A Valentine’s Day Gift for You

Happy Valentine’s Day Month!  As a gift to you, I’m offering a copy of Permed to Death for FREE. Yes, you heard me. My First-in-Series for the Bad Hair Day Mysteries is Free!

Sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer. Figuring she’d better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects. Her theory regarding whodunit gels only after she looks for the culprit closer to home.

Click Here to Get Your Free Copy Now

What can you expect from this story?

Amateur sleuth
Colorful characters
Family Drama
Intriguing plot twists
Red Herrings
Small-Town Secrets
South Florida Charm

A Sample of Industry Reviews

“Fast-paced and jaunty.” Publishers Weekly 

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

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

“A very successful mystery in a new series.”Fort Myers Life Magazine

As a reader, I’ve found many favorite new authors through their freebies. I’ve gone on to buy their entire series. I’ll discover them through daily newsletters such as BookBub, The Fussy Librarian, Freebooksy and Book Doggy. These allow you to try new authors without financial risk. It’s a great way to find your next great read. Subscriptions to readers are free and you can filter your genres.

Will you be my Valentine and download my book? Please share the link with friends and help spread the word. Happy Reading!

Download your free copy now: https://books2read.com/PermedtoDeath

What are your favorite ways to discover new authors or series to read?


Enter Here to win 7 First-in-Series Books, plus a Logo Mug, from Booklovers Bench in our 11th anniversary blowout giveaway!

Bad Hair Day Box Set Six Preorder

I am pleased to announce that The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume Six: Books 16-18 is available for preorder.

Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume Six: Books 16-18
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-35-5
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc
Digital Layout by Formatting4u.com


A deadly Easter egg hunt, a remodeling project gone awry, and a Fourth of July murder at a living history village make for a sparkling cozy mystery collection.


An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead man in the bunny suit is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla’s husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, knows she finds solving mysteries to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla use her egg-cellent sleuthing skills to crack the case?

Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner

“This story will fill your reading basket with entertainment, charming characters, plot twists, tasty recipes, and a cozy murder mystery to solve.” Thoughts in Progress


When salon owner, 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 remodel plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had a shady 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. Reed is keeping secrets and he won’t come clean about what he knows. Can she flush out the clues and nail the killer before he strikes again?

Suspense Magazine “Best Cozy Mystery”
Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner

“A charmingly funny whodunit!” Woman’s World Magazine


Hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal. As Dalton takes charge of the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Soon it becomes clear that every one of the villagers is a suspect. Instead of spending the holiday chilling and grilling, somebody’s mind is on killing. Marla needs to find the culprit before she becomes the next victim.

FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medal Winner

Star Tangled Murder shines with excellent plotting, lots of twists and turns, and a satisfying ending. Highly recommended.” Suspense Magazine


Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CJ59FT7S/
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6466620054
BN Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1144075697?ean=2940185892756
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-bad-hair-day-mysteries-box-set-volume-six
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=vU7XEAAAQBAJ
Books2Read:  https://books2read.com/u/boBNo0


Tea and Murder

In writing a novel, authors research much more material than goes into the story. If we add too much, our editors call it an info dump. But too little, and things might not make sense.

In Star Tangled Murder, hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband, Dalton, attend a battle reenactment at a living history village where the town marshal ends up dead. During their investigation, they learn about tea production. I researched the topic and was surprised at the complexity of the process.

Tea bushes first arrived in the United States from China in the 1700s. Attempts to cultivate the camellia sinensis plant in this country failed until a chemist, Dr. Charles Shepard, founded the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, South Carolina in the late 1880s. He produced award-winning teas until he died.

Meanwhile, the Lipton Company acquired a farm on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina. They relocated Shepard’s plants there. William Barclay Hall, a professional tea taster, bought the land in 1987. He converted the farm into a commercial operation, and the Charleston Tea Plantation was born. They renamed it the Charleston Tea Garden when Bigelow took over the property.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Each type of tea requires different processing. You can’t just pluck leaves off a plant and brew a pot. For example, green tea leaves are steamed on arrival to halt oxidation and to preserve their freshness. Black tea requires withering, rolling, and oxidizing. Oolong is a semi-oxidized tea that falls in between the other two. The tea plant grows best in places with high heat, humidity, good rainfall, and acidic soil. China, Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya are the four major suppliers.

Tea is promoted as having various health benefits. In particular, green tea drinkers allegedly have a lower incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This may be related to the high content of polyphenols in green tea. These have antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties and may also stimulate the immune system.

