Facials Can Be Fatal

I am excited to announce the reissue of Facials Can Be Fatal, #13 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. 

Facials Can Be Fatal

Copyright © 2017 by Nancy J. Cohen
Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-04-1
Print ISBN: 978-1-952886-05-8
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com
Cover Copy by BlurbWriter.com

Salon sleuth Marla Vail determines to peel back the truth when a wealthy socialite has a fatal facial at her day spa in this stylish cozy mystery.

During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, had been a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a nonprofit historic building preservation society. Marla’s stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val’s demise might put a crimp in their plans.

Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the killer. Although Val had been well liked by most people, she may have stumbled onto secrets that others would kill to keep. Soon Marla is unraveling clues involving historic buildings, family journals, pirates, and shipwrecks off the Florida coast. She’d better prepare for a body count that has nothing to do with hot stone massages and everything to do with murder.

Readers Favorite Gold Medal Winner    Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist

“Take a twisty mystery, add a cast of amiable characters, a dash of family drama, and a pinch of South Florida during the holiday season—they all add up to the recipe for a delightful cozy!” —Lucy Burdette, bestselling author of the Key West Food Critic Mysteries

Facials Can Be Fatal was originally published Five Star (Gale/Cengage). This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials.

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“The death of a philanthropist has Florida salon owner Marla Vail tearing her hair out… Marla needs Valerie’s death solved pronto so she can go back to planning her blended family’s joint Christmas-Hanukkah party and fending off their inquiries about when she and her new husband plan to have a baby.” Kirkus Reviews

“Pirates, hidden treasures, secret identities, murder… Book 13 in Nancy J. Cohen’s Bad Hair Day Mystery series has that and a whole lot more! This is the first cozy mystery I’ve read where the main character is married to the sexy detective on the case and I love that! The Bad Hair Day Mystery series books are captivating and exciting. It only took reading one book for me to become a fan.” Missi S., Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

“If Cut ’N Dye hair salon owner Marla Vail was hoping for a quiet holiday season, she’s in for a disappointment. Instead, it’s going to be a Hanukkah and Christmas season of murder, secrets, a hidden treasure, and family expectations. The fast pace will have readers swiftly turning the pages of this compelling holiday mystery.” Cynthia Chow, Kings River Life Magazine

“The story had more twists and turns than a pretzel. And I ate them all up! It is really fast-paced and kept me thoroughly engaged to the end. I especially liked Marla and her detective husband as a sleuthing duo and Marla’s relationship with her step-daughter. The combination gives a relatable real-world feel to the story.” Mayor Sonni, Readerpolis

FACIALS CAN BE FATAL - Hairstylist Marla Vail hits a snag when a client has a fatal facial at her day spa in this humorous #cozymystery Click To Tweet

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Peril by Ponytail Reissue

I am proud to announce the reissue of Peril by Ponytail, book #12 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Peril by Ponytail was originally published by Five Star (Gale/Cengage). This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials. Now available in new e-book and trade paperback editions.

Peril by Ponytail

Copyright © 2015 by Nancy J. Cohen
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-02-7
Print ISBN:    978-1-952886-03-4
Published by Orange Grove Press
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com

Marla’s honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch turns deadly when murder and mayhem threaten to unhorse her new happiness in this award-winning cozy mystery set in the perilous west.

Marla and Dalton’s honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch veers from dangerous to downright deadly faster than a horse headed to the corral. With her husband’s uncle—the resort owner—on the suspect list for murder, Marla races to prove his innocence. She hopes her blind trust isn’t misplaced, especially when she learns their relative has secrets he’d rather keep buried. With her new family in jeopardy, she’d better saddle up her sleuthing skills to figure out who’s adding to the spirits at a nearby ghost town before someone she loves gets hurt.

Third Place Winner in the Arizona Literary Awards
Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review
Honorable Mention in the Readers’ Choice BTS Book Awards

Peril by Ponytail ropes in the reader in Nancy J. Cohen’s captivating new tale, which deftly braids together deadly secrets, long hidden resentments, and romance on the range.” Ellen Byerrum, author of the Crime of Fashion Mysteries

Arizona Literary Award  Readers Favorite   BTS Award Readers Choice Finalist

Excerpt from Peril by Ponytail

Dalton flung her to the ground and shielded her with his body as the chandelier crashed to the floor with a huge clang and the sound of shattering glass. Clouds of dust and slivers of crystal billowed into the air.

