Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pg. 99: Elizabeth Zelvin's "Death Will Get You Sober"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Elizabeth Zelvin's Death Will Get You Sober.

About the book, from the publisher:
On Christmas Day, Bruce Kohler wakes up in detox on the Bowery in New York City. He knows it’s time to change his life, but how can he stay sober without dying of boredom?

When homeless alcoholics start to die unexpectedly, Bruce is surprised to find he cares enough to want to find out why. Most of them had been down and out for many years, but Bruce’s friend Guff was different: a cynical aristocrat with a trust fund and some secrets.

Two old friends give Bruce a second chance and agree to help him with his investigation: his best friend, Jimmy, a computer genius and history buff who’s been in AA for years, and Jimmy’s girlfriend Barbara, a counselor who sometimes crosses the line between helping and codependency.

Barbara works a night shift at the detox and confronts a counselor who might still be dealing drugs. Bruce gets a job temping for Guff’s arrogant nephew. Between the three of them, suspects start piling up. The trail leads back to the detox. Or does it?

In Death Will Get You Sober, Bruce discovers that the church basements of AA are a small world in the big city of New York. As he grapples with staying sober, he finds that not drinking is only the beginning of coming back to life--a life he finds he wants to keep when it’s threatened by a killer.

Debut author Elizabeth Zelvin has used her expertise as an addiction councilor to pen a riveting mystery filled with memorable, realistic characters who are as flawed as they are heroic.
Among the early praise for Death Will Get You Sober:
"A hell of a job .... Great characters and a wonderful author to keep your eye on."
--Crimespree magazine

"Entertaining.... [gives] readers a view of the recovery process as they turn the pages to a good surprise ending."

"[Zelvin's] smooth prose and outstanding storytelling ability ... [make] this a remarkable and strongly recommended first novel."
--Library Journal

"An intriguing setting and well-developed characters....Deft prose...."
--Publishers Weekly


"Zelvin will get you hooked with her pitch-perfect depiction of addiction."
--Chris Grabenstein, Anthony Award-winning author
Read an excerpt from Death Will Get You Sober, and learn more about the author and her work at Elizabeth Zelvin's website, her MySpace page, and the group blog, Poe's Deadly Daughters.

Zelvin is a New York City psychotherapist who directed an alcoholism treatment program on the Bowery for more than six years. Death Will Get You Sober is her first mystery. A related story, “Death Will Clean Your Closet,” has been nominated for an Agatha award for Best Short Story. Another story, “Death Will Tie Your Kangaroo Down,” won an honorable mention in the first annual CrimeSpace Short Story Competition.

The Page 99 Test: Death Will Get You Sober.

--Marshal Zeringue