A Killer Closet: A Mystery

A Killer Closet: A Mystery

by Paula Paul

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Overview

In a fashionably cozy short mystery novel, Paula Paul introduces a tenacious heroine who leaves big-city life behind and returns to picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico—where murder lands on her doorstep.
 
Irene Seligman loves the warmth and beauty of her Southwest hometown, but only one thing could make her quit her prestigious job as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan to return there: the guilt applied by her demanding mother, Adelle. After Adelle’s most recent husband dies, leaving her with nothing, Irene decides to take a break from prosecuting criminals to move back to Santa Fe and open an upscale consignment store. With Irene’s determination and her mother’s eye for haute couture, they’re sure to make a killing.
 
But on the day of the grand opening, Irene discovers the body of one of Adelle’s friends in her storeroom. And although the intrigue causes business to boom, when someone else from Adelle’s social circle is murdered, Irene begins to suspect her mother might be in danger too. Ever the protective daughter, Irene investigates her mother’s friends, suspicious that they’re hiding more than designer clothes in their closets. But as she gets closer to uncovering some real skeletons, Irene might not live to regret coming home again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101968468
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Series: Irene's Closet , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 193
Sales rank: 523,271
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Award-winning novelist Paula Paul was born on her grandparents’ cotton farm near Shallowater, Texas, and graduated from a country high school near Maple, Texas. She earned a BA in journalism and has worked as a reporter for newspapers in both Texas and New Mexico. She’s been the recipient of state and national awards for her work as a journalist as well as a novelist. She’s the author of many mysteries, including the Alexandra Gladstone series and the Mystery by Design series, which she wrote as Paula Carter. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

There was a dead woman in Irene’s closet.

She discovered the body in the small storage space of her store on the first day she opened for business. It was still two hours away from the nine a.m. opening, and she was absolutely certain the body hadn’t been there the day before, which was Sunday, when she was getting the store ready.

The dead woman sat with her legs straight out, her upper body leaning against the wall. She was dressed in blue silk Prada pants. She wore a brown silk jacket, also Prada. The jacket was bloodstained, the blood having come from the bullet wound in her head. The woman herself had been an attractive blonde, probably in her late thirties, Irene estimated, because she herself was in her late thirties and recognized some of the early signs of aging.

No, not aging, maturing.

Of course she called the police.

Two officers came to investigate. One of them was the chief of police, Andrew Iglesias, an attractive, youngish man with dark hair and eyes. It was not uncommon for the chief to be part of an investigation in a place like Santa Fe, not big enough to be a city, but bigger than a small town. The other one was an assistant in a uniform no less well pressed than the chief’s, young and probably Hispanic like the chief, but Irene didn’t catch his name. It was not like her to miss details like that. She’d been an assistant D.A. back in Manhattan, where she’d excelled in her ability to pay attention to and remember details. However, back then she’d never found a dead woman in her closet, which, she realized, rattled her somewhat.

“Do you know this woman?” Chief Iglesias asked.

“I know that her name is Loraine Sellers, and she was a friend of my mother’s, but I wouldn’t say I knew her.”

“Your mother. That would be Adelle Daniels.”

“Yes. How did you know that?”

“Word gets around,” the chief said. “How did she get in that storage closet?”

“I don’t know.” She hoped he wasn’t implying that she was in the habit of stuffing dead people in her closet.

“How long has she been here?” he asked.

“I have no idea. I just discovered her when I opened the closet. I called you right away.” While it was true she didn’t know exactly when the body was placed in her closet, she estimated that the woman had been dead no more than four hours, because the body was still rigid. However, she didn’t mention that to the chief or his assistant, assuming they would see it for themselves. Nor did she mention that the body was dressed in a four-thousand-dollar-plus outfit, although she wasn’t sure whether or not they would realize that.

“You only recently leased this building, didn’t you?” the chief asked.

“That’s correct.”

