By: Nancy J. Cohen
Copyright February 2012
Publisher Five Star
Weddings always make Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, and she’s slated to attend her friend Jill’s affair as a member of the bridal party. Marla’s own nuptials are weeks away, and she’s been busy juggling bickering relatives, building a new house with her fiancé, and expanding her hair salon.
The South Florida Stylist is following her to-do list just fine until an unexpected even unravels her carefully laid plans. At Jill’s wedding reception, Marla discovers the matron of honor, Jill’s sister, Torrie – dead under the cake table, a knife embedded in her chest.
Unfortunately, Jill has a strong motive for murder. She and Torrie co-owned a piece of commercial property, and they’d disagreed on whether to sell or lease the land. Now with Torrie out of the way, Jill’s decision can rule. Or can it? Her relatives may have some say on who gets control, meaning Jill can’t trust any of them.
Torrie knew secrets about her colleagues, too, things they wouldn’t want revealed. But when Marla learns one of those secrets involves Jill’s past, she wonders if her 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.
Marla definitely needs to concentrate on her upcoming wedding. Unfortunately she first has to deal with getting her friend Jill’s nuptials out of the way. Not only is she a Bride’s Maid at this shindig, but she is also in charge of the wedding party’s hair and makeup.
What was supposed to be a simple wedding, helping her friend Arnie and his fiancé Jill (which takes her mind off her own wedding) gets Marla caught up, not only in a family squabble but also another murder.
Jill and Torrie get into is while at Marla’s Salon, they get so loud that Marla comments “if they don’t stop squabbling one of them is going to end up dead by the end of the day”. A more prophetic statement was never said. The basis of this ongoing argument is their co-ownership of a piece of rental property which needs their attention. They can’t agree on what to do with it, and the rest of the family (who really should stay out of it) are giving them more advice and offers of assistance then they need.
All this, while they are getting their hair and nails done in preparation for Jill’s wedding later that afternoon. So it’s a big surprise later when the newlywed couple is finally ready to do the bouquet toss and Torrie is missing. Exasperated by her sister has disappeared Marla suggests that Torrie might have just stepped out to visit the ladies room and that they should move on to the cake cutting ceremony. Walking over to where the three tier cake is sitting on a round table, she notices a door leading to the service area. There is a lovely cloth covering the rolling table and the cake is a work of art. Looking for the cake knife she doesn’t see it. Lifting the tablecloth to check if it had fallen, Marla is shocked to see Torrie’s dead body stretched out under the wedding cake with the cake knife embedded in her chest.
This is the tenth book in Nancy Cohen’s Bad Hair Day mystery series. Each book has gotten progressively better and more puzzling, and intriguing in its depth story line and character enhancements. Each book brings out more and more of Marla’s ability to not only fall over a body, but solve the mystery before the professionals.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the author, who only asked for a fair and impartial review.