Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Two Heads are Deader Than One by Elena Hartwell

Posted April 11, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, contemporary, cozy mystery, Elena Taylor, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 9 Comments

Two Heads are Deader Than One book review

Two Heads are Deader Than One by Elena HartwellTWO HEADS ARE DEADER THAN ONE by Elena Hartwell
Eddie Shoes Mysteries #2

GENRE: Private Eye Mystery (Clean with some language)
PUBLISHER: Open Road Media
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2024
PAGES: 301

Private Investigator Eddie Shoes is enjoying a rare period of calm. She’s less lonely now that Chava, her card-counting mom from Vegas, is sharing her home. She also has a new companion, Franklin, a giant dog of curious ancestry.

Hoping for a lucrative new case, Eddie instead finds herself taking on a less promising client: her best friend from her childhood in Spokane. Dakota has turned up in Bellingham, in jail, where she is being held on a weapons charge. Eddie reluctantly agrees not only to lend her friend money for bail but to also investigate who is stalking her.

Soon after Dakota is freed, she disappears again, leaving Eddie to answer to the local cops, including her ex-boyfriend Chance Parker. Has Dakota been kidnapped? If not, why did she jump bail? What are Eddie’s business cards doing on the bodies of two murder victims?

The key to these mysteries lies in Dakota and Eddie’s shared history, which ended when Eddie left home after high school. As a person of interest in both murder cases, Eddie is forced to go in search of the truth, digging into the past and facing her own demons.


Other Books In This Series

One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell 

After really enjoying the tone and characters in One Dead, Two to Go, I eagerly dove into Two Heads are Deader Than One by Elena Hartwell. All the things I loved in book one are still just as lovable in book two, especially Eddie’s delightful dry wit and snark – and the banter between her and her eclectic (and polar opposite) mother, Chava. Eddie’s first person narration keeps the story moving right along, with fun commentary and wry asides. And don’t get me started on how much I love Franklin, her newly acquired giant mop of a dog. The author has captured his quirky canine personality so well, enabling the loyal companion to fit in well with the story’s sense of humor.

Once again, poor Eddie manages to get herself right in the middle of a murder investigation through (mostly) no fault of her own, not to mention the odd reappearance of her childhood best friend and maybe a ghost from her past too. This of course puts her in close proximity with her first love – and local detective – Chance Parker, who I am still depending on for eventual romantic swooniness. I enjoyed the slow shuffle they did toward the maybe-possibility of more-at-some-point, and I’m holding onto that thread of hope like the KissingBooks fan that I am. As for the mystery aspect of Two Heads are Deader Than One, the author smoothly juggles several different elements from murder to break-ins, theft, and missing persons, and most of it seems to keep coming back to that childhood friend that might not be 100% on the up-and-up. Eddie has her work cut out for her, and I had a blast tagging along with her and Chava and Franklin.

Bottom Line: Two Heads are Deader Than One by Elena Hartwell showcases the author’s impeccable skill in combining smart prose, snappy dialogue, layered mysteries, and character growth with steady pacing to deliver an entertaining read that grabs your attention and holds on tight. Eddie continues to be a compelling and delightful protagonist that you can’t help but love immediately, flaws and all, and her inner circle – including her quirky mother and endearing dog – are just as engaging. My mind is already whirring with possibilities for book three, so I’m glad it’s on my TBR pile to read soon!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there is some occasional cursing in this book – really scattered, not prevalent – most of it mild except for a few stronger ones.

(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 / enjoyed it!

affiliate links used

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 Two Heads are Deader Than One by Elena Hartwell?

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