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A disguise to die for : a costume shop…
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A disguise to die for : a costume shop mystery (edition 2016)

by Diane Vallere (Author)

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377447,453 (3.93)None
Member:pflagg1991
Title:A disguise to die for : a costume shop mystery
Authors:Diane Vallere (Author)
Info:Berkley (2016), 304 pages
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A Disguise To Die For by Diane Vallere

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Margo Tamblyn is returning home to Proper City, Nevada, to help out at Disguise DeLimit after her father had a heart attack. She has hardly arrived back before they get a big order. Wealthy Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday party. Unfortunately, Blitz manage to get himself killed on his own party and Margo’s friend and mother figure Ebony Welles is the cops nr 1 suspect. Now Margo must do whatever it takes to find the real killer.

This is the first Diane Vallere I have read and I found it quite charming. A Disguise to Die For is the kind of book that is perfect as a between books to read. When one need something relaxing but still engaging to read. I mean we have a main character that loves to dress in costume all the time, the 50s clothes one  day, Native American the next. And, I just love that there is a district in town named after Winnie the Pooh characters.


My dad had said that Blitz Manners lived in the mansion at the end of Winnie Lane, but it turned out he was slightly mistaken. The large white mansion sat at the intersection of Winnie Lane and Pooh Bear Drive, making it the house at Pooh Corner. I wondered how that looked on an engraved invitation!


And, Ebony having a dog called Ivory. That is just perfect. The mystery was also good, several suspects, red herrings and in the end, a big confrontation. Just the way I like it.
All and all, a good read and a series I would gladly read more books from.

I want to thank Liz D Publicity for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
I just read a really good book, y'all — A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere. Let me tell you a little about this cozy mystery, the first book in Diane's newest series, the Costume Shop Mysteries. A Disguise to Die For stars Margo Tamblyn, who had been a magician's assistant in Las Vegas. Margo is temporarily (she thinks) spending several days in her hometown of Proper City, Nevada, working in the family costume shop, Disguise DeLimit. (I just love the name of the costume shop — it slays me every time I read it!)

Margo's father Jerry, the shopkeeper and owner, has just had a heart attack, and is supposed to be taking it easy while he is convalescing in a wheelchair. (Instead, Margo arrives at Disguise DeLimit to find her dad trying to inventory his merchandise from his wheelchair. And the next day, he and a buddy take off for Area 51 to get some alien costumes!)

Margo gets her first costume order from Blitz Manners on her first day back at the shop. He wants 40 detective costumes, for men and women, based on famous — and hip! — fictional detectives. Her friend Ebony, a party planner, is hired to organize everything for Blitz's detective-themed birthday party, to be held the upcoming weekend.

Margo and Ebony both have a strong, never-say-die work ethic. Despite the short notice, they pull off a spectacular soiree where everyone is having a blast. A blast, that is, until Blitz's goose is cooked, in more ways than one.

Ebony is implicated in the murder. Margo knows that her friend is innocent and will strive to prove Ebony's innocence — until Margo's dead on her feet if necessary, because it's a do-or-die situation. I was surprised by whodunit. Both Margo and I figured it out at the same time.

I really like reading about Margo's interactions with the two people closest to her — her father, of course, and Ebony, who's been almost like a mother to Margo for over 25 years. I also like reading about the different outfits that Margo wears. For example, "Yesterday I went mod. Today I went Western." If only A Disguise to Die For was illustrated. Alas, I'll just have to use my imagination.

I noticed one thing that maybe could have been done better. I thought that Margo could have "hung out" more with Bobbie Kay, since Bobbie Kay is her oldest friend, from when they were five and six years old. I realize, however, that the main goal in A Disguise to Die For, other than solving the murder, is to get Margo back home where she belongs. I suspect that in future books there will be more time for Margo and Bobbie Kay to get together, or at least chat on the phone. Speaking of future books....

Book 2 of the Costume Shop Mysteries, Masking for Trouble, is available now for pre-order, and will be released on 4 Oct 2016. I'm dying to read it!

I recommend A Disguise to Die For to all fans of cozy mysteries, particularly fans of Diane's other series. I think it will have special appeal to fans who love costume parties, ride scooters, and still like to play dress-up. ;)

I really enjoyed A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere, and grant it Four Stars!


