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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Dressed to Kill

Series: A Tourist Trap Mystery Book #4

ISBN: 9781601834157

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: 6/23/2015

Format: e-book

My Rating: 4 Stars

Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…

Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn't acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor's conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill's main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late.

About the Author

An Idaho native, her stories focus around the depth and experience of living big in a small town. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

Summer of 2015 – DRESSED TO KILL and KILLER RUN will be arriving in the Fall.

I’ve come a long way from the little girl on the school bus who used to cut out pictures from Teen Beat to illustrate my tales of love and loss. And yet, not so far.

So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, and let’s chat about writing, love, life, and the pesky things that get in the way of our goals and dreams. I’m glad you found me.

Connect with Author of the New York Times bestselling Tourist Trap mysteries:

My Review

A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Lynn Cahoon returns with DRESSED TO KILL, the fourth book in the Tourist Trap mystery series – a small quaint town near the beach in California; with an array of business owners, shops and fun characters— A new cozy mystery to solve, and Jill and her gang are in the center of mischief, once again at South Cove. (love all the front covers; I think may be my favorite)!

As the novel opens Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—and her Aunt Jackie, point out the newest shop in town – Vintage Duds. This tastefully designed boutique clothing shop selling upscale designer clothing at a ridiculous price, looks intriguing with loads of curb appeal.

Of course, Greg (Jill’s boy toy) was formerly married to the woman (Sherry), so Jill is not ready to make nice with the owner. She is already dreading the business-to-business meeting, and of course, Sherry is hosting an upscale cocktail party; more than the usual cookies. If Sherry wasn’t the owner, she would be impressed. Sherry is now dating Kent, the small town bank branch manager. As the meeting continues, her list of reasons why she hates Greg’s ex-wife is growing by the minute.

Greg King, the hot South Cove police detective and Jill’s hunky boy toy continues to keep her occupied. However, these business-to business meetings make her want to commit murder. She is more than a little jealous of Sherry and does not like her in the same town with her man.

All the familiar and fun characters are back – Bill and Mary, owners of the South Cove B&B, Sadie-Pies on the Fly, Josh-Antiques by Thomas (Jackie’s new beau), Lille – diner Diamond Lille’s-dating the town bad boy, Leslie Talman-The Glass Slipper, Dustin Austin-Bike Rental Shop, Darla (Winery) and her new boyfriend Matt, the winery’s manager, Amy Newman (her best friend)- also City Planner and secretary to Mayor Baylor, Darla- writer for South Cove Examiner, Doc Ames, Emily Esmeralda – fortune teller, Toby Killian – Jill’s barista and part time cop, and of course Emma, Jackie’s faithful golden retriever. As always, the best thing about owning a book store is the research (Jill is always in the middle of investigations).

Her Aunt Jackie is in charge of planning a mystery dinner theatre at South Cove Winery the following weekend. The Friday Mystery Reader’s Group had written the mini play, cast the characters, and were selling tickets with proceeds going to the local women’s shelter. Jill is going as a twenties flapper and she wants Greg to be her mob protector.

In the afternoon she is taking Emma for a run at the beach and sees Kent Paine; however, the woman with him was not Sherry! Oddly enough later that evening when they are at the theatre with the production: “Dying for Trouble” Kent Paine is dead. Not a prop, a real live dead body. The production would need to be postponed to another time.

Jill thinks she needs to tell Greg about seeing Kent earlier, before she begins gossiping to her friends. Of course when nosy customers come in for coffee and books the next morning, everyone has an opinion about the murder and thinks because she dates Greg, she gets firsthand information. Drugs, murder, who would want to kill Kent? Someone at the bank? What was he involved in? Sherry? The redhead? Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? After all she was at the winery around the time he died.

As usual, Greg warns Jill to stay out of it, to tend to her own business. No matter what Greg says, when murder happened on his watch, her life is always involved, even when she tries to stay out of it. Of course, she never stays out of it.

Jill gets a reading and the cat visits (Maggie) and everyone has their input about the murder. Her reading said “Things aren’t what they seem. Some are silver and others gold.” Plus someone is spilling information to Darla? Greg and Jill now have two taboo subjects: Open investigations and Sherry. However, the entire town thinks she can be the go between.

Another quirky murder mystery, with wit and humor for a whodunit, with a full cast of eccentric characters. Having read all the books in the series, I think this is my favorite. If you have not read the other books in the series, you will get a glimpse of each.

Lynn writes with crisp contemporary dialogue, and always in the know with social media and the latest trends, keeping you guessing with twists and turns. If you love cozy mysteries set in a small town, with familiar warm and interesting characters, this series is for you! I enjoyed catching up with the familiar characters, and as always, love Jill's tenacity, and drive and side kick, Aunt Jackie. You feel like you have a front row seat at a murder mystery dinner performance, of whodunit.

Looking forward to the next upcoming book in the series,#5 KILLER RUN, (sneak preview included) coming August 18, 2015. Appears Jill —has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable!

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