Five Star Publishing
February 22, 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads:
During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, had been a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a nonprofit historic preservation society. Marla's stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val's demise might put a crimp in their plans.
Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the suspects. Although Val had been well liked by most people, she may have stumbled onto secrets that others would kill to keep. What are the connections between a greedy land developer, a dress designer whose husband may have links to the Asian mob, a mortician who might be involved in the human hair trade, and members of the nonprofit group's board of directors? Are the latter as dedicated to their cause as they'd like Marla to believe, or do they have their own self-interests at heart?
Sparks are sure to fly when this smart stylist joins forces with her sexy detective husband to solve a decades-old mystery that includes a secret journal, pirate tales, and shipwrecks along the Florida coast. With the rollercoaster excitement, you might need a trip to the day spa to relax.
This is the 13th book in Nancy J. Cohen’s Bad Hair Day Mystery series. I’ve read the previous three books and still have to make my way through the backlist, but I do enjoy this series. This one is the best of the ones I’ve read so far. I’ve enjoyed them all.
Marla Vail comes to life more and more with each passing book. She’s now married to her detective husband, Dalton, and settled into family life with his teenage daughter. Her business is booming, but things take a terrible turn when a customer, Valerie Weston, is murdered while having a facial. Valerie had been a high profile customer, which could spell major trouble for Marla’s salon business.
To add to Marla’s troubles, her entire family is pressuring her to have a child, including her husband. She’s not ready and doesn’t think she ever will be. She’s satisfied being a step-mother and wants to concentrate on her career. For now, that means finding out who killed Weston before Marla’s business suffers for the murder.
Marla and Dalton make a wonderful sleuthing team. They, as well as the secondary characters, are realistic, well-written and well-developed. Marla is someone readers can connect with. She’d make a great friend. She’s an everyday person who finds herself in not everyday situations.
The storyline is fast-paced and keeps readers guessing to the end. There were several different twists and turns this story could have taken. I was surprised at the outcome. I’m looking forward to reading more of Marla’s adventures.
For reading challenges:
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2017
Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge 2017
FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.