Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Book Review: Dressed to Confess (Costume Shop Mysteries, Book 3) by Diane Vallere

Dressed to Confess
Costume Shop Mysteries, Book 3
Diane Vallere

Book Details:

Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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About the Book:

Costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn faces a deadly conspiracy when a small-town festival turns into big-time trouble. 

It's no secret around Proper City, Nevada, that the Sagebrush Festival, the town s annual family-friendly event, is the place to be. This year's theme of board games has everything from Conspiracy to Clue. Margo Tamblyn's costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, has been tasked with providing costumes for the festival headliner, the Domino Divas, but the night of the performance, one fallen Domino threatens to bring down the whole show. Head dancer Ronnie Cass is found in her dressing room, unmasked, unprepared, and very, very dead. 

As the police investigate, Margo learns that Don Digby, her father's best friend, is the prime suspect, tied to the victim by an unsolved robbery connected to Proper City's past. As conspiracies abound and theories are debunked, Margo seeks to unmask the real killer, before her dad's buddy winds up in a costume made with prison stripes.

The annual Sagebrush Festival is gearing up and everyone in Proper City, NV is involved.  This year's theme is Family Game Night and inspired by boardgames from Candy Land to Monopoly.  A local group from back in the day, the Domino Divas, have reunited for the event and Margo from Disguise DeLimit has been contracted to making their costumes.

The Festival is off to a decent start when tragedy strikes - Margo finds one of the Dominoes dead in her trailer.  When clues start piling up, Margo tries to put them all together into something that doesn't implicate her father's best friend, Don.  It doesn't seem like she's being very successful, especially since it appears her clues incriminate Don even more.  Attempting to find the real killer puts Margo in danger and in the not so friendly sights of the local police department.  Can Margo figure out who killed the Domino Diva before she finds herself in the same predicament?

I absolutely love this series.  Actually, I have absolutely loved everything by Diane Vallere that I've gotten my hands on.  Her writing style is conversational and smooth.  The characteristics she's given each character in the novel, especially Margo, are great.  Margo is complex and hides behind costumes in an effort to shield herself.  I love her quirkiness though.

The author goes a fantastic job taking readers on several  wild goose chases throughout the novel. Many characters, new and familiar, are developed in ways that certainly could point toward being the murderer. The characters have the means and motives to want Ronnie Cass removed from the Domino Divas permanently. With the police honed in only on Don, Margo fears that he'll end up in jail, leaving the real murderer free to roam the streets. So, our amateur sleuth does what she must to clear Don's name and reveal the real killer.  Her amateur sleuthing does cause tensions to run high. She's smart and doesn't intentionally put herself in harm's way. 

Diane Vallere continues the world building in the third Costume Shop Mystery.  I was able to picture each scene in my head including Margo's costumes, the layout of the festival, and other scenes.  The book has depth and the plot is solid. The dialogue between the characters is fluid and the story is fast paced. The murderer(s) is hidden among a myriad of potential suspects and isn't easily figured out. I was actually a bit surprised in who the murderer ended up being. Dressed to Confess is a fantastic 3rd book in the Costume Shop Mystery series by Diane Vallere.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided to me through NetGalley.

My Rating:

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