The following exchange between Summer Smythe, 26, and Dorothy Westin, 78, takes place at 12:23 pm. Monique’s Boutique, Milano, Florida. Also present: Monique Belleek, designer dress shop owner.
S: Come on out, Dorothy. Let’s see what you’ve got.
D: None of these outfits seem quite right for the Majesty Holiday Fashion Show. Or right for me, anyway. Is my choice of wardrobe really that important?
S: Yep. Remember, we need to blend in with the other guests, and they’ll be dressed to kill. I mean. . .they’ll be super dressed up.
D: Well, all of this fuss seems silly. Our focus should be on finding Angelica’s killer.
S: You can’t go wrong with a little black dress.
D: Emphasis on the little. It’s frightfully short.
S: You’re just not used to that length. It looks really nice on you. You’ve got great legs, Dorothy. You need to flaunt them every once in a while.
S: Try the sparkly blue one. That’s going to be my favorite, I bet.
D: I’m not sure beading is my style. I was perfectly comfortable in that coral seater and skirt set I wore to the last show.
S: Yeah, but that’s what you had on when Angelica disappeared and we found her stuffed in a garment bag. It’s bad luck. Besides, it’s a formal event and you cannot be an outfit repeater.
M: How are we doing in there, Mrs. Westin? I’ve brought a few more dresses you’ll just love. They’re a bit more high-couture.
D: (Sighs.) Wonderful.
S: You know what, Monique? Dorothy will take the black dress. And maybe some accessories, too. Could you please bring us all the jewelry you’ve got?
M: I’ll be right back.
S: (Glances at phone) Oh no.
D: What’s wrong, Summer? Not more bad news, I hope.
S: It’s practically the worst thing ever. I just got a text from the booker at PAGE Models. They want me to fill in for Angelica at the Majesty show, can you believe it? A lot of the regular models have been dropping out because of what happened to her at Waterman’s.
D: It sounds like a perfect opportunity for our investigation.
S: You’re kidding, right? I’m not a model. It’d be, like, a joke.
D: Don’t worry, you’ll do a fabulous job.
S: But I don’t want that kind of job. Even if it pays more than being Aquatics Director at the Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community pool. And Detective Donovan’s going to be there, with his grandma who hates me. Very. Bad. Idea.
D: Ah. Well, sometimes we have to put our personal preferences aside for the sake of a case. (Nods toward black dress.) Don’t you agree, dear?
Dress to impress (or just to relax) and join Summer Smythe and Dorothy Westin on the case in Fashionably Late, the third title in Lisa Q. Mathews’s lighthearted mystery series “The Ladies Smythe & Westin” from Carina Press/Harlequin. Don’t forget your sunhat!
It’s murder, she wore. . .
Sporting a chic Florida outfit and designer baubles, seasoned model Angelica Downs belonged on the runway. . .not in the morgue. Summer Smythe and Dorothy Westin are determined to retrace her final moments—right up to her desperate plea for help.
The Ladies pin their suspects down to just a few questionable characters. But why would anyone target such a seemingly sweet, lovely woman?
To lure the murderer—and perhaps some accessories of the criminal kind—the Ladies hit Milano Fashion Week, even organizing their own charity event at Hibiscus Pointe. Killer fashion may be this season’s drop-dead look, but Summer and Dorothy will be wearing little black funeral dresses if they don’t flatiron the culprit soon.
Don’t miss Cardiac Arrest, The Ladies Smythe & Westin’s first case, and Book #2: Permanently Booked!
Praise for The Ladies Smythe & Westin Mysteries
“An absolutely delightful series that readers will be thrilled to discover. . .a thoroughly entertaining experience that should not be missed.” ~ Kings River Life
“Sweet, sassy, and smart. Senior sleuth Dorothy Westin and impetuous young Summer Smythe make an endearing team in this sparkling debut. Lisa Q. Mathews is a terrific new voice in cozy mysteries.” ~ Cleo Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a digital copy (Kindle or Nook) of Fashionably Late. The giveaway will end August 18, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Lisa Q. Mathews was a lifeguard, a figure skater, and a Nancy Drew editor before she started writing cozy mysteries. She also authored kids’ series such as Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Lizzie McGuire Mysteries and she was Creative Director at Random House Children’s Books. Mom to three grown kids, Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her husband, a lucky black cat, and a crazy Golden Retriever named Farley. Like her odd-couple co-sleuths in The Ladies Smythe & Westin series from Carina Press, she loves swimming, rich desserts, romantic comedies, and above all a good mystery. Please visit Lisa at lisaqmathews.com and join her on Twitter, group blog Chicks on the Case, Facebook, and Goodreads.
All comments are welcomed.