Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Polished Off - 2nd in the Southern Beauty Shop Mystery series
Author: Lila Dare
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: February 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, St. Elizabeth GA
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Lila's Website/Blog: www.liladare.com
I really love this series, having read the first installment, Tressed to Kill, I went into this one with a smile on my face. Our heroine, Grace Terhne and her mother Violetta run a beauty salon from their home in this pretty Georgia town. They are asked, in this book, to help out at a beauty pageant by styling the hair of the contestants.
One morning, Audrey Faye saunters into the beauty shop to ask if she might borrow two stylists to help out with hair and makeup for the Miss Magnolia Blossom pageant, which will take place the following weekend. Grace is excited about doing this job and leaps at the chance to do the styling. When she shows up at the theater, she runs up against some anti-beauty contest protesters, angry mothers, wild contestants and a very superior Audrey. Stella, the manicurist brought along by Grace is also acting a bit weird.
When the contest begins, during the talent performances, the protesters march down to the stage and there is pandemonium at the pageant. Sadly, Audrey is found murdered backstage. She was killed with a nail file. Grace is hot on the trail of some suspects when she realizes that Audrey was having an affair with Stella, the manicurist's husband, which makes Stella suspect number one. This is the beginning of Grace, Violetta and their beauticians' investigation into the killing to make sure that Stella isn't blamed.
A really fun book to read. The southern belle beauticians are so real and so likeable. Also a little eccentric. A lot of suspense and some organic skin-care recipes are included with the prose. So, enjoy and I'll talk to you soon.
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