Cover Reveal – Box Set Five

Box Set Five, the final set in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Collection, will launch on February 15, 2022! Take a look at this fabulous cover by Kim Killion from The Killion Group. It reflects the book’s setting that starts out over the December holidays with the first title.

BHD Box Set 5

Copyright © 2022 by Nancy J. Cohen
Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-20-1
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Digital Layout by

In this trio of adventures, Marla solves a murder at her day spa in the midst of the December holidays, investigates her best friend’s suspicious car accident, and enters a bake-off contest at a farm festival where she discovers a dead body in the strawberry field. She even saves a neighbor and her pet from a cat-astrophe in a bonus short story.

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST, Book Launch Party with Fun & Prizes at Cozy Mystery Launch Party site on Facebook – SAVE THE DATE!

Included in this Volume:

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. Hoping to salvage her reputation, she determines to track down the killer. Gold Medal Winner in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards 

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend, Tally, is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. She launches an investigation while praying for her friend’s recovery. First Place Winner in the Chanticleer International Book Awards 

A cat, a crook, and a confused neighbor cause mirth in this cozy mystery short story.

Savvy hairstylist Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field.


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Click Here if you want to get caught up in the entire Box Set series.

Box Sets

Do you prefer print, ebook, or audiobook? Leave a comment below and I’ll do a drawing for a free copy of Box Set One on next Friday.


Best Book 2021

I have some exciting news to share that just can’t wait! This has been a busy time with Thanksgiving, my birthday and the first night of Hanukkah all rolled into one weekend. Now I’m gearing up for the rest of the holidays before hopefully getting back to writing again. Meanwhile, I am thrilled to announce the items below.

Suspense Magazine

STYLED FOR MURDER has been chosen as a “Best Book of 2021” in the Cozy category by Suspense Magazine. Look for a feature in the upcoming December issue.

I am beyond excited about this honor and want to thank my fans, friends and family who voted for my book. You guys are the best!  

The Big Thrill

“Having reached Book 17 in the A Bad Hair Day Mystery series, hairstylist-slash-amateur sleuth Marla Vail is almost as familiar with murder as she is with up-dos.” Read the scoop in an exclusive author interview by Allison McKnight in the current issue of The Big Thrill from International Thriller Writers.


Woman’s World Magazine

STYLED FOR MURDER was featured in Woman’s World Magazine in the Book Club section on page 8 in the Nov. 29th issue.

Woman's World

Here is their review:

“A charmingly funny whodunit unfolds when hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail gets a frantic call from her mother saying she found a dead body in her bathroom during a remodel. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had a reputation for shady dealings. When Marla’s stepfather, Reed, becomes a suspect, Marla digs deeper for clues. Now, she’ll have to put all the pieces together to nail down the truth!” Woman’s World Magazine, Nov. 29, 2021

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, 8:00 – 9:45pm, Cozy Holidaze Party with Booklover’s Bench Authors – Fun & Prizes!

Cozy Holidaze Party

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, “Creating Settings that Sizzle” Writing Workshop with Nancy J. Cohen via Zoom for Citrus Crime Writers,
If you’re not a member but want to attend, please email us at [email protected]  

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Enter Here Dec. 1 – 18 to win a free book at Booklovers Bench in our monthly giveaway.

Copper and Crime

Researching a book can lead authors down a proverbial rabbit hole when they stumble upon an issue of interest. Such was the case for me when I decided to look into copper thefts.

While writing Styled for Murder, my latest book, I got stuck in the middle. I needed a spark of inspiration to spur the story forward, something exciting to research. When I shared my dilemma with my critique partners, one of them mentioned copper thefts. My book involved remodeling scams and this topic came to mind.

Bingo! I’d heard of this crime, and it would fit the story perfectly. As I delved into the research, I discovered all sorts of new twists. I was off and running and didn’t stop until the end. This had been exactly the spark I’d needed. So what is this crime that can affect average residents like us?

Copper is a valuable commodity. Crooks sell it to scrap metal dealers for a high price. Construction sites are favored targets along with abandoned buildings. Crooks have plenty of time after workers leave for the day to sneak in and strip out whatever they want. They can cause a lot of harm that way.

In one instance, thieves ripped open the walls on a building scheduled for demolition. They cut out the copper pipes and wires. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn off the main water valve, and the construction company had to pay for the resultant utility bill. Builders have to balance the cost of security against the potential replacement of stolen goods along with damage repairs.