“Uncle Ray, are you all right?” he called once the debris had settled.

“I’m still here. Are you guys okay?”

Marla, crushed under her husband, wriggled free. “We’re fine. Aren’t we?” She brushed off her clothes after Dalton helped her to stand. Her body trembled. She folded her arms across her chest while her racing heart calmed.

“That was close,” Dalton said, his face somber.

His gaze scanned the catwalks, as did Marla’s. She didn’t discern anything unusual. Had she imagined the shadow before? Or the hint of laughter in her ears now?

Historic theaters would never again hold the same appeal for her.

Raymond’s eyes blazed behind his spectacles. “This wasn’t any accident. We could have been killed.”

“I should go up there and take a look around.” Dalton turned to Marla. “Why don’t you wait outside? It’s not safe in here.”

“All right, but please be careful.” She couldn’t leave this place too soon in her opinion.

Waiting on the street, she considered who might have been following their movements. Somebody had noticed them entering the old theatre and had taken advantage of the opportunity to cause harm. Had it been a member of Raymond’s crew or someone else?

“How well do you know your workers?” she asked Raymond when he and Dalton had rejoined her. Dalton’s negative shake of the head indicated his mission hadn’t proven fruitful.

“We’re on passable terms. I wouldn’t say I know each guy personally.” Raymond gestured expansively. “Let me show you the hearse before you go. We discovered it intact, and it only needed a bit of polish.” He led them down the street at a fairly steep decline.

A hearse. Oh, joy. They’d nearly ended up in one.

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“Cozy fans will have fun.” Publishers Weekly

“Hairdresser Marla Vail spends her honeymoon at the dude ranch from hell. As usual, it’s just a matter of time before Marla risks life and limb to help her husband solve a case that’s bigger than either of them anticipated.” Kirkus Reviews

“Ms. Cohen is the queen of the cozy mystery. With a large cast of interesting supporting characters; plenty of dangerous, suspenseful action scenes; an attractive, well-drawn setting; and a charming representation of the Marla-Dalton relationship, Peril by Ponytail will more than fulfill the expectations of Ms. Cohen’s fans and win the admiration of new readers.” Phil Jason, Florida Weekly

“Blending a dude ranch, ghost town, and the beautiful Arizona countryside with murder and mayhem, Cohen once again delivers a tantalizing tale…The story is filled with suspense and mystery, but also humor, touches of romance and family bonding.” Mason Canyon, Thoughts in Progress

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Hanging by a Hair Reissue

I am pleased to announce the reissue of Hanging by a Hair, #11 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. The new Author’s Edition is available in ebook and print formats.

Hanging by a Hair

Copyright © 2014 by Nancy J. Cohen
Digital ISBN 978-1-952886-00-3; $4.99; Orange Grove Press
Print ISBN 978-1-952886-01-0; $14.99; Orange Grove Press
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com

Snarky neighbors, sordid secrets, and community politics play a role in this madcap murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.

Hairstylist Marla Vail’s joyous move to a new house with her detective husband, Dalton, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Alan Krabber was president of the HOA, making Marla wonder if a member of the board had an interest in his death. But before her husband’s investigation can begin, he is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest. Now it’s up to Marla to clear her husband’s name and make the neighborhood safe again. Can she unravel the clues and pin down the culprit before he targets her as the next victim?

Bonus Content:
Reader Discussion Guide
Five Easy Recipes
Peril by Ponytail Excerpt

“Marla is short for marvelous. If you like your mysteries ‘cozy,’ you’re going to enjoy every minute you spend with her!” Joanna Campbell Slan, author of the award-winning Kiki Lowenstein mystery series

Suspense Magazine “Best of 2014” Cozy Mystery
Night Owl Reviews 5 Stars Top Pick
Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Bestseller

“Marla Vail tackles married life and a slimy homeowners’ association in Cohen’s cheerful 11th series entry…A pleasingly lighthearted cozy.” Publisher’s Weekly