“You’re new to town.” The chief’s handsome face crumpled into a scowl, as if being new in town might be a crime.

“How did you arrange the lease so fast?”

“My mother helped me with the arrangements,” she said, and started to add that she had actually grown up here. But she stopped, having learned long ago that under most circumstances it was generally best not to volunteer information.

“You mean she leased it for you.”

“No, I mean she helped me with the arrangements. I leased it myself.”

“How long ago?”

“About a month. Long enough to have a little remodeling done before I brought in merchandise.”

“What kind of remodeling?” He frowned again, and Irene noticed that he wasn’t writing notes as he questioned her.

“You probably know the building used to be a restaurant and that it’s been vacant for over a year. I had counters removed and new ones installed, and racks for the clothing.”

“Would you call the remodeling extensive?”

“What does this have to do with a murder investigation?”

He asked again without answering her question. “Would you call the remodeling extensive?”

“No.” She’d gone back to her resolve not to say more than was necessary.

“Who did the remodeling?”

“Someone my mother hired. His name was Russell Something. Sanderson, I think, or Sandoval.”

“When did he finish the job?”

Irene hesitated for a moment, wondering if the chief was just incompetent, since he was focusing so much on the building, or if he knew something she didn’t know. “A couple of weeks ago,” she said finally.

“All right. Thanks,” the chief said in a clipped voice. “Stick around. We may want to talk to you again.”

The yellow crime scene tape stayed up all day, making it impossible to open the store. At least the body was removed discreetly through the back entrance, but there were investigators of different descriptions in and out all day looking for fingerprints, blood samples, possible means of entry. The only clue the police had for that was that the back door appeared to have been left unlocked. Since there were no broken locks, shattered windows, or holes in the roof.

“Did you check to see if both the front and back doors were locked when you left last night?” one of the investigators asked.

“Of course,” Irene said.

“But you claim the back door was unlocked when you arrived this morning.”

“That’s correct.”

“We found no sign of tampering. You must have left it unlocked.”

“Or someone skilled with locks opened it,” Irene offered.

The investigator’s face crumpled into a scowl. “I advise you not to leave town.”

“Why would I leave town?”

The investigator didn’t answer. He left, still wearing his scowl.

It was summer, the height of the tourist season, and there were several curious passersby who tried to see what was going on behind the yellow tape, but all they could see was the shady courtyard leading back to the old adobe building connected to other ancient adobe buildings. Nevertheless, Irene was worried that the yellow tape was bad publicity for her new store. A sign outside, hanging from a pole by wrought-iron brackets, displayed the words Irene’s Closet written in cursive letters and made to look as if the words were on a ribbon scroll. Underneath in smaller letters and a plainer font: A second look at haute couture.

A day like this was enough to make her wish she’d never left New York. But she couldn’t have stayed. She’d received the summons several months earlier from her mother, Adelle, telling her she was to come home to Santa Fe—that ancient American city whose rich and terrible history lies beneath a veneer of adobe chic and self-conscious renovation. Not unlike Adelle herself.

Her mother’s directive to leave New York and return to Santa Fe came to Irene’s apartment in Brooklyn written on handmade paper the color of a sepia dawn and edged in aqua and brown geometric Navajo designs. The scent of piñon escaped, genielike, from the envelope when she opened it. Adelle would never email, but she did follow up with a telephone call.

It seemed her latest husband had died unexpectedly. Husband number five, Irene thought. Or maybe it was six.

The point was, he’d died, and instead of leaving even a small part of his substantial holdings to Adelle as she had hoped, he’d left them to his two sons, who lived somewhere in Nebraska. Adelle had been led to believe the entire family lived in a villa in Italy. Two of her mother’s many marriages had ended with the death of her spouse, and the rest ended in divorce. Irene refrained from criticism since her own one and only marriage had lasted only two years.

