Monday, October 10, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway - Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere

Book Synopsis
Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second in a new cozy series from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness Mysteries.

Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud…

My Review
What a fun and unique mystery!  Margo Tamblyn is a costume shop owner dealing with the busiest time of year in her business - Halloween.  She discovers that a real estate developer wants to rezone the picturesque area where her shop is located.  Before she can make a plan to save the shop, the real estate developer is discovered dead at a big Halloween party - and Margo is the suspect.

Masking for Trouble has a lot of fun qualities for a cozy mystery. First there is the setting. Proper City is described in the book as "a town filled with people who like to dress up.  It's like something out of Grimms' Fairy Tales" (p. 52). 

The costume shop setting is equally fascinating - I loved all the details of costumes found there.  For instance, Margo wears a black widow spider costume that sprays Silly String as a sort of web.  What a neat detail!

I really liked Margo as an amateur detective.  She's smart, resourceful, and brave.  I also liked her love interest, Tak, and found their secret text codes for meetings fun.

This is a lively mystery, and it moves at a brisk pace thanks to well developed characters and quick dialogue.  The whodunit aspect of the mystery kept me guessing!

I have not read the first book in this series (yet!) but picked up quickly with Masking for Death.  I am eager to look up Diane Vallere's other mysteries as well now, especially her Madison Night series, since I love Mid-Century.   I enthusiastically recommend Masking for Death for other fans of cozy mysteries;  it makes an especially fun Halloween read.

Author Bio
I’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries, and the Material Witness Mysteries.

The Costume Shop mysteries debuted with A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, which introduces Margo Tamblyn, costume shop owner, who helps solve a murder after one of her clients is found dead at his own costume party (dressed as Sherlock!). MASKING FOR TROUBLE, the second in the series, will be out in October 2016, just in time for Halloween.

The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST  and CRUSHED VELVET . The third, SILK STALKINGS,  was just released.

The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRYBUYER, BEWARETHE BRIM REAPER ; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE . (A short story, “Just Kidding ,” tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK ,THAT TOUCH OF INK , and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL . A prequel novella, “Midnight Ice,” can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE . 

Author Links

Purchase Links
Amazon – B&N 

(1) Mythic Mazes Jigsaw Puzzle - U.S. Only

I received a copy of this book from Great Escapes Book Tour.


Anonymous said...

what a wonder gift , I love puzzels

Sandy T. said...

I've read the debut book in this series & enjoyed it very much. What an awesome prize that is being given away. I love puzzles! Just finished one today as a matter-of-fact.
Thanks for a chance to win.

[Whatever U are, be a good one!] said...

We all love puzzles!
Thank You for the chance

Fiona N