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Hanging by a Hair (Bad Hair Day Series #11)

Hanging by a Hair (Bad Hair Day Series #11)

4.0 5
by Nancy J. Cohen

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Marla Vail, a hairdresser in Royal Oaks, Fla., tackles married life and a slimy homeowners’ association in Cohen’s cheerful 11th series entry (after 2012’s Shear Murder). Marla and her husband, Dalton, a police detective, run afoul of the association’s high-handed president, Alan Krabber, at a board meeting. When Alan is found dead, an apparent suicide by hanging that the police soon come to suspect is murder, Dalton is taken off the case because of his public confrontation with the deceased. Fortunately, Marla’s incessant gossiping with the neighbors proves a highly effective investigation technique. Seemingly every time she drops by the community center, she overhears a significant clue. Still, some mysteries remain unsolved in this pleasingly lighthearted cozy: for instance, why Marla tells Dalton that he shouldn’t make ravioli for dinner—explaining that she, as an observant Jew, abstains from pasta and other leavened foods during Passover—and then dashes out to a cafe to order an English muffin. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
A new home spells nothing but trouble for newlyweds Marla and Dalton Vail (Shear Murder, 2012, etc.). Homeowners associations often see themselves as the last bastion against suburban decline, protecting property values from tacky lawn decorations and oversized fences. As president of Royal Oaks HOA, Alan Krabber is a law unto himself. Last year, he nearly forced a couple into bankruptcy by making them tear down a second-story extension they had erected without a permit. But Krabber keeps his boat parked in his driveway—a clear violation of deed restrictions—until Dalton, his next-door neighbor, challenges him. To make matters worse, the fence Krabber erects to hide the offending boat stands partially on the Vails' property. So when Krabber is killed, police detective Dalton, named a person of interest, is abruptly yanked from the case. That leaves Marla, already distracted by the resignation of her trusty receptionist, Luis, and her promise to her mother to host this year's family Seder, with the job of solving the crime. Her investigative method—accosting members of the HOA, as well as local businessmen who had contentious dealings with Krabber, and asking them point-blank about their quarrels with the dead man—earns Marla a conk on the head and some close brushes with a variety of toxins. Whether she will survive long enough to cook the Passover brisket (recipe included) becomes an increasingly tough question. Marla seems to have the learning curve of a slug, since, as of her 11th outing, she still hasn't figured out that accusing folks of murder will make some of them want to kill you.

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Bad Hair Day Series , #11
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

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Hanging By A Hair 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
JustJan3 More than 1 year ago
Hanging by a Hair By Nancy J. Cohen This is Book 11 of the Bad Hair Day Mystery Series and is just as much fun to read as Books 1 through 10. I continue to enjoy following Marla as she goes places she should not go and solves murders that she should never have gotten involved with. Hanging by a Hair is no different. Marla is now married and is even more involved in murders that her husband Dalton is out to solve. This ones hits too close to home – their own neighborhood; the one they just moved to start their married life together. I am always mystified as to how much Marla tells other people about what is going on. If I was married to her, or even a close friend, I think I would be prone to tell her to shut her mouth and stay out of things that do not involve her. But, if she did this, how would she solve all the mysteries that she gets involved in? If you have not read any of this series, even though each story is a stand-alone mystery, I highly encourage you to start with Book 1 and read them in order. By doing this you will be able to follow Marla as she moves through life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hair salon/divorced from lawyer/florida/jewish/sedder relatives/police husband with teen ager/plus poodle add a few eccentric supporting cast and you have a good cozy series. Was not too happy about the boat tour but i realy dont care for shipboard mysteries but one does need a change of pace. Another thing is I like the covers. Bright and snappy. Frankly i do judge a book by the cover since have a real librsry m.a.@sparta
MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
If you’ve ever had neighbors that lived too close for comfort, then you’ll get a laugh out of author Nancy J. Cohen’s latest release, HANGING BY A HAIR. Marla Vail is hoping she and her husband, Palm Haven PD Detective Dalton Vail, will make new friends attending their first homeowners’ association meeting. But things go downhill when Dalton calls the association president, Alan Krabber, on failing to follow the rules himself. The woes escalate when Krabber, who is also their next door neighbor, puts up a privacy fence on their property. The trouble really begins when Krabber is found dead of an apparent suicide. But when the suicide looks like murder, Dalton is the prime suspect and taken off the case. Marla has no choice but to fine the real killer before her husband takes the fall for murder or someone else becomes a victim. Krabber has secrets Marla has to uncover if the killer doesn’t stop her first. This is a delightful story that flows smoothly and at a fast pace. The author combines mystery and murder with a dose of humor and a touch of romance for a well-balanced read. The characters are well-developed, realistic and a bit eclectic for an intriguing unified cast. Cohen’s eye for detail and rich descriptions places the reader in the middle of the action and in the Florida sunshine. HANGING BY A HAIR is the 11th installment in the Bad Hair Day Mystery series, but can be read own its on without new readers being lost in references from prior adventures. This is a madcap murder mystery that will have you laughing and guessing until the very end. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me as part of the author’s blog tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim Marla Vail, her husband Dalton, and step-daughter Brianna have recently moved into a new home. While she hasn’t had the opportunity to get to know her neighbors, she’s planning on resolving that issue to a certain extent at the homeowner’s meeting. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan. Dalton, a homicide detective and the president of the HOA, who happens to be their neighbor, have a disagreement of sorts. Things become uncomfortable when the President, Alan, makes a racist comment directed at Marla. I was only aware it was a racist comment because the way the characters responded. Since this was my first time reading a book in this series, I don’t know if that was something I should have known or not. It took me a couple to pages to figure out what the problem was and why everyone reacted the way they did. The following day, things between Alan Krabber and the Vails heat up yet again. Alan tries to put a fence up on their side of the property line. Angry words are said and the next day, Alan’s dead body is found in his house. Neighbors point their fingers at Dalton and his chief ultimately has him reassigned, citing conflict of interest. Marla’s friends and even her family tell her that she's good at sleuthing and should put her skills to work to find out who killed her neighbor. It’s not as if she needed any encouragement. Marla collects her thoughts and discusses them with her husband and teenage daughter. In the midst of trying to solve a murder, Marla has to deal with her mother consistently calling her about her deadbeat boyfriend. This is the 11th book in the series and is a completely stand alone read. Characters from previous books make appearances but it's not hard to figure out the relationships. While I liked Marla, her snooping came off to be nosy and seemed as if she wasn't really trying to hide what she was doing. The author tends to repeat things over and over again. How many times does the reader need to be reminded of the death from a previous book? I remembered from the first time it was mentioned. I did like that there were multiple events going on to keep you guessing as to why the murder happened. For me, when the killer was first introduced, I got a weird feeling about them so I did figure out who the killer was before it was revealed. I just didn't know what the motive was. As with other cozy mysteries, there's a romance thrown in. I was surprised that it contained closed door elements, but this could be because the sleuth is married to the detective. I found Hanging by a Hair to be an okay, enjoyable read. Sadly, this is a book I would never want to read again and I'm not waiting on pins and needles for the next book in the series. Source: Blog Tour Promoter