Green tea is one of the least processed varieties. Only the top two leaves and a bud from one stem are picked. This is called the flush. During harvesting season, the plant produces a new flush every seven to fifteen days. For black and oolong tea, two to four leaves down from the top are picked. There’s also white tea made from the buds of a plant. The only step for white tea is drying it to reduce moisture.

Yellow tea is similar to green tea in the initial production process, but it requires an additional procedure called sealed yellowing. This removes the grassy scent associated with green tea. Matcha teas are a type of Japanese green tea. The leaves are ground into a fine powder and then whisked into hot water. It has more antioxidants than green tea but also more caffeine.

When writing a book, it’s a fine line between dumping too much info into the story versus sharing this information with readers. I cut out this portion from the final version of Star Tangled Murder:

“Here the leaves for black and oolong teas undergo oxidation on these conveyor belts. This kickstarts the fermentation process. Next is what we call disruption,” he said, gesturing to a rotating tumbler. “Tossing the leaves tears them and allows for oxygen to penetrate the bruised cells. When sufficient oxidation has occurred, the leaves enter a gas-heated dryer for a short period to stop fermentation. This stage is called fixation and is the most critical part because it determines the tea’s taste, aroma, and color.”

“Then it’s ready for consumption?” Marla asked, not seeing anything that would account for the security measures.

“Not yet. The leaves go through a sieve to filter out undesirable particles, such as stems and fibers. Then the tea is shaped into tiny pellets to intensify the flavor. Once this cycle is complete, the tea enters the final firing stage in this oven.”

This would have been too much detail to leave in my story. I might find it fascinating, but readers want to move on to see what happens next regarding the mystery.

Tea and Murder #cozymystery #research Click To Tweet

Do you like learning new topics in a mystery, or do you prefer a story that sticks to the bones of the plot? And what’s your favorite kind of tea?


Enter Here to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

Star Tangled Murder Complete Book Tour Schedule

Follow my complete virtual book tour to celebrate the release of STAR TANGLED MURDER, #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Join in for reviews, spotlights, author interviews, guest posts and giveaways! I will update this as reviews and permalinks come in, so please stop by again either here or at my Appearances tab for the latest.

Jan. 4 – Sunhusky’s Daisy Reads 2 – REVIEW

Jan. 15 – Mostly Cozy Librarian – REVIEW

March 1 – Donovan’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 1, The Big Thrill – INTERVIEW

March 1, Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 11 – Dru’s Book Musing – “Coming Week of March 12, 2023”

March 12 – MJB Reviewers – New Releases for the Week of March 12, 2023

March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – BOOK SHOWCASE

March 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – Storeybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – BookGoodies – SPOTLIGHT

Tuesday, March 14, 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDTBOOK LAUNCH PARTY
Facebook Party with Fun & Prizes!

March 15 – Mystery Reads – Spotlight


March 15 – Fundinmental – REVIEW

March 15 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 16 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW & GUEST POST “Corn and Crime” & RECIPE

March 16 – Dru’s Book Musings – GUEST POST “A Day in my Life by Marla Vail” 

Friday, March 17, 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT – AUTHOR TAKEOVER
Facebook Event with Fun & Prizes!

March 17 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST “Holidays and Homicide”

March 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 17- MJB Reviewers – REVIEW


March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – GUEST POST “History and Mystery”

March 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST “Tales of Lost Treasure”

March 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 21 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 21 – Cinnamon and Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, “Salmon Mini Quiches” RECIPE, & Giveaway

March 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 23 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – “Interview with Marla Vail”

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – KRL News & Reviews – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 25 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

March 28 – Denise Swanson’s Mysteries, Romances, and More – GIVEAWAY

March 28 – Denise Swanson’s Mysteries, Romances, and More – GIVEAWAY

March 29 – Cozy Mystery Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 1 – Dru’s Book Musings – INTERVIEW “A Word with the Author”

Follow Nancy J. Cohen's Complete Book Tour for STAR TANGLED MURDER Click To Tweet


Enter Here March 12 – 27 to win a signed copy of “Star Tangled Murder” and a Box of White Tea


Enter Here March 1 – 18 to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench


Mysteries with Humor Giveaway

First in Series Mysteries with Humor Giveaway

If you like reading humorous mysteries, Enter Now to win 45+ First in Series Mysteries with Humor AND a brand new eReader from BookSweeps.


I am offering PERMED TO DEATH, book #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, in this giveaway. Please share with your friends!



LAST DAY! Oct. 1 – 18 Booklovers Bench
Enter to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench https://bookloversbench.com/contests/win-a-free-book-oct-2022

Oct. 7 – 31 A Scary Good Giveaway
Enter to win a $400 Amazon eGift Card from The Kindle Book Review https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/a-scary-good-400-giveaway/

Scenes and Series

When you’re writing a series, you need to be aware of scenes written in previous books that might impact your current story. Has your sleuth encountered a similar character before, researched a familiar topic, or visited the same place? If so, this might change how you approach a scene for your work in progress.

