Missing Mabel (A Curl Up and Dye Mystery - Book 1)

Missing Mabel (A Curl Up and Dye Mystery - Book 1)

4.6 19
by Nancy Mehl

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Hilde Higgins — One of the Best Hairstylists in Kansas — Can Recognize a Head of Hair… Even When Her Client is Dead!

Watch the tangled mess that Hilde gets herself into when she realizes that Mabel Winnemaker, her latest client at Druther’s Funeral Home, has gone missing. Hilde knows that the body she is asked to work on at the


Hilde Higgins — One of the Best Hairstylists in Kansas — Can Recognize a Head of Hair… Even When Her Client is Dead!

Watch the tangled mess that Hilde gets herself into when she realizes that Mabel Winnemaker, her latest client at Druther’s Funeral Home, has gone missing. Hilde knows that the body she is asked to work on at the funeral home is not the same person as in her reference photo. Unhappily for Hilde, everyone else doubts that Mabel is missing.

The situation heats up hotter than Hilde’s curling iron — and forces her to answer some tough questions: Is she being silenced when the funeral director accuses her of stealing a diamond ring? Will Hilde Higgins’s former boyfriend help her unravel the issue — or only bring more trouble to her life? And most important of all, what happened to the real Mabel… and why?

“Hilde Higgins is an adorable eccentric, with maroon-and-black hair, a punkish wardrobe and a weird weakness for SPAM casseroles. Like all good mysteries, the solution to the body-switching proves us with a fine Ah, Ha! moment, but it’s Hilde’s goofily-good character that kept me grinning as I turned the pages.” — Betty Webb, “Mystery Scene.”

“Hilde is a quirky, funny character — and easy to love. While trying to solve the mystery of Mabel, she copes with real-life issues. Making new friends, dealing with a mom who isn’t happy with her career choice, and learning to fall in love. I recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a fun, easy read with Christian characters and a good mystery to solve.” — Heidi Walfoort, “Christian Book Nerd.”

Product Details

Greenbrier Book Company
Publication date:
The Curl Up and Dye Mysteries , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
408 KB

Meet the Author

Nancy Mehl was first published in 2001. Since then ten novels have followed, including an omnibus edition, Cozy in Kansas, which contains three of her previously published “Ivy Towers’s” mysteries. Book three in the series, For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Mystery Book of the Year award in 2009.

Nancy’s main writing interests lie in mystery although her Mennonite novels, “The Harmony Series” and “The Kingdom Series,” lean more toward the romantic suspense genre. “There’s a touch of mystery in everything I write,” she says. “The truth is that the lines between suspense and mystery are closer than most people realize. I think the mystery influence will always show up in my books.”

Nancy’s novels have all been set in Kansas. “I love Kansas,” she says. “We’re a lot more interesting than people think. Using Kansas in my novels is easy. We have everything – big cities, small towns, rolling hills, rich farmland, culture, history, odd locations (look up The Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas!) and a friendly hometown feeling. “We also enjoy all four seasons. This allows me to set my stories in different weather conditions. Winter is my favorite season. Throw lots of snow in a story and your plot can suddenly go in an interesting direction.”

Nancy lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson.

