Hair stylist Marla Shore joins a health club in Murder by Manicure by Nancy J. Cohen, and at her first night there, she walks in on her hair client Jolene Myers in a heated argument with Cookie Calcone, a virulent activist against product testing on animals. Jolene works as a researcher for a chemical company, and Cookie accuses her of cruelty to animals in her work. Announcing plans to get a massage and then relax in the whirlpool, Jolene walks off and Marla goes to explore the gym. But as she is checking out the machines in the exercise room,Marla hears a frantic scream, only to run into the room with the whirlpool and find Jolene lying at the bottom of the spa. The staff try to revive her, but with no success. And the tox screen shows that Jolene had ingested a strong sedative about an hour prior to her death, making her death look like murder.
Marla has been bored since her last case with Detective Dalton Vail concluded, so she immerses herself in trying to find the solution. But all the snooping seems to take her around in circles and show her duplicitous angles of many people involved in the case. In the meantime, things heat up further between Marla and Dalton, to the consternation of Dalton’s 12-year-old daughter, who feels that she and her dad don’t need anyone else now that her mother has been dead for two years.
This third book in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries is an improvement over the previous two books. The plot is tighter and with some creative twists that surprise when they arise. In my review of Hair Raiser, I expressed concern over the shallowness of most characters in the book, but this book makes an improvement to the quality of many more people than just Marla and Dalton.
Mary Ann Jacobs does a terrific job of performing the audio version of this book. She has a unique sounding voice that expresses things well and in a creative manner. She suits the role of Marla, the first person narrator of the book, very ably.
I enjoyed this book better than the previous, and I thought the solution to be a surprise, unlike the previous book, which telegraphed the answer to the readers way in advance. I was planning to let this book be the last book I would read in this series, but after Murder by Manicure, I think I’m going to try the next book! I give this book four stars!
Disclaimer: I received this book for free through Audiobook Boom, but that in no way influenced the content of my review.
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