During my revision for Star Tangled Murder, #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, I had two scenes that made me realize more research needed to be done. One involved a local history museum and the other a casino run by a Native American tribe.

It suddenly hit me that this wasn’t the first time for either scenario. Marla, my hairstylist sleuth, had an episode in the same museum curator’s office in Trimmed to Death. And she’d interviewed a shaman at a Seminole casino in Hanging by a Hair. I realized I had better look up what I wrote before so I don’t contradict these previous settings.

My casino descriptions didn’t match. This fix was easy. Billy, the shaman in the current story, would work at a different gambling hall. I added a few lines bringing back Marla’s memories of visiting the other place for a prior case.

Regarding the local history museum, again my description didn’t match what I’d written before. That meant I had to modify what I’d written this time around since it was the same place. No need to reinvent the wheel in this instance.

The same precautions apply to conversations. Are you relating what two characters might already know about each other? How much background do you need for new readers without repeating information? This requires a delicate balancing act. It’s best to sneak in this info in small doses.

These are only a few of the hazards in writing a series. You have to remember what came before not only so you don’t repeat yourself but also so you get descriptions right and have your character reflect upon similar incidents from the past.


Oct. 1 – 18 Booklovers Bench
Enter to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench https://bookloversbench.com/contests/win-a-free-book-oct-2022  ‎


Oct. 7 – 31 A Scary Good Giveaway
Enter Now to win a $400 Amazon eGift Card from The Kindle Book Review in A Scary Good Giveaway! Go here: https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/a-scary-good-400-giveaway/


STARTS TOMORROW! Oct. 17 – 26 First in Series Mysteries with Humor
Enter to win a copy of PERMED TO DEATH, book #1 in my Bad Hair Day series, along with 45+ First in Series Mysteries with Humor AND a brand new eReader from BookSweeps. https://www.booksweeps.com/giveaway/october22-win-a-bundle-of-mysteries-with-humor/

New Mystery Release – Box Set Volume Five

I’m excited to announce the release of The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume Five: Books 13-15

BHD Box Set 5

Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-20-1
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Digital Layout by Formatting4u.com

In this trio of adventures, Marla solves a murder at her day spa during 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.

TONIGHT, Feb. 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST, Book Launch Party/Author Takeover with Fun & Prizes! 

Launch Party Box Set 5

Included in this Volume:


The last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs during the December holidays 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

“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


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 

“Readers will become immersed from page one. You’ll hang on every word as the twists and turns of the mystery are revealed.” Suspense Magazine 


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

“A fast-paced read with charming characters.” Socrates Book Reviews


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.

“The dialogue is sharp, the eye for detail is masterful, and the narrative pacing is just right. Plenty of suspicious-seeming characters raise the tension. Even if you’re not yet a ‘Cozy’ fan, you’ll have a blast.” Florida Weekly


Amazon https://amzn.to/3GVYXtT
Apple Bookshttps://books.apple.com/us/book/id1601090175
BN Nookhttps://bit.ly/3pcdKdG
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/BadHairDayBoxSetFive

Add to Goodreads TBR Listhttps://bit.ly/3Jz19cZ

If you want to get caught up in the series, go here – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08ZDVH1VW

New Release - Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set 5 #cozymystery #boxset #newrelease Click To Tweet


Click Here to Enter Now – Winner Takes All in the Booklover’s Bench 9th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway!

BB Feb22


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. https://www.suspensemagazine.com/

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. https://www.thebigthrill.org/?p=73206


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! https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty

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, https://www.facebook.com/events/322966752607646
If you’re not a member but want to attend, please email us at [email protected]  

Awards, Events, & Giveaways from @nancyjcohen #cozymystery #mysteryseries Click To Tweet


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

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!

Share the book trailer with your friends – https://youtu.be/yT95QwTzT58

Order Your Book Here:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DYN9YG6
Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1583387985
BN – https://bit.ly/3jF7Uz7
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/styled-for-murder
Google Play https://bit.ly/3m2bJiJ
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/StyledforMurder

Watch the Book Trailer for STYLED FOR MURDER, a Bad Hair Day #cozymystery #booktrailer Click To Tweet

Want to learn how to Create Your Own Book Trailer?  Go here: https://nancyjcohen.com/create-your-own-book-trailer/


Enter Here to win a free book Nov. 1-18 from Booklovers Bench cozy mystery authors

Win a Free Book Nov2021