Dressed to Confess (Costume Shop Mystery Series #3)

Dressed to Confess (Costume Shop Mystery Series #3)

by Diane Vallere

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Costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn faces a deadly conspiracy when a small-town festival turns into big-time trouble.

It’s no secret around Proper City, Nevada, that the Sagebrush Festival, the town’s annual family-friendly event, is the place to be. This year’s theme of board games has everything from Conspiracy to Clue. Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, has been tasked with providing costumes for the festival headliner, the Domino Divas. But on the night of the performance, one fallen Domino threatens to bring down the whole show when head dancer Ronnie Cass is found in her dressing room, unmasked, unprepared, and very, very dead.
As the police investigate, Margo learns that Don Digby, her father's best friend, is the prime suspect, tied to the victim by an unsolved robbery connected to Proper City’s past. As conspiracies abound and theories are debunked, Margo seeks to unmask the real killer before her dad's buddy winds up in a costume made with prison stripes.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425278307
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Series: Costume Shop Mystery Series , #3
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 523,711
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Diane Vallere is the national bestselling author of the Lefty-nominated Material Witness Mysteries, which include Silk Stalkings, Crushed Velvet, and Suede to Rest, and the Costume Shop Mysteries, which include Masking for Trouble and A Disguise to Die For. She is the daughter of a seamstress and a scientist, which makes her feel like the love child of Edith Head and Mr. Spock. After twenty years in the fashion industry, she now writes full time, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. She launched her own detective agency at ten years old and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.

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Dressed to Confess 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Diane Vallere's Dressed to Confess Soot, the cat is the confidant of Margo Tamblyn. Margo is the co-owner of Disguise DeLimit costume shop with her father. She lives above the shop in Proper City, Nevada. It is Proper City's Sagebrush Festival time. Margo is helping both Ebony, the festival Manager and Bobbie, who is her best friend, running a booth both selling and giving away Teddy Bears. Margo has made costumes for the big attraction of the Festival....the Domino Divas. This dance group broke up 50 some years ago because of then scandal now all in their sixties they are reuniting for the Festival. That is until Margo finds one of the Divas dead in the Diva's trailer. Murder, an robbery 50 years ago, dark secrets, affairs, an unexpected relative, a Festival with a Game board theme with costumes, a food, teddy bears, dancing , A birthday bash and danger in disguise make this is good read. The characters are well defined, very realistic and very interesting. The tension was thick with plenty of suspense mixed with great chills, thrills with unexpected twists and turns. It was a page turner. This is book # 3 in the Costume Shop Mystery series. It can be read as a stand alone. This is first book I read in the series and will be reading the rest. A highly recommended humorous cozy read!!! I volunteered to read Dressed to Confess. Thanks to the author via Net Gallery for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
IanAdams More than 1 year ago
‘Disguise DeLimit’ (say it out loud). So, it’s festival time in Proper City, Nevada and Margo Tamblyn and her costume shop ‘Disguise DeLimit’ are providing costumes. It was fun following the twists and turns, as Margo investigates the murder of a member of the headline act. A rollicking good romp!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts It’s time for the Sagebrush Festival in Proper City, Nevada. The theme this year is board games and Ebony has planned the perfect event. The headlining act is a “Blast from the Past”, the Domino Divas, a group that has not performed together for 50 years. Margo has been tasked with making their costumes and helps Ebony out by watching the final rehearsal and handling any dust ups between the Divas. The festival opens with a standing room only crowd to see the Domino Divas but Margo is short one Diva. The mayor is livid as Margo heads to the Diva’s trailer/dressing room where she finds one very dead Diva. The festival is shutdown for the night so the police can launch their investigation but they quickly point the finger at Don Digby, her dad’s best friend. Seems he and the dead diva, Ronnie Cass had a relationship way back when and there was also a robbery that took place the last night the Diva’s performed and they believe he was involved as that as well. Margo doesn’t believe a word of it so she starts investigating both the murder and the robbery before Don is sent directly to jail, with no $200, no Get Out of Jail Free card, and no roll of the dice. The board game theme of this story really appealed to me. There was a time when every game mentioned and a few more filled shelves in our family room. Now the kids are older and the games have been packed away for the next generation. I would love to go to the Sagebrush Festival and play them life size. It would be so much fun. Sadly a murder mires down the happiness the festival should provide. The mayor had the “show must go on” attitude