The Brime ReaperHey you guys, Eddie Adams here. Sorry if I seem a little nuts right now, but things at the museum are out of control. Wait—you don’t know about that, do you? Here are the deets: my regular job is as the visual manager for Tradava, a local retailer. The Ribbon Public Museum (not a museum filled with ribbons, but the public museum in the city of Ribbon, Pennsylvania) partnered with my store to sponsor a costume exhibit on loan from a Hollywood noir actress. And as if that wasn’t enough togetherness, Tradava licensed the name of the actress—Hedy London—for an exclusive line of hats based on the styles she wore in The Reaper Wore Red and Murder After Midnight, two of her most famous roles. The first curator was fired, the second curator threatens to walk every single day. Tradava wanted to make sure someone was looking out for their investment, so enter me.

Yep. You got that right. Visual manager turned museum lackey.

As visual manager, I work with mannequins. Dude, I like working with mannequins. They do what they’re told, show up on time, don’t talk back, and don’t expect me to stroke their egos. Plus they let me play as much Devo as I want.

But this gig? The current curator has a chip on his shoulder so big he should answer to the name Quasimodo. The museum director is all blond highlights and manicured fingernails—more high maintenance than most fashionistas I know—so he’s not going to lift a finger to make this exhibit happen. And who knows what to expect when Hedy London shows up. I don’t know what becomes a legend most, but I’m guessing it’s not good manners and politeness. And check this: my job is on the line. Pull this off and get promoted to Director of Visual Merchandising. Sweet, right? But if I don’t, dude, it’s unemployment-city.

The one good thing about this arrangement is that I asked my old friend Samantha Kidd to help out. She’s between jobs, and some of that is because of me. This gives her a potential in back at Tradava. So I guess that makes her my museum lackey.

When I asked Sam to help out, she was busy Feng Shui’ing her house to help her find a job. Clearly, the girl’s got some issues. But she did me a solid back in high school—saved me from a cheating scandal—and I’m happy to repay the favor if it leads her to some regular employment. Even though it’s been fifteen years since high school and she and I totally lost touch when she moved to New York, I’m glad she came back to Ribbon. Things are a lot less dull with her around.

Dude, I sure hope I didn’t jinx myself by asking Sam to help me at the museum. Things are already pretty stressful. The last thing I need is for her to find another body.

But seriously, what are the odds of that happening again?

You can read more about Eddie in The Brim Reaper, the third book in the “Style & Error” mystery series, published by Polyester Press. The first book in the series is Designer Dirty Laundry. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on December 12, and you will be entered to win a copy of The Brim Reaper. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Diane Vallere lives in a world where popcorn is a breakfast food and Doris Day movies are revered for their cultural significance. After over twenty years in the fashion industry, she now writes full time from her home in Los Angeles, California. She launched her own detective agency at ten years old and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.

Visit Diane at

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