Friday, March 10, 2023

Book Review: Star Tangled Murder: Bad Hair Day Mysteries Book 18 by Nancy Cohen

About the Book

Hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband get tangled up in murder when their Fourth of July visit to a living history village ends with a bang—and a body.
Salon owner Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk in his head.

As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?

In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing might blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she'll become the next victim. Recipes included.
As much as Marla has tried to cut down her hours at the salon to take care of the baby, Dalton's upcoming retirement may be put on hold by the murder of the town marshall. Besides, her curiosity gets the better of her. She's able to convince one of her friends to accompany her as she gathers information that may help speed up the investigation. The characters in this historical village have layers upon layers of secrets and they all get touchy as Marla asks her questions. Her friend offsets the tension with innocent questions and flirts with the shaman. Marla puts it all together none too soon. 
As I've come to expect with this series, the major characters continue to develop with a positive family atmosphere. I'm glad to see Marla has gotten past her fears of not being a good mother. On the home front, I'm interested to see how Marla and Dalton deal with his retirement and his daughter, Brianna, going away to college. There is also another surprise at the end, but I'm not telling.
Cohen once again writes a story that keeps the reader engaged, has twists and turns, and moves at a steady pace. If you've liked others in this series, you'll surely enjoy this one. If you've not read any, I strongly suggest you start at the beginning.
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. 
About the Author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and the RONE Award, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. 
Her nonfiction titles, Writing the Cozy Mystery and A Bad Hair Day Cookbook, have won the FAPA President’s Book Award, the Royal Palm Literary Award, and IAN Book of the Year. Nancy’s 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. 
Active in the writing community, Nancy is a past president of Florida Romance Writers and Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. When not busy writing, she enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.