A Dead Husband by Anna Celeste Burke

A Dead Husband byAnna Celeste Burke

A Dead Husband


“My first day as a sleuth was more Stephanie Plum than Miss Marple.” Jessica Huntington, amateur sleuth with a shopping jones and a black AMEX card, finds out money can’t buy happiness or save your neck. Her well-planned life in shambles, she’s hiding out near Palm Springs. When her best friend’s husband is murdered, Jessica and her friends are soon stalked by scoundrels in pantyhose, stilettos, Bruno Maglis, and Armani suits. Roger Stone had something that got him killed. What was it and what will they do to get it back?

Even  in a desert paradise life is full of surprises, like A DEAD HUSBAND.


Anna Celeste Burke

Life is an extravaganza! Figuring out how to hang tough and make the most of the wild ride is the challenge. On my way to Oahu to join the rock musician and high school drop-out I had married in Tijuana, I was nabbed as a runaway. Eventually the police let me go, but the rock band broke up. Our next stop: Disney World, where we trained to be chefs. More education landed us in academia at The Ohio State University. For decades I researched, wrote, and spoke about a number of gloriously nerdy topics. Retired now, I’m still married to the same sweet guy and live with him near Palm Springs, California. I write the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set here in the Sonoran Desert, a spectacular place to ponder life’s mysteries while relishing the delights of the desert resort cities.  Book 1, A DEAD HUSBAND, was released December, 2013. Book 2, A DEAD SISTER, released April, 2014. Book 3, A DEAD DAUGHTER, out late 2014.


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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book has everything! Suspense, colorful characters, romance, and a beautiful and interesting setting, all woven together with intelligence and wit.Suspense: As Jessica digs deeper into the mysterious death of her friend’s husband, she finds her own life in danger. As that danger spills over to her friends and family, she races to solve several mysteries: Who killed Roger Stone? Who are these people threatening Jessica, how are they connected, and what in the world are they after? Who is tipping off the bad guys about Jessica’s whereabouts? At one point, the tension was so great that I suspected everyone, even those closest to Jessica.

Wonderful heroine: Jessica is smart, witty, affectionate with her friends, and feisty with her enemies. Though raised a “good Catholic girl,” she’s not so goody-goody now. There’s plenty of room for this wonderful heroine to grow over time. Clearly, her rich parents gave her everything, but one suspects that her flaws and vulnerabilities come not so much from what was given, but what was suddenly taken away when her parents divorced–the secure notion that she would always be surrounded by an intact, loving family. After all, might a kid wonder: if my parents can fall out of love with each other, will they fall out of love with me? That constant fear of abandonment must take a toll.

Now Jessica has sustained a second blow–an outrageously unfaithful husband. So, in addition to the murder mystery, there’s one concerning Jessica’s romantic future: Will she take that rat husband back? Will she “trade” him for one of the handsome men around her? Will she kill the rat? All of the above? We can only wait and see.

Other colorful characters: Jessica is plagued by a growing number of villains.

Read more ›An absorbing read!

By Jennifer Noran on June 25, 2014
Format: Paperback

I just finished reading “A Dead Husband” by Anna Celeste Burke. This book was a suggested read by Anna’s sister Brenda Landy, who I work with. When I started this book, I had intended to read it a chapter at a time, and ended up reading it from cover to cover.
The main character, Jessica Huntington, is trying to figure out what to do with her life after catching her husband in bed with another woman. Staying with her old nanny Bernadette, now caretaker of Jessica’s childhood home in Rancho Mirage, she spends her time binge shopping and feeling sorry for herself, until she unintentionally gets involved in a murder.
Burke, not unlike Steinbeck, has a way of setting a panoramic scene with her words. I could envision in my mind what the characters looked like, and where they were. The author’s keen fashion sense, also helped to set the scene, as well as making me wish I had a black AMEX card so I could go shopping at Saks!
“A Dead Husband” is a deliciously captivating read, and definitely a book I would encourage people to enjoy!ul

By betty on December 29, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

From the first sentence, this tale holds the reader captive. Jessica Huntington is a flawed heroine, but endearing and even admirable in her resolve and resourcefulness. Like so many of us modern women hooked by consumer culture, Jessica resorts to “retail therapy” when things get hot and heavy. Unlike most of us, she has a Stanford law degree and knows how to make her Porsche growl approvingly. But she is still flummoxed, as we would all be, by a murder that hits too close to home. The twists and turns, the manias and maniacs, the attempt to figure out the difference between fantasy and reality: it’s all there in “A Dead Husband.” I especially enjoyed the author’s use of dialogue, her depictions of California cuisine, and her deft descriptions of southern California’s desert communities, its flora and fauna, its smells and sounds and textures. If you long for a trip to Palm Springs and its environs but don’t have the time or money to do it, then “A Dead Husband” is just the thing. Highly enjoyable.
Format: Kindle Edition

Thoroughly enjoyed this. Love the Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage area and it was great fun to envision this story line being somewhat familiar with the setting. Colorful characters, found myself not putting this one down, and I was on a streak of BORING Kindle selections. Started the second book already, and so far, every bit as interesting. Look forward to more and more in the series.





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