cover image Peril by Ponytail: A Bad Hair Day Mystery

Peril by Ponytail: A Bad Hair Day Mystery

Nancy J. Cohen. Five Star Publishing, $25.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-4328-3098-4

In Cohen’s elaborate 12th Marla Vail mystery (after 2014’s Hanging by a Hair), the perky (and nosy) South Florida hairdresser finds herself in the middle of a feud. Marla and her new husband, Dalton, a police detective, are taking a belated honeymoon trip to Arizona, where they are guests at a ranch owned by Dalton’s relatives. The two branches of the Dalton family have not been in contact for decades, for reasons nobody will talk about, so there’s plenty of domestic drama for Marla to poke around in. Meanwhile, vandalism plagues both the ranch and the nearby ghost town that Uncle Ray is trying to restore; he blames another landowner, who in turn blames Ray for poisoning his cattle. With the suspicious death of a park ranger, the stakes get higher. Fortunately for Marla, people inexplicably tell her things that common sense suggests shouldn’t be shared with a stranger. Still, cozy fans will have fun. (Oct.)