Published: January 3, 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Obtained via: Publisher
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com
When shampoo girl, Rachel Whitley asks her co-worker, Grace Terhune to step in as a chaperone on a night before Halloween ghost hunting expedition, Grace reluctantly agrees. It’s not like she has anything else to do—what with her erstwhile, sometimes boyfriend Marty out of town. The event is taking place at the historical Rothmere mansion and its director, Lucy, in full Amelia Rothmere regalia is there to make sure the kids don’t too anything too outrageous. Well, she’s prefer nothing outrageous but isn’t one to miss an opportunity to talk about her beloved Rothmere family. Not that they are her family, although she tends to think she’s either the reincarnation or somehow related. But teens will be teens, right?
Right. Until one of them ends up dead.
When Rachel’s one time boyfriend, Braden, is found lying unconscious at the bottom of the mansion’s stairs a host of suspects appear on the horizon. Was it a classmate? A classmate’s parents? One of the chaperones? Or was it the ghost of patriarch Cyril Rothmere? Because Rachel is not only involved as Braden’s friend but as a person of interest Grace cannot help but get herself involved. And the killer doesn’t like that one bit. With a major hurricane just off the coast, residents leaving in droves and the threat of closed roads and no power Grace finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation where she might be the killer’s next target.
I’ve enjoyed Lila Dare’s Southern Beauty Shop series from the first book TRESSED TO KILL. Even though the series has gone through at least two different authors the voice has stayed pretty much on track. I really like Grace’s character as well as her mother (Violetta) and the women who work inside her beauty shop. New characters are added at a nice pace and are introduced at appropriate times—they aren’t just tossed to create red herrings, but become part of the make-up of each book and the series. Grace’s ex, Hank, bordered on annoying, but not in a bad way – you just want to shake him and tell him to get a life…and then look forward to his next appearance to see if he finally got it. I like that the author doesn’t have Grace mooning over him or constantly thinking about reuniting with him.
Her erstwhile boyfriend, Marty, is kind of a non-event to me. At this point he doesn’t add to the story and his intermittent appearances don’t really serve any purpose.
Now, Dillon…HE adds quite a bit to the story.
I’m glad Althea is more back on track – I could have done without her Kwasi storyline quite nicely so her presence in this book was well done and welcome.
Dare creates a good mystery within a mystery and I was surprised when the killer was revealed. The how and why made sense that that was the one who did it—and it was done with a nice surprise twist. And the ending was also done with a good twist.
You do not have to have read the entire series to enjoy this one, or to have read it in order, but I do recommend the series. It’s definitely one of my favorites.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.