Why do bad guys target copper in particular? This metal is used in critical infrastructures such as electrical sub-stations, cell towers, phone lines and water systems. Copper provides a reliable connection and is corrosion resistant. Thieves can make thousands of dollars per month from selling copper to scrap metal dealers.

“How does this affect the homeowner?” Marla, my hairstylist sleuth, asked her friend Tally while at lunch in a restaurant. 

Tally snorted. “Your central air-conditioning units may use copper piping for the water supply and refrigerant lines along with the inner coils. If the thieves take these components, you might come home one day and have no air-conditioning. The metal is also found on propane tanks. Thieves might cut the pipes at ground level near the meters and then rip away the piping. Your house would lose its gas supply, meaning you’d turn on the range and nothing would happen.” 

“I’d be more afraid of a dangerous leak caused by a cut pipe. Doesn’t a security system offer protection against people stealing this stuff outside your house?” Marla asked, thinking of the video cameras and exterior lighting around her place. 

“Nope. I remember reading about a case where a man took ten minutes to crawl beneath a house and cut out a hundred feet of plumbing pipes using a plumber’s tool. They’re fast, so by the time you receive an alert, they’re already gone. Nothing is ever secure to a determined criminal.”

Fortunately, new regulations have made scrap dealers more responsible, which has been helpful in preventing these thefts. Being an alert and observant neighbor is always a good idea, too.

We learn all sorts of eclectic things when researching a story. I hope this information has been as illuminating for you as it has been for me. Are you aware of any construction problems in your area?

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STYLED FOR MURDER is mentioned in Woman’s World Magazine on page 8 in the Nov. 29th issue! They call it a “charmingly funny whodunit.” Get your copy NOW at your local newsstand. Last chance before the next issue comes out.

Books make great gifts for the holidays! Get one for yourself and gift another to a friend.


When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects, but Marla is more concerned about her stepfather’s connection to the victim. Can she flush out the clues and nail the killer before he strikes again? Recipes Included!

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Did you miss out on these guest blog posts? If so, visit them now! 

Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder, “Peach Cobbler” RECIPE, BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY,


Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – “Is Garlic Good for You?” GUEST POST

Books a Plenty Book Reviews – “Edible Gold” GUEST POST

Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Novels Alive – “Bone China Origins” GUEST POST

 Dru’s Book Musings – “A Day in The Life of Marla Vail” GUEST POST

 Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Storeybook Reviews – “Book Research Can Save Lives” GUEST POST

 My Journey Back – “Zucchini, Eggs and Criminals” RECIPE POST

Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers, “The Case of the Cheesy Hash Browns” RECIPE POST


Last Chance to get Permed to Death ON SALE for 99 cents! Start reading the Bad Hair Day series with book #1. Sale ends soon.

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I’m going to take a break from blogs over the Holidays unless something noteworthy occurs, so Have a Wonderful and Safe Holiday Season!




On Sale – Permed to Death

PERMED TO DEATH, #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is on sale for only 99 cents! Special deal available Nov. 14 – 30, so hurry and place your order now! Get one for yourself and send another as a gift to a friend.

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

“Fast-paced and jaunty.” Publishers Weekly 

“A plot with more tangles than an uncombed perm.”  Kirkus Reviews

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

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

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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New Release – Styled for Murder

STYLED FOR MURDER, #17 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available in print and ebook formats. Happy Book Birthday!

Styled for Murder

When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects. Which one of them wanted the foreman to pipe down about their shady dealings?

Meanwhile, the lead investigator sets his sights on Marla’s stepfather, Reed, who’s keeping secrets from his family. Reed has a past connection to the victim and won’t come clean about what he knows. As Marla drills deeper, she’s showered with suspicions, but nobody’s willing to leak any information. She needs to hammer down the prospects, or time will drain away and the murderer will strike again.

To flush out the culprit, Marla taps into her pipeline of resources. Can she assemble the clues and demolish the alibis to nail a killer? Or has someone designed the perfect murder? Recipes Included!

Styled for Murder
Copyright © 2021 by Nancy J. Cohen
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-21-8
Print ISBN: 978-1-952886-22-5
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Digital Layout by
Cover Copy by

Join me TONIGHT at 7:00 – 8:30 pm EST for a Book Launch Party with Fun & Prizes. Bring your friends!