but the community wasn’t really ready for fun and games. Although it did enable Margo to interview people connected to the victim and find some really nice clues. The plot developed at an excellent pace. The robbery subplot was nicely meshed with the murder mystery. I enjoyed learning more about the history of Proper City. It has become one of my favorite cozy settings. All the characters we loved from previous books return. The Divas were an interesting group that became some of Margo’s prime suspects. The new publicist for the town was also introduced. An unusual man, everything was a promotion gimmick to him, every photo opportunity was taken, all posted to social media. He did get people to come out for the festival and then had to spin some of his plans after the murder occurred. Margo creates costumes for not only the performers but 100 teddy bears too. She also created more for the Disguise De Limit’s store window and herself. I was just bowled over my her creativity. She is passionate about her business, she strives to make her family business a success, even if it means staying up all night. It makes be long for the days when I was sewing and creating costumes for my children. Diane Vallere has a real winner with this series. Wonderful mysteries, colorful characters and a fantastic setting just a few miles from Las Vegas. With a little bit of humor and a touch of romance the story has everything I love about cozies mysteries. A perfect escape any time of year.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Conspiracy Disguises the Killer While characters I love are one thing that bring me back to a series I enjoy, setting can play a part as well. I have come to love the town of Proper City, Nevada, the setting for Dressed to Confess, the third Costume Shop Mystery. You see, Proper City loves to throw big parties and community events – costumed events. How much fun is that? As this book opens, the city is getting ready for the Sagebrush Festival, something the city holds each year in the spring. This year, the theme for the event is board games, and Margo Tamblyn has been busy coming up with costumes to match. The headlining event is a reunion of the Domino Divas, a singing and dance group that broke up 50 years ago when a scandal erupted just as they were about to truly make it big. Not that the reunion is going all that well, either. Margo has been providing costumes for the group, so her friend Ebony, the party planner for the event, asks Margo to help when a rehearsal goes wrong. But a bad rehearsal doesn’t mean a strong performance, in this case. Opening night, group member Ronnie Cass can’t be found. Called on again to intervene, Margo finds Ronnie dead in her trailer. Margo vows to stay out of the investigation, but she keeps finding clues. Then her father’s friend, Earl, becomes the police’s prime suspect. As more information from the past comes to light, Margo feels like she’s stumbled into a conspiracy. But who is truly involved? What happened all those years ago? How does it impact the present? With conspiracies and the past impacting the present, this mystery is filled with surprises and twists. I was proud of myself for figuring out things out, but the rest of the plot surprised me. The climax wraps up the big picture, although as I think about it more, one or two things seems to have been left opened. Still, it’s a minor complaint; you’ll be satisfied overall. And don’t let the word conspiracy scare you away. While there is definitely more of a conspiracy feel to this book than others in the series, it’s still a light, fun read. This element adds a nice twice to the mystery, but it doesn’t overwhelm it. As I hinted at earlier, I do love the characters in this series. They are a fun lot, although there is one that falls into the fun to hate category. I do feel that a couple of the regulars don’t get as much page time as I would have liked, although they do have their own sub-plot. The new characters are strong, which is important to keep us guessing until the end. And, really, it’s hard not to love a town that takes throwing events to a whole never level. City wide costume events? With a great shop like Disguise DeLimit to supply great costumes? Sounds like so much fun! It’s the kind of place I’d love to visit – between murders, of course. This series has included a recipe or two in each book, and this one is no exception. We get recipes for Spicy Acorn Treats and Spice Acorn Salsa. We also get some suggestions and tips for pulling together costumes for a conspiracy themed party. In case, I’ve disguised my feelings about the book, let me be clear – you will enjoy it. Dressed to Confess is another fun book in this creative series. NOTE: I received a copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This the third book in the Costume Shop Mystery series. And it's just as great as the first two. I enjoy reading about Margo, her Dad, Tak and the rest of the residents from Proper City, Nevada. The story is full of quirkiness, and the twists and turns in the plot keep you guessing until the very end. I didn't figure it out until the end. There were more than a few times I found myself chuckling as I wound my way through the book. I love how Margo dresses in costumes from the shop, can just picture her, and how she talks things over with Soot the cat. Diane does a great job of filling you in on the people of Proper City, and past events, so you don't have to have read the rest of the series. And if you haven't, I would suggest you do because you'll enjoy them. I received this as an ARC copy, and this is my honest review.
