From the Publisher:
Some days you just might be better off dead. At least, that's what smart-alec Barry Lee decides when yet another of his get-rich-quick schemes falls short of perfect and he finds he has only one asset left: his life. Or rather, the insurance on it. Collecting the benefits of life insurance, however, involves some painfully ultimate realities that Barry Lee would sooner avoid. So it is that Barry and Lola, his beautiful South American wife and partner in con-artistry, set out to play the globalization of the insurance industry to their advantage. The story of their journey to Lola's native Guerrera and their sure-fire scheme to pull off the perfect con, which begins with the staging of Barry's spectacular and very public accidental death, becomes increasingly perilous as he attempts to negotiate his afterlife in a world he in no way understands. To his surprise, some of Lola's more blunt-minded and ham-fisted cousins are figuring that if the whole family's going to get rich with Barry Lee dead, he's not dead enough...
Donald E. Westlake: The Scared Stiff. Orion, ISBN: 0752855948 (December, 2003), 247 p., £10.99