Star Tangled Murder by Nancy J. Cohen

About the Book

Hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband get tangled up in murder when their Fourth of July visit to a living history village ends with a bang—and a body.

Salon owner Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk in his head.

As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?

In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing might blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she’ll become the next victim.

Recipes Included!



Marla and Dalton, already on the edge of the woods, rushed toward the bait and tackle shed from
where the screams seemed to originate. She hoped someone had merely spotted an alligator on
the grounds.
They approached the derelict wooden shack with its tilted sign and barged inside. Through
a rear window, Marla spotted a deck that extended over a pond to a covered landing. A woman
stood frozen on the planks, her horrified gaze fixed on a man lying face-up at her feet.
Dalton headed that way. As Marla followed him outdoors and got a closer look, she
swallowed a surge of bile in her throat. The man down had an axe planted in his forehead. Blood
pooled behind his head and seeped through cracks in the boardwalk.
Her heart jolted. The dead guy was the missing marshal.
Oh. My. God. We just met him. This can’t be happening.
As she grappled with reality, bystanders crowded onto the deck to gawk at the scene.
“Folks, stand back,” Dalton said, taking command. “I’m with the Palm Haven Police
Department. We need to secure this area. Please wait over by the shed.” He yanked out his
phone, presumably to call for backup, while Marla wondered if this fell under his jurisdiction.
A couple of guests led the witness to a bench, while Marla gave one more glance at the
body. She knew she’d wrack her brain later for clues, especially if Dalton took over the case.
Her gaze zeroed in on the swirls of paint and colorful feathers decorating the weapon’s handle.
Wait, was that an axe or a tomahawk? It did share certain similarities to the ones in the
battle scene, although those had to be fakes. The Seminoles had brandished tomahawks along
with rifles, clubs, and spears.
A brackish scent from the pond invaded her nose and made her stomach churn. Good thing
Phil hadn’t ended up in there, or he’d be alligator meat.
They’d only spoken to him a short while ago, and he’d sounded strong during his narration.
How could this have happened to him?

About the Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and the RONE Award, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Her nonfiction titles, Writing the Cozy Mystery and A Bad Hair Day Cookbook, have won the FAPA President’s Book Award, the Royal Palm Literary Award, and IAN Book of the Year. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.

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