“The suspense element in this unusually funny mystery is gripping. What many readers will enjoy is the sensitive, realistic portrait of domestic life and the gently satiric treatment of the South Florida suburban milieu.” Phil Jason, Florida Weekly

“Funny, quirky, fast-paced with just the right amount of romance and humor mixed in with the mystery. Great series!”—Socrates Book Reviews

“…a madcap murder mystery that will have you laughing and guessing until the very end.” Mason Canyon, Thoughts in Progress

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Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/hanging-by-a-hair/

Marla and Dalton Vail move into their new neighborhood and discover a murder next door. HANGING BY A HAIR #cozymystery Click To Tweet

A Word About Reviews
Reviews are always welcome even on older titles and reissues. The number of reviews and average ratings count toward promotional opportunities and help attract new readers to my books. Scroll down on a book’s page to where it says Add a Customer Review and write a few lines on why you liked the book. My thanks in advance!

Shear Murder Reissue

SHEAR MURDER, #10 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available in an updated Author’s Edition. Trade paperback coming soon.

Shear Murder Ebook

SHEAR MURDER Copyright © 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen
Published April 14, 2020 by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9997932-8-2
Print ISBN: 978-0-9997932-9-9
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com

Getting married can be murder…especially when the matron of honor is found dead under the cake table in this humorous cozy mystery.

Weddings always make hairstylist Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, especially when she attends her friend Jill’s reception as a member of the bridal party. Marla’s own nuptials are weeks away, and she’s been busy juggling bickering relatives, building a new house with her fiancé, and expanding her hair salon.

She’s following her to-do list just fine until she discovers Jill’s sister Torrie—the matron of honor—dead under the cake table at her friend’s wedding reception. Lots of folks aren’t sorry to see Torrie go, especially since the bride’s sister knew their deepest secrets. But when suspicion falls upon Jill, Marla wonders if her dear friend is truly innocent. She’d better untangle the snarl of suspects and iron out the clues before the killer highlights her as the next victim.

Bonus Content Includes:

Reader Discussion Questions
Explanation of Wedding Customs
Author Interview
Excerpt from Hanging by a Hair

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Bestseller

Shear Murder was originally published by Five Star Publishing (Gale/Cengage). This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials.

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“Shear Murder is another stellar outing in Nancy J. Cohen’s Bad Hair Day mystery series. Marla is a bridesmaid in her friend Jill’s wedding, but when Jill’s matron of honor–and sister–ends up dead with the cake knife embedded in her chest–hold the video! It’s a wedding to forget–not remember.”—Lorna Barrett, NY Times Bestselling Author

“Smart, edgy dialogue and an intriguing cast of characters lift Cohen’s 10th Bad Hair Day mystery featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Shore. Once again, Marla shows she’s as adept at investigating murder as she is managing her hair salon.”—Publishers Weekly

“The action is fast-paced, the situations and characterizations provide plenty of this author’s trademark humor. Her knowledge of the look, feel and social texture of South Florida living is another great attraction for her readers.”—Phil Jason, Florida Weekly

“Who knows more about the wedding party than your hairdresser? Welcome back to South Florida’s Marla Shore, who trips over the dead matron of honor in her tenth cozy.”—Library Journal

“Mix together a sassy hairdresser with a penchant for sleuthing, a sexy detective and some eccentric friends and neighbors; stir in an unconventional murder or two, bake in the South Florida sun, and you have the makings of Nancy J. Cohen’s delicious ‘Bad Hair Day’ mystery series.”—Jackie Minniti, The Island Reporter

“Interesting characters and South Florida scenery make “Shear Murder” a cut above other amateur sleuth mysteries.”—Oline H. Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel

“Finding the bride’s sister’s corpse under the dessert table can ruin most of your day, as hairstylist Marla Shore discovers at her friend Jill’s wedding… It’s enough to make your hair curl.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08739HJD6/

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Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePpShWy3Wbw

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Buzz is the Word

For Easter Hair Hunt, I learned quite a bit about beekeeping. One of the characters in this story is a beekeeper at a historic estate. Hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt there when she discovers a body in a bunny suit out on the manicured lawn.