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Missing Mabel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Kelly_B More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable Cozy "Missing Mabel" is the first in the "Hometown Mysteries" and "Curl Up and Dye Mysteries" by Barbour Books. I was immediately drawn to the story because of my appreciation for the author as well as the publisher. Both have proven themselves when it comes to a good cozy mystery. Hilde is the perfect heroine for a cozy. She is flawed but has just enough going for her to not appear to be a gigantic loser. Hilde is following a personal passion and ministry which involves being a hair stylist to the deceased. Having an aunt who actually did this for a time being early on in her own career as a hair stylist caused me to be further drawn in, yet also freaked out. As dear as Hilde explains it, I could still not do it. The community involved in the story is remarkable. I immediately enjoyed the individuals in Hilde's circle from her landlady, Mrs. Hudson and other tenants in the boarding house to her neighbor across the way named Gabe. They each have their own quirks and oddities which adds a sweet interest into the background and foreground of Hilde's story. Hilde herself is a bit of an eccentric and of course what more could you expect from a woman who makes a living doing the hair of the dead. She finds herself in several minor scrapes and of course the major scrape of realizing that her deceased client is not whom the funeral home believes she is. Are they trying to pull one over on the family? Is someone trying to pull one over on the funeral home? Hilde is not aware of who is doing what, but her own conscience and professionalism require her to say something. Her own love of mystery and the belief of doing what is right keeps her searching out the answers while also finding new questions along the way in her own life. There is a faith-based component also to this mystery that I enjoyed. Hilde is a Christian and because she is, her faith becomes an important aspect of the book. Being a Christian, I can completely relate. My faith is an important part of my life as well. Hilde's faith is played out best in her love for others, and her love for her friends. She doesn't hide it from her friends but they do know where she stands. Missing Mabel is the exact escape read I enjoy. The characters are engaging, the heroine is someone I relate to and would hang out with, and it takes place in a town that surprisingly I'd want to visit. Mehl makes Kansas sound like an absolute delight (what can I say, I love small towns). I am delighted to know that I can enjoy another book in this mystery series "Blown Away." I can't wait to get my hands on it. PS The main character, Hilde loves SPAM the food product. Guess what? So do I. Well fried SPAM anyway. There is a recipe in the book, I just might try it. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its elena. Tell angel to go to apple first result. Tell sam to go to hiya first result. Thnx.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author is new to me, and I really enjoyed this book, as well as the others by her that I discovered.
GHott More than 1 year ago
Hilde's mother is still reeling. She had thought Hilde's life was settling and then this happened. Life may have fallen apart a bit when Hilde's father left but her mother was made of stern stuff. She was a brain surgeon and Hilde would be raised correctly! Oh, Hilde had great prospects. She was in college. When, much to her mother's chagrin, she dropped out to become a hairstylist. Did that phase her mother? No, way! She found Hilde a fabulous job at an upscale boutique. Yet, Hilde wasn't satisfied with that either! No, she had to become a hairstylist for mortuaries! Mortuaries! And you can't take her out. She died her hair black with hot pink steaks! Oh, and don't mention lunch at the Beach Club. Hilde has no manners! She shoves the food in her face. She jabbers. Oh, and she prays. IN PUBLIC. Can you fathom? Now, now! Look at the mess she's gotten herself into! First, Hilde decides that the body she's working on isn't the same one as in the photo of the deceased. Then she winds up with the deceased jewelry in her purse. Oh, and if it couldn't get worse? She's accused of stealing and is kicked out only to find her camera's been stolen. Maybe Hilde will just let this drop. If only she would let this drop!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chickfilady More than 1 year ago
Hilde Higgins is positive the body she saw on the gurney was not the same Mabel she saw on the gurney earlier. But who wants to believe a mortuary hair dresser who dropped out of school and left a posh salon to do the hair of dead people? She's not even sure her own mother believes her. But Hilde is positive bodies have been switched and Mabel is missing. Hilde spends the novel searching for the missing Mabel, watching out for her landlady and her nephew, and making social faux pas with her mother. Mehl does a a great job taking us inside the life of a small town funeral hair dresser who is constantly finding trouble. I for one am ready for more of Hilde Higgins and her exciting neighborhood.
EdgyInspirationalRomance More than 1 year ago
