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…
I get a little riled up when the rich and famous lord it over ... well, anyone not as rich or famous. So when one of the muckety-mucks gets a comeuppance, it's hard not to crack a little smile. Of course, what happened to Paul Haverford was a little more extreme than simple retribution, but to that guy the "Golden Rule" meant - "Here's the rule, I get all the gold."
Holidays are big deals in small towns. Especially Proper City. Uber-especially Halloween. So venture capitalist Paul Haverford comes into town, buys the venue the town was going to use for the celebration, and restricts it to people employed by one of his companies. He happens to own Disguise DeLimit's competitor, a thoroughly unremarkable costume chain, and restricts entrance into the yearly costume contest to people who have purchased their costumes from the competitor.
And that was only the start. He was buying up real estate, wanting to develop something called 'Havetown'. You know when a developer names a project after themselves, their ego is as big as all outdoors. (And I'm not going to make a political reference right now, no matter how much I'd like to.) The name also conjured up images for me of "haves" and "have-nots"...and you know how well THAT went over with me. And as if that wasn't enough, he would be tearing down buildings with possible historic value in order to make way for a modern, soul-less commercial area.
So, Margo, sneaks into the Halloween pre-extravaganza, under cover of costume, and is unlucky enough to find the victim. One of the tricks murderers pull is to actually report the crime, in order to try to throw suspicion in another direction. I guess it's happened enough that whoever reports the crime has a good shot (so to speak) at becoming the main suspect.
Theatre buff that I am, a cozy set in a costume shop, and at Halloween time, is going to interest me from the start. Diane Vallere has done just that in Masking for Trouble. I first read an installment or two in the "Material Witness Mysteries" and enjoyed those, so when I saw this book come up for a tour, I signed up as fast as my little fingers could type.
I enjoyed the story of Margo's relationship with Tak, and the clash of Japanese and American customs and mores. It was heart-warming that certain misunderstandings that developed with his parents could be resolved.
The reveal of the murderer was very exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. Ms. Vallere's GoodReads page (see the link below) shows 23 works, mostly novels or anthologies, but also a 2016 planner themed to her "Style and Error Mysteries". Several new works are in process and I am looking forward to them as well!
MEET THE AUTHOR
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 LAUNDRY ; BUYER, BEWARE ; THE 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 .
Click on the banner to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere. You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours!
(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)