Designer Dirty Laundry
Vallere's decades of experience in the fashion industry don't quite translate into entertaining storytelling in this middling cozy. Samantha Kidd takes a professional gamble—leaving her secure job as senior buyer of ladies' designer shoes in New York City to become the trend specialist at Traveda—a family owned company in her hometown of Ribbon, Pa. But the first day at her new job couldn't be worse: she finds her fashion director boss, Patrick, dead in an elevator, and after the EMTs arrive to transport the corpse, the body vanishes. With the only person able to verify her employer dead, and no actual body to examine, the police are naturally skeptical of her story. Determined to restore her reputation, Kidd sets about playing detective. Patrick's scheduled involvement in an upcoming design competition—he was to be one of the judges—is one of several motives Kidd investigates. Her bravado ("Some crazy killer out there was going about to learn one thing. You don't mess with the Kidd") comes across as silly rather than convincing, and the intelligence Kidd must have had to succeed in her field is sadly absent in her avocation as amateur sleuth.