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Permed to Death, #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is on sale for 99 cents Nov. 16 – 30! 

PTD Sale


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Enter Here Nov. 14 – 24 to win my box set collection


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Home Renovations Can Be Murder

Nearly everyone who has done a home renovation has a tale of woe. It seems nothing can ever go smoothly or finish on time. Hiccups occur along the way that obstruct progress. Meanwhile, homeowners suffer the inconvenience of their bathroom or kitchen being out of order.

Home Remodels Can Be Murder

We had our bathrooms and kitchen done in our old house where we lived for forty years. I remember the disruption to our lives and the aggravation of dealing with a job manager who had poor communication skills. He would fail to respond to calls or texts, plus he would tell us someone was coming to do the work when nobody showed up. We stayed home for days waiting for plumbers, electricians, tile people, etc. My blood boiled and my helpless rage surged. Things were a mess. How would our house ever be put back together again?

Here’s where the seeds of my latest story were born. I could murder off the foreman in a book. Certainly, he deserved to be fired at the very least, but my solution would be more permanent. I began reading about renovation scams to fuel the story. When a critique partner suggested copper thefts as another angle, I was off to the races! Except this time, it was hairstylist Marla Vail’s mother, Anita, who had the remodeling woes.

When our jobs were done, we were highly satisfied with the results. It could have been an easier process, but things turned out all right. Not so for Marla, whose investigation is about to begin in STYLED FOR MURDER, a Bad Hair Day cozy mystery.

Read an Excerpt

Hours later during a break at the salon, Marla headed into the back storeroom to grab a cup of coffee and to do more research on the case. She’d decided to reach out to the company’s customers via social media. For this purpose, she signed into her neighborhood app. A quick search found someone who had asked for recommendations on bathroom remodels. 

This request had garnered a number of responses including several mentions of Amaze Design Center. She sent off a series of private messages to the commentators of those posts. 

By the end of the workday on Friday, she had a load of replies. People were descriptive in their tales of woe. 

“The company cuts corners by sending unlicensed workers to do their electrical work. I almost had a fire in my kitchen due to improper wiring behind our oven.” 

“This company doesn’t provide the products they promise. I’d ordered sliding glass doors for my shower. The installers came and put on a fixed door instead. When I said it was wrong, the foreman tried to convince me this type of door was the popular choice. I insisted they change it to the ones specified in the blueprints.”

“The mirror guys were awful. They didn’t remove the label. We have a smear now because we had to scrub it off.” 

These all happened to us. Have you done any renovations in your place? What did you like or dislike about the process? Were you happy with the results?

Home Renovations Can Be Murder #cozymystery #newrelease Click To Tweet

A Bad Hair Day Mystery

When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects, but Marla is more concerned about her stepfather’s connection to the victim. Can she flush out the clues and nail the killer before he strikes again? Recipes Included!

View the Book Trailer


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Styled for Murder Book Trailer

Watch this fun and enticing Book Trailer for STYLED FOR MURDER, a Bad Hair Day cozy mystery coming on Nov. 16th!

When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects, but Marla is more concerned about her stepfather’s connection to the victim. Can she flush out the clues and nail the killer before he strikes again? Recipes Included!

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A Treat for Halloween


When I was asked to participate in a multi-author anthology five years ago, I had to think quick about what to write. With the theme being autumn, my thoughts turned to Halloween. At the time, I’d written fourteen novels in the Bad Hair Day mystery series, but not one of them highlighted this holiday. An idea hit me that would be the perfect fit for a shorter story. Each book in my series can be read as a standalone so no worries if you start with this novella.

A Treat for Halloween

The Premise – Hairstylist Marla Vail hopes to win her stepdaughter’s approval by helping to decorate a school haunted house. All goes well until Marla stumbles across a real dead body on the spooky estate grounds. It’s the teacher who is loaning his estate for the project. Marla sets off to investigate with the goal of keeping the kids safe.

I’d only written one other novella (“Three Men and a Body” in Wicked Women Whodunit), and I knew this form of fiction didn’t have room for subplots. Instead, I had to focus exclusively on the crime and suspects. Who would have reason to want the teacher dead? A kid in his history class? One of the overprotective parents there that night? The mysterious school janitor? Or perhaps the greedy principal?

