Kerry Hammond is here to review the first book in a new cozy series by Diane Vallere.
A Disguise to Die For is the first book in the new Costume Shop Mystery series by Diane Vallere. It is published by Berkley Prime Crime and was released on February 2, 2016, in Mass Market Paperback. I am a huge fan of dressing up; murder mystery parties, museum events, Halloween, you name it. A costume shop sounded like such a great idea for a cozy series that I couldn’t pass up a chance to start from book one.
Margo Tamblyn grew up in a small town in Nevada, raised by a single Dad after her mother died in childbirth. Margo’s Dad, who owns the costume shop Disguise DeLimit, encouraged Margo to spread her wings and explore the world when she grew up. She compromised and landed nearby in Las Vegas, far enough away to be independent but close enough to visit her Dad. She is currently working in Vegas as a Magician’s assistant, but when her father has a heart attack, she returns for a visit to help with the store while he regains his strength.
Margo is thrown right into the thick of things when a rich local, Blitz Manners, enters the store and demands a last minute party consisting of detective costumes for all of his guests. Unwilling to turn down such a large order, even though despite his name Blitz has no manners, Margo comes through and provides the necessary costumes. She even works the party, helping Ebony, and old family friend and party planner, who was like a mother to her. The party is abruptly cut short when Blitz ends up dead on the kitchen floor, and Ebony is found holding a knife over the body.
I had so much fun playing along in my head and imagining all of the costumes at Disguise DeLimit. We read to escape and to live vicariously through the characters in books, and I enjoyed escaping to the world of Proper City, Nevada. The book was really great; the characters were fun to get to know and the mystery was full of enough twists to challenge any amateur sleuth.
There is an added bonus in the back of the book, well, actually there are several. The back contains: a sneak peek at book two in the series, recipes that were used in the book, a list of the costumes that made up Blitz Manners’ Detective Party, and my favorite, additional costume ideas. Here’s one example for those who need a great detective costume for an event this year.
Men’s rumpled trench coat (suggestion: purchase from thrift store)
Men’s rumpled suit in neutral color, white shirt, and black skinny tie (thrift store)
Wet all clothes and garments, ball up, and run through dryer for extra wrinkles
Prop: Police badge
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.
Mystery Playground is on twitter @mysteryplaygrnd or find us on Facebook.