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    Review of DIED BLONDE by Nancy J. Cohen (see her website)


    Kensington, December 2004

    When the power goes out in her hairdressing salon, Marla Shore instantly suspects her competitor and enemy Carolyn Sutton of sabotage. But when she finds Carolyn's dead body in the electricity room, Marla herself becomes a suspect. Thanks to boyfriend-cop Vail, Marla doesn't have too many problems with the police, but Carolyn's psychic tells Marla that Carolyn is begging her to solve the case--from beyond the grave.

    There are plenty of suspects. Carolyn's business hadn't been doing well, but the woman had plenty of money. Could she have made that much playing Indian Bingo, or was there another darker explanation? Marla investigates the local chiropracter, the landlord, Carolyn's sister, and the psychic herself. Meanwhile, Vail is assigned a second murder case--a young girl who had a hunk of hair cut from her head in exactly the same way that Carolyn had.

    Marla's busy social life doesn't let up. She has to decide what to do with her relationship to the hunky cop, help her aging aunt deal with bills and taking care of herself, fix her mother up with an upgrade boyfriend, socialize with Vail's teenage daughter, and run her business.

    Author Nancy J. Cohen (see more reviews of novels by Cohen) writes convincingly of a self-absorbed sleuth as she deals with her anger over Carolyn's competition even after the woman is dead. Cohen delivers an interesting mystery with a wealth of truly criminal people as suspects--apparently there isn't really anyone honest in Florida these days. The writing is occasionally clunky, especially in the opening, but becomes more smooth as Cohen gets into the story.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 3/01/05

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