I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the next Bad Hair Day Mystery so I was thrilled when I connected with Nancy and she sent me an advanced copy. She also made my day when she said she would stop by here for a Cozy Wednesday visit, so today is definitely a Very Good Hair Day!!!
Thanks Lori, I am happy to be here.
Weddings and Murder by Nancy J. Cohen
Weddings always make Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, and that goes for me too. Even if I don’t know the couple, I’ll get choked up seeing the veiled bride in her ivory gown facing the altar alongside her groom. During Kate and William’s royal spectacle, I was glued to the TV. So it comes as no surprise that I had to write a wedding story.
Shear Murder, the tenth book in my Bad Hair Day mystery series, finds hairdresser Marla Shore as a bridesmaid at her friend Jill’s ceremony. Things go terribly wrong when Marla finds the matron of honor—Jill’s sister—dead under the cake table.
What is it about weddings that can bring out the worst in people? Is it that their passions are aroused? That they’re reminded of their own disappointments? That their envy of the happy couple’s joy drives them to despair? Certainly, weddings are a popular setting for murder mysteries, often becoming the theme for an entire series.
Since it’s been thirty-five years since my own nuptials, I had to update my knowledge about current customs. Bridal wear, music, flowers, party favors, catering menus, ceremonial and religious details, all of these were necessary to research. I was amazed at the size of this industry. At 2.5 million weddings a year, it fuels a forty billion dollar business. Magazines are devoted to bridal wear and advice on all aspects of this exciting day in a woman’s life. Bridal boutiques offer everything from gowns and shoes to evening bags and tiaras. The selection of bridal dresses itself is staggering. No wonder planning a wedding is the subject of every girl’s dreams.
Flowers may be only one aspect, but they play an important role in my mystery. Marla, wishing to question Jill’s florist, pretends she’s scouting decorators for a friend. The florist seats her down in his shop and shows her some albums.
“Here are some pictures of the most common bouquet styles.” He pulled another book from the stack and flicked open the pages to a classic all-white collection. “The round nosegay is always popular. People used these back in the fourteenth century to mask odors. That’s where the nosegay got its name. Get it? Nose?” He giggled.
“I see.” What she saw was that he made her lose concentration. If she didn’t focus their conversation, she’d never get out of there.
“If your friend chooses to wear a formal gown, I’d suggest this cascade bouquet.” He showed her another picture. “Or for a more contemporary design, we can do wonders with calla lilies, orchids and anthuriums. These can be simple but sophisticated.”
“How about candles, like at Jill’s wedding?” she said in a desperate attempt to steer the conversation.
“At the ceremony, she can have flowers alone, or flowers plus candlelight. We have lots of options for the dinner tables, depending on the look she wants. Also, I can suggest colors for the table linens and chairs. It would help if your friend brings in swatches from the bridal dresses.”
Mute, Marla merely nodded.
“We can do gifts, too. You know, for the bridal party, as well as small remembrances for the wedding guests.” He twirled his hand in the air. “It depends on how elaborate your friend cares to go. Who’s doing the cake? We can scatter rose petals on the cake table, or we could use orchids, my favorite.”
Ah, there’s the opening she needed. “Speaking of wedding cakes, I’m wondering where Jill and Arnie bought their cake knife. Was it from a gift shop or did you supply it?”
“Arnie gave the knife to me beforehand. I brought it in my van along with everything else.”
“So you placed it on the table beside the cake, before the ceremony even started?”
“My dear, I finished doing the ballroom before the bride even arrived.”
The sad thing is the bride might have the most beautiful bouquet at her ceremony, but she has to toss it at the reception. Then she’s off to her honeymoon and never sees the gorgeous flower arrangement again. According to my wedding photos, I had a cascade bouquet with white roses and carnations. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Centerpieces alone can be an expensive proposition or a place to save money toward catering instead. With so many details to manage, it’s no surprise the happy woman often turns into bridezilla. And other than funerals and bar mitzvahs, this may be the only time extended relatives draw together. Who knows what dangerous secrets some of them might be hiding? With hidden passions at bay, weddings are perfect settings for murder mysteries.
Weddings always make Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, and she’s elated to attend her friend Jill’s reception. Marla’s own nuptials are weeks away, and she’s busy following her frenetic to-do list. Her plans go awry when she discovers Jill’s matron of honor dead under the cake table, a knife embedded in her chest. Lots of folks aren’t sorry to see Torrie go, especially since the bride’s sister knew their deepest secrets. But when suspicion falls upon Jill, Marla wonders if her dear friend is truly innocent. She’d better untangle the snarl of suspects and iron out the clues before the killer highlights her as the next victim.
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Nancy writes romance novels too! Here’s a direct link to that page of her web site.
