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Also by Elaine Viets

Dead-End Job Mystery Series

Shop till You Drop

Murder Between the Covers

Dying to Call You

Just Murdered

Murder Unleashed

Murder with Reservations

Clubbed to Death

Killer Cuts

Half-Price Homicide

Pumped for Murder

Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Series

Dying in Style

High Heels Are Murder

Accessory to Murder

Murder with All the Trimmings

The Fashion Hound Murders

An Uplifting Murder

Death on a Platter

A DEAD-END JOB MYSTERY

Elaine Viets

For Victoria,

who really should kill

people—on paper.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Final Sail would have been totally at sea without the help of Victoria Allman. She’s a yacht chef who writes as well as she cooks. Many of the meals aboard the fictional Belted Earl came from Victoria’s two cooking memoirs: Sea Fare: A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean and SEAsoned: A Chef’s Journey with her Captain (NorLightsPress). The recipes are fabulous.

Victoria’s captain is also her husband, Captain Patrick Allman. His help was invaluable. Gina Soacat, the yacht’s head stewardess, taught me the finer points of yacht cleaning, including running the vacuum cleaner in the tracks.

One mystery still remains: Victoria, Captain Patrick and Gina would not reveal their yacht’s owners.

A very special thanks must go to my editor, Sandra Harding, for her insights and her patience, and to the ever-helpful Elizabeth Bistrow at NAL. Writers love to complain about copy editors, but this one saved my hide. Thank you!

My agent, David Hendin, gave excellent advice, and my husband, Don Crinklaw, is my first reader and best critic.

Old salt and sailboater Barry Talley steered me across the treacherous Gulf Stream and mystery writer Marcia Talley provided photos and other information about the Bahamas.

I am deeply grateful to my friend and former newspaper editor Dick Richmond for his help.

Tom Adair, a retired forensic scientist, helped with the forensics. Enjoy his blog at forensics4fiction.wordpress.com. Mystery writer Joanna Campbell Slan told me how the rich really advertise for household help. Sue Schlueter gave wardrobe advice for my yacht-goers.

Mary Lynn Reed, when she isn’t providing Phil with fake references, is a real friend. Valerie Cannata gave me her name for my TV reporter. Nancie Hays let me turn her into a lawyer.

Suzanne Schoomer is a fine chef who generously lent her name in return for a large donation to a worthy cause.

The real Margery Flax is much younger but just as crafty as the fictional Margery—and both love purple. She does wish the Coronado landlady drove a hotter car, but it’s a Florida law that anyone over age seventy must drive a large white car.

Helen still works those dead-end jobs, but now that she and Phil have their own private eye agency, she takes them to solve cases. Private investigator William Simon gave invaluable information about this business. Detective R. C. White, Fort Lauderdale Police Department (retired), is also working on his PI license. He gave me the benefit of his insights and information.

Rick McMahan, ATF special agent and one heck of a writer, helped. MarySue Carl and author Eileen Dreyer assisted with hospital procedure. Fort Lauderdale attorney Vladimira Libansky, Esq., helped with the legal issues. Luci Zahray, internationally known poison expert, uses her powers only for good—and to help mystery writers like me.

Like the song says, I get by with a little help from my friends. They include Karen Grace, who spent many hours discussing these characters and their motivation, Alan Portman, Molly Portman, Doris Ann Norris, Kay Gordy, Jack Klobnak, Robert Levine and Janet Smith. Mary Alice Gorman gave me promotional advice. I can’t forget supersaleswoman Carole Wantz, who could sell beer at a temperance meeting.

Boynton Beach librarian Anne Watts lent me her six-toed cat, Thumbs, for this series. Once again, I am grateful to all the librarians who helped with this book, especially the staff of the St. Louis Public Library and Broward County Library. Librarians are the original search engines.

I’m grateful to the booksellers who recommend my novels to their customers.

To the sources who can’t be named, I appreciate your legal, medical and tax information.

Thank you, blog sisters. I rely on the advice and encouragement of the wise women in the Femmes Fatales

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