A Disguise to Die For: A Costume Shop Mystery by Diane Vallere


Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Disguise to Die ForMargo Tamblyn left Proper City, Nevada thinking she would never return, but when her father suffers a heart attack, she comes home. Not only does he need someone to stay with him while he recovers, but he needs help running his costume store, Disguise DeLimit.

Shortly after her arrival home, Blitz Manners shows up at the shop wanting 40 custom costumes featuring various famous detectives for a party scheduled in just a couple of days. The party is to be the next in a long line of “one-upmanship” events among the wealthy community. Each party has to outdo the last. Margo manages to pull the costumes together in time but sadly, the does not go as planned. Blitz, the party’s host is stabbed to death in the kitchen just as the party is beginning to rock, and Ebony Wells, the party planner for the event is found standing over the body holding a knife.

Margo finds slipping back into the rhythm of the community she grew up in easy comfortable. Vallere has done an excellent job of creating the setting, Proper City and has given the book not only a great protagonist, but a comfortable list of supporting characters. One of the subplots involves Margo’s dad, who in spite of his recent heart attack goes off with a friend on a quest for alien costumes. The relationship between Margo and her father is very touching. Another strong character who plays a major role is Ebony Welles, who has been a bit of a mother or at least “auntie” figure for Margo. When Ebony is implicated in the murder of Blitz, it’s a no brainer that Margo would try to help clear her friend’s name and find the true culprit.

In spite of the “groaner” name of the shop, I really liked this first installment. Margo is an interesting protagonist and the supporting cast shows promise. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.


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