Styled for Murder

· Orange Grove Press
4 reviews

About this ebook

Hairstylist Marla Vail flushes out a killer when murder disrupts her mother’s home renovation plans in this stylish cozy mystery.

When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects. Which one of them wanted the foreman to pipe down about their shady dealings?

Meanwhile, the lead investigator sets his sights on Marla’s stepfather, Reed, who’s keeping secrets from his family. Reed has a past connection to the victim and won’t come clean about what he knows. As Marla drills deeper, she’s showered with suspicions, but nobody’s willing to leak any information. She needs to hammer down the prospects, or time will drain away and the murderer will strike again.

To flush out the culprit, Marla taps into her pipeline of resources. Can she assemble the clues and demolish the alibis to nail a killer? Or has someone designed the perfect murder? Recipes Included!

“Best of 2021” Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine

Bronze Award Winner in the 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards

Finalist in the 2022 American Fiction Awards

Finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards

“A charmingly funny whodunit!” Woman’s World 

Ratings and reviews

4 reviews
Renee Winter
December 4, 2021
A fun series that gets better and better! The characters have evolved and you feel like old friends with them. The mystery is a solid cozy and highly enjoyable. Lots of red herrings. Keep'em coming! Thanks #netgalley and #OrangeGrovePress for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
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Sally Schmidt
November 17, 2021
I don’t think “Mazel Tov!” is actually the opposite of “Oy vey” – as Marla’s mother Anita is fond of saying – but whatever the opposite is, that’s what I felt after reading Styled for Murder, the seventeenth book in author Nancy J. Cohen’s Bad Hair Day Mystery series. At the end of Easter Hair Hunt, book #16, I wasn’t quite sure if we would see Marla again or not. She was expecting a baby and many plot points were very nicely wrapped up and all characters were accounted for. So I have to admit that I was a little afraid Marla would ride off into the Mommy Sunset. But Marla is back! Yes, life has changed and she has had to change with it, but we’ve still got the essential Marla that we’ve all grown to know and love. As a fan of the series from the beginning I have enjoyed seeing Marla grow with each book, adapting to and savoring changes in her professional and personal lives. She has always been an efficient, capable businesswoman, and then a loving wife and partner to Dalton and loving stepmother to his daughter Brianna. And while she is now a devoted mother to their son Ryder, motherhood has not changed her fundamentally - she's still pragmatic, detailed, organized, loyal, determined, and stubborn. No flighty, mushy Marla :) As Styled for Murder opens Marla’s response to her mother Anita’s cry for help after finding a dead tile guy in the bathroom they are renovating is rather low-key, but that’s normal for her; panicking is not her style. And from some of her inner thoughts we deduce that Marla is a bit peeved at Anita and her (somewhat) new husband Reed for moving a town or so away. Not out of reach but not just around the corner when Marla could really use some help and advice with Ryder. We enjoy a little humor at Marla’s expense: motherhood is pretty overwhelming at times, juggling family, friends, and the job. And now she has to fit in some sleuthing. She “retired” from investigating when Ryder was born, but this is her mother we’re talking about and she is not about to rest while Anita and Reed may be in danger. Styled for Murder has a wonderful, complex, fast-moving plot with many, many connections – kind of a 6-degrees of separation – and hints and secrets and clues and surprises and twists that you won’t see coming but make perfect sense when you do. The large cast of characters have complicated backstories that make their current behavior and motives consistent and understandable. Dalton and Marla are an old married couple now, but she still loves to eyeball that handsome husband of hers. Ryder is adorable. Brianna is a joy as always. Anita, as always, can be irritating and Reed and his secrecy fits right in. But they are a loving family and they will do whatever it takes to keep each other safe and happy. Marla is still pragmatic and ordered and somehow gets people to open up and talk to her even though what she asks is often very personal and intrusive. Styled for Murder is a thoughtful, well-written book that was impossible to put down. Once again I enjoyed the perfectly detailed descriptions of clothes, hair and accessories – and people – and was delighted to learn something about edible gold (!??!) and copper robberies. There is also a little hint at the end about things to come so I cannot wait for the next book in this always delightful series. Thanks to author Nancy J. Cohen for providing an advance copy for my reading pleasure and honest review. Read it! Read the entire series! All opinions are my own.
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Bernadette Cinkoske
November 16, 2021
In Styled For Murder, the reader finds Marla is now an exhausted new mother who has sworn off investigating - until her own mother calls with a dead man in the shower of their remodel. How can she say no to Mom. This well written mystery has all the charm of the first sixteen, as well as many twists, red herrings and misdirects. I never figured it out even though I was intrigued from the first page and read straight through. I could not put it down.
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About the author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. These books have won numerous awards along with her nonfiction titles, Writing the Cozy Mystery and A Bad Hair Day Cookbook. Active in the writing community, Nancy is a past president of Florida Romance Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter. When not busy writing, she enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising and visiting Disney World. Visit her at

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