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A Killer Closet: A Mystery 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: A Killer Closet Author: Paula Paul Published: 10-11-2016 Publisher: Random House Publications/Alibi Pages: 184 Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Traditional Detectives ISBN: 13: 9781101968468 ASIN: B01AQO16S4 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.25 Stars I received a copy of "A Killer Closet" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description From the Publisher: In a fashionably cozy short mystery novel, Paula Paul introduces a tenacious heroine who leaves big-city life behind and returns to picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico—where murder lands on her doorstep. Irene Seligman loves the warmth and beauty of her Southwest hometown, but only one thing could make her quit her prestigious job as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan to return there: the guilt applied by her demanding mother, Adelle. After Adelle's most recent husband dies, leaving her with nothing, Irene decides to take a break from prosecuting criminals to move back to Santa Fe and open an upscale consignment store. With Irene's determination and her mother's eye for haute couture, they're sure to make a killing. But on the day of the grand opening, Irene discovers the body of one of Adelle's friends in her storeroom. And although the intrigue causes business to boom, when someone else from Adelle's social circle is murdered, Irene begins to suspect her mother might be in danger too. Ever the protective daughter, Irene investigates her mother's friends, suspicious that they're hiding more than designer clothes in their closets. But as she gets closer to uncovering some real skeletons, Irene might not live to regret coming home again. My Review of "A Killer Closet": A great cozy filled with strong characters and a plot that is well thought out and laid out so that it runs smoothly from to scene to scene. I found the premise interesting and it held me involved in the story to the very end. "A Killer Closet" has humor, suspense and a wonderful cast of characters that are unique and multi layered. My rating is 4.25 out of 5 stars.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Killer Closet is a cozy mystery by Paula Paul. Irene Seligman is returning to her hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her mother, Adelle Daniels needs her assistance after the death of her latest husband (Irene is not sure if it was husband number five or six). Adelle was left with penniless (she goes through money likes its water) and guilted Irene into coming home (otherwise Irene preferred to stay in Manhattan as an assistant district attorney). Irene is not licensed to practice law in New Mexico, so she decides to open Irene’s Closet. It will be an upscale consignment boutique (carry designer labels). Irene’s Closet opens with a bang when a body is discovered in the storage room. The victim is Loraine Sellers, a friend of Adelle’s. Police Chief Andy Iglesias is on the case and is interested in getting to know Irene. The murder turns out to be good for business until another body is left in the shop. The second victim is Susanna Delgado and another friend of Adelle’s. Irene is worried that her mother may be next (even though she is a pain in the tuchis), and she starts delving into the victims lives. But the killer is close behind Irene and prepared to act. Will the door to Irene’s Closet snap shut before the shop has a chance to take off? A Killer Closet is easy to read and can be finished in a couple of hours. I did, though, find it to be a very implausible novel (Irene’s actions were illogical). I would think that an attorney in her 30s would think rationally. Irene jumps to conclusions, acts irrationally, and does not act her age (she is also rude to someone that goes out of his way to be nice and helpful). There are few clues provided to the mystery, but it can easily be solved (it can be figured out quite early in the book). There is an extreme amount of foul language in the book for a cozy mystery (and it was not needed). The story is told from various character point-of-views towards the end which is confusing (and does nothing to enhance the story). I wish the author had told it from the third person point-of-view or from Irene’s perspective (keep it consistent). I give A Killer Closet 2 out of 5 stars. The mother, Adelle, was an extremely unlikable character. You know you do not enjoy a character when you keep hoping they will be the next victim. I found some information repeated a few times throughout the book (like it was filler) and there are other inconsistencies. I felt that A Killer Closet needed some major rewriting and a good editor. A Killer Closet was not my type of cozy mystery.
Qnofdnile More than 1 year ago
