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

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.


“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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Weddings as Inspiration

We recently attended a family wedding, and it reminded me why I used a wedding as my setting in Shear Murder, book ten in the Bad Hair Day mystery series. The sheer sentimentality, the joy of the married couple, the suspension of family conflict for one evening, lend themselves to an outburst of passion that can have good or bad results. In my story, it ends in the matron of honor’s death, her body found by my hairdresser sleuth under the cake table.

This particular wedding took place at a magnificent site in Mitchellville, Maryland: the Newton White Mansion. Surrounded by beautiful acreage, this historic house is the perfect setting for a nuptial ceremony.

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The processional began to the music of violinists. A more beautiful bride couldn’t be found. A traditional Jewish wedding followed, with all of the customs described in my earlier blog. The wedding program explained each ritual in detail. At the breaking of the glass, cheers erupted.

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After the bridal party exited and slipped away to take photos, we entered a separate smaller room for cocktails and appetizers.

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Dinner and dancing followed with live, pulse-pounding music. Young people might like it that loud, but we couldn’t be heard over the noise. I prefer quieter, romantic dance music for a wedding or at least rock decibels that don’t beat through your head. Anyway, the dinner was delicious. Stuffed lobster tail and filet mignon followed a mixed greens salad. I was most impressed by the magnificent flower arrangements. The centerpieces were exquisite. Again, my writer’s brain erupted with ideas. I remembered an unpublished story of mine wherein floral wiring was used as a method of murder. I can’t help it; we writers are unable to turn off our storytelling mind. And I’d also had the foresight to bring business cards in my beaded clutch purse.

Those treats that look like lollipops are cake pops, all the rage in the dessert stores these days. I thought they were the dessert and ate two. Chocolate covered strawberries accompanied them. Then wedding cake got passed around. Oy! I was too full to eat another bite.

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Dinner (800x600)   Cake Pops (800x600)

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We left the mansion feeling happy, sated, and tired. We spent the rest of our time in Maryland eating meals with family, touring downtown D.C., and strolling around Bethesda. So much time, money, and planning go into a wedding, and it goes by so fast! But such is life, and these events live on in my stories and in my heart.