Masking for Trouble
Costume Shop Mystery, Book #2
By Diane Vallere
Author website: http://www.dianevallere.com
Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second in a new cozy series from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness Mysteries.
Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.
Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud… (Goodreads)
Masking for Trouble is the perfect cozy Halloween reading. What better setting for the witchy season than a costume shop. Author Diane Vallere has already proven the costume shop can fit into any season or occasion in Proper City. She hits it out of the park with this one set at the perfect time of the year. Protagonist Margo Tamblyn is hitting her stride running and owning the family costume shop Disguise DeLimit. Business is booming in the time leading up to the week long celebration for Halloween. Everything is going well until evil incarnate walks through the shop door in the guise of venture capitalist Paul Haverford.
Mr. Haverford presents Margo with legalize telling her only costumes from his businesses are eligible for the contest held every year at the party thrown to start the big week of Halloween celebrations. Her store has a tradition of winning. Not only that but he owns the old abandoned Alexander Hotel where the party is being held. Margo and the store assistant Kirby try to call their customers to let them know the news. Then she decides to pay the scoundrel a visit and ends up tearing the legal document into shreds and leaving. Nothing is going to stop her from going to the party. Although Margo wishes she had not when she discovers Paul Haverford murdered and herself as the prime suspect.
With all of the shady dealings Haverford had going, it is not hard for Margo to find other suspects, but the police do not seem interested. He had planned on turning their quaint town into a small Vegas and there was no stopping him, until someone murdered him. City leaders, a wild seismologist, other townsfolk all had reason to want him gone and his plan stopped. All the while Margo searches to clear her name, she also has other problems to deal with and not enough time. Her father is stuck out of town at the beginning of the week and her and Kirby are ran off their feet. When he does arrive home, Margo worries he may finally be dating and want his privacy. Her secret relationship with Tak is going nowhere and she gets information that leads her to worry about his feelings for her. Time is running out and she is one busy bee.
I really enjoyed Masking for Trouble. I love Margo, her intelligence, quirky conversations and her eclectic friends. The characters are well developed and very likable. The mystery is well plotted. I thought I knew whodunit, then thought I was all wrong and it all eventually came back around. The only thing I did not truly enjoy is the abundance of descriptive information, but I am just weird that way. Margo is the queen of costume design and author Diane Vallere has written another delightful read that does not disguise her prowess in the cozy mystery genre.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*