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.

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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?

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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!

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Killer Knots Reissue

NEW RELEASE! I am proud to announce the reissue of KILLER KNOTS, #9 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries.

Killer Knots

Hairstylist Marla Shore is looking forward to a romantic interlude with her fiancé, Detective Dalton Vail, on their first Caribbean cruise. Her excitement hits a snag when she discovers his parents have come along for the ride. It isn’t how she might have chosen to meet her future in-laws, but she hopes they’ll have smooth sailing ahead.

The first sign of trouble is a mysterious note addressed to Martha Shore on her cabin door. Marla assumes the sender spelled her name wrong but is disturbed by the message. When she meets her dinner companions and learns they’ve received similar notes, she suspects something isn’t kosher, and it’s not the lobster on the menu. Moreover, Dalton’s parents have been seated at another table by mistake. Is it merely a mishap, or something more?

Their tablemates all seem to know each other as colleagues from an art museum, where an artist died recently under dubious circumstances. When her dinner companions start disappearing one-by-one, Marla realizes they’re headed for stormy waters. If she doesn’t find the culprit fast, she might end up with a one-way ticket to Davy Jones’s locker.

Killer Knots was originally published by Kensington. This Author’s Edition has been revised and updated with added bonus materials.

Print ISBN: 978-0-9997932-3-7, May 21, 2019, $14.99, Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9997932-2-0, May 21, 2019, $3.99, Orange Grove Press
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com

Order Here: https://amzn.to/2IXkA23

Print Edition coming soon!

“Delightful…The Love Boat meets Sex and the City. A charming heroine and a hero to die for, pick this one up posthaste!” MaryJanice Davidson, NY Times Bestselling Author

“Fans of vacation mysteries will enjoy watching Marla find her way through this light whodunit.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Overeating isn’t the only danger when a Florida hairdresser and her fiancé take a Caribbean cruise. As passengers start to disappear, Marla suspects lobster thermidor isn’t the only thing aboard that’s not kosher.” Kirkus Reviews

“Cohen’s latest Marla Shore novel shines with the compelling drama of an old-fashioned whodunit. A cruise ship is the perfect setting for this closed-door mystery.” RT Book Reviews

“Killer Knots lures you with balmy breezes, exotic ports of call, and an intriguing mystery. Kick back with your favorite tropical libation and enjoy the sailing.” Reader To Reader

“This fun cruise ship cozy makes it seem as if you are on the cruise–the food, activities, ports, music, description of the ship–everything is described in luscious detail. Set sail for a fun read.” Armchair Interviews

“Set on a cruise ship headed for the balmy Caribbean, stormy relationships and murder brew on the horizon. Maybe the hairstylist should have caught a clipper ship instead (ouch!). This Bad Hair Day mystery is a stylish read.” The Murder Circle