Leave a comment during Nancy’s blog tour and enter to win a set of Paua shell jewelry and a signed copy of Shear Murder.
Nancy will announce the winner.
Shear Murder (Five Star Mystery Series)
A Bad Hair Mystery
10th in the Series
This whole series has been a lot of fun.
In this installment, Marla not only does hair for a wedding, but is a bridesmaid and finally a bride. At crunch time for her own wedding plans she is also trying to solve a murder. Marla takes multitasking to a whole new level. Dalton really understands her need to be in the middle of things and his daughter Brianna has a great relationship with Marla. I am so happy this new family is coming together.
The family dynamics at work in both Marla’s case and Jill and Torrie’s are very entertaining. Marla knows just how to handle her own relatives and her future in-laws. Torrie’s family and friends are so dysfunctional the suspects in her death are many and when the culprit was revealed this reader was quite surprised.
This is an ideal cozy mystery full of murder, mayhem, humor and romance. It is so fast paced you will read it in one sitting, just as I did. This book is definitely the perfect book to “escape into” this winter, it will warm you right up!
About This Author
Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her popular Bad Hair Day series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, while Nancy’s imaginative sci-fi romances have garnered rave reviews. Her latest book, and tenth in her mystery series, is Shear Murder from Five Star. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday With Author Nancy Cohen (Giveaway Too!)”
Hi Nancy, I love Cozy Mysteries and can’t wait to read Shear Murder. This sounds like a great series and can’t believe I have not read any. I am adding to my wish list now.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.
This is a new series to me! I can’t believe I haven’t started it yet. Thanks for the introduction.
I love the subtitle Bad Hair Day…something we can all relate to. Can’t wait to read it.
I was surprised the wedding industry was that huge. I would love to read this cozy. It sounds really good.
Have not read any of this series before…winning it would be one way of insuring that i did! You did a great review!
Love the title of this book, my Mom was a ‘beautician’, as they called them in her day, and my granddaughter just signed to go to Cosmetology School. Can’t wait to cut into the pages of this book.
Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. The Bad Hair Day series are a lot of fun to write, and I enjoyed the wedding research for this one. Wendy, your mom and granddaughter would relate to these stories! Consider giving them a couple for gifts. 🙂
Sounds so good! Never read this series before but am adding it to my TBR list! Would love to win
Sounds fun! My sister is a hairstylist and she’s also getting married this summer! I like finding new-to-me authors, and would like to try a good mystery again.
Christina, this book is made for your sister! Consider giving a copy to her as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Can’t wait for Marla’s latest adventure – especially can’t wait for Marla’s & Dalton’s wedding! What a great coupling and family!
I would love to win a signed copy of Shear Murder. Thanks for the interview and for hosting this event.
The book sounds great – I love cozy mysteries. My wedding flowers where so beautiful. They had white and pink tulips, roses and a number of other flowers.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Hi Nancy, having organized two weddings I can tell you a lot about the incredible amount of work, stress and expenses involved in weddings. But as long as it turns into a happy marriage then it’s worth it.
What a kewl book! I would love to win and read!:) Is this giveaway international?? I live in UK, that is why asking. Plz be it int!
Wow, love it when Dollycas introduces me to a new to me author, especially one with a series! And this one sounds like a bunch of fun!
Thanks so much for the giveaway chance!
Marg, I hope you’re a happy guest at Marla and Dalton’s wedding. Kay, your flowers sound lovely. Mona, sounds as though you have lots of experience! Kay and Komal, I appreciate your stopping by. Gena, I hope you’ll check out my series. There’s ten books in all. And if any of you read romance, I write in that genre, too.
I haven’t heard of this series before. I love series! The characters become friends and I really like that. I have to read this!
Yes, Patsy, the recurring characters in a series become our beloved friends. I like reading series, too, for the same reason. And for the character growth.
I am always on the look-out for an interesting and unique mystery series with fully developed characters. This one definitely has my attention. I will check it out on Kindle!
Interesting blog, Nancy. I’m currently planning a wedding with my soon to be daughter in law. Her mother lives in Israel, so much of the planning has been passed to me. It is both an exciting and anxious time. We don’t always agree, but I figure it’s the bride’s day, so she should have everything just the way she wants it. By the way, I’ve read Shear Murder, and loved it! so if you draw my name, please select another lucky person.
Shear Murder won’t be available in ebook format for at least a year, as per my contract terms with the publisher. However, my nine backlist titles are available in digital formats.
Nancy, So happy to see a new book in this great series! And what better than a wedding. I’m looking forward to spending more time with Marla.
Thanks, Cynthia. If I ever have to help our daughter plan a wedding, I’ll ask for your advice. It’s an exciting time. and one to be savored. Lynnette, thank you for your kind words. Marla would like to spend time with you, too!
