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Masking for Trouble
A Costume Shop Mystery #2
Diane Vallere

Berkley Prime Crime
October 4, 2016 / ISBN 978-0-425-27829-1
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


It's Halloween season and Margo Tamblyn is in charge of her father's costume shop, Disguise DeLimit. She took over running the business a mere six months ago after dad Jerry's heart attack and subsequent desire to travel. The shop is in Proper City, Nevada, just forty miles from Las Vegas, and if there is one thing Proper City is known for, its costume parties.

The city has a big kick-off costume party at the Alexandria Hotel, which has been vacant for years and therefore spooky. There's a new owner this year, Haverford Venture Capital, and the man himself, Paul Haverford, makes it clear that, unless your business is owned by his firm, you cannot compete in the contest. This could be a huge blow to Disguise Delimit, and later, when Margo discovers Haverford's very dead body, it is a cauldron of trouble when she becomes the main suspect in his murder.

Margo knows she has to clear her own name and unmask the real killer before she winds up next on the hit list. With a long list of enemies, this isn't going to be an easy task….and there is a deadline to get things resolved and Halloween back on track.

This is another fun filled and twisty mystery from author Diane Vallere. It was interesting to read about all the costume ideas, and I found the descriptions so intriguing that I'm considering some of these costumes for future real-life Halloween events.

Having read the first book in the series, A Disguise to Die For, I was familiar with most of the characters and was curious to learn more about them. I'm happy that this second installment is as good as the first and is a true cozy with a smart heroine, snappy dialogue and enough red herrings to keep a dedicated mystery reader guessing.

Halloween will be over by the time you read this review, but make a note for next year- keep this book handy for costume ideas and instructions and a few seasonally themed recipes. You'll be happy you did!

Reviewed 2016