On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Peril by Ponytail (A Bad Hair Day Mystery)
12th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Five Star Publishing (September 16, 2015)
Hardcover: 285 pages
Kindle ASIN: B015ESSHV6
Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes. With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.
Finding time in their busy lives for a honeymoon wasn’t easy but Marla and Dalton head to an Arizona dude ranch when his cousin asks for help promising them a wonderful honeymoon getaway. They arrive to learn the ranch and a nearby ghost town renovation have had a run of bad luck, at least that is what everyone hopes. Both properties are owned by Dalton’s Uncle Raymond. Just as Marla and Dalton arrive they learn a local forest ranger’s body has been found just off a trail he was very familiar with. Accident, maybe but added to all the other mishaps Marla and Dalton start to investigate and decide to follow wherever the trail may lead, even underground if necessary.
Experiencing this trip to a dude ranch with Marla and Dalton was a lot of fun. I am glad it was a virtual trip or I would have been completely exhausted 🙂 The dude ranch has plenty of things to do including horseback riding and hiking trails. The distance from the main lodge to the cabins is also a good walk. Plus they followed leads to the ghost town and several other places like Scottsdale. It would have made a great honeymoon sans the dead bodies, the explosion and the fire. Maybe not as good as the tropical vacation Marla would have liked by maybe next time.
These are characters I have grown to love, this being the 12th book in the series. They have sure come a long way since Permed to Death. Newly married they are still figuring things out like Dalton not talking to Marla about honeymooning in Arizona until after he told his cousin they would be delighted to come. They both enjoyed getting to know these long lost family members better and I did too.
The mystery was tricky but I did figure out the guilty parties a bit before Marla and Dalton. I still enjoyed following along to find out if I was right and to get all the details straight. I lost count of all the twists and turns that tried to divert my attention. The ending was very suspenseful. Learning some of the history of the area and copper mines was a great bonus.
If you are new to this series, this book can be read on it’s own. The author provides a cast of characters at the beginning of the book.
About The Author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazineas best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.
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