The author of the Material Witness mystery series has a new series and this is the debut novel. Check out this great concept for a mystery series... a costume shop owner who is more at home wearing disguises than regular clothes. What a great idea for an amateur sleuth. Find out more about this new series from an established mystery author.
Copyright: Feb 2016 (Berkley) 304 pgs
Series: 1st in Costume Shop Mystery series
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy
Main Characters: Margo Tamblyn, raised in the family costume shop, Disguise DeLimit.
Setting: Modern day, Proper City, Nevada
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Margo Tamblyn, a Vegas magician's assistant, returns home to Proper City to lend a hand at the family costume shop when her father has a heart attack. She plans on staying a little while to make sure her dad learns to take it easy, hoping her Vegas job will be there when she returns. Margo quickly gets her first big order. Spoiled, wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash in 24 hours. Margo manages to get the costumes together, but in the middle of the party, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.
For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is critical, since she was the closest to a mother she had growing up. The cute guy disguised as Charlie Chan at the party takes an interest in Margo, but it appears he also has a relationship with the police detective Nichols who thinks Ebony is the killer. Plus, Ebony seems to have a secret in her past she is fighting to keep a secret. Additionally, we have an "upstart" party planning company that is trying to cut into Disguise DeLimit's business.
Margo is resourceful and gutsy, but what do you expect from a gal who gets sawed in half on stage! She is quirky herself, wearing costumes for her everyday clothes. Jerry, her father, is a kick and is reevaluating his life after the heart attacked. Ebony is soft-hearted but very private and her secrets aren't helping her case. Takenouchi (Tak) Hoshiyama is a unique potential romantic match and I definitely want to see more of his character. Kirby is the shy kid that works part-time at the costume shop and makes a great addition to the cast.
Proper City, a small town where costume parties are a competition among neighbors to outdo each other, brings a whimsical touch to the story. The plot is a standard whodunit complicated with the suspects all in disguise. There was plenty going on to keep the pages turning. The killer reveal snuck up suddenly I felt, but provided some good tension. The wrap-up provided some closure and feel good moments, but I would have liked something with Tak included at the end.
I enjoyed this debut novel for the costume shop mystery series. It provides an interesting, bright, and quirky sleuth, in an eccentric town with well thought-out plots.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list
Join author newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/pr8xcyo