“Silk Stalkings” by Diane Vallere is a fun romp through a small town beset by beauty pageant fever with the complications that come from a murder in its midst. The quirky characters such as Poly, who has to bear the burden of being conceived in a fabric shop and named accordingly, the pivotal Tangorli millionaire, and even the delightfully named Pins and Needles all add to the allure of the story. I love cozy mysteries because they keep the gory aspects of murder at a safe distance (more or less, lol) while providing local color, interesting twists, and lots of lovely red herrings. The fun of linking everything to an overall theme such as fabrics, and in this case, citrus, provides a light entertaining read even as it immerses one in small town life. I love this author’s style, and although this is the first tale I have read by her, I am looking forward to becoming entangled in her other mysteries.
This cozy mystery is part of the ‘Material Witness Mystery’ series and features Polyester (Poly) Monroe, whose fabric shop becomes an integral part of the tapestry of the annual beauty pageant for the town of San Ladron. The unexpected death of the pageant’s sponsor enmeshes Poly in a sinister puzzle that may result in souring not only her peaceful town and her friends’ relationships, but may turn out to be life-ending as well.
Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe can get tangled up in textiles, but it’s murder that really throws her for a loop in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Crushed Velvet.
The time has come for San Ladrón, California’s annual Miss Tangorli beauty pageant, and Poly has agreed to use Material Girl’s inventory of shimmery silks to create embellished gowns fit for a crown. But when millionaire Harvey Halliwell—the man who revived the city’s citrus trade with his imported tangorli tree—is found dead days before the pageant contestants are announced, something sour takes over the town.
To make matters worse, her friend, mechanic Charlie Brooks, is soon caught up in the crime, having been seen in the company of the case’s prime suspect. Now Poly’s on a mission to squeeze out the truth. But as she searches for a pattern, the killer seems intent on cutting up the evidence...