Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Masking for Trouble

Great cover!

Thank you for stopping by The Avid Reader.  It is book release day!  I wanted to tell you about some other new books that came out today. They are Spirits, Beignets, and a Bayou Biker Gang by Deanna Chase and A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas.  I am looking forward to reading both of these books.  I have added them to my very lengthy TBR pile.

Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere is the second book in A Costume Shop Mystery.  Margo Tamblyn has been running Disguise DeLimit (on her own) for the last six months.  Her father, Jerry is now traveling around the country looking for unique items for their inventory (something he has always wanted to do).  Things are going well for the Margo and the shop until Paul Haverford comes into the store one afternoon (previous notices had been sent and they are currently sitting on the desk in the office).  Paul has been buying up properties all over Proper City, Nevada.  He is going to create Havetown with his businesses being to the go-to places for tourists.  He is starting with the annual Halloween kickoff party.  It is being held at the Alexandria Hotel this year and costumes from Disguise DeLimit are not eligible to win (you had to buy your costume from his cheap costume shop, Candy Girls—you know those costumes that come in a bag made of polyester and plastic).  Margo attends the party anyway and ends up finding the dead body of Paul Haverford when she goes looking for water (she ended in an isolated area away from the party).  Detective Nancy Nichols puts Margo at the top of the suspect list.  Margo starts looking in to the case immediately (she wants off the suspect list).  Margo must find time for her investigation while working in the store (which is very busy during the last few days leading up to Halloween) and dating Tak Hoshiyama (while not letting anyone catch on that they are dating).  Will Margo be able to bag the killer before Halloween?

Masking for Trouble has a clever concept.  I like the costume shop angle and a town that loves costumes (and parties).  I found the mystery to be simple to solve.  I was able to figure out the killer just based on the character’s introduction in the book.  You could also see how Margo was setting herself up to be the lead suspect.  Margo is supposed to be savvy and smart, but she does not come across that way in the book.  She pokes around the crime scene (after being told to stay away), and she gets herself into the victim’s office (and gets caught).  I know she is trying to prove her innocence, but she ended up looking guilty (she came across as a busy body).  Margo comes across as insecure, jealous, and annoying (sorry, but she got on my nerves toward the end of the book).  Margo should stick to her costumes.  I do like that she wears a different unique costume each day.  I give Masking for Trouble 3 out of 5 stars.  The book is nicely written and easy to read (can be finished in about three hours or less of solid reading).  One thing I did find entertaining was the Kirby and the swim team.  They are helping at Disguise DeLimit during the Halloween rush.  Their group costumes were hilarious and ingenious.  When I first started the book, I was liking it.  But the further I delved into the novel, the less I enjoyed it.  I believe it was just too over-the-top.  What is wrong with good characters and a nice, complex mystery.  I also thought that there was too much romance in the book. I prefer cozy mysteries that have a subtle romance where it builds up over the course of the series.  The relationship (if you can call it that) between Margo and Tak Hoshiyama is over complicated (she has to fake a flat tire just to meet him).  They are keeping it a secret because of Tak’s father.  But then Margo gets jealous if Tak is seen with another woman (it was silly).   Margo is also jealous (disturbed) and upset because her father is dating (he is entitled to a life of his own).  There are recipes and costume ideas at the end of the novel. While Masking for Trouble is the second book in the series, it can be read alone.  The events from the first book are brought up in Masking for Trouble.  Will I read the next book in A Costume Shop Mystery?  I will give the next book a chance. I did not have the opportunity to read ADisguise to Die For (first book in A Costume Shop Mystery series) so this was my first foray into the series, and I could have just had an off day.  I have read and enjoyed other novels by Diane Vallere (like her A Material Witness Mystery series).

I guess I was a little loquacious today!  I hope all of you have had a wonderful day!  I will be reviewing The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere tomorrow.  I am off to watch The Flash and Bull (great new show).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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