Sara Randazzo
August 03, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Greeting-card designer-turned-gumshoe Wollie Shelley sets out to prove that her best friend didn’t murder a soap opera producer/ex-flame in Dead Ex.

Grisliest Death
A lethal combination of a surfboard, killer waves, blood-pressure medication, and Viagra.

A former actress, Harley Jane Kozak realistically evokes the chaos and glamour of L.A., but her chick-lit thriller relies more on dreary sex scenes and off-the-wall plot twists than on building suspense. B-

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