A day in the life with hairstylist Marla Vail by Nancy J. Cohen

I’m Marla Vail, owner of the Cut ’N Dye Salon and Day Spa located in sunny South Florida. Most of the time, I work happily as a stylist behind the chair and enjoy talking to customers. But sometimes, I’ll help my husband, Detective Dalton Vail, solve a homicide case. This can lead to all sorts of amazing adventures. For example, recently I toured an artisan chocolate factory and had lunch at a vegan restaurant. Believe me, I’d rather have a turkey and cheese sandwich than a bowl of greens with shredded carrots for lunch any day. I was trying to learn more about my friend Tally’s recent movements. She’d been hurt in a car accident, and I got elected to take over her affairs, including care of her infant son. So anything that might help me learn what happened to her could be important, especially since Dalton didn’t believe the crash to be an accident.

Another stop on my list was at a yoga studio. Recently, Tally had joined a ladies’ tea circle, and they met in different locations twice a month. This had been one of the places they’d visited. I’m not a big exercise fan except for walking my dogs, so this was like entering a foreign country for me. Here’s how my conversation went with one of their instructors. To get the dialogue rolling, I asked her about the different forms of yoga.

Shannon crossed her legs, fitted with black athletic pants. She’d slipped on a pair of ruby ballet flats that matched her top. “We offer a variety of classes for different levels depending on your goals. Yoga has been around for thousands of years. It helps you gain flexibility, balance, and strength.”

“So does dance. What’s the difference?”

“Yoga is a full mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching exercises with deep breathing and meditation.”

I’d meditate all right, but mostly about my to-do list. “Don’t you have to contort yourself into different poses?”

“Most people find yoga to be relaxing. It can provide relief from stress and tension, and it helps to lower your blood pressure. Some forms are fast-paced and intense, like Power Yoga. That helps you burn calories and increase strength. Other types are more gentle and suitable for beginners.”

“What if it hurts me more than it helps me?”

“As with any physical activity, the risk of injury is present. You should check with your doctor if you’re not sure how this exercise may affect you. We require our students to sign a waiver of liability.” The instructor rose and pulled a brochure from a rack by the vending machines. “Here, this explains the various options along with our pricing packages.”

I stood and accepted the item. “Thanks so much for your time. Is there anything else you remember from my friend’s visit?”

Shannon scrunched her face in thought. “The redhead was the last one to leave the parking lot. A guy who looked like a panhandler sauntered over. I’d have been scared, but she reached into her purse and gave him a handout. Very generous of her, I must say.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about the redhead in Tally’s social group meeting a beggar in a parking lot and handing him an item assumed to be cash. Who was this man? And why did he show up at each of the women’s tea circle locales? Does he pose a threat to me since I’ve caught onto his movements? Time will tell. I’m not going to quit until I get to the bottom of what—or who—caused Tally’s accident.

Question for Readers: Have you ever done yoga? What type of exercise do you prefer? Leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing for an e-book copy of Haunted Hair Nights, my Halloween mystery novella. The giveaway ends October 8, 2017. Good luck everyone!

You can read more about Marla in Hair Brained, the 14th book in the “Bad Hair Day” mystery series.

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally—or Ken in the car with her—out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

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About the author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, and won third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. Her first book in this genre won the HOLT Medallion Award. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, she is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Where can we learn more about you?
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All comments are welcomed.

26 responses to “A day in the life with hairstylist Marla Vail by Nancy J. Cohen

  1. No I have never done Yoga. I wouldn’t mind it I don’t think. I don’t really exercise much though I really should.
    I love your book title, So Clever. Thanks for sharing with us.


  2. Thanks, Linda. I’m not a yoga fan myself but see how it’s beneficial.


  3. Yes I have done Yoga. I do like the power yoga where everyone is sweating and it flings all over. I also like the gentleness of breathing into a stretch. Peaceful and quiet. However my favorite exercise would be kickboxing! Cardio and strength and all the ab core plus it just feels good to punch the bag with everything I got! Yep I got more than one pair of boxing gloves. Pink my favorite!


  4. sugarnspicewriters

    I took Yoga a couple of times and found it incredibly boring. Maybe that’s because I’m more of a karate person. Now that I’m retired, I prefer to Tai Chi. I find it has the same body-mind thing going on that Yoga lovers seem to experience.
    Hair Brained sounds like a fun read.


  5. Nancy has such a clever premise in her books. She is also very generous with her knowledge. Great post shared on FB and twitter.


  6. Barbara Hackel

    The new book sounds great…but Marla caring for a baby?! Can’t wait to read this one!!!
    As to Yoga-I haven’t done it. I like to meditate, but I would never be able to get down to the floor and back up again! Limited mobility prevents me from most exercise except some walking.
    No need to include me in the give-away Dru Ann. I already own Haunted Hair Nights. Thanks!


  7. Yes I’ve practiced yoga for many years though not as often as I should. I haven tried hot yoga though. It sounds way too sweaty for me. I enjoy your posts and blogs and have also attended your sessions at Sleuthfest.


  8. As with your character, I am puzzled over the different versions of yoga available. Hot yoga sounds like torture to me!


  9. Congrats on the new bad hair novel! It sounds like a fun read. I’ve never done yoga but would love to try it.


  10. I have never done yoga but would like to someday. My favorite activity is walking at my local lake.


  11. Jill Broussard

    I’ve never tried yoga. Walking my dog and running around at work are good enough for me! Thank you for the opportunity! minishoes(at)msn(dot)com


  12. I like to walk on a treadmill–I watch some of my favorite programs, and by the time they’re done, I’ve put in an hour without too much trouble.


  13. That’s great, you can get caught up on the news or your TV shows while you are exercising.


  14. **** WINNER ****
    Haunted Hair Nights is Paula Thompson Staton