Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Haunted Is Always in Fashion (A Haunted Vintage Mystery #4)

Author:  Rose Pressey
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback; Ebook
ISBN #:  9781496705532
Kensington Publishing
304 Pages
$7.99; $5.99 Amazon
November 29, 2016

Five Stars

As the owner of It's Vintage, Y'All in Sugar Creek, Georgia, Cookie Chanel has agreed to share her expertise with author Juliana McDaniel.  But on her way to town, Juliana is shot dead, and that was all she wrote.  Cookie picks up the thread of the story with help from her psychic cat and a couple of inquisitive ghosts.  To unmask this killer, she'll have to lift the lid on family secrets and hidden motives - because she might wind up getting capped herself if she doesn't cloche this case...


Cookie Chanel owns a vintage clothing shop in Sugar Creek, Georgia.  She also "owns" a ghost, Charlotte Meadows, who was murdered, and is the first ghost Cookie encountered.  Now Charlotte has decided to stay, offering sassy comments even if Cookie doesn't always like it.  She also has a beautiful white cat named Wind Song that appeared one day and communicates in several ways, including otherworldly.  Life for this Southern girl has definitely gotten complicated in more ways than one.

One morning she is on her way to meet with Juliana McDaniel, who is writing a book on vintage fashion.  But she sees that the road is blocked and there has been an obvious accident.  When her police detective beau Dylan Valentine sees her, and naturally asks why she's there, then asks her to stay a moment while he turns back to the crime scene, she is approached by a young woman who mentions how handsome he is.  At first thinking Juliana escaped the accident, that notion is disavowed by her stating that 'it happened so fast'.  At that point, Cookie realizes she has another ghost on her hands...

When its discovered that Juliana was murdered, Charlotte informs Cookie that she needs to help find the killer, and to that end Cookie finds herself embroiled in yet one more investigation into a murder.  But then a mysterious man enters her shop asking about hats, and when she visits Juliana's aunt Regina, she also asks about a hat that Juliana left her, but Juliana insists Regina didn't even know about the hat.  When there's a break-in at her store, and nothing but hats (and security equipment) are taken, Cookie realizes that she needs to find out what it is everyone is seeking out before she loses her own head...

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I finished it in one sitting.  My attention was caught from the first chapter, and held through the entire book.  The plot is nicely done, and there are enough suspicious characters to keep things engaging.  While solving Juliana's murder is, of course, the main plot line, there is another - just as interesting - that centers on Wind Song.  If you've read any of the previous books, you'll know that the cat just appeared on her doorstep one day.  In this book, we learn more about how that happened and somewhat of the origins of the white cat.

We are also treated to a nice little subplot involving Dylan and Ken Harrison, a local attorney who is also attracted to Cookie, and while there is no overt action between the two, you understand that there is something going on that could spark a rivalry between them.  Only time will tell where it heads in future books.

While I'm not really into vintage clothing, I do think the fact that Cookie is interested gives us an insight into her personality.  I get that she's got a vintage clothing store, but I don't feel the need to know every detail of everything she wears or buys.  But then again, I like the idea that she at least tries to dress well instead of just throwing on jeans and a tee, brushing her hair and considering herself 'ready'.  That as well gets tiresome in books, and it's nice to see a protagonist who wants to look nice when she's out and about.

When all is said and done, and the killer finally revealed, it comes as no great surprise. since the clues were there all along, but it was still a fun read and that's what really counts.  This is the fourth book in the series and can be read as a stand alone, but for myself, I have enjoyed reading the entire series in order.  Highly recommended. 

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