cover image Hanging by a Hair: A Bad Hair Day Mystery

Hanging by a Hair: A Bad Hair Day Mystery

Nancy J. Cohen. Five Star Publishing, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4328-2814-1

Marla Vail, a hairdresser in Royal Oaks, Fla., tackles married life and a slimy homeowners’ association in Cohen’s cheerful 11th series entry (after 2012’s Shear Murder). Marla and her husband, Dalton, a police detective, run afoul of the association’s high-handed president, Alan Krabber, at a board meeting. When Alan is found dead, an apparent suicide by hanging that the police soon come to suspect is murder, Dalton is taken off the case because of his public confrontation with the deceased. Fortunately, Marla’s incessant gossiping with the neighbors proves a highly effective investigation technique. Seemingly every time she drops by the community center, she overhears a significant clue. Still, some mysteries remain unsolved in this pleasingly lighthearted cozy: for instance, why Marla tells Dalton that he shouldn’t make ravioli for dinner—explaining that she, as an observant Jew, abstains from pasta and other leavened foods during Passover—and then dashes out to a cafe to order an English muffin. [em](Apr.) [/em]