A fun read. A good daughter moves from NYC to Santa Fe to help her mother out. They don't have the typical mother/daughter relationship, but they love each other. Irene the daughter needs to do something to make money so she opens a consignment store of high end items. She goes to look for something in the back storage closet and yes of course there is a dead body on the opening day of her shop. A nice cozy, interesting characters in a nice setting. A quick read also. Some surprising twists and turns.
ElaineReads More than 1 year ago
“There was a dead woman in Irene’s Closet.” As soon as I read the first line of this book, I thought it was going to be good. Boy, was I wrong?! Only two of the characters were likable: Irene and Angel and I didn’t even like Irene all that much. Even the good guys got on my nerves. The setting is Santa Fe, New Mexico and at times the book read like a travelogue. I’ve been there. Santa Fe is gorgeous, but all the extraneous information did nothing to advance the story. And another thing, Irene runs an upscale consignment shop, and I mean upscale. We’re talking Prada, not Liz Claiborne. Of course, the clothing was integral to the subplot about her store, but I thought the multiple descriptions of how much she charged in contrast to what something cost retail were unnecessary. There were contradictions and repetitive statements. Maybe these will be caught with editing, but a beta reader should have caught them before the book went to reviewers. I have read another book by Paula Paul, Medium Dead, and I really enjoyed it. It was the fourth in a series, but still managed to hold my interest. This book is nowhere near the same quality. Unfortunately, based on my opinion of A Killer Closet, I am done. I won’t waste my time on another book. This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Who was is that said "you can never go home again"? I know who it wasn't. It wasn't Paula Paul's, but it was Paula's new hero Irene Seligman. At her mother, Adelle's request, (a very strong request) Irene gave up a great job as an assistant DA in Manhattan and moved back to Santa Fe. The day of the grand opening of Irene's new consignment store, Irene finds more than she had left on the day before. Going through the back door, she discovers a friend of her mother's in the closet dead. When another friend of Adelle's is murdered, Irene starts worrying about Adelle's safety. Paula Paul is a talented author with more than 25 books written. I hope that she finds a bit of time in her busy schedule to give us a book or more in this fun series. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
A very interesting mystery with intriguing characters: younger, older, questionable, Wasp, Hispanic, etc. Everyone knows something is up, but what? I particularly liked the surprising gun skill displayed at the end.
RochelleRosesandThorns More than 1 year ago
It’s a shame when bad editing ruins a good book. A Killer Closet is a fun cozy mystery that grabbed me on the first page, but it was marred by bad editing. When Irene Seligman gives up her job as an assistant DA in Manhattan and moves home to help her mother in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she plans to open a haute couture resale shop. Her plans go awry, however, when she finds the body of one of her mother’s friends on the floor of her storeroom on opening day. Since her store is a crime scene, she has to push back the opening. Yet the next day when she finally opens, the sheriff takes her to lunch, and then says he’s sorry she had to open a few hours late. What happened to the day in between? A Killer Closet is rife with similar consistency glitches. Ms. Paul seems to have had difficulty keeping track of the timeline in her book, and none of the high-paid editors at Alibi Publishing, the digital division of Random House managed to catch the trend. I received A Killer Closet from Net Galley, and I can only give it three roses. Again, such a shame.
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
Coming home can be hazardous. Irene came home to take care of her mother and ended up involved in murder, adventure, intrigue, and gossip. I enjoyed reading this story. The outcome was a bit of a twist, though there were aspects that I saw coming. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley. This is my unsolicited review.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
This is another highly entertaining murder mystery by this very talented author! Irene Seligman has been guilt-convinced to leave her job as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan to move back to live with her much married Mum, Adelle, in her childhood home. With the change in location comes a change in jobs – she decides to use her Mum’s fashion expertise to open an upscale consignment store. On the day the store is due to open, Irene goes in to make a shocking discovery – there’s a woman from her Mum’s social circles lying murdered, dead in the shop’s storeroom! The news of the murder victim in the shop creates added interest from potential customers and, despite the police investigations, things are going quite well . . . until another body turns up! Again, the victim is a murdered associate of her mother who has been left in Irene’s shop. Is there any connection between the victims besides Adelle? Is Adelle in any danger? Who has killed these women – and why? So many questions requiring answers and Irene can’t resist trying to find out the answers. The Sheriff claims he’s investigating. The local big defence lawyer seems to be involved somehow, too. Then there’s also Angel, a college student who is working part time for Irene in the store. . . . As Irene investigates further she discovers there’s more than gold in them there hills, there’s also deception, danger and further mysteries! This is an action packed murder mystery with plenty of suspense, laugh out loud moments and great characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and have no hesitation in highly recommending to lovers of this genre! Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for gifting me with an ARC of this novel.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was an entertaining little cozy mystery. The bad guys could definitely star in a movie version of the Keystone Kops. I'm not sure how they got as far as they did. I guess it was because the major mastermind of the whole plan had got sick with Alzheimer's and was in a home now. It was kind of interesting at the end just who all was involved in this criminal plot. I still don't get why the two dead bodies were left in Irene's brand new consignment store. I did, however, enjoy reading this book. I found it entertaining and I had no idea why people were being killed nor who was involved until the very end. It was just the kind of mystery I like. Thanks Alibi books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review which reflects my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a start for her store's grand opening! Finding a dead body in the store closet! Not just any body, her mother's friend! Maybe moving back to support her mom, had not been the right move after all... Good mystery read. Favorable twists leading to solving the murder mystery. Characters could have been better developed. A good read. Book free from Netgalley and publisher for honest review.
Wanda_M More than 1 year ago
Murder! But by who's hand? A great beginning to a mystery filled with lots of suspense, twists and turns. A KILLER CLOSET by Paula Paul reads more like a Gothic novel. This great mystery starts out showing A picturesque huge stone lodge sitting back in a shadowy mountainous region surrounded by tall pines leading into an unknown creepy dark forest lurking in the dead of night. Dead bodies in closets, and others disappearing for no reason. Could the deaths possibly be connected? If so, then what could be the common factor? Could there be secret hiding places in the lodge? If so, what could be in those hiding places? Is there something going on at the lodge that someone doesn't want other people to find out about? Has Irene stumbled onto something that would be better off left alone? As our story heads toward the deep end of suspense, has Irene maybe dragged Adele and her friends into something that might get them all killed? Irene"s day started out like any other as she opened up the store and began checking things. Upon opening a closet, to her surprise, a body was sitting up and leaning against the wall with a bullet in the head. Why at her place of business? Wide-eyed and filled with surprise, and after careful thinking, Irene called the police. Once they arrived and confronted her, she was taken down to the station and questioned. Why? Would she be considered their number one suspect, or do they have others? Why doesn't anything add up in this web of a mystery? Could someone else in town be involved? Or maybe several someones? Someone maybe Irene knows? Maybe Adele knows? Uncertainty begins to fill the air as the plot thickens. The characters kept me on my toes with this one as I tried to stay ahead of the clues. A wonderful read.
Jarina More than 1 year ago
A Killer Closet is the latest entry into author Paula Paul's diverse array of writings. Set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it is the story of Irene Seligman's return to her childhood home to care for her aging mother, Adelle, after the death of Adelle's fifth husband. Prior to her return, Irene was an assistant Manhattan DA. Not licensed to practice law in New Mexico and unsure she could break into the old patron system even if she was, she decided to create a consignment store for upscale and designer women's fashions. However, the grand opening of Irene's Closet doesn't go exactly as planned when a dead woman, an acquaintance of Adelle's, is found on the floor of the shop. This, of course, delays the opening and brings Irene and others to the police station for questioning. Here she meets police chief Andy Iglesias, who she will rely on, and lawyer P. J. Bailey, who immediately annoys her. In the days that follow, Adelle and her friends Susana Delgado and Harriet Baumgarten, seem to be around the shop. But so do others coming to see where the murder occurred, leaving Irene slammed. After the second body is found in the shop, business is even more brisk and Harriet recommends a young person she knows to work part time, and after his arrival and subsequent big sale, he is hired. When whispered clues from Harriet lead Adelle, Irene, and Harriet into dangerous circumstances, and Adelle is kidnapped, Irene is ready to grasp at anything that might save her mother. With Angel's unorthodox assistance, Irene pursues the only avenue she sees to rescue her mother when police seem unsuccessful and short of answers to do so. Will they rescue Adelle and survive themselves? In a twist and turn scenario that involves wealth, corruption, and federal forces, this latest book by Ms. Paul is a real page turner that kept me up late into the night. I do recommend this book!
