Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Review & Excerpt: TRIMMED TO DEATH (#15 in the Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Series) by Nancy J. Cohen

Synopsis (from Amazon.com)

Mix together a cocktail for murder, add a few salty suspects, toss in a dollop of sweet humor, and you have the recipe for Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series.

Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth 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, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there's no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life? Recipes Included!


In yet another great story, Marla Vail once again is involved in the investigation of a murder. Her detective husband, Dalton, is on the case and Marla the sounding board and information seeker. Suspects abound with interesting connections from the food critique to the owners of the farm to the Italians providing virgin olive oil. 

As if that isn't enough, Marla can't just have one crisis, and she is also helping her friend Tally Riggs figure out how and where to reopen her boutique cafe, at the same time trying to expand the salon to include a bistro for her customers. On the home front, having a teen ager - though Brianna seems mature for her age and supportive of Marla - always adds to the angst.

As with others in this series, this is well-paced with enough action to keep readers engaged and the story moving along. Although part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone - though I'd recommend starting at the beginning to see how the relationships and characters evolve over time. All in all, if you enjoy cozy mysteries and female sleuths, you'll enjoy Trimmed to Death. Besides, you get some recipes!

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.


Read an excerpt:
Dalton signaled for them to move on. As they neared the site, Marla could make out the distinctive light from lanterns. It seemed to come from inside a big spreading tree.

Voices chanted as they drew nearer. Marla could hear them more distinctly now.

“Hear us, Lady Isis, and receive our prayers. We invoke thee to awaken our souls. Speak to us and save us from the darkness. May our words be a spell and a link to thy great light, O Queen and Mother. Let your Divine goodness arise within us and bring thy truth.”

Their volume rose in unison. “I am Isis, and from my life come the suns and the moons, the rain showers and the streams, the living and the dead. I am the Mother and the Earth. All glories of the universe bow to me as I am the priest, the sacrifice, the shrine. I am thy queen enraptured by a love that shall encompass thee.”

Their pitch changed again, becoming more pleading. “Hear us, Lady Isis, and accept our prayers. We worship and invoke thy greatness. Hail to thee, Mother of our humble lives.”

“You there, stop where you are,” a man hollered from behind Marla and Dalton.

Great, the group had left a lookout. Marla would never have succeeded as an Indian scout. The Native Americans would know how to proceed through the forest with stealth.

Slowly, with both hands in view, they turned around.

Excerpt from Trimmed to Death. Copyright © 2018 Nancy J. Cohen. All rights reserved.

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers' Association bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, won a Readers' Favorite gold medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. These books have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, she is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping. 

Want to stay in touch for updates on Nancy's new releases, giveaways, special offers and events? Join her reader list at NancyJCohen.com/newsletter. Free Book Sampler for new subscribers.


  1. Thanks so much for the great review. I appreciate your continuing support!

  2. Thank you so much for the review of Nancy J. Cohen's current release. I enjoy reading her books.

  3. Love this author. Nancy keeps me entertained!