Haunted Hair Nights
- Publisher: Orange Grove Press
- Series: The Bad Hair Day Mysteries , 12.5
- Release Date: October 13, 2016
- Genre: Cozy Mystery Novella
- Available Formats: eBook and Paperback
- Digital: 9780997003833
- Paperback: 9780997003840
When history teacher Bill Ripari offers his property for a Halloween school haunted house project, hairstylist Marla Vail volunteers to help put the scare factor into the place. She joins her stepdaughter along with other students, parents, and teachers to transform the wooded estate into a creepy attraction. She’s busy creating decorations when a splash of red on the estate grounds catches her eye. Upon a closer look, she realizes the dark stain isn’t fake blood meant to be part of the scene. The trail leads to the history teacher’s dead body.
Worried about the kids, Marla puts on her sleuthing hat to investigate. She discovers that every one of the volunteers present that night had a possible motive. Between slacker students, helicopter parents, unexpected heirs, and a stonewalling school administration, Marla has her hands full in solving the murder and keeping her stepdaughter safe. Can she sift through the suspects and unmask the killer before Halloween fright night turns into reality?
Third Place Winner in the IDA Contest in the Suspense Short category
Finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards in the Novella category
“This standalone novella will keep you flipping pages wondering who done it until the end. We learn more about the relationship between stepmother Marla & Dalton’s daughter, Brianna—and what happens when a fundraising Halloween event turns deadly. For those of us who don’t want bad dreams for Halloween, this entry into the Bad Hair Day series is an excellent alternative.” Reader by Night
“I enjoyed this Halloween cozy mystery set in South Florida. Between the scary ‘gifts’ left for Marla’s family and the mysterious murder at the school’s haunted house, you are bound to get some chills. Grab some hot apple cider and read this Halloween tale!” Ms. Loves to Read
“It was gratifying to observe Marla, Dalton and Brianna’s family dynamic mature. This is a good cozy mystery that can be enjoyed by young adults on up. It was a pleasure to read this story.” 5 Stars! Susan Sewell, Readers’ Favorite
“I love this series so much. It’s especially nice to read how Marla is progressing with her new family. It’s realistic and fun combined with quite a bit of mystery. A haunted mansion is the perfect setting for a Halloween read.” Yvonne Hering, Socrates Book Reviews
“Loved the story! Halloween, mystery, dead body, oh my! This novella, although short, was filled with lots of twists and turns, interesting complex characters and a great storyline! I am hoping some the characters return in future stories!” Charlene’s Reviews
“The Bad Hair Day series is one of my favorites so I was thrilled to see there was one about Halloween. Enjoyable with a good twist. The writing as always is clear and characters well defined. Can’t wait for the next one!” Haley’s Comments
“I love a good holiday read and Haunted Hair Nights fits the bill, it will definitely get you into the Halloween mood! While Marla is helping her stepdaughter with a school project she comes across the murdered body of a teacher. Follow along as Marla tries to figure out whodunit with the help of her detective husband and his daughter. You’ll also take away the real relationships these characters deliver.” Taryn’s Reviews
“This is a fun, fast read filled with unexpected twists. Sleuth Marla is at it again, trying to solve a mystery as she uncovers eerie clues. Highly recommend this book, especially if you are looking for something to read around Halloween.” Tara’s Reviews
“I don’t know why I let you talk me into helping your class plan a haunted house for Halloween,” Marla said, her gaze focused on the road. Dense trees lined the pothole-riddled street as she drove down a narrow two-lane drive barely lit by sparse streetlamps. Twilight had descended, and she didn’t relish returning this way in the dark. Who would live in this remote location west of Fort Lauderdale and nearly at the Everglades?
Brianna glanced at her with an eager expression. “You’ll enjoy tonight, Marla. I’m counting on you to fix the mannequins’ hair so they look scary.”
The high schooler had forsaken her usual ponytail to wear her dark brown hair in soft curls. Marla wondered if she were trying to impress someone in particular. Brianna hadn’t mentioned any boys to her and Dalton, but Marla had overheard her in conversation with friends. The name Andy popped up often. Dalton hadn’t noticed, thank goodness. Her husband had enough trouble accepting his fifteen-year-old daughter nearing college age. Worrying about the young men she might be attracting would send him into the stratosphere.
“I’ll do my best,” Marla replied. “But as much as I like to experiment on the mannequin heads in my salon, I’m not sure how I can contribute to your class project.”
“Any help will be appreciated.”
Marla heard the petulant note in her stepdaughter’s voice. She’d been a reluctant volunteer. Parenting didn’t come naturally to her, and since marrying Dalton, she hadn’t rushed into school-related activities like other moms. Coming tonight was a big concession on her part, but she’d wanted to please her new family. And it was a good thing she had come, considering this place’s isolated location.
“Who picked this site? Do you really think the parents from your school would drive their kids all the way out here?”
“Mr. Ripari offered it to us. Although he’s never lived there, the house has been in his family since the 1940s.”
“He’s your history teacher, right?”
Brianna nodded. “This location is creepy. It’ll be perfect.”
Oh, yeah, maybe if you’re in a slasher movie. Marla didn’t have a good feeling about their adventure. She wondered why Dalton, a homicide detective, had given his approval.