“was a little more important? I pulled at my tight-knit top, trying not to let him get under my skin. “For the record, that perm rod saved me from being knifed to death. Anyway, it sounds worse than it was.” “Worse than it was! Lady, that’s about as worse as it can get for a man.” He blew out a sigh. “I’d love to hear the full story on that one day.” I smiled sweetly. “If you’re nice to me, maybe one day I’ll tell it.”~Arlene McFarlane, Murder, Curlers, and Cream
Murder, Curlers, and Cream is an entertaining, comical, and fun murder mystery written by USA Today bestselling author Arlene McFarlane. She is a new author for me, but I love a good cozy mystery novel, and mysteries are what I love to read and write. I love this book, and I enjoyed reading it from the first page to the very last word. Murder, Curlers, and Cream is full of romance, adventure, and suspense and like no other murder mystery story I have ever read.
Murder, Curlers & Cream is about a beautician named Valentine Beaumont who has multiple problems. Her hair salon business is falling under, her staff is wacky, her mother is meddling with her dating life, and a client was murdered in her salon. She is struggling with making the rent on her business, and she believes helping Detective Romero solve the murder case is the only way she can attract customers back to her salon to earn enough money to make rent before the bank shuts her down. While trying to figure out who murdered her client, she goes through multiple incidents, including a second murder, a kidnapping, and death threats. No matter the struggles Valentine faces, she keeps moving forward.
The author did a fantastic job developing the characters in this fun murder mystery story. The protagonist, Valentine Beaumont, is a strong and brave businesswoman with spunk and a sassy attitude. I loved how the author added personal touches to describe the character’s personality like her love for Disney. For example, Valentine has a Winnie the Pooh phone in her living room. She is also very girly with her fashionable clothes and accessories and love for glitter. When an author adds those little elements, it makes the reader connect with the characters more. Valentine’s friends at the salon are hilarious. Valentine’s best friend, Max, is always teasing Phyllis about her eating habits and what she wears because she designs her own clothes. The secondary characters are full of personality and so well developed, just like the main characters, that I couldn’t tell that they were secondary characters.
The dynamics of Valentine and Detective Romero are both funny and sexy. Detective Romero is a strong, muscular guy that makes Valentine nervous every time he’s around. In the beginning, she can’t stand him because he keeps asking questions about the murder case and gets in her way when she is trying to find out who committed the murder. As the story continues, the chemistry between the characters grow, and I love how they end up dancing together at the Detective’s sister’s wedding at the end of the novel. The dialogue between the characters really contributes to the character’s falling in love with one another.
This murder mystery story is like no other because of all the events that happen before you find out who’s the killer, which I never saw coming. Valentine’s salon going up in flames, a second murder, and the mysterious letters all contribute to the story’s suspense and keep you wanting to read. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so I’ll just say I never suspected that one of Valentine’s employees murdered Portia because she fell in love with Portia’s husband. I guess when they say love makes you do crazy things, it’s true.
Mrs. McFarlane did a wonderful job with the pacing of the plot. I loved that the ending didn’t happen abruptly. She added the twist of Valentine’s friend’s granddaughter, Kylie, getting kidnap from her hospital room before revealing the killer, which drew in more suspense that I was biting my fingernails while reading the chapter. I think the kidnapping and the reveal is one of my favorite scenes just because of the way the author describes it, and I can feel the character’s emotions and picture what is happening.
Overall, this story was amazing to read. I enjoyed it very much. It has all the elements of a good mystery. If you like assertive heroines, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and unlikely romances, you’ll love Arlene McFarlane’s creative story!
I am looking forward to reading Murder, Curlers, and Canes, the next book in the Valentine Beaumont Mystery series.