Star Tangled Murder
The Bad Hair Day Mysteries, Book 18
by Nancy J. Cohen
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Pub Date 14 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 02 Feb 2023
Salon owner Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk in his head.
As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?
In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing might blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she’ll become the next victim. Recipes Included!
A Note From the Publisher
Advance reading copies
Virtual book tour
Social media outreach
Author signing events
Advance reading copies
Virtual book tour
Social media outreach
Author signing events
Average rating from 15 members
When I last dropped in on Marla and husband Dalton, change was coming. This book, the 18th in the series, picks up a few months later. Dalton is retiring from the police force to, essentially, begin teaching his future replacements. Marla seems to have changed, too. Unlike the previous book, when she seemed perpetually exhausted and struggling to adapt to motherhood, she seems to have hit her stride. As the book opens, Marla and Dalton are on their way to tour a living history site near their home in Florida. All hopes for Dalton's last days as a detective being easy end when a dead body is found. Tomahawked to death, no less.
Determined to help ease her husband's burden during his waning career as an active detective, Marla sets out to help. After all, asking a few questions surely can't hurt, right? Wrong.
More often than not with young Ryder in tow, Marla revisits the pioneer site and begins asking questions of those who might be involved or know something. She's accompanied by step-daughter Brianna, who seems to be wonderful with and adore her much younger brother, and friend Susan. They raise a few ruffles as some of the questions aren't, well, always subtle. Should Marla be concerned when, say, a brawny blacksmith pulls out a heavy iron tool?
So, who killed Phil, who seemed to have his hands into many of the operating parts of the living history site? Marla and Dalton were there to watch a battle reenactment involving troops and the Seminoles when the murder happened. Can the fact the murder weapon was a personalized, decorated tomahawk be a clue? How about the small item discovered under the body? What personal relationships between those acting the historic roles might be important? And, yikes? Another murder? Someone shooting arrows at Marla? Her questions have obviously gotten too close for someone's comfort.
And, oh, that's enough teasers right now. Put this one on your TBR list. The various characters are people you could know, all with their own lives and stories. You'll like them. In addition, Marla is a strong female character, one determined not to put herself in danger but, well, life happens. I will note that her hair stylist job wasn't really involved in the story, but, dang, those recipes at the end are worth a trip to a stylist if they have those kind of recipes. I think you'll enjoy this story, which stands-alone nicely.
Thanks #NetGalley and#OrangeGrovePress for allowing me to revisit my ol' turf, Florida. I've never been to a reenactment there but have visited historic sites in their area, so it was a bit of a nostalgic visit for me.
This is the 18th book in the series. I've read some but ni ot all of the previous ones. I will go back and do that after reading this one.
Marla and Dalton are visit a historic village near their hometown in Florida. Sounds fun until the Sheriff gets axed!
There are loads of suspects to choose from. The characters are believable.
I did have a hard time believing that Dalton would let his wife investigate on her own but that is due to my being a wife of a police chief for 23 years.
All in all it's a fun read. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy!!! Thanks #netgalley and #OrangeGrovePress for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
This is just not about cutting hair it's about history too and you learn. A lot about what happened in the past. This was a fun book to read. J love the setting and the characters
This book was approved by netgalley and the publisher for me to. Read and review .
Marla and Dalton are on vacation in Florida and are on site when a murder is committed during a reenactment of an historic battle. Dalton of course gets involved and Marla is determined to help.
It seems everyone in the village is a suspect and it’s up toe Marla to help get it figured out and get her vacation back on track. She just hopes this is one vacation that won’t be the death of her or Dalton.
A super entry in this series. I really enjoyed it and found the mystery well written. Lookin forward to more in this successful series in the future.
A historical reenactment, a mini picnic, site seeing, and a pioneer village? Sign me up! I ended up starting this series at the end of the book series, but I have been able to follow along well and know what's going and who's who.
Dalton is getting ready to retire and as luck would have it, he catches a case. One that he is actually on site for. What are the odds? As usual, Marla, his lovely wife is willing and able to help him out. Sometimes people do not like to give details to the police and will to someone who seems non-threatening. Marla is the epitome of nice, sweet, and harmless.
Yes, I do think she is a bit on the brash side on asking questions, but she does make it clear that she only wants to help get justice for the victims and help others clear the suspicion from them. I personally, think that I would go for more of a velvet glove over an iron fist approach, but being as how I am not an amateur sleuth, (except for in from of the tv or from behind a book), I respect her avenue of approach. Timing is everything in murder cases and I know that she, as a wife, mother, businesswoman is always on a time crunch and needs to be able to still get dinner on the table and night and put her sweet baby to bed.
I love that her friends Susan and Robin are always willing to help her investigate and that she tries to not go anywhere alone. She is definitely a lot more responsible than some of the main characters in other cozies that I have read.
I thought this book was very interesting. Especially because of the historical significance and anytime I can learn something new then I am all about that. Marla is a strong woman who takes good care of those she loves but is also smart enough to realize that she has others counting on her and so she does try to tread more carefully, and I do like and respect that.
There are a lot of different facts that I learned in this book and that definitely kept me interested. Some things in fact, (none that I will list here due to the fact that I hate spoilers) that I will be looking into as a matter of interest and furthering my education. Where I live currently, has a historical village about thirty miles away that I have been to and it is always a treat to be able to look around and see how things used to be. I love all of the old houses, the architectures, old building shapes and styles really appeal to me.
I admit, that one of the only flaws I found in this story was that it was a little bit slow in the beginning (to be expected) but then after it finally got started, wow, it really went full speed ahead. I think a lot of people would enjoy this book. The mystery was original as was the circumstances around it.
I highly enjoyed this book and I recommend it to other readers, especially those that appreciate a historical element to their cozies.
Thanks to Net Galley, the publishers and to the auth0r for the ability to read and review this book. All opinions are mine and are completely honest.
Star Spangled Murder is #18 in the bad hair mystery series. Salon owner Marla and her detective husband Dalton, visit a living history village over the fourth of July weekend. When someone is murdered during a Seminole battle reenactment, Dalton gets assigned to the case and Marla does her best to help him find clues to solve this last case before he retires from the police department. This was a fun quick read with likeable characters and plenty of red herrings, I can't wait to read the next book in this series!
This was the charming, familiar cozy I wanted and needed when I picked it up! Loved the setting, the characters, and the mystery kept me entertained. Sometimes nothing compares with an old, familiar favorite!
I have read all the books in this series and I love them and can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out! This book did not disappoint! I loved the adventures that Marla and her husband experience. And how they continued to work as a team to solve the latest murder. This book has me wanting to take a road trip to the fairgrounds to visit the little village. The book left me wanting the next story of the Dalton’s retirement and other surprises at the end. (Don’t want to spoil it).
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