Permed To Death

  • Publisher: Orange Grove Press
  • Series: The Bad Hair Day Mysteries , 1
  • Release Date: March 4, 2016
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Available Formats: Audio, eBook and Paperback
  • Digital: 9780997003802
  • Paperback: 9780997003819

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Hairstylist Marla Shore has a bad hair day when she’s suspected of poisoning her client’s coffee creamer.

Hairstylist Marla Shore untangles a snarl of secrets when she’s suspected of poisoning her client’s coffee creamer in this debut cozy mystery.

Hairstylist Marla Shore is already having a bad hair day when one of her clients dies in the shampoo chair at her salon. Then Detective Dalton Vail accuses her of putting poison in the woman’s coffee creamer. Grumpy Bertha Kravitz might not have been Marla’s favorite customer, but she wouldn’t have murdered the lady. With her reputation at stake, Marla decides it’s up to her to unmask the killer.

Combing the woman’s privileged world for clues, Marla discovers the town is crawling with potential suspects. Bertha’s son is resentful about being written out of her will. Her shady business partner has secrets to hide, and then there’s the niece, who inherits Bertha’s fortune. But Marla might have to look closer to home for the culprit. Her janitor has vanished without a trace, and one of her stylists leads an upscale lifestyle that doesn’t match her income.

As the case grows more snarled, Marla determines to unravel the clues. She’d better hurry before the smart detective discovers her scandalous secret, or he’ll pin her with a motive and lock her away in a place where a bad hair day will become permanent.

“Marla the beautician is a delight!” Tamar Myers, author of the Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries

Awards & Accolades:

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Bestseller

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“Fast-paced and jaunty…” — Publishers Weekly

“An amusing tale, buoyed by a likable amateur sleuth and enhanced by the South Florida atmosphere.” — Sun-Sentinel

“Permed to Death is a beauty of a read. The characters are believable, the mystery is well-plotted, and the suspense is a real manicure ruiner.” — I Love a Mystery

“A fascinating story, with intriguing, sometimes quirky characters, a touch of humor, a hint of romantic possibilities, and a look at a profession we don’t often see in mysteries.” — Mysterious Women

“A pleasing and interesting cozy that will keep you entertained all evening. .The atmosphere is definitely South Florida, the heat, the crazy drivers, the Santeria, but with none of the Miami overtones.” — Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore

“Permed to Death is a witty and a well-crafted mystery that will have you guessing till the intense end.”— Southern Scribe

“Great premise and a fun read overall. Lots of what one expects in a cozy…some false trails, some clues that aren’t really useful, some great clues, lots of amateur sleuthing, and a cast of off-center people.” —Write on Purpose

“Cohen fills the book with well rendered details of the beauty salon business, the Fort Lauderdale area, and Marla’s South Florida Jewish family.” — GO Riverwalk Magazine

“…a plot with more tangles than an uncombed perm.” — Kirkus Review

“Nancy Cohen has styled a novel that is to curl up and die for. A permanent solution to the doldrums.” —

“Permed to Death is a good book to start reading while waiting at your favorite salon for your hair appointment.”—Cozies, Capers, & Crimes

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1999 by Nancy J. Cohen

“Detective Vail makes me uneasy,” Marla said to her friend Tally. Huddled in a booth at a local steak restaurant, they dug into their salads and conversation with equal fervor. Marla had filled Tally in on events since the weekend.

“How so?” Tally sat across from her, a fork poised in her hand. She looked great in a leopard silk blouse and flowing black trousers, while on Marla the outfit would swim. Broad-shouldered with wavy blond hair, Tally displayed her tall stature with a flamboyant flair. Marla preferred her own denim skirt and sky-blue sweater, but then she dressed in a more conservative style. Tally was always trying to update Marla’s look with fashions from her dress boutique.

“Vail… Dalton… makes me feel guilty,” she explained, his given name sounding awkward. She preferred his formal title while the case remained unsolved. To hide her discomfort, she took a bite of mixed greens dribbled with raspberry vinaigrette.

“Sounds to me as though you’re attracted to the man.” Tally’s eyes twinkled playfully.

“How can I like someone who suspects me of being a murderess?”

“You’ve described him as a tall, dark, and ruggedly handsome detective who fights for justice. If you ask me, that’s akin to hero worship.”

Marla snorted. “Not in my case. He’s trying to pin a homicide on me. It’s clear his interest is merely a ploy to get me to confess.”

“Then you’ll have to accept his offer to find out what he really wants, won’t you?”

“Yeah, we’ll go to Bagel Busters for coffee. At least the owner is a friend I can trust. Aside from you, of course,” she added hastily.

“Arnie would be more than a friend if you gave him a chance.” Tally’s face sobered. “Who do you suspect so far?”

Marla took a sip of water. “Wendy’s husband, Zack, may be having financial difficulties. He’s worried about Wendy taking time off from her job when she has the baby, and she acted evasive when I asked about his business. Maybe he views her inheritance as a saving grace.”

“Is there any way to check on his work status?”

“Wendy didn’t say whether he’s an independent consultant or if he works for someone else. I’ll ask Todd when I meet him tomorrow night.”

“Holy smokes, you’re not wasting any time. Shall I come with you?”

“No, thanks. We’re meeting at Scudders at nine o’clock. Plenty of other people will be strolling the Strip by then. Besides, Todd expects me to come alone, and I don’t want to scare him off.”

“Why talk to you and not the cops?”

“Who knows? He’s such a scumbag, Wendy might be right about him.”

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  • Narrator: Mary Ann Jacobs
  • Audio Publisher: Nancy J. Cohen

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