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
I am impressed at how much mystery the author could stuff into this exciting short story. ‘A Killer Closet’ is a sometimes fun but overall suspenseful and hair-raising novel set in the beauty of Santa Fe. Irene moved back home after being an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. Her mother Adelle’s most recent husband had died, and her mother couldn’t bear to live alone. She had no money as her late husband left everything to his children and now in her 70’s, Adelle is afraid to live alone. She was spoiled by her husbands and never had to be responsible. Irene was raised by her paternal grandmother as Adelle kept marrying men who took her travelling around the world. Irene’s Closet began because Irene knows she needs income, even though she lives with Adelle in the home in her father’s family for generations. Her professional experience in the Big Apple would help her sell upscale designer clothing on consignment. Hours before the grand opening of Irene’s Closet, Irene finds the body of a woman who was shot dead and hidden in a closet in her shop. The deceased woman, Loraine, was a friend of Adelle’s. Loraine had an affair with someone in a position of authority while her husband traveled for business. Adelle’s friends were visiting that evening when the police take Irene in for questioning. At the cop shop, she meets an attorney, PJ, who was well known by almost everyone in town and he offered to represent her if needed. Susana, one of Adelle’s friends, came to the shop to put clothes on consignment. Susana was afraid; she knew unsavory secrets about things Loraine’s gentleman friend was involved in. She was afraid Adelle might also know and be at risk. Susana was then found murdered…where else but in Irene’s Closet? With few clues to go on, and some characters not being who they seemed, Adelle, Irene, and friends old and new try to find out who the bad guy/ gal might be before another of their friends is murdered. The characters are interesting, some defined in depth, such as Irene and Angel, her store assistant. Others are part of the “appearances” crowd, overly concerned with what other people thought or exaggerating stories to impress others. Irene is extremely intelligent and somewhat pragmatic. That she returns to her hometown to help Adelle speaks very highly of her! Angel, a young man who has seen more of the world than he should, is intelligent and caught on quickly how to cater to clients at Irene’s Closet. Some characters who might be considered suspects are minimally defined until their true role was demonstrated. I like Irene, and find a sad humor in Adelle’s ways; after ‘listening’ to her more, I was able to like her much better. There are enough plot twists to keep a reader on their toes! Each twist resulted in huge changes to the story; it was a challenge to even guess who the real bad guy or gal would be. It was like being in a fun house, where appearances are distorted. The searches Irene and Adelle went on to find the truth became hair-raising and the mettle of their relationship was tested. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and found the conclusion satisfying. I highly recommend ‘A Killer Closet’ to those who enjoy well-written cozy mysteries with quirky characters and hard-to-solve crimes. With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this eARC from the publisher and NetGalley with an honest review requested, not required. All opinions are my own.
Sue_H More than 1 year ago
OKAY BUT COULD BE BETTER. Killer Closet is the first book by Paula Paul that I have read, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a mystery, though not one I'd classify as cozy, that did keep me guessing until almost the end. This is a standalone with no cliffhanger, though it is open-ended for future books in a series. There is violence. The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat that all of that info here. The author did a good job of describing Santa Fe and both the history and the current culture there. There are a lot of clues in the storyline that keep you guessing what twists and turns will be revealed next. Enough to keep me reading just to see how it ended. The book started out promising, but could be so much better. My biggest problem with this story is that the characters are flat and need to be more dimensional. Another thing that I had issues with was how much of the book was spent with Adelle's constant whining (she is the mother of the main character Irene). Those lines should have been used to give more life and dimension into Irene to make her more likeable. I did love Angel, Irene's shop assistant. I will read more of Paula Paul's books. And I would like to see more books about Irene if the author can make the characters more three dimensional. I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and Alibi and chose to leave a review.