Title: Facials Can Be Fatal
Series: Bad Hair Day Mystery, #13
By: Nancy J. Cohen
ISBN: 1432832824 (ISBN13: 9781432832827)
Author’s Website: http://nancyjcohen.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
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, was a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a historic building 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. As she learns more about Val, she realizes the benefactress might have stumbled onto secrets others would kill to keep. She’d better prepare for a body count that has nothing to do with hot stone massages and everything to do with murder.
Another delightful cozy mystery by Nancy J. Cohen. It never ceases to amaze me how Marla gets caught up in these situations. I find it pretty incredible really that Nancy J. Cohen has been able to come up with 13 stories for this series. As I have probably said in past reviews of books in the Bad Hair Day mystery series, I really like that there is a “Cast of Characters” listed in the beginning of the book. Definitely helps me keep all the players straight.
This book (as many in the past in this series) kept me guessing as to whodunit. The twists kept coming and there was a plethora of suspects to choose from for the more than one murder! The first victim, Valerie Weston, is a donor for Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society. I found the method of murder intriguing and handled really well, though who wants a dead body in their salon chair during the Christmas holidays…that can’t be good for business!
I found it interesting that Marla’s husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, takes the information Marla passes on to aide in his investigation readily. He does worry about her safety, but he never indicates he does not want nor appreciate her help and in fact takes her along to question individuals with knowledge that may help in the investigation.
The path to finding the killer leads to more deaths….which certainly complicate the whole “whodunit” thing. Marla follows her leads to answer more than one puzzle. I enjoyed the pirate tangent a lot. It seemed to add a historical twist (beyond the obvious Friends of Old Florida tie in) which I found interesting. As the body count increases, one has to wonder why and what relationship do the dearly departed have to one another, if any?
The fashion show provided a small glimpse into that sort of event as Marla and her hairdressers prepare the models for their turn on the runway. With this also supplied the venue for the second (but not last) murder. And of course, many new potential suspects to add to the ever growing list to investigate.
I also quite liked the respect and importance that Marla and Dalton gave to their family over the holiday season. The mingling of Christian and Jewish holiday cultures was wonderful. Never did they make solving the crime interfere with their holiday plans with family, a bonus as far as I am concerned.
If you would like to read an enjoyable, entertaining and engaging cozy mystery, with some romance thrown in (though this one did have a few more dead bodies than in previous books), then Facials Can Be Fatal is your book!
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*