Bees are not my favorite creature but they play an important role in agriculture. Many of the world’s most common food crops require pollination by honeybees. On their foraging flights, the female worker bees collect nectar and pollen to bring back to the hive. The nectar is mixed with enzymes from their gut and then dehydrated into honey. Pollen, containing proteins and amino acids, becomes the “bee bread” used to feed growing larvae and the queen.

Honeybee

A virgin queen will mate with up to eighty male drones. She uses this sperm for the rest of her five-to-six year lifespan, laying eggs along the way. A hive can raise a new queen by feeding a substance named royal jelly to a larvae.

When the hive gets large enough, usually in the spring, the older queen leaves with half the worker bee population. The others cluster in a swarm outside while their scouts look for a new location. When the scout bees find a suitable home, they’ll return to the cluster and perform a waggle dance to direct the swarm to the new hive. The first worker bees on the premises gather at the entrance and release a pheromone to direct the rest of the bees into the new hive. This pheromone resembles the scent of lemongrass oil.

While the bees wait in a cluster for the scouts to return, beekeepers can use a swarm box to catch them. It’s baited with honey combs and lemongrass oil. The bees are docile at this time, because they have no brood to protect and they have gorged on honey to sustain them for the flight. The beekeeper will transfer the swarm into a nucleus box where they can establish themselves before being moved to a hive.

The beekeeper uses a smoker to tame the bees while he’s working with them. Smoke makes honeybees believe there may be a wildfire nearby. They’ll eat as much honey as they can in preparation for a potential move. This full stomach makes them less likely to sting due to the physical difficulty in tipping their abdomens up.

Smoke also masks the alarm pheromone given off by guard bees. This pheromone smells like banana candy, so if you smell bananas in your hive, it’s time for another puff of smoke. Similarly, beekeepers shouldn’t eat bananas before working with a hive, since it may be detected as an alarm pheromone. My suggestion is not to eat bananas before taking a stroll in the woods.

Bees tend to attack the face of mammals, hence the veiled hood as part of the beekeeper’s gear. Bees have carbon dioxide receptors on their antennae, which allow them to detect our exhalations. They may respond aggressively. This ability developed to protect them against bears. Also, if you’re afraid, they can sense it because you’ll breathe more rapidly.

Beekeeper tasks include making sure the bees have enough food, water and ventilation. They need to make sure weaker hives aren’t been preyed upon by stronger hives. Bees also need to be checked for diseases and pests. This job requires year-round attention to the bees in their care.

Bee populations are threatened by pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutritional deficits, air pollution, climate change, diseases and parasitic mites, plus robbers such as bears and bees from other colonies. Ecological farming is the key to protecting the bees. This practice restores soil nutrients, avoids soil loss from wind and water erosion, and avoids use of pesticides and fertilizers.

I am not a fan of bees of any kind, including wasps and bumblebees and hornets. True, the honeybees play an important role in our agriculture and honey production, but I’d rather steer clear of them. That includes hollow tree trunks and other potential hiding places in the woods.

Do you ever think about the role of bees in the honey you use at home? 

Research for EASTER HAIR HUNT #cozymystery involved learning about honeybees and beekeeping. Click To Tweet

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the field of beekeeping. This information is based on my understanding of the material I read.

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Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries 

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla and her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, make an eggcellent team. He knows Marla finds solving mysteries and hare-raising adventures to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla pull a rabbit out of her hat and crack the case of the body in the bunny suit? Recipes Included! 

BUY NOW

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
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Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBubhttps://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

 

Research Insights – Postal Service

Visiting the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C. is an enlightening experience. From the history of mail delivery via land, sea, and air to postal police to rare stamps, the exhibits need more than one day to absorb. If you’re into vehicles, there’s a mail train car, a stagecoach, vintage airplanes, and postal trucks among other awesome displays. After touring the voluminous halls, I came away with a new appreciation for mail carriers. You can read about my experience here.

