Trimmed to Death (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Book 15)


Marla Vail is a hairdresser with a pretty interesting life. Not only is she married to the local homicide detective, but she makes one heck of a coconut fudge pie. Pie in tow, Marla takes a day off from snipping locks to attend a local bake-off and to take part in the fun scavenger hunt at the end of the competition. 

Little does Marla know that her exploration will uncover a dead body in the strawberry fields. Food magazine publisher Francine Dodger must have insulted somebody pretty badly to lose her life. Marla, who is also an amateur sleuth,  joins forces with her detective husband to find out who whacked Francine in the back of the head hard enough to kill her—and why.

This sweet cozy mystery has an interesting cast of characters along with plenty of suspects to thicken the plot. Perhaps too many. The weakness lies not in the complexity of the story but in the delivery. Tons of dialogue, most without tags, challenges the reader to keep track of who’s who. The banter between characters also does not always ring true, so the characters therefore lacks depth and authenticity. Intricate setting descriptions—at the museum, at Marla’s salon—don’t really move the story forward or seem to provide clues to help solve the crime. As a result, the pace suffers. This unique premise, however, shows incredible potential—a hairdresser turned sleuth, married to a detective . . . For those who have read the rest of this series, and who perhaps know the characters more intimately, there is also a delightful bonus at the end!

FS Brown