About A Disguise to Die ForTitle: A Disguise to Die For
Series: Costume Shop Mystery #1
Author: Diane Vallere
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Length: 304 Pages
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.
No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, the family-owned costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to-die-for—literally—when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a bloody carving knife over a very dead Blitz.
For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can't hide a murderer in plain sight for long.
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!
1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a former fashion buyer, current mystery writer, California resident and Pennsylvanian at heart. The three fictional characters that influenced me the most are Trixie Belden, Barbie, and Rocky Balboa.
2. Why cozy mysteries?
I grew up reading mystery series, and always loved the idea of the amateur sleuth. In my early thirties, I discovered the cozy mystery selection at the library and was amazed at the genre, which seemed like grown-up versions of the books I’d loved.
3. How do you choose new settings and make them feel real since especially with cozy mysteries the towns are almost like secondary characters?
I set the first three of my series in places where I’d lived (Pennsylvania, Texas, and California), so I wanted this series to be different. I looked at a map to find a location that was driving distance from Los Angeles but in a different state and decided the southern tip of Nevada, where it butts up to California, made an interesting location. Plus, it’s a lot of desert, so I knew I could drop in my town and not displace anything but a couple of gekkos! I spent a few days in a hotel out that way and drove around a bit to get a sense of what the atmosphere was like, but when it came time to write about the town, I made it all up, background and everything. The founder of the town, a fictional prospector named Pete Proper, feels real to me now.
4. It sounds like you made the jump from fashion to writing without completely leaving your old career behind as fashion plays a key role in your work. Can you tell us a little about that dynamic in your writing?
I happen to be someone who loves clothes and loves shopping, so even though I don’t work in fashion, I can’t seem to shake that. My first character is in the fashion industry (Samantha Kidd), so when I created Madison Night, I tried to go the opposite direction. But as it turns out, she has a style all her own in that she dresses like Doris Day! Poly Monroe (Material Witness Series) wears all black, and I thought that would be easy but it was not, because in my mind, wearing all black has to be interesting, so what articles of clothing is she wearing? A man’s blazer, a pair of jeans, riding boots, etc.
For Margo Tamblyn (Costume Shop Mysteries), I knew that I wanted her to be a bit insecure, but to find confidence dressing in elements from the costume shop where she grew up. It’s sort of a metaphor for wanting to hide in plain sight, but also, when someone wears a costumey outfit, they might feel like they’re hiding, but they’re really drawing attention to themselves, so what does that mean?
5. What do you hope that readers take away with them after reading your book?
The sense that you can always change your life, you can always make different decisions and try a different path than the one you’re on.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Toughest criticism: Truthfully? Being told I should be embarrassed by what I write.
Best compliment: A reader telling me one of my books helped provide escape from a tough time.
7. What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
S is for Silence. I started binge-reading Sue Grafton’s alphabet series after Thanksgiving. There are a lot of letters in there!
8. Do any animals share your life? Please tell us about them.
I am currently between animals. I still feel the loss from when my 15 years passed away. I remember her so fondly, and I feel like I pay tribute to her with the kitties in my books.
And now for a little bit of fun:) This or That?
Fiction or Non-Fiction? Mostly fiction, but I do enjoy memoirs (particularly Jen Lancaster).
Novella or Tome? Somewhere between the two, I think. I like a book I can finish in 1-3 days.
Cover or Synopsis? Cover
Bookstore or Library? Library
Pen or Pencil? Pen (why my notes are so messy, because instead of erasing, I have to scribble things out and write around them in the margins!)
Hardcover or Paperback? Hardcover
Ebook or Audiobook? Ebook
Science Fiction or Paranormal? paranormal
Stand Alone or Series? series
Bookmarks or Dog Ears? Ummm…guilty of both!
1 Print Copy US ONLY