My first thought was of Steel Magnolias – loved that movie! This sounds like a great series and it’s going on my wish lists.
I would love to read this series. Thrilled Nancy Cohen was your guest blogger today. I totally enjoyed this.
Follower and proud of it!!
Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this series. I love murder mysteries. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com
This series sounds wonderful. Cute book cover. I love weddings.
Hm, I had a cascading bouquet with ivy and white flowers but I’m not sure what they were. Weddings have become way more complicated than they were when I got married, but we still had a beautiful and elegant day. Our guests got out any frustrations after the reception, when everyone was invited back to my parents’ house, by throwing each other in the pool, gowns and all.
Karen B: That’s the movie mentioned in a review of Shear Murder by Coffee Time Romance.
Nancy B: Thanks for checking in! Hope you’ll look for my series.
Victoria: I appreciate your stopping by.
Katsrus, I love the cover, too. It’s perfect for the story, down to the plum shoes sticking out from under the cake table.
Sounds like a fun and interesting book.
Your question is a good one. The mystery I am working on has a wedding involved in it. Maybe they are good for mysteries because anyone can be invited (giving you more suspects) and the extremes of happiness and sorrow that they show?
I actually still have the main part of my bouquet (which was silk) because my florist designed it so that part of it was breakaway. And She Who Caught It left me the rest of it so I am an unusual bride in still having mine. The real flowers were white and so were the silk ones in the bouquet.
It never ceases to amaze me how such a lady like, sophisticated and beautiful woman, can have so deliciously evil an imagination! Nancy you’re amazing!
Yikes, Allison, I wouldn’t want to be thrown in a pool and ruin an elegant gown. Your bouquet sounds lovely, though.
Brenda, you’re right in that anyone, like long lost relatives, can be invited to a wedding, and it arouses extreme emotions. You’re lucky to have kept your flowers. Silk, huh? I wouldn’t have thought of that.
I’m signing off for the night folks, but I’ll check back in the morning for new comments and respond then. Have to go read my RITA books. 🙂
I can definitely relate to the bad hair day.
I am going to type these into my Barnes and noble nook right now!
You are so thorough with your reviews!!
I like to read murder mysteries. This sounds like an interesting one for me to read.
Love to read a good mystery.
This book sounds great! A little romance with a murder mystery.
My sister lived out of state for awhile. When it was time for her to get married, she wanted to do it here and it was up to me to do everything. It was lovely, but I vowed when it was my turn…I’d elope. Still, it is fun reading and watching movies about weddings! And even better when there is a murder. 😉
sounds like a great read!! right up my alley, Nancy!!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!!!
I really enjoyed all the preious books in this series and have been waiting for another. Can’t wait to read it.
Sounds like fun. Count me in, please.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
This is a new series to me that sounds like loads of intrigue and cozy fun:) Thank you for taking the time to share with us today!
The BAD HAIR DAY series looks like such fun to read. On my wish list. I can’t wait to read SHEAR MURDER.
Good morning, I’m back, and I thank you for your comments. Yes, the Bad Hair Day series has loads of intrigue and fun. It has humor and romance, two ingredients I enjoy in the mysteries that I read. And of course, each story contains a murder mystery for you to solve along with my hairstylist heroine. I’d rather close a book with a smile on my face instead of a frown, and I hope you’ll do the same.
I love the mix of humor and romance in a cozy! Continued success to Nancy for all our sakes!
I love cozy mysteries and this one sounds great!
It was so great having Nancy here!!!! Thank you everyone for stopping by!!! I hope she comes back when her next book is released!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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glad to see this series has started again!
I would love to read the whole series. It sounds so great. I had red roses with baby’s breath for my bouquet. I tossed it and the one who caught did get married soon after.
Sounds like a really great mystery read! I’d love to read it!
I am out of town at a conference and will respond to comments when I have better access to wi fi.
I love cozy mysteries but often don’t get a chance to read them. This one sounds like a winner!
Hi to Ruth, Margaret, Carol, Samantha, et. al. Thanks for coming by. I really have fun writing this lighthearted mystery series and hope you’ll check out Marla’s adventures. See you around the blogosphere! Dollycas, thanks for having me here.
This sounds like a series I’m gonna love. I csn’t wait to get started! Thanks!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com
The series sounds like fun. My take on weddings is almost always: why? I did attend (only) one (my brother’s) that was not ghastly. Usually they are a perfect murder scenario. So you picked a natural theme.
I like weddings, the gowns, the sentiment, and the food. I suppose one can enjoy it more if you’re not intimately related to the wedding party! And nobody’s mentioned costs, but they can be astronomical. Even for my daughter, whose been a bridesmaid several times, those expenses mount up.
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