masking-for-troubleBeing in charge is a weird thing. I don’t think I’ve ever been in charge of anything in my life! Mostly that’s because I grew up in my dad’s costume shop and he was always around to take care of things. But since I moved back to Proper City and took over—letting him take off for parts unknown to scope out costumes around the country—it’s been me in the driver’s seat.

Considering I’ve spent the past several years working as a magician’s assistant in Las Vegas, being in charge of Disguise DeLimit is a nice change. It was fun to unpack the masks and vampire teeth in July when they started arriving in our daily shipments. Dad made it clear that it was up to me to run the shop, and so far, so good. These next few weeks are going to be the real challenge, though, because we’re headed into Halloween. And Halloween at a Costume Shop is like Mother’s Day at a Hallmark store (except with witch hats). The key is to keep the shelves stocked and be creative enough to suggest costume ideas on the fly.

Between you and me, I didn’t actually think my dad was going to leave town during Halloween season but this is the first year since he’s owned the store that he could and I wasn’t going to stop him. And everything was fine until Paul Haverford, the developer who’s been buying up property around Proper City, dropped off the paperwork that disqualified Disguise DeLimit from participating in the annual costume contest. We’ve provided the winning costume for the past ten years. If we’re disqualified then that means Candy Girls has a chance of winning, and I can’t let that happen. It would send a message that Disguise DeLimit wasn’t as good as it used to be when my dad ran the store. It would be the end of an era!

As soon as we’re closed I’m going to go down to Paul Haverford’s office and fix this. I don’t know what I have to do to change his mind, but I’ll do whatever it takes. He’s a business man, so I’ll appeal to his business side. I’m sure I can reason with him. I mean, the man might be a little scary and intense, but if I act professionally, he’s gotta listen to me, right?

Maybe I should change out of my hobo costume first.


Masking for Trouble is the second book in the Costume Shop mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, October 2016.

Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second in a new cozy series from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness Mysteries.

Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud. . .

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About the author
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. A Disguise To Die For is the first Costume Shop Mystery. Diane is the president of Sisters in Crime, and also writes the Madison Night, Style & Error, and Lefty Award-nominated Material Witness mysteries. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Connect with Diane at dianevallere.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win copy of Masking For Trouble, either e-book or paperback (winner’s choice). The giveaway will end October 30, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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