Book Review (and a Giveaway!): One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell

Posted March 21, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, contemporary, cozy mystery, Elena Taylor, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 9 Comments

One Dead Two to Go book review

One Dead, Two to Go by Elena HartwellONE DEAD, TWO TO GO by Elena Hartwell
Eddie Shoes Mysteries #1

GENRE: Private Eye Mystery (Clean with some language)
PUBLISHER: Open Road Media
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2024
PAGES: 258

Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman … alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?

Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.

Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.


Other Books In This Series


I loved Eddie Shoes (real name: Edwina Schultz) and her dry wit from the very first page of One Dead, Two to Go, courtesy of the 1st person POV that author Elena Hartwell uses so superbly. Eddie is a delightfully endearing mix of traits that reminded me of the type of character that Sandra Bullock plays in all her romcoms – spunky and self-sufficient but also not quite as smooth as she’d like to be. And once her feisty mom Chava shows up, I spent a great deal of time laughing out loud at their dynamic, especially their hilarious back-and-forth and how Chava just barrels over Eddie with all the good (but exasperating) intentions in the world. These two may butt heads at nearly every turn but there’s also so much love there. In fact, they would make a perfect sitcom mother-daughter duo.

The mystery in One Dead, Two to Go keeps getting more complicated at every turn, keeping Eddie on her toes as she tries to sift out truth from lies. Infidelity, gambling, kidnapping, murder… the crimes and sins keep piling up, along with some surprising twists that I thought were well-placed AND an escalation in danger for Eddie and Chava. My favorite complication is, of course, the fact that her ex-boyfriend is the newest detective on the local force because we all know how much I love even the hint of romance potential. (And that’s all it is so far – just a hint – but I remain hopeful.) But even without the swoony detective, I would have been just as invested in following the case(s) to the end.

Bottom Line: One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell is fun and snappy and well-plotted, and its delightful characters are diverse and vividly-drawn. I felt like I was right in the middle of the unpredictable investigation and I loved every minute of it. Eddie and Chava are characters I would hang out with in a heartbeat, though I have a feeling I’d laugh the whole time at their goodnatured bickering … because I certainly did while reading it. What an entertaining introduction to a series that promises to earn a place among my favorites!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there is some occasional cursing in this book, most of it mild but there are a couple of stronger words & one profanity used.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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Elena Hartwell

Elena Hartwell spent several years working in theater as a playwright, director, designer, and educator before turning her storytelling skills to fiction. Elena is also a senior editor with Allegory Editing, a developmental editing house, where she works one-on-one with writers to shape and polish manuscripts. If you’d like to work with Elena, visit

Her favorite place to be is at Paradise, the property she and her hubby own south of Spokane, Washington. They live with their horses, Jasper, Radar, and Diggy, their dogs Polar and Wyatt, and their cats Coal Train and Cocoa. Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

She also writes as Elena Taylor, to learn more visit

Connect with Elena at:

her website | The Mystery of Writing | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Other Featured Books by Elena Hartwell/Taylor

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Elena Hartwell. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

There will be ONE (1) winner, US ONLY, for this tour. The winner will receive a $20 card and an autographed copy of ONE DEAD, TWO TO GO.

<< enter the giveaway here >>

This giveaway is hosted by Partners In Crime Tours, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour by clicking the image below.

What about you? What makes you want to read One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell?

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9 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell

  1. “reminded me of the type of character that Sandra Bullock plays” OH MY GOSH! Thanks so much for this! She is my very favorite actress. Now I will picture her when reading these! LOL
    ?Fantastic review!

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