Sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn't enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman's coffee creamer. Figuring she'd better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects. Her theory regarding whodunit gels only after she looks for the culprit closer to home.
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Permed to Death
Permed to Death is the first book in Nancy J. Cohen's Bad Hair Day Mystery series. I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
We meet Marla Shore, the owner of the Cut 'N Dye hair salon in Florida, when she comes in early for her not-so-favorite client Bertha Kravitz. She gives Bertha a cup of coffee with her special coffee creamer and leaves the room. When she returns she finds Bertha dead, and the story takes off from there. Marla is the prime suspect in the murder, a fact that seems to surprise and annoy her. However, we find out, little by little, that not only does Bertha have a long list of enemies, Marla has a past she does not want revealed and was in fact being blackmailed by Bertha. And just when we think we have learned all there is to know about Marla – vindictive ex-husband, bossy Jewish mother, business problems – we, and the smug but appealing Detective Dalton Vail, learn yet another detail that keeps Marla #1 on the list of suspects.
So Marla decides to solve the crime herself. She wants to clear her name, protect the secrets of her past, and last but not least also see just where this mutual attraction with the detective might lead.
Marla is your typical cozy mystery amateur sleuth – she has good problem-solving skills and wants to set things right, but is not quite as clever as she thinks she is and recklessly gets herself into danger several times. As she bumbles along we meet an interesting cast of characters, laugh a bit, and feel the relationship with Dalton heating up. We also feel the danger, and clues and details about Marla’s past are revealed like the peeling of an onion. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, something happens and you have to stop and think – who is the killer??
This was a very enjoyable introduction to a series, and perfectly told for an audiobook. Once the action starts it doesn’t stop. The plot is solid. The story is complicated, but not so much so that you can’t follow what is happening. This is especially important for an audiobook, because it’s not that easy to just flip back a few pages to clarify some confusing detail. The setting was authentic; I felt like I was in hot, humid Florida with Marla, and lost myself in the action and the suspense.
Marla and Dalton and her beauty shop employees and friends were believable and interesting enough to make me want to know them better. I care about Marla and want to see where the relationship with Dalton goes and what trouble she might get into next.
The narration was transparent, which I think is critical for an audiobook. When I put in my ear buds I don’t want to be aware of the narrator. Instead, I want to be so caught up in the story that I recognize each character and can’t wait to see what’s next, and that is exactly what happened. I highly recommend this series. I am way behind and intend to catch up with all of Marla’s adventures soon.
A nice cozy mystery with twists and excitement.
Marla Shore is a beauty salon owner with a slight problem. A well-known, respected but not necessarily liked client who just died in her perm chair. Like several other people in the community, Marla has motive AND opportunity. It does not help that poison is usually the choice of women too!
Detective Vail, handsome and smart and slowly stealing the heart of Marla, has to solve the crime. It’s not looking good for Marla at all. Marla is not Sherlock Holmes or Jessica Fletcher but she has to prove her innocence and find the real murderer or she may not only lose the handsome Vail but her life as well!
A nice cozy mystery with twists and excitement. There are a couple of moments where I thought Marla should have had a “duh” moment or two but she didn’t. I thought the other characters were fun and the type of friends everyone needs. I thought Nancy Cohen did a masterful job of creating a likable set of characters and mystery. Not one I would have thought of myself and I love cozy mysteries!
Mary Ann Jacobs performed very well. I enjoyed her voice and the excitement she interjected into the book. She wore the character of Marla very well. She helped bring the characters to life as well as the story with her voice.
I hope Cohen submits more books - this one was very good.
There were no issues with the production quality of this audiobook.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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