Permed to Death

Permed to Death

by Nancy J. Cohen

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940158056956
Publisher: Orange Grove Press
Publication date: 03/11/2016
Series: Bad Hair Day Mysteries , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 469,601
File size: 757 KB

About the Author

As a former registered nurse, Nancy J. Cohen helped people with their physical aches and pains, but she longed to soothe their troubles in a different way. The siren call of storytelling lured her from nursing into the exciting world of fiction. Wishing she could wield a curling iron with the same skill as crafting a story, she created hairdresser Marla Shore as a stylist with a nose for crime and a knack for exposing people’s secrets. Titles in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide on how to write a winning whodunit. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. Visit her at

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Permed to Death 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Permed to Death is the first of Nancy Cohen's Bad Hair Day Mystery titles. Marla Shore, owner of the Cut 'N Dye hair salon, leaves difficult client Bertha Kravitz at the shampoo bowl with a cup of coffee as her perm rods set. Suddenly, Bertha is dead, the police are everywhere and Marla is in trouble. Old secrets, new business problems and a vindictive former husband add to Marla's problems as she finds herself the target of a creative killer. Marla is also attracted to the detective assigned to the case, yet another complication in her hectic life. So many people had reason to want Bertha dead and its hard to stop with a single murder. Nancy Cohen is a former nurse and her medial training, along with a great deal of hair salon research, add to the flavor of this first mystery. I'm looking forward to getting to know Marla better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and will read the other books in the series.
MelindaLibrary on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Incredibly laborious to read. The book plod, plod, plods through minutiae and scenic details that add nothing to the ambiance or the plot of the story. Unbelievable "investigating" by the main character. She approaches suspects and says, "Hi! Where were you on the night so and so was killed?" Smooth. Subtle. And astoundingly, every suspect answers and only then says, "Hey! Are you investigating a murder? Do you think I am a suspect?"Here is an example of the plodding writing and characterization: the main character needs to seek out a lawyer to stop her from being evicted, and she wrings her hands and says, "But I don't know any lawyer I can trust!" And only when the deadline to be evicted draws near does she find a lawyer, who, wow! gives her some good advice.The romance aspect of this story is forced and unenjoyable.The reader is in the main character's head the entire time, and yet a big secret about her isn't revealed until 193 pages in. This type of withholding info to facilitate a "surprise" annoys me and is weak story telling. We know in excruciating detail everything about what she wears (pantsuits! in Florida!), what everyone else wears, whole paragraphs devoted to interrupting the flow of dialogue to demonstrate her driving skills, and yet this secret she is ashamed of is constantly alluded to and only revealed so late in the game that I don't care about it. Argh!
drebbles on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Beauty Salon owner Marla Shore is more than a little upset when one of her customers, Bertha Kravitz, dies after drinking coffee containing poisoned powdered creamer. Not only is she afraid she'll lose her customers, but the police, especially Detective Dalton Vail, seem to think she's the murderer, since she was the only one with Bertha when she died and Marla is the one that gave her the coffee. Marla is afraid that the police will discover that she had more than one reason to kill Bertha and not look for the real murderer, so she begins to investigate the case herself. Marla finds lots of suspects - Bertha wasn't a likeable person and had many enemies - but she needs to convince Detective Vail. In the meantime, as she investigates the murder, she also has to confront a few demons of her own - a tragic death in her past, a foolish mistake when she was young, and a failed marriage. "Permed to Death" was a disappointing mystery. Marla was an unsympathetic and unlikable character, far too judgmental and abrupt with people. Even the tragic accident failed to make her sympathetic, perhaps because it was mentioned too often in the book. Her dwelling on people's appearances, especially their hair cuts, was mean spirited and got old very quickly. She's also not one of the brightest characters ever written - Bertha dies from poison and yet, when someone anonymously leaves Marla a box of candy, she almost eats it! The other characters don't come off much better and Marla's friend Tally, with her obsession about food, is especially obnoxious. Detective Vail is also poorly written, asking Marla out when she is still the chief suspect and he even takes her along with him to help investigate the murder - truly unbelievable. As for the mystery itself, while there are plenty of suspects in Bertha's death, it's pretty easy for readers to narrow down who the murderer is. While I liked the beauty salon setting, "Permed to Death" was not a great mystery.
Headhuntersix More than 1 year ago
Excellent first novel in an acclaimed and long-running mystery series Nancy J. Cohen’s Permed to Death is one of those books that start out fast and don’t slow down. In this, the first novel in her acclaimed and long-running “Bad Hair Day” mysteries, we meet main character Marla Shore in the styling salon she owns in Florida. One page later we get the dead body—the deeply unpleasant Bertha Kravitz, who dies right there in the salon. One of the big questions in amateur sleuth mystery novels is just why is this untrained individual trying to solve a murder? In this case, the answer is readily apparent. Marla was alone with Bertha, and had just served the coffee that killed her. Marla’s automatically a suspect, and the readers soon know she has a hidden reason (or two) for wanting Bertha gone. She needs to identify the real killer before the slowly constricting web of means, opportunity, and motive closes around her. One way of describing the “cozy” mystery genre is to offer the novels of Agatha Christie as examples. That description actually works for Permed to Death, because one of the most effective things Nancy Cohen does in this book is provide a batch of potential suspects in a fashion similar to Dame Agatha’s. The suspects are all believable, and organic to the communities surrounding Marla and Bertha. As the story unfolds, we learn more about the friends, relatives, coworkers, and enemies (some Bertha’s and some Marla’s) who might have liked to see Bertha dead and Marla blamed. By the end of the story I had changed my main suspect several times, and still didn’t guess who it was. This is a fine debut novel, and as of this writing the “Bad Hair Day” series has 14 books in it. So go spend some time with Marla in Florida. You’ll be glad you did.
