Monday, March 13, 2023

Review: Star Tangled Murder by Nancy J. Cohen


About the Book

Cozy Mystery


Orange Grove Press

Release Date
March 14, 2023

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband get tangled up in murder when their Fourth of July visit to a living history village ends with a bang—and a body.

Salon owner Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk.

As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?

In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing might blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she’ll become the next victim. Recipes Included!

My Review

It’s the Fourth of July and the Vails are enjoying a visit to a living history village, complete with a Seminole battle reenactment.   They come across many interesting exhibits.  It’s the perfect way to spend a relaxing holiday weekend, until it isn’t.  The town marshal has been murdered and it’s looking as if one of the cast members took the reenactment just a bit too seriously.

Although Detective Dalton Vail is close to retirement, this case is in his jurisdiction, and he jumps right in.  His wife, hair stylist Marla Vail, jumps right in with him.  They begin to investigate and uncover lies, deception and secrets at every turn.  They learn the marshal had many real life enemies and any one of them could be a killer.

This is book #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mystery series.  It’s been one of my favorites for a long time.  As is usually the case with cozy mysteries, the mystery itself is contained and solved in this book.  So, you don’t necessarily have to read the entire series, but I think you’d be missing out if you didn’t. 

It’s a fast-paced story.  Marla has a huge support group helping her along the way.  Now that she’s a mother of a young son, her time to investigate is limited.  With a little help from her friends, she can still be involved.  Much to the dismay of her husband.  The last thing he wants is his wife and mother of his child in danger.  

Nancy J. Cohen has done an outstanding job of bringing Marla and her crew to life with each book.   I feel as if I’ve come to know Marla and reading this series is like visiting with old friends. I’m always excited to read another entry in this series.  I’m not sure if there will be more, but if there is, I’m here for them.

A fun, exciting, humorous cozy mystery with realistic characters.  A definite winner in my book.

For reading challenges:

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2023
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2023
Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge 2023
Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2023

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley, the author and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I've enjoyed other earlier books in the series but I've got so many series going that it's slipped from my current reading list. I do need to get back to it. This looks like a great read!


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