Friday, September 15, 2017

Hair Brained by Nancy J. Cohen - #review #giveaway

Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?



I guess someone forgot to include their black-eyed peas in their New Year's menu, eh?  New Year's Day seems to be a day of hope for a lot of people ... the year is fresh, you haven't had time (hopefully) to screw up any of your 'resolutions' yet.

Marla and Dalton get a phone call from their friends' babysitter, who says the couple (Tally and Ken) did not come home last night.  At question is the disposition of the couples 5-month old son.  Marla had been appointed a guardian of sorts, so she and her husband pick up the infant boy, a trunkload of baby paraphernalia and take him to their house until Tally and Ken can be found.  Well, they were found all right, but unfortunately their car (which they were still in) was upside down in a roadside lake, and Ken's side was submerged.

So, little bit's father is deceased and his mother is in ICU.  Marla is heart-broken for the boy, and sick with worry about her friend, whom it turns out Marla may not know as well as she thought she did.
As Marla investigates (much to her police detective husband's chagrin) what the heck happened, some not-so-savory characters start to leave not-so-subtle hints that she back off.

And, as a side plot, we get to see Marla deal with her feelings about babies and children.  While physically able to have children, Marla has been gun-shy (who wouldn't be?) about becoming pregnant, due to the death of a young one of theirs.  Dalton would love to have more children; Marla does not want to allow the possibility of every having to go through the death of a child again, but shutting herself away.  With her friend's son there, she can't do that.  It's with her pretty much 24-7.

Cohen threads a lot of good tension in the story and the investigation.  At one point, it seems possible that Tally and/or Ken might not have been as innocent as they seemed.  It is wonderful to watch Marla's emotional journey from suburban housewife to investigator and, dare I say, "Mama Bear".



Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteriesfeaturing South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)