Late for His Own Funeral

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Pub Date 05 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2022

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Death Investigator Angela Richman suspects foul play when a disgraced resident of Chouteau Forest survives one car crash only to then be involved in another.

Until his Porsche careened off the road killing him instantly and not leaving much of him behind, Sterling Chaney was an influential member of Chouteau Forest – home of the one percenters. As the eulogies at his funeral commence, an unexpected guest interrupts . . . Sterling.

The story attracts widespread media coverage. Sterling's the man who showed up late for his own funeral. He revels in the spotlight, until it's revealed he earned his fortune via sordid means and exploiting the women who worked for him. It leaves him vilified and shunned by Chouteau society. Then there's another fatal crash.

This time, Death Investigator Angela Richman is tasked with confirming that Sterling has perished. But her investigation reveals more questions than answers. Were both crashes merely accidents, or was someone doubly determined to kill Sterling?

Death Investigator Angela Richman suspects foul play when a disgraced resident of Chouteau Forest survives one car crash only to then be involved in another.

Until his Porsche careened off the road...

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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780727850294
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 12 members

Featured Reviews

Double Deaths…
Death Investigator, Angela Richman, has second thoughts when investigating her most recent assignment. Sterling Chaney is a high profile member of Chouteau society and he’s dead, crashing his Porsche and mangling himself badly in the process. But, at his funeral, the unexpected guest is Sterling himself sparking a great deal of media and coverage. Another crash, this time definitely killing Sterling, throws up more questions than answers for Angela. What on earth is going on? With a well rounded protagonist and an eclectic cast, plot twists aplenty and an immersive narrative this is enjoyable addition to this series.

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I liked this book. Great writing and interesting characters. The story had enough punch and twists and turns to keep me interested. Highly recommend!

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Elaine Viets has written such a true and wonderful female lead in her Angela Richman Series. She's loyal, outspoken, and fiercely protective of her friends. These attributes come to the forefront when one of her oldest friends, Camila, is accused (and arrested by Jace) for murdering her husband. This action causes rifts in both her relationship with Chris, as well as working relationship with Jace. It's interesting how Ms Viets navigates the conflict amongst her leading characters, as well as mixes in a very interesting murder mystery. This is a wonderful book! Thank you to Severn House for an ARC for my unbiased review.

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Well written with a cast of well developed charcaters and a gripping storyline, I couldnt put ths book down.
It was twisty, mysterious and unpredictable. Really enjoyable

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Mom used to say I’d be late for my own funeral, and while I’m better at punctuality now, I’d have been late to any event scheduled in competition with reading this book, so plan accordingly. Camilla, Angela’s good friend, is a suspect in the death of her cheating, drunken, awful husband, but she couldn’t have, could she? Despite his faults, she still loved him, and there are plenty of others who had good reasons to want him dead. Angela’s loyalty and persistence in trying to clear Camilla’s name undermine other friendships and put her conflict with the “powers that be” in snooty Chouteau Forest. Fast cars, smooth martinis, splendid baked goods, deft foreshadowing, and humor add to the excitement. I’ve loved all of Elaine Viets’ books, but this might be my favorite.
(Little hint, this sleepy reader found she could get needed rest by sleeping when Angela slept. I also advise eating when Angela dines, NOT when she is working a scene). Coming in July.

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This is a very original idea for a story and is cleverly delivered. It all takes place in a small Missouri town where there are still grudges about the poverty of some and riches of others. Sterling is one of the rich ones and also an adulterer. He is believed to have died in a car crash but turns up at the funeral organised according to his declared wishes by his ‘widow’ Camilla. Then it is discovered that his money comes from illegal online sexual conversations. Then there is another car crash and this time it really is him. Was someone out to murder him? Death investigator Alison, a long term friend of Camilla, believes the police have jumped to the wrong conclusion about Sterling’s murder and pursues the case in her own. There are many twists in the story to hold the reader’s interest and a satisfying conclusion. This is a good read and I recommend it.

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Dead/not dead! Sterling wasn't dead the first time his funeral was held but he is the second time and his wife Camilla is the prime suspect. Angela is a death investigator- she photographs scenes etc- and she's been assigned to the case. More importantly, Camilla is her friend and she knows Camilla didn't cause Sterling's car crash. As readers of this genre know, the victim always has a long list of people who don't like him and Sterling, who exploits the workers at his "call center" is no exception. It's a zippy mystery and I'm a fan of Angela. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'd only read the first book in the series, making this pretty much a standalone for me and I enjoyed it very much.

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Late for His Own Funeral: An Angela Richman Death Investigator Mystery
By Elaine Viets
July 5, 2022

Review by Cynthia Chow

It’s not unusual for the guest of honor to be a late arrival to his own party, unless that event happens to be a funeral. Due to nepotism and shoddy investigation by corrupt detectives, Sterling Chaney was prematurely identified as the corpse in an automobile accident even though he was off vacationing in the Bahamas. His wife Camilla was not with him either in the car or on his illicit trip, so she’s not exactly thrilled to find him still carousing his way through his funeral. When Chouteau County death investigator Angela Richman is called to her next scene by the medical examiner though, there is no doubt that the head sitting in the middle of the road belongs to the definitively dead Sterling Chaney. That the philanderer wasn’t alone wouldn’t have been much of a surprise, but her identity certainly is. Erin McBride was a strident advocate for the voice artists of a company owned by Sterling, a company that happened to be a phone sex call line that exploited its workers and denied them livable wages and benefits. Camilla Chaney’s outrage at hearing about her husband’s exploits makes her the prime suspect in his death, and Detective Jace Budewitz uses Angela’s friendship with the new widow to solicit information for a quick arrest.

Angela is infuriated by what she sees as Jace’s betrayal, so she relies on her boyfriend Police Officer Chris Ferretti for investigative help in proving Camilla’s innocence. Still mourning the loss of her husband, it has taken months of friendship from Chris to coax Angela into taking the risk of a new relationship. While she doesn’t hesitate to rely on him professionally, moving on and opening up her heart is another matter. Raised within Missouri’s elitist community of Chouteau Forest, Angela uses her knowledge of the social morays to follow the clues to those who felt betrayed by Sterling and his shady lifestyle. It seems that Sterling was an equal-opportunity extorter, taking advantage of women with few resources as well as his neighbors who have too many.

This 6th in the series is perhaps the lightest of the novels featuring Angela Richman, who struggled to recover her life and her profession after suffering from 6 strokes at the age of 41. The death of her husband was just as debilitating, but she may now finally be ready to open up to the man who can cook an amazing dinner while respecting her capabilities as a Death Investigator. Angela’s wry observations about her socialite neighbors are balanced with her compassion for those she once overlooked, but she isn’t without her own prejudices. Angela makes the same assumptions most would about the women who work for Sterling’s call service, many who are victims of a system that doesn’t allow them to escape it. Chekov’s pepper spray comes in handy just when Angela needs it, at a moment when she fears that justice might never win out. The author’s epilogues are always a highlight for her mysteries, wrapping up plotlines and delivering satisfyingly and often ironic fates. Phone sex lines do still exist in this era of OnlyFans and Private Chat Rooms, and perhaps it is that very anonymity that keeps it alive. This is a fascinating exploration of sex workers, high society, and the ways in which they feed off of one another. Angela continues to be a very likable and sharp investigator, and readers will look forward to seeing her finally embrace the happiness she deserves.

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