is you’ve created your new ‘mystery
shopper’ series just to get freebies from Valentino, Versace, St. Laurent and
Gucci and they’ve been sending you boxes of designer clothes just to stay on
your good side. Care to comment?

EV: There’s absolutely no truth to that story –
darn it!

EE: I understand Uma Thurman and Charlize Theron
– who share your willowy height- are really ticked off about this designer deal
since they only get one gown for the Oscars and are threatening to become
mystery writers so they can get in on the largesse. You really need to answer this, Elaine.

EV: Is that one gown apiece or one gown between

 How did you know it was only one
gown? Charlize told me the cat fight
was Oscar worthy.

EE: Other than scoring this incredible deal with
these jet setting designers, what is your proudest achievement?

EV: What? Isn’t that enough? If I have to
be serious, I’m proud of making a living at mystery writing. Not many people like their jobs.

 And if anyone deserves it – it’s you!

EE: What
is your favorite movie? And I don’t
mean Batman that George Clooney sent you as a personal gift.

EV: I’m such a movie slut. I don’t have favorites. I like the last one I spent the evening
with. Currently, it’s "Good Night
and Good Luck", about Edward R. Murrow.

 Sigh. I miss Murrow. Yeah, I’m old
enough to remember him.

EE: What best selling book do you wish you’d

EV: Anything by Nelson DeMille.

 Wonderful choice! He’s truly one of the very best.

EE:  Tell us what you would consider a perfect

EV: I am awakened by my agent, who says he sold
the movie rights for my Dead-End Job series to Spielberg. I try to go back to sleep, but the phone
rings again and my editor says I’ve made the New York Times Best Seller List
again. After my massage, I settle in
for five minutes of uninterrupted hours at my computer. At four PM, I meet my writer friends for
drinks, when we complain about out agents and editors. Then my husband and I go out for dinner, and
afterward, we walk along the beach.

 What? You mean writers bitch about their agents and editors? I’ll be darned.

EE: Readers have been bombarding me with
questions for you, but I’m selfish and would rather ask my own, so me first, so
WHY do you keep turning down an appearance on Letterman?

EV: The dress hasn’t arrived form Versace yet.

told me it is on the way – so get ready

EE: Who would be your ideal book signing tour

EV: The mysery genre has lots of congenial
writers. I’ve toured with Marcia
Talley, and we still liked each other at the end of the trip.

 That’s wonderful! But then, like they say-great minds think

EE: And speaking of writing stuff, which writers
would be on your ideal panel at a con?

EV: Charlaine Harris, Reed Farrell Coleman,
Laura Lippman, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Harley Jane Kozak.

 An absolutely Standing Room Only crowd.

EE: Talk is you can’t write a word unless your
favorite Rock & Roll artists are playing in the background. Now, for a gal who gives so much of her time
helping new writers, the least you could do is share their names.

EV: I am a huge (well, very tall) fan of the
Austin Lounge Lizards, especially their non-hit sont, "Jesus Loves Me (But
He Can’t Stand You)."

 Is it out now? Where can we buy it before it goes platinum?

EE: Everyone has a Walter Mitty dream. Tell us yours. But keep it clean, okay?

EV: See answer to Question 6

 Quick! Which one was No. 6??

EE: Which writer would you like to have all to
yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at the next Bouchercon?

EV: Gasp. I’m a happily married woman. Maybe Robert Crais, with Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Harlan Coben as
chaperones. I want to ask Mr. Crais
about that episode of "Miami Vice" he wrote staring Frank Zappa.

 Uh, could you sqeeze over? 

EE: Level with us, Elaine – what is your
favorite indulgence?

EV: My favorite printable indulgence is 70
percent Lindt dark chocolate.

were hoping for more, but that’ll work

EE: Even though your closet is loaded now with
designer duds, what was the last thing you bought for yourself?

EV: A nice batch of publicity. Seriously, my new book, MURDER UNLEASHED, is
coming out May 2nd in hardcover. I’m
giving a buck a book to PAWS and other animal charities if you buy the book
betweennow and May 20th online at or at selected IMBA bookstores. Pre-orders are accepted. This is my own money, not the
publishers. Buy the book and help me go
to the dogs. NOTE: The details are on
Elaine’s website at

 How can you not love this gal? Go out and buy the book, okay? You’ll love it anyway!

EE: My most burning question is why the hell did
you refuse to accept those flowers from Brad Pitt after he vowed his undying
love for you at last years Edgar’s? One
can’t help but wonder if this is what threw him into his mid-life crisis and
Angelina’s arms.

EV: It’s all my fault, and he never even called
to thank me.

 He may be calling you again to

A round of
applause, if you please, for a terrific writer, a lovely person, and for having
the courage go go On The Bubble!


9 thoughts on “Mystery Shop Company

  1. Louise Ure

    Well done, both of you Elaines! And thanks for the shout-out for the Austin Lounge Lizards. Of course, my favorite sone of theirs is “Forty Years Old and I’m Living in my Mom’s Garage.”


  2. Beatrice Brooks

    Great interview, Elaine & Elaine. Elaine V and I have soooo much in common – except for our height, our hair style, our shoe size, and those heavenly designer clothes. Because…while she donates to PAWS (and yes, I’ll be first in line to buy her new book), I – in my Denise Dietz persona – donate to Canine Companions. And while she turned down Brad, sending him into Angelina’s arms, I turned down Vince Vaughn, and you know what happened after that! (Vince-baby said that at 5’2″, I was too short for him.) On The Bubble is a must-read (for me) every Saturday.

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