This is a disaster. And I’m not talking about a disaster like the time Maynard—my boss in Las Vegas—lost control of the doves during his magic routine and one of them pooped on a lady’s hair from the rafters, either. I’m talking about a real disaster. If I can’t turn things around, Ebony might go to jail. And since Ebony is the closest thing I have to a mother, I can’t let that happen.
I tend to get mixed up sometimes, so let me back up. A couple of days ago, Blitz Manners came into Disguise DeLimit—my family’s costume shop—and threw a bunch of money around. Seems he wanted Ebony—who runs Shindig Party Planning–to put together his birthday party on short notice, and us to make forty costumes for the guests. (I know it sounds strange to some people, but here in Proper City, Nevada, we tend to dress up in costume for almost any occasion. Makes living in the desert a little less boring!)
The high paying/last minute job wouldn’t have been so terrible if Blitz had wanted the cast of The Wizard of Oz because we could have rented our existing set of costumes and then turned our Planet of the Apes suits into flying monkeys, but noooo. He wanted a detective themed party. So we pulled it off—and by we, I mean me, because my dad just had a heart attack and I don’t care if we do need the money, I’m not going to let the whims of a spoiled rich kid affect my dad’s recovery! But now I think it would have been better off if I’d said no and walked away. Because if I turned down the job, then Ebony would have too. Which means I never would have walked in on her holding a carving knife while standing over Blitz’s dead body, dressed in a Sherlock Holmes costume designed by my dad.
Before you start to think what everybody else thinks, let me be clear: Ebony didn’t do it.
Ebony is fierce and feisty and fabulous, but she’s not a murderer. If Ebony got mad at Blitz, the worst thing she would have done was tell him to quit whining and act like an adult. He was turning twenty-six. I mean come on. Taylor Swift is twenty-six and she can hold her own on stage with Mick Jagger! I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead, but Blitz used some kind of emotional blackmail to get Ebony to take the job, and now, thanks to me and my mad costume-making skills, thirty-nine party guests in detective costumes are pointing the finger at Ebony and saying she’s guilty. And the worst part of it all is that she left town, which makes it look like everybody is right in suspecting her.
Why would she leave town? Why won’t she tell me about the connection between her and Blitz’s family? Why aren’t the police looking for other suspects? Like I said, it’s a disaster.
So now, I have only a couple of days to find Ebony, take care of my dad, keep my cat from leaving dead mice in the stockroom, and solve Blitz’s murder before Magic Maynard expects me back at work. To be honest, I wish I’d swiped Maynard’s magic wand before leaving Las Vegas, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Actually, forget the magic wand. I wish I’d swiped his hat!
A Disguise To Die For is the first book in the NEW Costume Shop mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.
Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.
No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family’s costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for—literally—when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.
For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can’t hide a murderer in plain sight for long.
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All comments are welcomed.
About the author
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. A Disguise To Die For is the first Costume Shop Mystery. Diane is the vice president of Sisters in Crime, and also writes the Madison Night, Style & Error, and Lefty Award-nominated Material Witness mysteries. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Visit Diane at www.dianevallere.com, on Twitter, Pinterest and on Facebook.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Disguise To Die For. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 9, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!