shoezimm More than 1 year ago
And the Costume Shop series just keeps getting better...welcome to small town Proper City, situated a short drive from Nevada's Sin City, but trying to stay family friendly and free of the big city gambling casinos. A town who wants to be known as the little city who loves costumes and "dressing up" for every occasion. Conspiracy abounds in this fun mystery, and not just the ones printed up in the new X-Files/Lone Gunmen inspired newspaper "Spicy Acorns" written by Don and Margo's father. As the owner of Disguise DeLimit, Margo Tamblyn runs the best costume shop in town (much to the frustration of local competitor Candy Girls), and has her work cut out for her when she is called upon to create a set of costumes for the Sagebrush Festival's Board Game theme headliner act, the Domino Divas. The once popular teen dance group are now AARP eligible, out of retirement for a one-time only reunion act and full of Diva attitudes, scandal, secrecy and now, possibly, murder. Diva Ronnie, who local gossip believes is responsible for a bank robbery committed in the 1960's that disbanded the Double D's, is found dead in her trailer moments before the Divas were to take the stage; spelling disaster for Margo and her friends, when her father's best friend, Don, is pegged as the murderer. It's up to Margo not only to prove Don's innocence and discover who the real murderer is, but to also figure out who has vandalized her friend Bobbie's fundraiser teddy bears and solve a nearly 50-year old bank robbery to boot. Margo is called upon by the town mayor to help with the last-minute replacement act, which pits her, once again, against the Candy Girls manager, Gina, who may have a bigger tie to the murdered Diva than first suspected! As if that weren't enough Margo also has to figure out her relationship with her are-we-or-aren't-we-dating boyfriend and helping love-struck shop assistant Kirby land the girl of his dreams. The town is filled with characters that are fresh and original: Margo, a Fruity Pebbles addict who grew up in her family's costume shop and developed a life-long habit of dressing herself from its racks to fit her mood for the day; Kirby, dune buggy enthusiast and the buoyant captain of local swim team, the Prawns; Ebony, the Afrocentric, superstitious and formidable party planner who refers to herself in the third person and her white Bichon Frise, Ivory; Don, local conspiracy nut and pseudo uncle; Margo's father who lives in a Winnebago in order to search the country for original costumes to offer in the shop; Tak, possible boyfriend, city planner and voice of reason whose parents run Margo's favorite Teppanyaki restaurant (how is a girl to resist amazing fried rice and onion volcanoes?) and Soot, Margo's beloved gray cat who not only keeps the costume shop mouse problem to a minimum, but also fills in as a feline sounding board for Margo to bounce her theories off of. Best of all, the author masterfully fills the reader in on who is who in a way that isn't boringly redundant to readers of the previous Costume Shop novels, but allows new readers to hop on for the ride without having to first read the other books. Dressed to Confess will keep you guessing until the end, and will leaving you waiting to see just what hair-raising situation Margo will get herself into next. Fans of Trixie Belden should keep their eyes peeled as a few Trixie references and homages are woven into the story, which just added to the fun.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Nothing can disguise just how fantastic the Costume Shop Mysteries are! This was a series I was looking forward to for a couple of reasons. 1) I’ve always enjoyed dressing up in costume for Halloween. It’s fun to get to be someone else for a while. 2) Author Diane Vallere. I adore the way this lady writes. She truly makes reading an adventure. She has a fun, quirky side that always adds something extra to her stories. The Costume Shop Mystery series has a fabulous cast of characters. They range from down to earth to way out there. I’ve had a great time watching them grow from book one until now, and I look forward to many more stories about them. In DRESSED TO CONFESS, the town of Proper City, Nevada is holding the Sagebrush Festival with a theme of board games. I thought the idea was fantastic! I wish cozy authors planned events for my town. Of course, you can’t have a cozy mystery without the well, mystery. ;-) And the murder of one of the “Domino Divas” was a well thought out mystery that had more twists than Chutes and Ladders. I rolled the dice trying to guess this whodunit, but I kept rolling Craps. When I finally read the reveal, it was a complete surprise to me. Between the incredible story, to the recipes and costume party idea complete with costume suggestions, DRESSED TO CONFESS is a first place book!
