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by Elaine Viets

The open road.  The wind whipping in your face.  For both serious riders and the wanna-bes called RUBs--Rich Urban Bikers--riding a Harley is only part of the thrill.  Putting on leather and acting out is the rest.  Even Francesca Vierling, a St. Louis reporter who is a little too tall, smart, and sexy for her own good, is dressed to kill--for a biker's ball that will lead straight ahead to murder.The victim is a woman who lived well, married bad, and divorced hard.  For Sydney Vander Venter, going from high-society wife to tough-talking biker chick was only a phase.  One she didn't survive.  Now Francesca must find out who ruined the annual Leather and Lace Ball by killing Sydney.  But with her career crashing, her love life sputtering, and another murder waiting down the road, Francesca finds out firsthand how dangerous it can be when you're born to be wild--and dare to live that way too.  .  .  .
Download Rubout epub
ISBN: 0440224446
ISBN13: 978-0440224440
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery
Author: Elaine Viets
Language: English
Publisher: Dell; 1st edition (May 11, 1998)
ePUB size: 1773 kb
FB2 size: 1800 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 210
Other Formats: mbr rtf docx lrf

This story is an earlier one by Elaine Viets and very well written. Much of the action takes place following a reporter's life, along with interesting satire of the newspaper business. I would like for there to be another Francesca story (I enjoy her gutsy personality), but I also am a fan of Viets' "Dead End Job" series set in Florida, while Francesca is a St. Louis native, and Viets really brings that town to life! Her description of the motorcycle crowd rings true and speeds the story on. The ending was a surprise for me--a real page turner! It is hard to have sympathy for the woman murdered in the start of the story at the Bikers' Ball. Her behavior is appalling. But as Francesca uses her reporter sources to learn more about the victim, we realize she wasn't what she seemed.
It's the annual Leather and Lace Biker's Society Ball and Francesca Vierling, 37 year old columnist for the St. Louis City Gazette is going

Francesca was shocked, when at the ball she sees Sydney Vander Venter, a rich, soon to be divorced socialite from St. Louis's upper class. She was with her new boyfriend, a biker named Jack.

Sydney manages to get everyone ticked off at her when she flirts with the other men and ends with Stephanie, the girlfriend of Crazy Jerry threatening to beat her up.

Leaving the ball, Francesca has the unfortunate luck of stumbling over Sydney's body. She had been beaten to death with a bike chain.

Detective Mark Mayhew suspects everyone at the ball, but Francesca wonders if it might not be someone closer to home. After all, Sydney was going through a bad divorce. Could it be her husband who was dumping her for a younger woman. Or maybe her son, who had a drug habit and was resentful of his mother's attempt to put him in rehab.

Then Sydney's new boyfriend, Jack is killed in a motorcycle accident after calling Francesca and saying he would tell her the name of Sydney's killer for $25,000. If she didn't buy, he knew someone else who would. Was this someone else the person who killed Sydney and maybe Jack?

Once again, Francesca's investigation leads her to a showdown with the killer that almost leaves her dead.


I enjoyed Francesca much more in this book than I did in the first book, but she is still a somewhat irritating person. I still think she needs therapy.

Her boyfriend Lyle is a nice guy, but Francesca treats him horribly. Why? Because this dog has the nerve to want to marry her, take care of her and thinks she could get a better job somewhere else. He say's he'd go anywhere to make her happy, but he's sick of listening to her complain and gripe constantly about her job.

Marlene, a waitress at Uncle Bob's Pancake House is a very funny character. Once again, Francesca doesn't listen to any of her advice.

Humor. There are a lot of funny parts in this book. Especially, everything dealing with the "Voyage Committee" that Francesca gets put on at the paper and their "Voyage Captain, Jason."


Ruining the character of Detective Mark Mayhew. who in the first book appeared to be a happily married cop, who was good friends with Francesca.

In this book, he turns out not only not to be faithful, but a real creep on top of it. Francesca may be able to "forget" about their interlude on her stairwell and stay friends, but how she can forgive him for the way he acts over her car is beyond me. And there was no reason for it. It didn't help the story, it didn't do anything except turn a good character into a creep.

The Killer. They might as well have hung a sign around their neck saying "killer" you know who it is the instant they show up.

The staff at the St. Louis City Gazette, this group of losers are, if possible, even worse than in the first book. You get to meet more of them and there isn't anything redeeming about any of them. This includes Georgia, who Francesca considers her mentor, but spends her entire time telling Francesca not to make waves and shut up. A true mentor would tell Francesca that with her talent she should not be working at such a low life paper.

Even though I have a lot of problems with this book, the writing is so good, that it keeps your interest, even after you figure out who the killer is and wonder through the rest of the book, how Francesca doesn't see it.
Elaine Viets never disappoints, always a good read. Love her great ability to describe everything so clearly and the clever humor. I am amazed at how she makes the characters seem so real. This book gives a look at yet another group of interesting people that kept me interested to the last page.
Excellent speedy service. Book is great. Will use again.
Francesca Vierling is elated to be attending the annual Leather and Lace Biker's Society Ball as a guest not as a reporter for the St. Louis City Gazette. In spite of her lover refusing to accompany her, Francesca she still has a good time. However, that changes when high society member Sydney Vander Venter, a surprise attendee is found murdered.
The police believe either one of Sydney's relatives (she was in the midst of a highly publicized, ugly divorce) or one of the bikers (she made several enemies at the ball) killed her. The prime biker suspects turn to Francesca for help. They know about her success in solving a previous case (see BACKSTAB) and feel she can prove their innocence. The amateur sleuth reluctantly begins to investigate who killed the victim.
RUBOUT, the second novel in the Vierling amateur sleuth series, is a fun to read mystery because of the well-developed and very interesting support ensemble. The story line has enough red herrings that interweave with the main plot to please fans of the sub-genre. Francesca is a wonderful character, whose motivations are obvious but honest . Elaine Viets confirms that she is a rising talent whom fans of the sub-genre need to pay attention to because they will obtain their money's worth with her novels.

Harriet Klausner
This is a story set in St.Louis,Missouri.It's about a floundering reporter working for the local Gazette.She seems to get involved in various forms of trouble including murders.Not to mention her messed up personal life and silly flirtations.Of course,there's also the job pressures and work-related issues.This is definitely not a serious look at crime story.It's rather juvenile and amateurish in nature.Only a very naive person would find themselves in such predicaments.I guessed the murderer' s identity by the first few chapters.It's not that difficult in this book.
My second Francesca Vierling mystery by Elaine Viets. I love her humor and her view of the lives of "unusual" people. I also enjoyed the St. Louis setting, found it fascinating. Francesca is a multi-faceted sleuth that I really enjoy. The mystery was first rate, and I could not put it down, ended up reading it until 2 a.m. Waiting for the next one!!!
Viets gives us savy, sharp witted Francesca Verling and a great read! An inside look at the world of the newspaper game, suspense and characters to easily become attached to/or despise. They are honest, gritty and her descriptions are priceless!