Note: I received a complimentary copy of A Disguise to Die For in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Originally published on my blog at Jane Reads. ( )
  Jane.Reads | Jun 29, 2017 |
Meh. I bought this book on the strength of Vallere's two other series, but I won't be going any further than book 1. It's not bad but it's not a strong mystery either. The characters were appealing; I couldn't have seen Ebony any clearer if she were standing in front of me - and she's fabulous! But the author never really hooked me into caring about the murder and I never felt the anxiety or pressure I should have to see the murderer caught.

As for the murderer - I'm not actually sure how Margo got from A to B; I didn't see any logic to her deductions, although by the time I got to the end I might have been guilty of a bit o' skimming. Either way, it was a deus ex machina that allowed the solution to work, imo.

Not by any means a bad read, but she's written better and thus, my expectations are higher. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 11, 2016 |
I don't read a lot of cozy mysteries, they have to really catch my eye for the cover and the plot. A Disguise to Die For is one that I picked up gladly. A story that takes place in a small town outside of Las Vegas. The main character, Margo Tamblyn comes back to her hometown to help with the family costume shop, Disguise DeLimit. Her father Jerry has had a heart attack and is out of commission for awhile and it is up to Margo to handle the shop.

Not too long after she arrives to help out when a young man, Blitz Manners, comes into the shop demanding that she provided him with costumes for a party. This party is detective themed, he tosses an envelope with $20,000 at her. Even though she tells him that it is impossible to do this at such a short notice. The venue that he had originally booked had some issues and could not do it. With the help of a lifelong family friend, Ebony, they set about compiling a list of characters costumes that they can whip together quickly.

The party kicks off with everyone in their detective costumes such as Sherlock Holmes, Rockford, Columbo and Miss Marple among others. Margo goes into the kitchen of the venue, to find her friend Ebony clutching a knife over the dead body of Blitz Manners. Things don't look too good for Ebony and Margo sets about playing detective becoming more and more embroiled into the mystery. In trying to keep the shop going, playing detective and handling a possible love interest, plus worrying about her father, she finds that this murder is very involved in that there are a lot of possible suspects.

I loved the character of Margo, a quirky costume wearing woman, whose devotion to her father is endless. She also truly believes that Ebony did not commit this murder, but the clues keep stacking up against her. I read this book in a few sittings and I honestly could not figure out who the murderer was until almost the end. I look forward to reading more of this quirky series! ( )
  celticlady53 | Apr 7, 2016 |
I am a huge fan of Vallere's Material Witness cozy series, so I was eager to read this first Costume Shop mystery. This, too, has the earmarks of another enjoyable series. First of all, the name of the shop-- Disguise DeLimit-- is a stroke of genius. Second of all, even if you're not a fan of "dressing up" (like me) I dare you not to be wildly impressed by all the detective-themed costumes Margo puts together. I almost wanted to drive up to Proper City and demand one for myself.

Margo is a caring and creative main character who's still hurting years later from her mother's death. Her penchant for wearing pieces and parts of costumes every day did make me raise an eyebrow, but somehow she manages to pull it off when most of the rest of us would probably be taken in for a psych evaluation. Bobbie, her best friend from high school, runs a local non-profit, and helps anchor Margo during the more hectic parts of this, her first investigation. It also doesn't hurt that there's a mysterious and handsome man called Tak who seems to be keeping an eye on her, too.

For me, the only real weakness in A Disguise to Die For was the character of party planner Ebony Welles (whose bichon frise is named Ivory). Margo tells us how important Ebony is in her life. The woman is the closest thing to a mother she has. But Ebony leaves town and stays hidden for most of the book. This means her character is barely developed, and readers can't feel the emotional bond Margo has with her.

Even though the lack of Ebony was felt, I thought Vallere painted a wonderful portrait of a single father putting everything on hold in order to raise his daughter. Now this was an emotional bond that came to life on the page-- even if the man was a bit cranky about being sidelined.

Diane Vallere has created yet another interesting cast of characters, and I look forward to getting to know them even better in the next book. ( )
  cathyskye | Mar 2, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 042527828X, Mass Market Paperback)

Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.
 
No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family’s costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for—literally—when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.
 
For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can’t hide a murderer in plain sight for long.
 
INCLUDES RECIPES AND COSTUME IDEAS!

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 02 Sep 2015 03:07:11 -0400)

"No sooner does former magician's assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family's costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for--literally--when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo's friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz. For Margo, clearing Ebony's name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer in disguise can't hide a murderer in plain sight for long"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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