Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Tressed to Kill - 1st in the Southern Beauty Shop Mystery series
Author: Lila Dare
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, St. Elizabeth GA
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Lila's Website/Blog: www.liladare.com
This book is the first in a series of Southern Beauty Shop books. The main character, Grace Ann Terhune, is a licensed cosmetologist working in her mother's beauty shop. She has returned to her home town after a divorce to regroup. Unfortunately, her ex-husband is also from this small town in GA and followed her back and is now a member of the town's police force.
A not very nice woman, who owns most of the town and thinks she should have all of it comes into the shop and demands service. Her hair-do doesn't turn out very well and she threatens to close the shop down. She is also in an argument with her tenant who runs a store selling Civil War memorabilia and is about to evict him. There is also a store wanting to build in St. Elizabeth which will spoil the town's image, so our Mrs. DuBois surely doesn't like that idea. It would be good for the folks who live there year round as it is convenient and low priced. (A-la-Walmart). But, St. Elizabeth is a tourist town and some people don't want the store there for obvious reasons. So, it is really no surprise that after a very nasty town meeting, Mrs. DuBois turns up dead, killed by a Civil War sword. Of course, Grace and her mom are the ones who stumble over the body on their way home from the meeting and become the chief suspects in the murder. However, Mrs. DuBois had had a very noisy argument with the owner of the store at the meeting so he also is of interest to the police. The story heats up as more and more people come out of the woodwork that had dealings with the victim and the suspects are lining up.
There are so many characters that you will get mixed up if you don't pay attention. But, the writing is so good that that shouldn't be a problem. The story moves along very fast and you could easily read this book in one sitting. From the beginning, the story will grab you and the ending is fabulous. I recommend this to all cozy mystery readers and the descriptions of this beautiful little GA village will make you want to see it for yourself. I'm looking forward to the next Southern Beauty Shop Mystery. Enjoy and I'll talk to you soon.
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