by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Crushed in Velvet, along with a link to purchase the book.
Ever since Polyester Monroe left her job designing at a cut-rate sleazy dress shop in Los Angeles, she’s been looking forward to this moment. In six days, Poly will finally re-open her family’s fabric store, Material Girl, and the last step is the installation of a new sign over the door. Unfortunately it’s put on hold once again when Phil Girard, the man she paid to deliver her special blend of silk and polyester, is discovered in the back of his truck buried beneath the fabric rolls.
Genevieve Girard, Poly’s store neighbor in San Ladron and the Francophile owner of Tea Totalers, is first in line on the suspect list. Her own admission of culpability doesn’t help, and further information and evidence only seem to further incriminate her. Unable to believe that her new friend could have truly wanted her admittedly philandering husband dead, Poly is determined to discover the truth about Phil under the guise of redecorating the teashop.
Poly’s best allies are Charlie, the taciturn female auto mechanic, and Vaughn McMichael, who first helped Poly at her most embarrassing moment. His powerful father and wealthy upbringing initially has Poly full of distrust and suspicious of his motives, but that seems to have more to do with her own insecurities than Vaughn’s true character.
Poly emerges as a character who has learned to embrace her name and the new career she’s created for herself. Poly has given up a safe and predictable life for one that she realizes she was looking for all along. She follows a very intelligent path in her investigations, although her outlook on life is probably a little more jaded and cynical than she would prefer. Poly’s first instinct is always to help others in need, and being a “fixer” is ingrained in her character.
Watching her grow into herself is a true delight in this novel, as is seeing how this trait of being a helper is allowing her to be welcomed back into the tiny community. Poly’s appreciation for fabric and design continues to be the perfect accessory to this very witty mystery.
To enter to win a copy of Crushed in Velvet, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Crushed,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 15, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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