Bad Hair Day Mysteries, Book 10
NANCY J. COHEN
Five Star Press
Rating: 3 cups
Marla Shore owns and operates a beauty salon that is the hub of the town gossips in this South Florida community. While the reader learns about the characters in the town, in the background, the nervous bride is overreacting to the upcoming nuptials. No detail of the wedding is left to chance, yet murder hovers in wait. The recently converted bride-to-be, Jill Barlow, proceeds with the wedding that is explained in great detail, so those not familiar with Jewish tradition can follow the action and reactions. The ceremony ends with Jill’s sister, Torrie Miller, a less than popular person, lying dead under a table at the reception with a cake knife through her chest.
The male characters rival each other for attention. None of the men are painted clearly except for the florist, a talented user of color and people. In keeping with the hair salon atmosphere, not unlike Steel Magnolias, this tale is delivered via the opinion of female characters gossip-style. Much attention is paid to the dresses, color schemes, floral arrangements, houses and furniture.
As the reader continues, it seems everyone in town had a personal reason for killing Torri. She had a negative personality. Only her husband seemed to really appreciate and love her. Like so many dysfunctional wanna-bes, she had a habit of keeping score. She is, however, not the only victim.
For readers of cozy glitz literature, this could be a satisfying series. But for the average reader, dropped from a great height into the tenth book of the series, it is a day’s work to study the menu of characters, some of whom have been married before. It would be an advantage to have read the previous nine mysteries to get used to the plethora of characters clogging the action. Rife with minutia and wedding flutter, the actual emotional impact of murder and crime are lost in the fluff of materialistic clutter.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance and More