My name is Colleen Caruso and I swear, I just wanted my hair straightened on that early, humid September morning when I went to the best hairdresser in Tranquil Harbor, New Jersey. I’m a stringer for the local newspaper, the Town Crier, and except for a few freelance assignments I had been procrastinating about, getting straight hair would have been the highlight of my day. My sister Kate was treating me and I wasn’t going to pass that up. We went to Dizzie’s Salon before the shop was open for business. Dizzie had promised she’d work on me personally, so there was no chance a less experienced stylist would ruin my abundant locks. Imagine our surprise when we walked in and found Dizzie submerged in a shampoo sink filled to the top with water. I hauled Dizzie Oliver out and got her down on the floor. I even tried mouth-to-mouth, though I’m not sure I did it right. For all I knew, I could have been blowing up her water-filled lungs like they were a couple of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons.
My feeble attempts at resuscitation were no help at all. Dizzie Oliver was dead. What else would she be? This is an ordinary day in my life after all, and I seem to attract dead bodies like honey attracts flies. To prove my point, I spotted a body in a field from an airplane while covering flying lessons for an advertorial a week later. The following day my charming daughter started a pool up at the high school to see how many more stiffs I could uncover before the end of the year!
I have a regular crime column and my boss, Ken Rhodes, is eager to publish the details of these deaths from my perspective and to somehow connect them. As a matter of fact, he’s kind of eager about a few other things, too. As a newly divorced mother of two, I don’t know what to do about that. Actually, I know exactly what to do, but I have this domineering mom with a very rigid concept of how a good mommy should and shouldn’t behave. The woman is such a killjoy!
My best friend, Bevin Thompson, is my most trusted advisor. She’s so much fun and, sincerely, how many of your friends would go with you to a deserted airport in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm just to look for clues? Oh, and regardless of what you may have heard, the police were nothing but nice concerning our presence there. Of course, they weren’t quite as understanding a few nights later when they nabbed me for breaking into Dizzie Oliver’s house. But, really, I had to check something out and it was the only way I could get the information I needed. Boy, was Dizzie’s poor, widowed husband furious! With that kind of temper, it makes me wonder about poor Dizzie . . .
You can read more about Colleen in Hide Nor Hair, the second book in the “Jersey Girl” mystery series, published by Cup of Tea books, an imprint of PageSpring Publishing. The first book in the series is New Math Is Murder.
About Hide nor Hair
Newspaper reporter Colleen Caruso just wants her unruly curls tamed into smooth, sleek locks. Instead, she finds her stylist dead, facedown in a shampoo sink. Faster than you can say Aqua Net, Colleen starts investigating. The case gets even hairier when the owner of a local fitness studio seems to have jumped from a plane … without a parachute.
Meanwhile, her suave editor, Ken Rhodes, steps in to help. And he may be looking for more than just a good story from Colleen.
Add in a missing bracelet, some suspicious husbands, and a little breaking and entering—and this Jersey girl is heading for a real blowout!
Can Colleen tie up these split ends? Or does she have an appointment with disaster?
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About the author
Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa lives in Old Bridge, New Jersey, and draws on her experience as a freelance correspondent to create oddball characters and unusual scenarios. In addition to hundreds of published articles, her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Sisters in Crime Central Jersey. Hide nor Hair is the second book in her Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery series. The first book in the series, New Math is Murder, was released in January, 2014. She is busy working on the third in the series, Food for Thought. Visit Jo-Ann’s blog at joannlamonreccoppa.com