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Retro Reading: Tressed to Kill by Lila Dare

Updated on January 7, 2023

After nearly a year of reading books that have been very sub par, Lila Dare has come to the rescue with the Southern Beauty Shop Mysteries and it wasn't a moment too soon.

From the first page, Dare sets up a very busy Violetta's salon as the tourist town of St. Elizabeth is getting ready for a town meeting. Big box store Morestuf wants to set up shop which would destroy the economy of the town and there are some in town who will welcome them with open arms (like Constance DuBois) and others who want them to stay away.

When Constance's tint job goes bad, she threatens Grace Ann Terhune and her mother, Violetta, by telling her that she's going to have the place shut down. Well, she can't have the place closed since the Terhune women find her dead in a parking lot a few hours later following the Morestuf meeting.

Since Grace has only been back in town a short while, her ex-husband Hank, has followed her back to St. Elizabeth with the hope of getting back together, yet wanting to make sure the duo is locked up for the murder. He's hoping that this case will be the one that gets him noticed in the department, even though he never could get a big case while in Atlanta.

And with any crimozy, enter tall, dark and handsome Special Agent Dillon who just might have a thing for the (possibly guilty Grace) and of course the question is: can Grace save her and Violetta from the murderer and prove themselves innocent?

After a year of reading sub par mysteries for review, this series had been sitting on my shelf for years and I could kick myself for not reading it sooner. Everything about the debut is perfect.

As I said in the opening, there's a bustle of activity from the get go and the story never stops being entertaining. You'll love the setting, but above all, you'll love the characters.

Grace and Violetta have the type of mother-daughter relationship that isn't strained or put down like so many of the relationships in past crimozies that I've read for review. The other characters aren't high strung and Dare gives you a sense of the small town atmosphere. I literally wished that I could have escaped to this town.

If you're looking to start a new series, this is one I highly recommend.


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