Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

I found this week’s read because I bought her book on writing cozy mysteries. Being a fan of cozies, I had to give one of hers a try.

Permed to Death by Nancy J. Cohen

Description of Permed to Death from Amazon:

Meet Marla Shore, a Florida beauty salon owner with a knack for creating dazzling dos—and solving mysteries . . .Marla was already having a bad day, but when one of her clients dies while getting a perm in her salon, her day just can’t get any worse . . . until the smugly competent Detective Vail accuses her of poisoning the wealthy widow’s coffee creamer! Granted, Bertha Kravitz was hardly her favorite customer, but Marla could never have murdered the ornery woman. Now it is up to the savvy stylist to find out just who did. Combing the woman’s privileged world for clues, Marla soon discovers that the town is crawling with potential suspects. As the case grows more snarled, Marla becomes determined to unmask a cunning killer before she is outwitted—and dead.

As with any book, there are things you like and things you don’t. Was this a top rate read?I gave Permed to Death 4 stars on Amazon. Read my review on Amazon.

What attracted me to this book? Besides it being by the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery,  my mom was a hair stylist for decades. THey called her a beautician back in the day. I’m not even sure what the PC term is today.

A hair salon is the seat of gossip for sure. I have all sorts of stories growing up around one. I was also a “shampoo girl” while in high school.

What works?

It’s a fun story. Marla Stone, our hero, is definitely in a pickle when a customer dies in her chair. Then her own past secrets rear their ugly head. I can only imagine what it would really be like to be a murder suspect.

Great premise and a fun read overall. Lots of what one expects in a cozy…some false trails, some clues that aren’t really useful, some great clues, lot sof amateur sleuthing, and a cast of off-center people.

What doesn’t work?

Keeping in mind this is Cohen’s first book in that series, I’ll tell you what didn’t work as well for me, and what lost the book a star. The author got too bogged down with some of the details. I found myself wanting to skim in placeds to get past long descriptions.

Now, for those of you who are avid readers but NOT authors…realize we all grow in our craft, whether that’s making a great dinner or writing a novel. The first isn’t always superlatively phenomenally fantastic.

But it’s good, and I can certainly still enjoy a book and find it worthy of 4 stars even if some things didn’t work well for me.

There are 10 in the series to date, so clearly fans keep wanting more.

Get Permed to Death

buy it on Amazon.

More books by Nancy J. Cohen
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Ronda Del Boccio

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