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died with a bow
An Accessories Mystery #2
Grace Carroll

Sept 2012/ ISBN 978-0-425-25156-0
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Dolce’s boutique in San Francisco is an exclusive small shop, and Rita Jewel loves working there. The owner, Dolce, is a great boss and she and Rita are close friends. Rita is stunned when she goes to work one day and there is a new employee there to greet her. Vienna Fairchild is from a wealthy family and is very full of herself. Even worse, Dolce has Vienna working the floor, selling clothes on commission, while Rita is relegated to the back room, unpacking inventory and answering phones.

There’s a charity auction coming up, and a customer sells Dolce tickets for the three of them to attend. Rita is nervous because one of the three men she’s romantically interested in (an ER doctor, a Romanian gymnast and a homicide detective) is up for auction. It is the ER doctor, and Vienna is the winning bidder. Before the night is over, Rita sees Vienna in the ladies room, and Vienna gives her the winning claim ticket. She says she can’t go on the date because her boyfriend would kill her.

Wouldn’t you know it---Vienna ends up dead and Rita finds her body on the floor at Dolce’s the next morning. She’s still in her gown from the auction the night before, and it seems that Rita’s homicide detective friend is on the case. He can’t seriously suspect Rita, can he? The idea that he does is enough to set Rita on a mission to find the real killer and clear her own name.

I found this to be an amusing book, and I realized that the author’s style reminds me of Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella’s protagonist in the “Shopaholic” series is similar to Rita. Both are materialistically oriented and both get themselves into jams that they have to talk their way out of. I was pleased that the murder wasn’t easy to solve, and that there were no loose ends left hanging. If you like a cozy mystery with a touch of humor and some romantic insecurity, with an emphasis on fashion you’ll like this book. It is the second in the series, and I will look forward to the next, “24-Karat Killer” coming out in 2013.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Shoe Done It #1

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2012