by Kate Parker
Deadly Fashion (The Deadly Series)
3rd in Series
Cozy Historical Mystery
JDP Press (December 8, 2017)
Paperback: 324 pages
Digital JDP Press (January 11, 2018)
Why would a man, knowing his life was in danger, turn his back on his killer?
In pre-war London, Olivia Denis wins a plum assignment from her newspaper when she meets the glamorous French fashion designer, Mimi Mareau. Mimi has it all, wealth, talent, acclaim, and a British duke for a lover. But on her first visit to Mimi’s new Mayfair house of haute couture, Olivia finds something else – the body of an unknown man.
Mimi and her three French assistants say they don’t know the man, but is that true? As Olivia spends time around the salon, she learns at least one of the women knew the dead man and four women are lying.
A British agent in possession of a terrible secret, an attempt on the life of a British leader, a fashion house in the middle of it all, and war marches closer. Can Olivia stop a murderer before he or she can strike again or shatter the fragile peace?
Olivia Denis may not be much of a newspaper reporter but she is one heck of a sleuth. She meets Mimi Mareau, a noted French Fashion Designer while interviewing a bride to be for the society pages. The designer is opening a salon in London so her elite clientele will not need to travel to Paris. She invites Olivia to stop by and write a feature for the newspaper. While there she discovers a dead body. The designer and her assistants all claim they have no clue who the man is or how he died, but Olivia knows they are lying. Dangerous events are taking place and they all seem to be connected to Mimi Mareau and her staff. With her employer’s approval Oliva find herself again in the middle of an investigation and putting her life at risk.
Kate Parker continues to top herself. She has created a wonderfully strong protagonist in Olivia Denis. She doesn’t shy away from these special assignments, in fact, she is excited by them. She always jumps in with both feet and follows the clues wherever they lead, no matter how hazardous her actions may be to her own health. She is surrounded by a great supporting cast that helps her in her endeavors, most of it behind the scenes.
With a war on the horizon many Jewish people are trying to flee Germany and as in the previous two books in this series, this is the backdrop for this story as well. Ms. Parker gives readers an excellent sense of time and place. Seen through the eyes of our main character we get a clear picture of where she travels and who she meets. The woman has a keen way of investigating.
The story has a very brisk pace and I was rapidly drawn into it. I read the entire book in one evening. As it was getting late, I kept reading, just one more chapter and then another, but the book was impossible for me to put down. I had to see how it ended before I could lie my head on my pillow.
Kate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.
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