3no7 More than 1 year ago
“Dressed to Confess” is the latest installment in Diane Vallere’s Costume Shop Mysteries series. It is NOT necessary to have read the other books before enjoying this one. There are quick summaries of events from previous books embedded when needed to advance the plot, but pages and pages are not wasted summarizing what happened previously. However, if you have not read the previous books, after you read this one you may want to go back and catch the others in the series. Proper City, Nevada lies about forty miles from the glamour and excitement of “Sin City.” Many of Proper City’s residents moved there to avoid the high taxes of California or the frantic pace of near-by Las Vegas. However, all is not proper in Proper City, Nevada. Proper City has the usual mix of residents. That assortment includes corrupt politicians, busy bodies, people out to make a buck, old lovers carrying a grudge, new friends looking to become lovers, double crossed thieves waiting for revenge, and seemingly ordinary people with hidden pasts. There are secrets, secrets, and more secrets, and gossip, gossip, and more gossip. Proper City is a small town with big mysteries. Margo Tamblyn, owner of Disguise DeLimit costume shop and party planner Ebony Welles are getting ready for Proper’s annual Sagebrush Festival. The theme this year is games but the “games” turn out to be more like classic “Clue” than anyone could have imagined. Festivalgoers are arriving, booths are in place, reporters from neighboring cities have arrived, and entertainers are rehearsing, when the unthinkable happens – one of the performers is found murdered. If murder, betrayal, and danger could be fun, Proper City would be the place to find it. Mix in conspiracy theorists, teddy bears, stolen gold, and people dressed in costumes, and you have Proper City. Of course, the book is full of suspense and crime, but it is also incredibly funny. “Dressed to Confess, “is an enjoyable, relaxing mystery despite the obvious crime and murder theme. It is quick to read, and the characters are likable. Most of all it is funny and enjoyable. It will not give you a stress headache from tension, blood, or mayhem. I received a copy of “Dressed to Confess” from Diane Vallere, Berkley Prime Crime, and NetGalley in exchange for my review. This is an entertaining book to read, but be careful; you might just laugh right out loud as you read and find yourself looking into the back of closets for pieces of clothing that can be thrown together for a costume.
RobynKFLNJ More than 1 year ago
I love Margo, her dad, and the cast of characters. Once again, Margo finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She tries to stay out of it, but circumstances beyond her control keep sucking her back in. Diane Vallere writes excellent books, and Dressed to Confess kept my attention throughout. I love that the characters are multifaceted, and this book makes me feel like I'm there experiencing what they're going through. The descriptions of the outfits and scenery are an added bonus. This is a great book, and I highly recommend it! I can't wait for the next book in this series!
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Welcome back to Proper City, Nevada, where folks like to dress up in costumes and go to parties! It is fun to visit Disguise DeLimit, the costume shop now run by third generation family member Margo Tamblyn. Margo returned to Proper City when her father had a heart attack and realized she missed being part of the shop. Since her return, she keeps running into murders and trying to keep herself or her loved ones out of prison. Margo’s father and his best friend Don are conspiracy theorists, Don more so than her dad, Jerry. They received some financial backing and, at the annual Sagebrush Festival, plan to distribute their first edition of their conspiracy paper, Spicy Acorn. Margo has prepared costumes for the Domino Divas, the Proper City girl group from the 1960’s that split up when a Domino was accused of a bank robbery during their last concert. That Domino just happened to be late to the performance, not appearing until many minutes after the bank was robbed. Stolen was the gold bar that had belonged to the founder of Proper City; it was in a locked display case at the bank. Fast forward 50 years. The Sagebrush Festival theme is board games, with exciting family games to be enjoyed. The suggestion is made to bring back the Domino Divas to be the headline entertainment. Margo made costumes for the group, and one of the Divas, Ronnie, is a real diva. When they rehearsed, Ronnie couldn’t get the dance routine correct. She is late to the final rehearsal, then she and another Diva got into such a disagreement that she gets slapped in the face. Who did it, Margo wasn’t sure, as each Domino has the same outfit, wig and makeup, with the mask color being the only unique feature. It is time for the opening, and the Divas are ready to go onstage. All except one – Ronnie – and Margo goes to Ronnie’s trailer. Margo enters and finds Ronnie sitting in a chair, dead. Her dad might be handing out the Spicy Acorn without much help from Don, as he is the top suspect for Ronnie’s murder…and for the 50-year old unsolved robbery. The characters are an eclectic mix of quirky and small town comfortable folks. I like Margo and think what a lucky girl she is to have grown up in a costume shop amidst many loving, like-minded people. Jerry, his friend Ebony, an event planner, and Don, who is like an uncle to her, are her family. I like Ebony and Margo’s best friend Bobbie. Margo is the best-defined character and we see Proper City through her eyes. Oh, yes; I do like her cat Soot. Soot may be crabby at times, but is also a good listener. The plot is layered, with the murder and robbery both unsolved. Now that the robbery is discussed again, people are digging holes in Don’s tiny yard in search of the gold. Margo does her best to help find the real culprit to get Don off the hook. There are not many suspects for the robbery who still live in Proper City, but there are a few who might have killed Ronnie. I didn’t have an answer for the robbery, but had a couple good suspects for the murder. Overall, I was very pleased with the resolution with no loose ends. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy cozy mysteries that include suspense, humor, and friendship. From a grateful heart: I received this eBook from the author and publisher, and this is my honest review.