Oct 052018
 

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J Cohen

I am the final stop on the Great Escapes Book Tour!

About the Book


Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Florida
Orange Grove Press (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 290 pages
ISBN-10: 0998531766
ISBN-13: 978-0998531762
Digital ASIN: B07F2FP55B

Mix together a cocktail for murder, add a few salty suspects, toss in a dollop of sweet humor, and you have the recipe for Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series.

Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Marla Vail wants to expand her salon and spa to include a small cafe so when she hears about a bake-off contest with a $10,000 prize she signs up and enters her coconut fudge pie. The contest is part of the fall festival taking place on a local farm and many other activities are happening. Marla’s husband Dalton even enters some prime produce. There is also a fun scavenger hunt with people dressed up to promote healthy eating. Marla decides to play along while waiting for the cook-off winners to be announced. She finds every person except for the final one. The person was also a bake-off contestant, where could she have gone? Marla decides to venture into the strawberry patch and that is where she finds Francine Dodger but she won’t be doing any more baking or healthy eating. Marla has found another dead body. Dalton and Marla quickly realize anyone at the festival could be her killer. They have to narrow down the suspects and that isn’t going to be easy.

Aside from the murder, Dalton and Marla are settling into married life and Dalton’s daughter Brianna will be applying to colleges soon. After taking care of her friend’s Tally’s son (Hair Brained). Marla has changed her mind about having children, but she may be too late. They are not having much luck in conceiving. In addition to helping with the investigation, Marla is busy with her hair salon and is even planning a fundraiser for a local museum. The fundraiser planning allows her to ask questions about the death of Francine too.

I have really become caught up in the lives of Marla and Dalton. Marla has grown so much over these 15 stories. She has a huge heart and cares about helping her community and the people that inhabit it. She is an excellent step-mom to Brianna, a nice counterbalance to Dalton. He has grown too, and I love seeing them happy together. They also work well as an investigation team. Marla has a way of getting people to open up and tell her things they would never tell the police and Dalton knows it.

Now the mystery is complex with many layers, so many suspects, and one person and another throwing shade and other people under the bus. Several theories are thwarted by evidence but after many twists clues start to come together. Following along was so much fun. The final climax was so exciting I was glued to my seat.

The blend of mystery to family life is excellent, the pace is flawless and the characters are so appealing. The dialogue is spot on and the humor plays off the suspense at all the right times. This book was a fantastic read. The murder part of the story was all wrapped up but the family storyline continues and I truly cannot wait to read what happens next.

Each title in this series can be read on its own so feel free to jump right in with Trimmed to Death, but I bet you will want to go back and read the rest!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The last book in this series was my favorite although they are all great reads. Hair Brained made my Best Books of 2017. You can read my review here. 

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 Magazine as the 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.

 Author Links:
Website        Blog      Facebook     Twitter      Goodreads    Pinterest    Linked In 
Booklover’s Bench    Newsletter Sign-Up

Purchase Links

Universal Link    Amazon     B&N    iBooks     Kobo

 

Praise for Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J Cohen

The author juggles a fair number of characters and plot lines without giving away “the farm.” (Intentional pun!)
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The Bad Hair Day Mysteries is one of my favorite series . . . There is much going on and conflicting clues and evidence make it a difficult case to solve.
~Laura’s Interests

This book had so much going on and I couldn’t put it down until it was over and the murder was definitely not who I had pegged for the crime. Such a great adventure to go on!
~Community Bookstop

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
September 26 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
September 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 27 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
September 28 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 28 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
September 29 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
September 29 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
September 30 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 30 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
October 1 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 1 –Laura’s Interests – REVIEW  – EXCERPT
October 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
October 2 – Mysteries with Character  – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
October 3 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 5 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
October 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sep 012017
 


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.


Facials Can Be Fatal
(A Bad Hair Day Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – Florida
Five Star Publishing (February 22, 2017)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432832827

 

 

During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, was a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society. Marla’s stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val’s demise might put a crimp in their plans. Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the suspects. As she learns more about Val, she realizes the benefactress might have stumbled onto secrets others would kill to keep. She’d better prepare for a body count that has nothing to do with hot stone massages and everything to do with murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society, have a huge gala planned including a fashion show. Marla Vail was so excited because her shop has been contracted to do the hair styling for the models. It would be great promotion for the Cut ‘N Dye.   But her planned may be cut.. A major donor for the group actually has died in the Cut ‘N Dye while having a facial at the new day spa.

She is also feeling a lot of stress on the home front. She and Dalton have been married less than a year and everyone is asking about a baby/grandchild. Marla is happy with Dalton’s teenage daughter and thought everyone understood there was going to be No Baby, but Dalton is even talking about it and her best friend’s baby is sooooo cute… but until she gets this murder/s solved she has no time for a baby discussion.

I am so happy that I have caught up on this series. (Hair Brained comes out September 12.) I really do enjoy these characters. They have continued to grow in each story and are genuine. The story takes place during the Christmas and Hanukkah season. I liked how the family worked together to have a combined celebration. Also Dalton’s daughter is learning to drive, something every parent looks forward to, 🙂 Both Dalton and Marla may be coloring gray hairs before she gets her license.

The plot is pretty intense as more people get killed and we learn about a man who may be involved with the Asian Mob, another may be selling human hair on the black market, and members of the Friends of Old Florida all seem to be hiding something. Val’s murder may even have something to do with a man’s disappearance years ago. The suspects are plenty and the motives run the gambit. Cohen pulls us in and doesn’t let go. I loved her twists and the way the clues were discovered. I liked that the clues led Marla and Dalton on a day trip to the Florida Keys. A place I would love to visit as well.

With the right amounts of romance and humor Ms. Cohen does this mystery up right. Compelling characters in dicey situations always get my attention. This Bad Hair Day Mystery should not be missed.

All the books in this series stand on their own but for maximum enjoyment check out the earlier books as soon as you can.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


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 Magazine as 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.

 Author Links:
Website        Blog      Facebook     Twitter      Goodreads    Pinterest    Linked In 
Booklover’s Bench    Newsletter Sign-Up

 

 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Aug 042017
 


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)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Five Star Publishing (September 16, 2015)
Hardcover: 285 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432830984
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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

 Author Links:

Website  Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest Linked In  Booklover’s Bench Newsletter Sign-Up


I am giving away my review copy!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 18, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Share
Jan 252012
 

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!!!

Welcome Nancy!!

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.
<><><>

Shear Murder
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.

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Dollycas’s Thoughts

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!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

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