Tressed To Kill by Lila Dare is the first book in the new “Southern Beauty Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), May 2010

St. Elizabeth, Georgia, offers charm, Southern hospitality—and, most recently, murder. Now, hairdresser Grace Terhune is ready to crack this case—before things get snarled beyond repair.

Everyone at Violetta’s salon—including Grace Terhune and her mother Violetta—has their scissors at the ready for the influx of St. Elizabeth’s high-society ladies. Of allt he snobs getting their hair done for the town meeting, the worst is Constance DuBois, a woman heartless enough to ruin people’s livelihoods on a whim. And after a tinting accident leaves her hair with orange stripes, Constance vows she’ll close down Violetta’s.

Hours after the threat, Grace and Violetta find Constance dead, and some—including the police—believe the mother-daughter duo did her in. Grace sets out to clear their names, but with an accusing special agent, her lecherous ex on the police force, and the distraught daughter of the deceased all working against them, Grace is up to her perfectly shaped eyebrows in trouble.

Constance threatens to close down Violetta’s hair salon and when Grace and her mother find her dead body, they become suspects in her murder. Not wanting her mother and friends to be without employment, Grace takes it upon herself to look into who wanted Constance dead. With help from her friends and the attention from Special Agent Dillion, Grace sets out to clear their names. I enjoyed this mystery because it had humor as well as a little romance to make this mystery a good read. There were a couple of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming which I liked. My rating: 5 stars

*new-to-me author
Pseudonym of Laura DiSilverio

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