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book. A Killer Closet: A Mystery, by Paula Paul is the first book I have read by the author. While the story had a good plot, it seemed rushed. There were a few things that didn't make sense and I would have liked the story more if I didn't have the feeling that the author was just rushing the story along. Irene has moved back to New Mexico to take care of her mother. Her mother isn't ill, just flat broke and she needs Irene to help with her financial issues. Irene was a prosecutor with the District Attorney's office in New York, but when she arrives in New Mexico, she decides to open an upscale clothing consignment store. After having 2 bodies discovered in her store, Irene and her mother look into the deaths and from there things just explode out of control. The rating is more of a 2.5 star, it didn't quite fit a 3 star rating. I really wanted to love this book, the story has possibilities and the characters are quirky enough to be a really great cozy mystery.
citrus_sunshine More than 1 year ago
*** I got a free copy of the book from Net Galley for a free review.*** I didn't expect that ending! The love interest wasn't straight forward either and I'm so glad. Just as with the other Paula Paul novel there was plenty of action to wrap up the story. There was plenty of violence and blood, but not so much that it is disturbing. It is done with a light hand. The characters were lovable. Irene and Adele have a strange and strained relationship, but in the end they are able to work through much of it. I understand how it could be easy to hate Adelle, but I think the author does a good job of explaining it to us. Angel, Rafael, and others are also likable. The cursing between Rafael and Angel toward each other and about each other is odd and unexplained. Maybe there will be more about that in future books if this becomes a series. And the book does tiptoe right up to the line of having too many characters. Each character was defined well with a quick background. There were a few characters that I would have liked a deeper background on, but that is just a personal preference. The setting of Santa Fe is great! There is a mix of cultures and unique landscapes that add to the story. The unexpected ending and light romance taking place in Santa Fe made for a great read.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Irene Seligman leaves her job as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and moves to Santa Fe, New Mexico to help her aging mother. She decides to open a high-end consignment clothing store and all is going well. Until .... The night before her Grand Opening, she does a final walk through and to her amazement she finds the body of a friend of her mother's in the storeroom. The intrigue and mystery of the dead woman creates a lot of buzz in her business, as well as sales. But when another body of a friend of her mother's is found in her store, she begins to be afraid that her mother might be next. So what is the connection between her mother and her deceased friends? What did they know? What does her mother know but refuses to say? And who would want the elderly ladies dead? The Sheriff says he is investigating, but it looks like he's investigating Irene more than anything else. And the friendly defense attorney ... might he be hiding a secret behind his lady-killer grin? Then there's Angel, a college student working part time in Irene's store. And Rafael, a friend of the lawyer. And who is the woman behind the wheel of blue sedan who seems to follow Irene wherever she goes? This is a cozy short mystery novel .. packed with suspense and great characters. This is the first I've read of this author's and although I don't normally read cozies, I'd be happy to take a look at what else she has to offer. Many thanks to the author / Random House Publishing Group - Alibi / NetGalley who provided an ARC for my reading enjoyment.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
A Killer Closet by Paula Paul was an interesting short cozy mystery. The plot was smooth and the twists were enough to keep me interested. The problem that I had was with the characters. They weren't well developed and I seemed to have more questions about who they were throughout most of the book. The "developing" relationships with the characters also seemed to be without substance. The best part of the book was the mystery itself as it was well developed and the clues always led me on to the next piece of the puzzle. Until the reveal I was still trying to figure it all out. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.