Yo, readers! My name is Gia Di Mitri, and I’m originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, a.k.a. America’s Playground. But a few months ago I headed west to Danger Cove, Washington, to do makeup and nails at my step cousin Cassidi Conti’s hair salon, The Clip and Sip. And let me tell you, a playground Danger Cove ain’t. It kind of reminds me of Cabot Cove—you know, from Murder, She Wrote? Because it’s a quiet seaside town complete with its own famous mystery writer, Elizabeth Ashby, and because murders just keep friggin’ happening here. Even in my own family.
You see, last year Cassidi’s Uncle Vincent Conti (who’s my step uncle) died under what the Danger Cove Police Department describes as “mysterious circumstances.” But, if you ask me, the only thing mysterious about Vinnie’s death is the identity of the criminal who wrapped a fishnet stocking around his neck—and tied it good and tight. Dear old Uncle Vinnie was what we Italians call a donnaiolo, or a womanizer, so Cassidi thinks one of his gumads (girlfriends) did it. But he had longstanding connections in the Atlantic City casino scene and a stash of cash, so organized crime isn’t out of the question.
The thing is, Cassidi and I didn’t really know our Uncle Vinnie. So imagine her surprise when he left her his entire estate, which included an old Victorian mansion that he’d converted into a combined house and hair salon and—best of all—a totally sick black Ferrari. At the time, Cassidi was having some problems back home in Texas, so she packed her bags and got the hell out of Dodge, i.e., Fredericksburg. Her plan was to start a new life in Danger Cove. No problem, right?
Wrong. It turns out that Cassidi’s painted lady, as Victorian homes are called, has a bad rep with the local townsfolk, and it isn’t because of the paint job. Apparently, Vinnie was doing more than his clients’ ‘dos, and before he bought the building it had a hundred-year history as a brothel, not to mention some rather choice artwork. In 1955, a mob of God-fearing (read: prostitute-loathing) women actually tried to burn the place down, and trust me when I say that there are still plenty of people who’d like to see the old girl gone.
Anyway, a few of Vinnie’s regulars continue to come in to The Clip and Sip. One of them was Margaret Appleby, an eighty-year-old Miss Marple lookalike who always drank soy chai tea. I used the past tense because we lost Margaret after our stylist, Lucy O’Connell, put a blue rinse in her hair, and she turned as blue as a bowl of Boo Berry cereal. At first, I thought that Margaret had died because she was old, but the medical examiner said it was murder.
So, now Cassidi and I are trying to prove Lucy’s innocence (which I have my doubts about), save the business, and find out just what, exactly, is going on in our house and in this town. I mean, we know that two murders in one building might be more than a coincidence, so we’re all on edge. But, like I always say, green tea vodka does wonders to calm the nerves. Cassidi has been doing some asking around, and Amy Spannagel, our (lunatic) local librarian, is helping with the research. What we want to know is this: Why did Margaret Appleby turn blue? Was it the blue dye, or something else? And who would want her dead? Last but not least, was her death connected to Vinnie Conti’s?
If you know anything about either of these crimes, please contact the Danger Cove PD. You can also get in touch with Cassidi or me. You can find our contact information on the Danger Cove website. And if you can muster up the courage, stop by The Clip and Sip and have a drink on the salon. While you’re there, I’ll give you a free makeup consultation. FYI: Being from Jersey, I do a serious smoky eye.
You can read more about Gia in Deadly Dye And A Soy Chai, the fifth book in the “Danger Cove” mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book in the series is Secret of the Painted Lady by Christina Burke.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on July 31 for the chance to win either a print or an e-book copy of Deadly Dye And A Soy Chai–winner’s choice. Two lucky commenters will be randomly selected. The print giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The e-book giveaway is open to everyone. Winners will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.
About the author
Traci Andrighetti is the national bestselling author of the Franki Amato mysteries and the Danger Cove Hair Salon mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a PhD in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime—writing, that is.
If she’s not busy working on Amaretto Amber or A Poison Manicure and Peach Liqueur, the forthcoming novels in her two series, then she’s probably still celebrating the news that Limoncello Yellow, the debut novel in her Franki Amato mysteries, is a finalist for the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.