Postage stamps figure into Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Lacey Tremayne, owner of a historic estate open to the public for tours and catered events, tells my hairstylist sleuth how her late husband had collected stamps. Lacey never paid much attention to his hobby, but she did like the historical aspects. Here she explains to Marla about the early history of our postal service. Why is this relevant? Marla found the chief gardener dead on the estate grounds after an Easter egg hunt. She’s interviewing potential suspects to find a motive.

postage stamps

“In the early days of mail delivery, a letter’s recipient had to pay a fee. Letters were folded and sealed with no envelopes since postage was based on weight. But people tried to cheat by putting a secret code on the outside of the letter, so the receiver could read the message and refuse delivery. The postal service turned to prepaid postage as a way to get paid for their efforts.” 

“Sealing wax was used on letters,” Marla remembered from period movies she’d seen. Noblemen would stamp the melted wax with their signet rings. 

“That’s correct. Rowland Hill, an English inventor, proposed that mail should go anywhere in Britain for the same rate, a penny per half ounce. The sender would pay for the postage, denoted by a small piece of colored paper on the outside of the letter. The first government-issued stamp, called the Penny Black, was issued in 1840. It was printed in black and had Queen Victoria on the picture.” 

“When was the first stamp made in the United States?” Marla asked, thinking to repeat this information to Dalton. As a history buff, he’d be interested in early postal service lore. 

“The U.S. Postal Service printed its first stamps in 1847,” Lacey said. “We had a five-cent stamp picturing Benjamin Franklin and a ten-cent stamp with George Washington. Most were produced in pre-gummed, non-perforated sheets that clerks had to cut.” 

“What kind of stamps did Connor collect?” 

Lacey spread her hands. “You’d have to ask his pal, Jonas Sommers. I liked learning about the history aspect but not the rest. Jonny is a walking encyclopedia on the topic.” 

“Did this guy have any interest in buying Connor’s collection after he passed? That would have made it easier for you to unload the stuff.” 

“No, I went through a stamp dealer. Jonny acted oddly at the time. He advised me to hold onto Connor’s stamps. But neither Daniel nor I had any interest in them. It’s like any collection. You pay a lot to acquire the items and then receive barely anything when you sell them.”

What did happen to Connor’s stamps? Were all of them sold, or were some hidden in the same private vault where he kept his sword collection? No one could seem to locate this secret stash.

If you want to read more on the history of postage stamp prices in the UK, Go Here for a quick summary.

Routine mail delivery is something we shouldn’t take for granted. It’s fascinating to learn about the postal service and the methods of delivery by air, sea and land. Mail carriers used to deliver the mail to us no matter the weather outside. Nowadays they’ll often stick the mail into cluster mailboxes at the entrance to a housing development. I much prefer our mail slot in the front door and an older community where the carrier goes from house to house.

How do you get your mail delivered? Do you have the same person each day on your route?

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Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries 

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla and her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, make an eggcellent team. He knows Marla finds solving mysteries and hare-raising adventures to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla pull a rabbit out of her hat and crack the case of the body in the bunny suit? Recipes Included! 

BUY NOW

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780999793275
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBubhttps://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

Research Insights for EASTER HAIR HUNT #cozymystery on the history of the Postal Service. #amreading Click To Tweet

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LAST DAY! Enter Here to win an Easter Fun Box with a signed proof copy of Easter Hair Hunt, a scarf, cosmetic bag, gardening gloves, candy, hair ties, dish towel and socks.

 

New Book Release – Easter Hair Hunt

Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available in print and ebook formats!

Easter Hair Hunt


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Ebook: ISBN 978-0-9997932-6-8, Orange Grove Press, $4.99
Print: ISBN 978-0-9997932-7-5, Orange Grove Press, $14.99
Genre: Cozy Mystery | Print Pages: 302

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

Recipes Included!

“Marla is drawn into an investigation that involves a missing friend and a stolen Fabergé egg. As Marla and husband Dalton proceed, she finds her family life and pregnancy challenged in more ways than one, with everything overshadowed by Easter and a mystery steeped in South Florida history and culture.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Intrepid sleuth Marla Vail goes looking for her friend Blinky and instead finds a dead gardener. She also finds a Faberge egg on the estate grounds. In a case of classic misdirection in which no one is who they appear to be, Marla snips out the lies to reveal the truth and the killer. Another fun installment in Cohen’s entertaining Bad Hair Day series.” Muddy Rose Reviews

“Easter Hair Hunt is another delightful mystery for Marla as she embarks on new changes in her life while she works to solve a mystery that delivers an exciting and fun read.” 5 Stars! Liz Konkel, Readers’ Favorite

BUY LINKS

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
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Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
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New Book Release - EASTER HAIR HUNT, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. An Easter egg hunt is not all it’s cracked up to be in this #mustread #cozymystery Click To Tweet

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March 2020

Learning About Love Bugs

Writers learn about all sorts of esoteric topics as research for our books. Most of the time, readers can enjoy learning about new things along with us, as long as we avoid what our editors call “info dumps.” But what we don’t put into our story can make an interesting topic for a blog post.

