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.
Previous 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.
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