As a hairstylist, I’ve done more bridal parties than I can count. Yet as my friend Jill’s wedding approached, I grew more excited. Finally the day came when I fixed her hair for this important event. It helped that I was one of her bridesmaids. That meant I could touch up everyone’s hair later at Orchid Isle where the ceremony would take place.

Soon my friends, Jill and Arnie, were joined in matrimony and tears glistened in my eyes. Everything went smoothly through the reception until Jill was ready to cut the cake. That’s when I discovered the dead body.

Oy, vey.

I knew my fiancé, detective Dalton Vail, wouldn’t be too happy when I showed him the evidence. With our own nuptials weeks away, you can imagine all that we have to do, and a murder investigation isn’t on the list.

“Don’t look now, but there’s a dead body under the table,” I murmured under my breath.


“You heard me.” I smiled tremulously at a couple who strolled past. Could they tell I was sweating? That my face had lost its color? That I was about to lose my dinner?

Dalton half bent, his dark hair falling forward, but then he straightened with a grin. “Good one, Marla. You almost got me.”

I shuffled my feet. “I’m not kidding.” Any minute they’d call for the cake, or Jill would broaden the hunt for her sister. Chewing on my bottom lip, I lifted a portion of the drape so Dalton could see for himself. My stomach heaved as I almost stepped on a trickle of congealing blood. Forcing down the acid reflux, I grimaced.

“Holy Mother, you aren’t joking.” Dalton gave me an incredulous glance that I read as, Not Again.

Things were already so hectic that I wished I could run away on the Tropical Sun for another cruise with Dalton. Besides our wedding planning, I work full-time at my salon and am preparing for the grand opening of our day spa. Did I mention that Dalton and I are moving into a new house in January, too? I’ll plotz if I have to do one more thing! Yet if Jill asks for my help in solving this case, how can I refuse? The victim was her sister, the matron of honor. It would be the least I can do for a dear friend.

I suppose you could say that I don’t know how to say No. I got into hairdressing because I wanted to make people feel good about themselves. You know how your mood improves after your hair is done. Your confidence lifts, and you feel more attractive. But this inclination of mine to help people I care about gets me into trouble more times than not.

I really have to focus on Dalton and his teenage daughter, Brianna. They’re my family now, and I promise that after I help Jill find her sister’s killer, that I’ll stay closer to home.

And if you believe that, make an appointment to come in and get your hair done. I’ll give you a complimentary cut and style.

You can read more about Marla in SHEAR MURDER, the tenth book in the “Bad Hair Day” mystery series, available for pre-order at most online retailer and will hit the shelves February 8, 2012. The first book in the series is PERMED TO DEATH.

Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her popular Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list, while Nancy’s imaginative science fiction romances have garnered rave reviews. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. Visit Nancy at her website and on her blog. Click HERE to see the book trailer for SHEAR MURDER.

** Nancy is giving away one copy of “WICKED” WOMEN WHODUNIT, a Kensington Brava Anthology with romantic mysteries by four popular authors, including Nancy’s “Three Men and a Body.” To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. One entry per person. Contest ends on November 25th at 12pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. The author will mail you the book. **

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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