I’m a lucky woman. Less than a year ago I worked in a job with no advancement for a misogynist boss who was so cheap he once asked me if I could use the free floss he got from the dentist instead of thread on a line of dresses. I shared a 500-square-foot apartment in a crummy part of Los Angeles with my college boyfriend even though the only thing we seemed to share was a mutual desire to pay only half of the rent. But look at me now! I reopened the family fabric shop a few months ago and, well, we’re not setting any sales records, but I haven’t closed our doors yet, either. I adopted two kittens, Pins and Needles, who “help” me run the store, and my VW Bug is running better than ever thanks to my friend Charlie, the auto mechanic who lives across the street. Heck, being her friend has toughened me up a bit too. I used to trust everybody; she doesn’t trust anybody! I like to think I’m a good influence on her, but it’s hard to say because she’s a pretty private person.
I guess some of that comes from having been given up for adoption and spending most of her life in foster homes. And then tracking her biological parents here, only to learn that they’re two of the richest people in town. She never told them that she knows who they are. I only discovered it when I first moved here and thought she was connected to some of the bad stuff that was happening around the fabric store. I think the only other person who knows is Vaughn McMichael, her brother. He grew up rich while she grew up poor. It’s a testament to the kind of guy Vaughn is that she doesn’t hate him.
I know her background is her own business, but it’s hard for me to watch her keep all that anger bottled up inside. I wish she would tell Vic and Adelaide who she is and try to make amends, but she won’t even talk about it. (I’m a little intimidated by Vic McMichael myself so I get that part, but Adelaide is a wonderful woman!) I can’t help thinking that if Charlie doesn’t do something about this herself, it’s all going to come out in a very public way—which would be the worst possible scenario for a private person like her.
I sure hope I’m not right. . .
Silk Stalkings is the third book in the Material Witness mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, August 2016.
Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe can get tangled up in textiles, but it’s murder that really throws her for a loop in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Crushed Velvet.
The time has come for San Ladrón, California’s annual Miss Tangorli beauty pageant, and Poly has agreed to use Material Girl’s inventory of shimmery silks to create embellished gowns fit for a crown. But when millionaire Harvey Halliwell—the man who revived the city’s citrus trade with his imported tangorli tree—is found dead days before the pageant contestants are announced, something sour takes over the town.
To make matters worse, her friend, mechanic Charlie Brooks, is soon caught up in the crime, having been seen in the company of the case’s prime suspect. Now Poly’s on a mission to squeeze out the truth. But as she searches for a pattern, the killer seems intent on cutting up the evidence. . .
# # # # # # # # # # #
About the author
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. Silk Stalkings, #3 in her national bestselling and Lefty-Award nominated Material Witness Mystery Series, comes out in August 2016. Diane is the vice president/president elect of Sisters in Crime. She also writes the Madison Night, Costume Shop, and Style & Error Mysteries. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Connect with Diane at dianevallere.com.
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a kindle copy of Silk Stalkings. The giveaway will end August 22, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!