charleneC More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Fun read with interesting characters. Murder and mayhem, twists and turns. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series
Marla-Bradeen More than 1 year ago
PERMED TO DEATH is an entertaining mystery. The characters are all unique, and each suspect has a believable motive. I enjoyed how the heroine's personal problems added intrigue to the mystery, and Cohen's writing style kept me engaged. This is a great start to a long-running series. Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway.
JuliaAD More than 1 year ago
Marla is giving Mrs. Kravitz a perm. When she turned her back for a few minutes and then came back, Mrs. Kravitz was dead. Now Marla is being blamed. She has worked hard to have a good reputation, so she decides that she has to be the one to find the killer. The police suspect her and a couple of her employees. She knows that her employees wouldn't commit murder. Would they? She really needs to find out before it is too late.
Maribel_Platypire-Reviews More than 1 year ago
***I received a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.*** I started this book back in June of 2015 and then I got distracted by other books from one of my favorite publishers. But as December approached, I figured I should get back to it so that I could meet my Goodreads challenge. While the mystery of who's guilty kept me reading until the end, I didn't actually care for any of the characters. I also felt that the characters lacked emotion or could have been made into more complex beings. Instead, the characters I read about were frivolous people who I could not care any less about. The only ones that I felt were somewhat redeemable were Marla (the protagonist) and the murderer. Even the detective trying to solve the case was missing a spark. It's a shame the writing didn't feel alive enough for me because I was really looking for a good mystery with complex characters. ​2 Platypires.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Permed to Death by Nancy J. Cohen is the first book in the Bad Hair Day Mystery series. Marla Shore owns Cut ‘N Dye Beauty Salon in South Florida. She opened up her shop two hours early to accommodate Bertha Kravitz. Ms. Kravitz has been a customer for the last eight years. She insisted she had to have a perm today for a special event. Marla put her hair in rollers along with the solution. Bertha insisted upon a cup of coffee (fresh) with powdered creamer (the only customer who uses it). Marla then goes into the back for some supplies. She hears a strangling noise and quickly returns to the front. Bertha is slumped over and dead. Marla checks for a pulse and smells something similar to marzipan (which is made from almonds). Marla quickly calls the police. Detective Vail shows up and starts asking questions. Marla is upset to be questioned by the police because of an incident that happened when she was nineteen. Marla also hopes that no one finds the envelope of photos that Bertha had and was using to blackmail Marla. Marla is determined to find out who killed Bertha. She feels it is her responsibility because Bertha was in her shop and she wants to save her reputation. Marla sets off asking questions and finding out who wanted Bertha dead (it is not a short list). Marla gets threatening notes, phones calls, and poisoned chocolates, but she persists (even after Detective Dalton Vail asks her to stop). Dalton is interested in Marla, but they cannot date until after the case is closed (not that Marla is very encouraging). Will Marla be able to stay alive (and out of jail) long enough to solve the case? Who will get their hands on Marla’s photos and what type of photographs are they (I am sure we can guess)? I have to give Permed to Death 3 out of 5 stars. It is an okay book. The one thing I did not like about the book was that the murder happens immediately. I wish the author had built up the story just a little bit before killing off Bertha Kravitz. I also did not really like Marla. She does not come across as a likable person (I preferred the detective). Marla is abrupt in her conversations and strings men along especially when she wants something from them. The writing is just so-so in the book. The mystery was very simple despite the author’s attempts to make it complicated (it just did not work). I received a complimentary copy of Permed to Death from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great New Series! This is a great start of a new series. This is the first book in the Bad Hair Day Mystery Series by Nancy Cohen. Marla is the owner of a beauty salon with a knack for creating dazzling dos and solving mysteries. When one of her clients die while getting a perm in her salon and the detective says the woman was poisoned by the cup of coffee she was drinking in the salon it doesn’t look good for Marla or her business. So Marla puts her sleuthing skills to work on solving the murder before they kill again. If you are looking for a good mystery that you won’t want to put down, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.  A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Marla Shore has a successful beauty shop. She is a hard worker and a loyal friend, but she has problems. One of longtime customers was poisoned while getting a perm. Now she's a suspect. The police are watching her every move. If Detective Vail won't believe that she's innocent, she'll have to find the real culprit. What could go wrong with that plan? Marla is a feisty, determined woman. She won't be stopped. There are certainly plenty of people who didn't like the victim. Bertha Kravitz, was a cruel, mean-spirited woman. Dalton Vail is vigilant and interested in Marla as more than a suspected killer. He'll do his job and follow the trail to find the perpetrator. Sparks may fly but there is a murderer on the loose. I enjoyed the characters and their interaction. This is a well plotted mystery that kept me entertained. Nancy J. Cohen did a great job creating suspense and tension. I liked the promise of romance. The ending had me on the edge of my seat. I will be reading more Bad Hair Day mysteries. Who knew that getting your hair done could be deadly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great combination of genre a Florida reginal without some one in a swamp a business that is often a pink collar put down presented with balance and a dog satisfying page counter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book. It read fast and kept my interest. In fact, it read too fast. I was finished in 2 days. Can't wait to read NJC's other books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a nice book to take to the beach, where light entertainment is the fare of the day. It does not pretend to be great literature, but tells an engaging story. Of course, once again we are asked to believe in an unlikely romantic set-up, namely that a good-looking widower of two years is still available and unattatched! The love angle at times makes the book smack of a Harlequin romance, but most would probably enjoy the varied (if one-dimensional) portrayals of the cast of characters in the story.