Publication Date: January 3, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 292pp
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Lila Dare on the WEB: website, facebook
Books in the Series: Tressed to Kill (2010), Polished Off (2011), Die Job (2012)
CoverArt: Click on the picture to see a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Die Job (Amazon Look Inside Feature)
St. Elizabeth, Georgia, offers charm, Southern hospitality - and an occasional dollop of murder. Now, rumors that a local mansion is haunted are more real than ever when an amateur ghost-hunter comes upon something quite deadly...
High school senior Rachel Whitley thinks the field-trip idea - playing ghost hunter with with her class in Rothmere mansion, where the spirit of a murdered plantation owner is said to still reside - is a lark. But instead of a ghost, Rachel stumbles upon fellow student Braden McCullers, sprawled out in the very spot where Cyril Rothmere died.
As Braden lingers in a coma, Rachel enlists the ladies of Violetta's salon to investigate the attempt on his life - and unravel the secrets that somehow link a high school student with a centuries-old crime. The intrepid team of hairdressers find themselves in a tangled and treacherous mystery where the roots to the past are very ominous indeed.
Die Job is the third book in the Southern Beauty Shop mystery series by Lila Dare. Dare takes readers back to St. Elizabeth, Georgia, a southern coastal town with charm and some interesting inhabitants. The gang from Violetta's Beauty Salon is back, as Grace and her friends try to figure out how a high school student could possibly have ties to a centuries old murder. Dare's use of dialogue is impeccable, in this well written cozy that will have fans on the edge of their seats from the first page to the last.
Lila Dare has created a great southern cozy series. I can just imagine the small town of St. Elizabeth and it's inhabitants battening down the hatches in anticipation of a hurricane. Dare's town is one of those small Georgia towns that could be found off the beaten track anywhere in the south. With quirky, interesting townspeople and a long and varied history. I loved the way that Dare used a murder committed over a century ago as the basis for her third book in the Southern Beauty Shop series. Die Job was well written and full historical tidbits that kept the reader wanting to know more.
The premise for this entire series is based on the fact that a woman will tell her hairdresser just about anything that's going on in her life. Southern women like many others have a penchant for beauty and going to the salon is sometimes a weekly event. And yes, as happens when you get a bunch of women together, they start talking. Talking about their neighbors, the town news, the latest gossip and I think Dare was able to bring that cozy feeling of being in the company of people you know and trust into this series. It also gave her room for some really impressive use of dialogue. Dare is so good at driving her stories through the interactions of her characters and in Die Job she is able to continue that very savvy, smart way of writing.
The mystery aspect of the story was both interesting and fast paced. The reader is treated to plethora of motives in Braden McCullers attempted murder and ties to the murder of plantation owner, Cyril Rothmere. I liked how the author weaved the past and present together to give readers a mystery that is steeped in history as well as murder. I thought I had an idea of who might be behind everything at the beginning, but Dare had me fooled which somewhat hard to do. Readers probably be able to put two and two together before Dare intends for the killer to be outed. That's a hallmark of a good mystery writer!
I hope that Dare continues this series and we get to learn more about Grace. She seems the epitome of a Southern bell but she can't seem to keep her nose out of trouble. Not only is she and her partner Stella right in the middle of this mystery, but it look like Grace might find herself in the middle of a love triangle as well. Dare's characters are full of life and vigor and readers will find themselves drawn back to this series time and time again. A new book is almost like going back to visit old friends. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series and I think cozy and history fans a like will find Die Job to be right up their alley!
Die Job is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Author of the Southern Beauty Shop mysteries, Lila Dare was born in Georgia and has lived in Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia. She currently lives west of the Mississippi with her husband, two daughters and dog, and misses Southern cooking and friendliness, but not the humidity.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Die Job by Lila Dare.
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~ US addresses only (publisher request).
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST January 30th.
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