Pocketbooks and Pistols By Dorothy Howell: Review/Giveaway

Nov 5, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Pocketbooks and Pistols. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Haley Randolph would be the first to admit that she’s not exactly a model employee. It was only Hayley’s inattention that resulted in her uncharacteristically volunteering to orientate new employees at Holt’s Department Store, which leads to the discovery of the body of a former salesclerk. This is disastrous, as it could mean the closure of the store, termination of staff, and most importantly, the loss of Haley’s employee discount at their high-end sister store Nuovo. Event planning for L.A. Affairs may be the profession Haley loves, but it doesn’t give her an 80% discount on designer handbags. To stay employed at Holt’s and keep that benefit, Haley must either win Employee of the Month or solve the murder and pull Holt’s out of scandal. Compared to not hiding out in Housewares and having to actually provide customer service, tracking down a killer will be a snap.

bookPrevious interactions have the lead detective eager to incriminate Haley, despite the fact that she barely remembers working with late Asha McLean. A glimpse into her file reveals that Asha had a history of short-term employments, which doesn’t explain how she seemed to have been living a very high-end lifestyle. The mystery of Asha’s source of income is temporarily sidelined when Haley receives a desperate S.O.S. from her mother’s loyal housemaid, Juanita. Haley’s normally narcissistic, overdramatic, and completely self-involved mother is suddenly displaying very atypical signs of being depressed and regretful. It seems that an old scandal is jeopardizing her mother’s former beauty pageant queen title, and while Haley could care less, it sends her mother into a spiral of despair. And sweatpants!

This ninth in the always entertaining Haley Randolph Mystery series continues to deliver sharp dialogue and hilarious scenarios, often at the expense of its narrator. Haley unabashedly lusts after material goods, adores anything designer, and often spends far more money that is wise or within her budget. While her dedication to her work as a salesclerk could be said to be nonexistent, what never wanes is her loyalty to her friends or even the mother who drives her insane. The former may explain why Haley feels torn about her inability to commit to a relationship, although that is explained by the latter. Haley has never gotten over her breakup with Holt heir Ty Cameron and still can’t help but think of him as an estranged boyfriend, which is proving to be an impediment to the man she is actually dating.

A night of drunken regret that has her waking up in the home of hot private investigator Jack Bishop certainly isn’t making her future any clearer. Haley’s investigation into Asha’s machinations takes equal precedence with her tracking down the delayed shipment of the elusive Mystique clutch, and both prove to be delightful for readers. This is another rollicking, funny, and suspenseful installment of the misadventures of our thoroughly likable fashion-conscious heroine.

To enter to win a copy of Pocketbooks and Pistols, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “pistols,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 12, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. The book sounds like a lot of fun to read! I’m looking forward to reading it soon! It’s a new series to me!

  2. I haven’t read any of this series, but I think I need to!

  3. If the story didn’t grab me (but it did!), the cover certainly would!!

  4. sounds like a good read. thank-you for the opportunity.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

  5. Yes please I’d love to win a copy of this book. While doing some research into my family ancestry I found out that my maternal great grandmother was a SACKS… Yes the Fifth Ave people… So stories in department store are probably in my blood. LOL

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. A new-to-me author/series. Sounds like a winner!


  7. What a fun story. It is evident Haley is an industrial stength shopper – what’s not to love?

  8. Sounds great would love to read and post a few reviews. ptclayton2@aol.com

  9. This is a new to me series and it sounds like something that I will absolutely love to read.

  10. Thanks to this post, I have added this series to my must read list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. Howell’s books are a wonderful choice when you need something light and fun. This is almost a subgenre in the mystery field that many writers attempt but fall short– Howell aces it!

  12. I have not had the opportunity to read this author’s series yet. Loved the review and would love the chance to try out the series. Thank you for the chance

    johnnabooks AT hotmail DOT com

  13. A new author and read for me

  14. We have a winner!


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