Monday, January 08, 2007

Glossed and Found - India Ink

Glossed and Found
A Bath and Body Mystery
India Ink
Berkley Prime Crime


It’s the holidays and business is booming at Venus Envy, the bath and beauty shop in Gull Harbor, WA. This is great news for Persia Vanderbilt and her Aunt Florence, the owners. But it also means having to think about putting on some extra help for the busy season. They’ve already hired a hair stylist, Seth, and a makeup artist, Lisa. Lisa and her sister are trying to iron out their recently deceased father’s estate. The estate is much smaller than anyone expected it to be, and creditors are calling.

The day of the Thanksgiving Gala, the social event of the season, Lisa disappears from Venus Envy, leaving only a note, customers, and a very irate Persia. The note is vague, but Lisa has talked to Persia about her suspicions that someone stole from her father’s estate. When Lisa doesn’t come home at all that night, her sister is frantic. The police quickly find Lisa’s car, locked and empty, parked next to a pier. Persia knows that the last thing Lisa would do is walk along the pier; she has a lifelong fear of water. The police believe that Lisa either drowned or left town on her own. Persia doesn’t believe either theory and joins the investigation, determined to find out what happened to her friend.

Persia is an interesting character with a complicated, but believable history. Her love for her aunt and their business informs all of her decisions, both personal and professional. Her job, creating custom fragrances, is fascinating and the basis of several of the included beauty/spa tips. The supporting characters are varied and quite realistic. The subplot, involving Persia’s best friend, Barb, and her meddling mother-in-law, will ring true for a good many people. There are a few smaller stories woven into the overall mystery, and they manage to complement, instead of compete with each other. A very enjoyable cozy for a cold winter night.

Rating: 7 ½
January 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21294-3 (paperback)


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