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Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J Cohen
About the Book
Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
15th in Series
Orange Grove Press (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 290 pages
Digital ASIN: B07F2FP55B
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?
Guest Post by the Author
Farm Festivals by Nancy J. Cohen
When I decided to set my new story, Trimmed to Death, at a farm festival, I had little experience with this type of event. I’d attended the corn maze at Long & Scott Farms (http://www.longandscottfarms.com/about-us.html) in Mount Dora, Florida and vaguely remembered the details. To add to the setting, I visited Bedner’s Farm in Boynton Beach (http://www.bedners.com/about-us.html). The U-pick fields, fresh marketplace, kiddie area and barbecue tent provided plenty of fodder for my imagination. Using notes from my visit, I created fictional Kinsdale Farms and set my opening scene at a fall harvest festival. Hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a bake-off competition, and things heat up from there when she finds another contestant dead in the strawberry patch.
After determining the setting, I researched fairs and festivals online to learn more about the events that take place during these local gatherings. Besides a band providing musical entertainment, you might have a choice of hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, face-painting, a corn maze, booths with local businesses offering swag along with promotional brochures, food vendors and a farmer’s market. Contests can include bake-offs, best homegrown vegetables, art, photography, or even a doggie dress-up competition.
A new and interesting topic popped up during my research. I read about a live scavenger hunt wherein people play character roles and contestants follow clues to locate each person. This inspired me to create a similar game in my story. Another topic I came across dealt with hazards for farm workers. That’s a subject I mention in my book. Did a laborer accidentally fall into a silo? But let’s backtrack and observe Marla playing the live scavenger hunt game in this brief excerpt:
Marla discovered Patty Pepper weaving through the crowd. The middle-aged woman had on a sweater with red and green peppers woven into the design.
“Here’s your question, dear,” Patty said when Marla stopped her. “Which foods are better for you—red or white?”
Marla didn’t even have to think about it. She’d been told often enough by her friend Tally to avoid white foods like pastries, breads, and pasta. “Beta-carotene is a pigment found in many fruits and vegetables. It gives them their color and has healthful properties, so the answer is red.”
“That’s correct. The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. We need this substance for healthy skin and good eye health.” The woman stamped Marla’s card and gave her a spiel about colorful foods like carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and peppers.
As Marla moved on, she decided the game wasn’t as easy to play as she’d thought. An hour or more passed before she tracked down the other individuals. They kept moving and could be anywhere on the property.
Finally, she had one more to go. Francine was listed as the queen bee. Would she be wearing a fake crown? Or perhaps a hat with a bee stinger?
The sun beat down on her head as she traipsed from one site to another without spotting her quarry. Francine didn’t seem to be anywhere.
Uh-oh. Why can’t anyone find Francine? Marla will learn the answer soon enough.
Reader Question: Have you ever attended a farm festival? What do you like most about these events?
Trimmed to Death
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. Can she unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life? Recipes Included!
Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998531766/
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA 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. 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…or visiting the salon for research.
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+NancyJCohen/
Booklover’s Bench: https://bookloversbench.com
About the Author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as the best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Booklover’s Bench: http://bookloversbench.com
Newsletter Sign-Up: http://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter/
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September 30 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
October 1 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
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October 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
October 3 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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October 5 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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