From my archives…
A Bad Hair Day Mystery #4
Nancy J. Cohen
Kensington Books, December 2002
The intrepid hair salon owner, Marla Shore, returns in her fourth Bad Hair Day venture into the world of murder and mayhem. This time, Marla’s less-than-wonderful ex-husband, Stanley Kaufman, is suspected of having murdered his third wife, Kimberly. Stan asks—no, he demands —that Marla use her sleuthing skills and get him out of this jam. In exchange, he’ll sell her his half of their jointly-owned rental property at a reasonable price if she can clear him within 30 days. Marla, smart woman that she is, agrees to investigate but only if Stan puts the sale agreement in writing.
Kimberly, heiress to a family fortune, was murdered in their home while Stan was asleep and there is no evidence of a break-in. If Stan is innocent, who wanted her dead? Detective Dalton Vail, who has his own ulterior motive involving his relationship with Marla, sees that she could be useful in this investigation, especially since she manages to find a way into Kimberly’s family home and can learn things Dalton can’t. The two agree to share information as it develops.
As the days go by, Marla learns that this family harbors some very mean-spirited characters and a number of them are potential suspects. Besides them, there are quite a few other people in Kimberly’s circle of acquaintances and friends who appear to have some pretty good motives, too. In the meantime, Stan’s deadline is approaching much too quickly and Marla begins to think she may be the killer’s next target.
The Bad Hair Day mysteries have been noted for their humor, quick pacing and an intelligent amateur sleuth. Author Nancy J. Cohen continues to offer a refreshing and fun series—I really enjoyed this one and hate to have to wait for the next.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2002.