Marla’s joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest, Marla decides it’s up to her to find the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin down the culprit before he strikes again?
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book stemmed from personal experiences as well as from the natural progression of my Bad Hair Day mystery series. In Shear Murder–book number ten in this series–hairstylist Marla Shore marries Detective Dalton Vail. So now in Hanging By A Hair, they move into a new house and meet their neighbors, one of whom might be a murderer.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I determined the victim first. He’s the president of the local homeowners’ association. Then it was a matter of figuring out who might have wanted him dead and why.
“How can I help him, Nicole?” Marla asked the next morning at work. “Dalton has never been pulled from a case in all the time I’ve known him. This could smear his reputation, both at work and in our new community. It’s even worse with his new partner taking over.”
The stylist’s eyebrows shot up. “Oh? What’s this?”
“He’s got a lady detective working with him now. I haven’t met her yet.”
“And now she’s working his case. You want to know what to do? If it turns out to be a homicide, find the killer. You’re experienced at sleuthing. Who else would have reason to want that man dead?”
They both stood by their stations drinking freshly made coffee and waiting for their first customers to arrive. Nicole’s brown eyes sparked as they always did when Marla got embroiled in a murder investigation. Her friend devoured mystery novels as though they were brain candy.
“How can I go about it?” Marla propped a hand on her hip. “I can’t just knock on doors and ask nosy questions. I’m not a cop.”
“No, but use the skills you have.”
She considered Nicole’s advice. “You may be onto something. Our new neighbors are all potential customers. I could offer them an incentive to come into the salon.”
Nicole grinned, showing a flash of white teeth. “There you go, girlfriend. Bring the informants to you.”
Marla gave the other stylist a quick embrace. “I knew I could count on your insight. Listen, don’t repeat a word of this to anyone. I promised Dalton I’d keep my mouth shut.”
“My lips are sealed as tight as a perm wave.”
Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at conferences, libraries, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. Currently, she is serving as President of Florida Chapter Mystery Writers of America. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising and outlet shopping.