Once I had the suspects and their possible motives in mind, I was ready to start writing the story. It flowed naturally, and I didn’t have to do a plotting chart or chapter outline like for a longer novel. Shorter chapters were the norm, and I kept writing until I reached the end.

How do you feel about novellas in a series? Love them or leave them?

I hope you’ll enjoy this story and that it will put you in the mood for a spooky fall season. It also would make a great addition to your holiday gift bags. In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

A Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Novella

Haunted Hair Nights

Copyright © 2016 by Nancy J. Cohen
Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9970038-3-3
Print ISBN: 978-0-9970038-4-0
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by

A haunted house turns into reality when hairstylist Marla Vail finds a dead body on the estate grounds in this spooky Halloween cozy mystery novella.

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

Haunted Hair Nights is the perfect treat for Halloween! #cozymystery #novella Click To Tweet

“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.” 5 Stars! Readers’ Favorite

“A haunted mansion is the perfect setting for a Halloween read.” 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!” Charlene’s Reviews

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Setting – Real or Imaginary?

Welcome to Lois Winston, my bestselling author friend who writes the hilarious Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. If you like wacky characters, clever plots, and interesting settings, you’ll love her series.

Setting – Real or Imaginary? by Lois Winston

When Nancy invited me to guest blog here, she mentioned that she was enjoying the setting of my latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Stitch Bake, Die! The book mostly takes place at an exclusive country club that’s hosting a conference. Nancy asked if I had based the setting on an actual place. I had.

In November 2019, months before Covid shut down the world, my husband and I were invited to a wedding held at one of the most exclusive private venues in the country. Along with weddings and other social and corporate events, the site is often used as a movie and TV location, as well as for fashion photography shoots. It’s located on some of the priciest real estate in the country, which might surprise those of you who only think of strip malls, The Sopranos, and Snooki when it comes to New Jersey.

The centerpiece of the estate is a Norman-inspired chateau, originally built as a home for a New York City industrialist in the early days of the twentieth century. Along with the chateau, there are various outbuildings, including a conference center, horse stable, helipad, and both formal gardens and woodlands, complete with ponds, streams, and meandering footpaths. However, unlike many over-the-top estates built by the Robber Barons of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this one is elegant rather than ostentatious, featuring hand-carved mahogany woodwork and handmade Spanish and Portuguese tiles. The moment I stepped foot inside the chateau, I knew I’d eventually use it as a setting in a future book.

That opportunity arose when I came up with the plot of Stitch, Bake, Die!, my tenth Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery. However, given that I set a murder in the chateau, I’ve given it a fictitious name.

This is not the first time I’ve used a real-life setting in my books. All my books are set in locations familiar to me. The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries take place in an actual New Jersey town. Many readers have told me they enjoy reading about places they know. Others have expressed interest in one day traveling to a location I’ve described, like when Anastasia accompanied boyfriend Zack Barnes to Barcelona in Mosaic Mayhem. Unfortunately, Anastasia wound up kidnapped at Parc Güell during her visit. As a result, she didn’t have much time to experience the grandeur of Antoni Gaudi’s whimsical mosaic masterpiece. Then again, I am writing mysteries, not travelogues!

Have you ever read a book set in a location familiar to you? Do you enjoy the special intimacy of having been to the town or city where the story is set and to various places within that setting?

Stitch, Bake, Die!

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 10

Stitch, Bake, Die!

With massive debt, a communist mother-in-law, a Shakespeare-quoting parrot, and a photojournalist boyfriend who may or may not be a spy, crafts editor Anastasia Pollack already juggles too much in her life. So she’s not thrilled when her magazine volunteers her to present workshops and judge a needlework contest at the inaugural conference of the New Jersey chapter of the Stitch and Bake Society, a national organization of retired professional women. At least her best friend and cooking editor Cloris McWerther has also been roped into similar duties for the culinary side of the 3-day event taking place on the grounds of the exclusive Beckwith Chateau Country Club.

The sweet little old ladies Anastasia is expecting to meet are definitely old, and some of them are little, but all are anything but sweet. She’s stepped into a vipers’ den that starts with bribery and ends with murder. When an ice storm forces Anastasia and Cloris to spend the night at the Chateau, Anastasia discovers evidence of insurance scams, medical fraud, an opioid ring, long-buried family secrets, and a bevy of suspects.

Can she piece together the various clues before she becomes the killer’s next target?

Crafting tips included.

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 Lois Winston

USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

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