Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hanging By A Hair-Nancy J. Cohen

Hanging By A Hair Nancy J. Cohen Five Star Publishing, Apr 18 2014, $25.95 ISBN 9781432828141 Dalton and Marla Vail are excited to move into their new house in the Royal Oaks neighborhood. However, the couple runs into problems with their next door neighbor Alan Krabber who parks a boat in his driveway and begins construction of a fence on Vail property; both in violation of the Royal Oaks Home Owner Association's rules; which he as the pompous president believes need not apply to him but strictly enforced for everyone else. At a meeting to resolve the conflict, the home owners force an angry Alan to adhere to their constitution. The day after the tumultuous meeting, Krabber is found dead in what looks like a suicide. Palm Haven Police Department Detective Dalton initially leads the official inquiry, but is quickly taken off the case when the Home Owner Association incident between the victim and him becomes known. Though her mom designated her as Seder hostess for this Passover, which will eat up a lot of the hairstylist’s time; not one to sit idly when her spouse is a prime suspect, Marla investigates only to find several Royal Oak homeowners and business owners with a grudge towards the vile obnoxious Krabber. One of them wants Marla only to taste bitter herbs. The latest Bad Hair Day Mystery is an enjoyable, timely (with Passover just ending) amateur sleuth as marvelous Marla balances solving the case without too many knocks and preparing for the family horde to descend on her and Dalton for the Seder. The whodunit is entertaining with many viable suspects and red herrings; while adding depth and deftly interwoven into the plot are references to Passover including recipes. Harriet Klausner

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