Murder By Manicure

  • Publisher: Orange Grove Press
  • Series: The Bad Hair Day Mysteries , 3
  • Release Date: March 24, 2015
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Available Formats: Audio, eBook and Paperback
  • Digital: 9780991465569
  • Paperback: 9780991465576

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Salon owner Marla Shore discovers a whirlpool of secrets when she joins a sports club and solves a nail-biting murder in this humorous cozy mystery.

Hairstylist Marla Shore joins a fitness club to get in shape but discovers a dead body instead of an exercise routine. Jolene Myers—a client at Marla’s salon—has drowned beneath the frothing waters of the whirlpool. When Detective Dalton Vail determines Jolene’s death was no accident, Marla decides to give her deductive skills a workout and help solve the case.

Jolene had few friends at the fancy athletic club. As Marla gets to know everyone, she wonders who might have targeted Jolene for a lethal soak in the hot tub. Suspects include a shady pharmacist, a smarmy city councilman, an animal rights activist, and the fitness club staff. How far would they each go to keep their secrets? When another club member turns up dead, Marla intensifies her efforts to nail the killer and wrap the case before she’s the next buff body to end up in the morgue.

“Marla Shore is a beguiling, very clever sleuth who teases out every clue. Absolutely delightful!” Jill Churchill, author of the Jane Jeffry & Grace and Favor mystery series

Awards & Accolades:

2018 ABR Audiobook Listener Award Finalist
RONE Award Finalist
Crowned Heart Review at InDtale Magazine
IMBA Bestseller List

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“An amusing, well‑paced mystery.” Kirkus Reviews

“Cohen fashions her Bad Hair Day series with plenty of humor, snappy repartee and even a healthy helping of current events.” The News Press

“In Murder by Manicure, a southern sleuth who’s a cut above the rest pulls out all the stops to wrap up another nail-biting murder that will leave readers eagerly awaiting their next appointment with Marla Shore.” Barnes & Noble Ransom Notes

“Observations about makeup, hair, and apparel mix with humorous, sexy overtones and catty remarks. A solid series addition.” Library Journal

“Cohen leavens the narrative with Marla’s comments on hairstyles and makeup.” Publishers Weekly

“Cohen brings a good view of Fort Lauderdale and its suburbs.” Sun-Sentinel

“For the reader who enjoys the twists and turns of a tale by Mary Higgins Clark or the quirky humor inherent in a story by Kathy Hogan Trochek, Murder by Manicure is a must read!”

“This book is the perfect read while sitting under the dryer.” Cozies, Capers & Crimes

“A great addition to an enjoyable series with a spunky heroine.” Mystery Lovers Bookshop

“This series is hilarious and very enjoyable and contains many hijinks. I always look forward to reading another book in this series to see what Marla will get into and find out the latest in her love life. I like this series set in a hair salon. People talk to their hairstylist. Marla finds out things most people wouldn’t be able to.” The Best Reviews

“Marla Shore is an irresistible creation….Nancy J. Cohen spins a puzzling mystery in the traditional vein, and the addition of Marla’s romantic adventures is delicious icing on the cake!” 4 1/2 stars! RT Book Reviews

“Murder by Manicure is a compelling mystery with intriguing characters, a suspenseful plot, and a surprising, yet perfectly fitting, conclusion.” Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore

“Fast paced and interesting…full of rich characters and attention grabbing plot twists…When it comes to murder, Marla proves the old adage true: Only your hairdresser knows for sure.”

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2001 by Nancy J. Cohen

“Dalton,” Marla cried. “What are you doing here?” As a homicide investigator, he wouldn’t be present unless foul play was suspected. “You weren’t called in because—”

“I was in the area and heard the dispatcher.” His steel gray eyes narrowed. “I didn’t expect to see you, however. Dare I ask why you’re in the vicinity?”

She moistened her lips. “I, uh, joined the sports club for a trial period. Today is my first day.” Her glance strayed to his peppery hair, neatly parted to the side.

“No kidding. How am I not surprised that someone ended up unconscious in your presence?”

Are you implying it’s my fault? “Now wait a minute. Jolene’s accident happened through no intent of mine. Just because Bertha Kravitz croaked in my salon and Ben Kline got his head bashed in after we met doesn’t mean I’m a jinx.”

“Maybe not, but a magnet for disaster is a possibility.”

His eyes smoldered, and Marla recalled his earlier warnings for her to stay out of trouble. Warnings she hadn’t heeded.

They stared at each other, his keen assessment making her knees weaken. His spice cologne and powerful stature made her heart race erratically. Damn, must she react like a hormone-driven adolescent? All right, so they hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks. After Taste of the World at her cousin Cynthia’s estate in December, they’d gone out together on New Year’s Eve. Since then, busy schedules had claimed their spare time.

Someone cleared his throat beside them. “Excuse me, sir,” Barkley cut in, “shall I take statements from witnesses?”

Dalton dragged his gaze from hers. “Go ahead, I’ll be with you in a minute.” His deeply resonant tone slid along Marla’s nerves like warm brandy. Before he could continue his conversation with her, his cell phone rang.

“Lieutenant Vail,” he answered. Listening, he nodded once, his face impassive. “I’m on it.” He hung up, his demeanor grim. “That was our man at the hospital. The lady didn’t make it.”

“Oh, no. Jolene is…” A lump rose in her throat. An optimistic part of her had expected Jolene to survive.

“I gather you knew the victim. I’ll want to interview you, but I have to give some orders first. Wait here.” He strode away while punching numbers on his phone.

Marla stood by, wondering how she could help. There would be plenty of witnesses to question, judging by the uniformed staff clustered around. She didn’t recognize everyone. Keith and Slate quietly chatted with the blonde, Amy, on the pool deck. In the lobby, Sharon sat at her post, her face a frozen mask of fear. Gloria leaned against the reception desk, watching the commotion. Her expression of cool disdain belied her earlier distress.

What about club members? Maybe someone had noticed Jolene entering the whirlpool.

No one paid Marla any attention when she headed for the women’s locker room.

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  • Narrator: Mary Ann Jacobs
  • Audio Publisher: Orange Grove Press

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