Hairstylist Azalea March is looking forward to a wild weekend in Las Vegas with her friends. Oh, sure, they’re supposed to be there on business, attending the biggest hair show on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun. But fun quickly turns to drama. On the first morning of the show, Dhane, the biggest celeb of the hair-styling world, is found dead. As it turns out, Azalea’s friend, Vivian, not only knew Dhane, but the tale she weaves of how they met is faker than a showgirl’s uh… assets. When Vivian confesses to the murder and is arrested, Azalea knows there’s no way she could have done it and suspects Vivian may be trying to protect someone. But whom?
Azalea now has to convince Alex, the sexy detective from her past, to help her prove Vivian’s innocence and comb through clues more twisted than a spiral perm. But the truth is stranger than anything found on the Las Vegas Strip, and proving Vivian’s innocence turns out to be more difficult than transforming a brunette into a blonde.
Being a devotee of the cozy mystery, I suppose I have a little mental checklist by which I rate my current read. Here's how Dyed and Gone combs out:
Azalea March is a stylist/salon-co-owner, attending a big hair convention in Las Vegas. She nurses her broken heart as only Vegas can accommodate. All seems to be going well until a celebrity stylist winds up dead. I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say it is in a way that could only be discovered at a hair convention/competition.
Zee's best friend and co-owner, Vivian, confesses to the murder, having been found in Dhane's (the dead man's) room. James (Vivian's boyfriend) arrives in Las Vegas, with his friend Alex (a police detective and one of Azalea's semi-failed relationships) to see about getting Vivian out of jail.
It was interesting to see the interaction between Azalea and Detective Kennedy of the LVPD. One minute it's cold and business-like, the next it's like he is a second love interest (after Alex, in full on-again phase).
As it turns out, Dhane had a sister, Trinity, who seems to have a tenuous connection to reality at best. Now everyone is worried about what will happen to her, when another twist appears. Not only did Dhane have a sister, but a wife as well!
Before the end of the book, of course Azalea pokes her head in one too many doors and winds up riling a couple of people who have been smelling too much hair dye.
But for the most part, our intrepid salon-owner has a heart of gold. Loyal to her friends, caring about and helping people who often overlooked by society and even doing nice things for irritating investigators.
There are more twists, turns and tangles in this easy to read cozy than in one show's worth of Cher's wigs! (But weren't they FABULOUS!)
I would have liked to get a better sense of where the story was headed in the future or a more pronounced finality to the last scene. But I am looking forward to the next installment of Azalea's story! And I hope you will too!
Best selling author, Beth Yarnall, writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious tweet. A storyteller since her playground days, Beth remembers her friends asking her to make up stories of how the person ‘died’ in the slumber party game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, so it’s little wonder she prefers writing stories in which people meet unfortunate ends. In middle school she discovered romance novels, which inspired her to write a spoof of soap operas for the school’s newspaper. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.
(Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of Dyed and Gone from the author and publisher through Great Escapes Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own. No other compensation was offered, requested, or received.)