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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.7 out of 5
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  • Interesting, twisty, cozy mystery

    In Styled For Murder, the reader finds Marla is now an exhausted new mother who has sworn off investigating - until her own mother calls with a dead man in the shower of their remodel. How can she say no to Mom. This well written mystery has all the charm of the first sixteen, as well as many twists, red herrings and misdirects. I never figured it out even though I was intrigued from the first page and read straight through. I could not put it down.

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  • Can she find the killer?

    I just love Marla and this series. I know who I wanted the killer to be, but I was wrong. Marla's mother has a dead body in her bathroom and it looks like Marla's step-father will be blamed. He seems to be keeping something from them and it only makes him look guilty. But, there is no shortage of suspects as more people connected to the case are murdered. Marla is trying to juggle the investigation with her family and work. She is already tired and this just adds to it, but she can't leave it alone. Can she find the killer?

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  • Marla is back and better than ever!

    I don’t think “Mazel Tov!” is actually the opposite of “Oy vey” – as Marla’s mother Anita is fond of saying – but whatever the opposite is, that’s what I felt after reading Styled for Murder, the seventeenth book in author Nancy J. Cohen’s Bad Hair Day Mystery series. At the end of Easter Hair Hunt, book #16, I wasn’t quite sure if we would see Marla again or not. She was expecting a baby and many plot points were very nicely wrapped up and all characters were accounted for. So I have to admit that I was a little afraid Marla would ride off into the Mommy Sunset. But Marla is back! Yes, life has changed and she has had to change with it, but we’ve still got the essential Marla that we’ve all grown to know and love. As a fan of the series from the beginning I have enjoyed seeing Marla grow with each book, adapting to and savoring changes in her professional and personal lives. She has always been an efficient, capable businesswoman, and then a loving wife and partner to Dalton and loving stepmother to his daughter Brianna. And while she is now a devoted mother to their son Ryder, motherhood has not changed her fundamentally - she's still pragmatic, detailed, organized, loyal, determined, and stubborn. No flighty, mushy Marla :) As Styled for Murder opens Marla’s response to her mother Anita’s cry for help after finding a dead tile guy in the bathroom they are renovating is rather low-key, but that’s normal for her; panicking is not her style. And from some of her inner thoughts we deduce that Marla is a bit peeved at Anita and her (somewhat) new husband Reed for moving a town or so away. Not out of reach but not just around the corner when Marla could really use some help and advice with Ryder. We enjoy a little humor at Marla’s expense: motherhood is pretty overwhelming at times, juggling family, friends, and the job. And now she has to fit in some sleuthing. She “retired” from investigating when Ryder was born, but this is her mother we’re talking about and she is not about to rest while Anita and Reed may be in danger. Styled for Murder has a wonderful, complex, fast-moving plot with many, many connections – kind of a 6-degrees of separation – and hints and secrets and clues and surprises and twists that you won’t see coming but make perfect sense when you do. The large cast of characters have complicated backstories that make their current behavior and motives consistent and understandable. Dalton and Marla are an old married couple now, but she still loves to eyeball that handsome husband of hers. Ryder is adorable. Brianna is a joy as always. Anita, as always, can be irritating and Reed and his secrecy fits right in. But they are a loving family and they will do whatever it takes to keep each other safe and happy. Marla is still pragmatic and ordered and somehow gets people to open up and talk to her even though what she asks is often very personal and intrusive. Styled for Murder is a thoughtful, well-written book that was impossible to put down. Once again I enjoyed the perfectly detailed descriptions of clothes, hair and accessories – and people – and was delighted to learn something about edible gold (!??!) and copper robberies. There is also a little hint at the end about things to come so I cannot wait for the next book in this always delightful series. Thanks to author Nancy J. Cohen for providing an advance copy for my reading pleasure and honest review. Read it! Read the entire series! All opinions are my own.

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  • Great series

    A fun series that gets better and better! The characters have evolved and you feel like old friends with them. The mystery is a solid cozy and highly enjoyable. Lots of red herrings. Keep'em coming! Thanks #netgalley and #OrangeGrovePress for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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  • Recommended

    Reviewed by Barbara Oliverio for Readers' Favorite Marla Vail is blissfully enjoying being a new mother and thinks that her days of chasing clues instead of managing feeding schedules are behind her in Nancy J. Cohen’s latest cozy mystery, Styled for Murder. The universe has other plans for the amateur sleuth when her mother calls her in a panic. It seems that the project manager overseeing the remodel of her mom’s bathroom was found dead – colder than the stylish floor tiles. All it takes for Marla to stretch her investigative muscles is the notion that her stepfather is the prime suspect. She manages to collect clues that lead her to other suspects (including the dead guy’s employer, other subcontractors, and even a former beauty queen) while getting advice from her police detective husband. All the while, she manages to juggle her regular duties as a mom and salon owner. Styled for Murder is the latest in Nancy J. Cohen’s cozy murder mystery series, but works effectively as a standalone offering. Intrepid Marla is no-nonsense but has an open personality that encourages those she questions into revealing just a bit more than they probably intended. The author takes an entertaining path to the big reveal and manages to throw in just enough deceptive clues to keep the reader second-guessing. I appreciated the Florida setting and how Cohen made the suspects more than just one-dimensional distractions on the journey to the discovery of the real murderer. Cohen fans and those sure to become her fans will love this whodunit.

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