Missing Mabel is a cozy mystery with a side of romance. The story would work without the love interest, which makes this novel outside of the genre I normally review. But when I saw the product description on NetGalley, I thought the premise was too interesting not to pick up. I'm glad I gave it a chance because there are several things I absolutely loved about this book. I loved the characterization. Hilde is an eccentric girl who wears purple streaks in her hair, has a deep rooted fear of clowns, and makes award winning fried SPAM. She is the proud owner of a waving gold fish and she sees dead people- daily. I loved that for a cozy mystery, this book had surprising depth. Hilde has to confront some troubling events from her past and heal her relationship with her mother. The message of faith and forgiveness was perfectly applied, it grew naturally from the storyline and didn't appear heavy handed. I loved the author's voice. This book was a quick, fun read. The reason I'm book crushin' instead of book lovin' this novel is I found the climax of the story a little anti climatic. The ending just seemed like it was missing something to me. Hilde finally realizes she knows who the killer is and the following chapter cuts to a recap of how things turned out. I guess I hoped she'd get to confront the big baddie somewhere in between. Overall, Missing Mabel was a couple of hours of easy entertainment and when I get the next urge to read a mystery, I won't hesitate to pick up another one of Nancy Mehl's books. (Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy).
kittycrochettwo More than 1 year ago
Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl is the first book in a great new series featuring Hilde Higgins. Hilde lives in a boarding house in small town Eden,Kansas where she is a hairdresser for the dearly departed (hey at least these clients wont complain). When Hilde is assigned to work on the corpse of Mabel Winnemaker she realizes that the corpse isn't Mabel, thru a blunder Hilde had already ummm met Mabel's corpse, so when she is assigned later to do Mabel's hair she realizes right away that the lady isn't Mabel. When she takes her suspicions to the funeral director, he totally refuses to listen and then later even accuses Hilde of trying to steal Mabel's diamond ring. Hilde is determined to get to the bottom of things and figure out just where Mabel really is. The author gives us a great cast of characters from the neighbor that runs the second hand store with the mysterious past, to the new love interest in Hilde's life that is a former classmate, as well as the lady who runs the boarding house who loves to mix up strangely concocted teas. I loved this book, Hilde is such a quirky character, she has an irrational fear of clowns, the color orange, loves to cook with spam and believes that her goldfish can wave at her. She also has a photographic memory that actually helps her solve the case of Mabel. Throughout this book the author lets us see Hilde's faith and its actually Hilde's christian belief of doing the right thing that spurs her into getting justice for the Mabel. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone looking for a great mystery that will also give you a few chuckles. I can't wait to read the next in this series!! Even though I was provided a copy of this book by netgalley to review it in no way alters my opinion of this book.
Ritaestelle More than 1 year ago
"Don't judge a book by the cover." This old adage certainly rang true for me as I sat down to read Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl. The cover of this book was unappealing but after just reading the first page, I knew I was reading a winner. Missing Mabel is the first in an engaging new series by Nancy Mehl which features Hilde Higgins, a free lance hairdresser to the dearly dparted as the protag and takes place in a tiny city ("it was recently carpeted" Arthur, the movie) in Kansas called Eden. A corpse switch is duly noted by Hilde who has been assigned to do "Mabel's" hair only to find it isn't Mabel who lies in front of her. The funeral director, Mr. Druthers, dismisses Hilde's claim of switched corpse and .......let's just say, there is trouble in Eden. Hilde vigiantly stuggles through various attempts of others to quiet her accusations and she does get to the bottom of things with some very surprising revelations. Along the way, she encounters 2 men: one who she actually grew up with but lost contact with and one who a lot older who she befriends but harbors suspicition regarding his mysterious past. All very intriguing and making me want to know more. Ms. Mehl's characterizations are spot on and such a joy to read. There is a delightful balance in flow and cadence to her writing which engaged me immediately. There is a lovely, uplifting theme of Hilde's faith which spurs her on to achieve justice for Mabel and the unidentifiable not-Mabel. Hilde is a hero in my book! I totally enjoyed Missing Mabel and am overjoyed to find that there are at least 3 more books to follow in this series. I heartily recommend Missing Mabel to one and all! Enjoy!!!!
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Go to chickenhawk~mj
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know like everything about me.....so do i need to repeat?I love you Zacy.Imma single Pringle thats ready to mingle (; -Rosie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol. Okay! Ttyl. Misty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ya u welcone! Skai :o xx
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How many years older than u is he and also do u seriously like him
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I already have it. Thanks!