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Valentine Beaumont is known around town not only as an excellent hairdresser and aesthetician, but a fiery young woman who solves mysteries and catches the bad guys with whatever styling product at hand. This is the first mini-mystery, 4th story in the series; each is progressively funnier than the last. Much of the humor is irreverent, showing it to be more of a chick mystery than a cozy mystery. The author is adept at packing a full tale into the a mini-mystery format! Valentine and Michael Romero, the handsome police detective, have finally begun dating after exasperating him through helping solve several mysteries even as she fascinated him. Jock, one of her stylists, is also interested in her, which raises the tension between Valentine and Jock, and Romero and Jock. Has she “really” already decided which of the two guys she likes best, or is there still a competition…or is the competition only in the minds of the guys? Valentine’s salon is closed on Sunday and Monday, so she and her staff help her old friend, Jimmy O’Shea. An inheritance from his aunt took him from being a ticket scalper to owner of the new Wee Irish Dude. They are helping him get ready for the grand opening the following weekend when one of the guys dropped a heavy keg that was supposed to be empty. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. As the keg broke open, they were horrified to see the murdered body of Jimmy’s cousin Dooley, recently released from prison and starting over as the chef at Jimmy’s pub. As if that isn’t enough, a “gift” was left on her porch early that morning, a reminder of the first creep she put away who she seriously injured with one of her salon products. Then she learns that the bad guy, Ziggy, escaped from prison. Despite Romero’s orders to her, Val won’t be told what to do. Instead, she finds nasties painted on her salon window and gets shot at when taking her great aunt to the European Deli. This fast-paced, action-packed mystery shows Val as a strong, independent woman who won’t hide and let the menfolk handle things. She could never be accused of being a shrinking Violet! Even though she takes outrageous chances, she analyzes the information she learns about the bad guys and tries to solve them ASAP. Not only does her life depend on it, but the lives of her staff and customers, and her livelihood at the salon. This tour de farce seems to have a lot of unrelated clues but hang onto your hairdryer and see what’s coming! This is a hard mystery to solve. Keep an eye out – people aren’t necessarily who they say they are. The end brought more than one surprise of bad guys and motives. I wouldn’t consider this a cozy mystery due to strong, frequent sexual innuendos. It is quite funny, however, and if one doesn’t mind some of the references, I think it would keep most who appreciate chick mysteries in stitches. I recommend it to those who appreciate challenging mysteries, very likable characters, LOL humor, and romance. From a thankful heart: I received an e-ARC of this from the author, and a positive review was not required
The things that Valentine Beaumont can get into in one day drives sexy Detective Romero to distraction! Not only is she a magnet for dead bodies but she tries to solve cases on her own and he sure wishes she would leave the "policing" to him! However, it just might make him fall in love with her too! In another installment of Valentine's murder mysteries, she just can't seem to stay away from a situation where a murder has taken place. That girl is definitely always in the wrong place at the wrong time! This time she is innocently helping a friend get his new restaurant ready to open when a keg breaks open and there is a dead body inside! Talk about BIG SURPRISE!!!!! Then begins a very long day that sees her experience her life in danger everwhere she turns BUT she actually puts herself in that danger! She is trying to solve the murder and doesn't take any precautions, just runs headlong into danger! Everything she does is hilarious and you'll find yourself laughing yet rooting her on to find the killer! There are twists and turns everywhere. The secondary characters are fantastic and absolutely make this book worth reading. Valentine has two "suitors" but I am "Team Romero" all the way....I love their chemistry! I recommend this book - two thumbs up!