For EASTER HAIR HUNT, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, I decided to learn more about love bugs. These pesky insects plague us during spring and fall months. When driving up the Florida turnpike at these times, you might hear the bugs go splat on your windshield. Your visibility might diminish since using windshield wipers will only smear them. They can also make a mess of your car’s finish if not promptly washed off.

Love Bugs

The black-bodied insects with a reddish-orange thorax — scientific name Plecia Nearctica—are sometimes called honeymoon flies because of their coupled flight. They came to the Florida via Central America in the 1940s. Because love bugs do not have many natural enemies, their population continues to grow. People consider them to be a pest.

During copulation, males face the opposite direction of the female. Love bugs remain paired this way for about three days. Then the male gets exhausted and dies. The female lays her eggs and then she perishes. Love bug larvae use decaying vegetation as a source of food. This aids in decomposing plant matter and provides nutrients to the soil.

May and September are their most popular months. They wait until the sun comes up and the air warms before moving around. Thousands of males may be seen hovering over a single pasture, waiting for the females to stir. Once mated, they forage for food, which is pollen and nectar. They stop feeding in the late afternoon. The pairs land on vegetation to rest during the night.

Love bugs are attracted to freshly painted surfaces and may be seen in dried paint on buildings. They’re especially attracted to car fumes on highways. These fumes contain organic compounds that smell similar to the decaying organic material where females lay their eggs. For this reason, the bugs will also congregate at gas stations.

Along the road, they splatter against car windshields, leaving a residue that can become a driving hazard. Using windshield wipers will only smear the mess. Their bodies can cause damage to car paint if you don’t clean them off. Their natural elements of decomposition plus heat from the sun cause compounds that can dissolve the paint. Other sources say their bodies are acidic, hence the damage. Here are some measures you can take, although I haven’t personally verified them:

When you arrive at your destination, wash the front of your car with water. Scrub it with a dryer sheet or a bug splatter sponge, and rinse again.

Use a deflector screen on the front of your car to prevent the bugs from sticking to the grill, or spray the front grill with cooking spray before driving.

Buy a bug remover solution that will remove the residue.

Take your vehicle to a professional car wash as soon as possible and pay extra for custom attention. (This one is my choice.)

What bugs you about love bugs? Have you encountered these pesky critters?

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Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla and her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, make an eggcellent team. He knows Marla finds solving mysteries and hare-raising adventures to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla pull a rabbit out of her hat and crack the case of the body in the bunny suit? Recipes Included!

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Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780999793275
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBubhttps://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

Learning about Love Bugs #research #cozymystery Click To Tweet

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March 2020

 

Easter Hair Hunt Cover Reveal

COVER REVEAL! Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available for pre-order.

 

Easter Hair Hunt

 

Cover Design by Patty G. Henderson from Boulevard Photografica

 

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

Recipes Included!

“Marla is drawn into an investigation that involves a missing friend who is possibly a victim and a stolen Fabergé egg… As Marla and husband Dalton proceed, she finds her family life and pregnancy challenged in more ways than one, with everything overshadowed by Easter and a mystery steeped in South Florida history and culture. Nancy Cohen excels at capturing this atmosphere, injecting it into Marla’s life and choices with a series of seasonal egg-related revelations and surprises that keep readers immersed in both town affairs, personalities and politics and an Easter egg hunt like no other.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

Release Date: March 10, 2020

Ebook: ISBN 978-0-9997932-6-8, Orange Grove Press, $4.99
Print: ISBN 978-0-9997932-7-5, Orange Grove Press, $14.99
Publisher: Orange Grove Press
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Print Pages: 302

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