Designer Dirty Laundry
A Samantha Kidd, Style and Error Mystery by Diane Vallere
Review: Samantha Kidd returns to her hometown in Pennsylvania, leaving a high stress job in Manhattan, to take the position of Trend Specialist in a local department store, only to discover, within minutes of arriving on her first day, the body of her new boss in the elevator, dead of an apparent heart attack. The EMT who arrived shortly thereafter confirmed it. But when the police question her later, she's puzzled why they seem so interested in what must have been a natural death, only to learn from them that no body was found, and no EMT was dispatched from their office or any other, in Designer Dirty Laundry, the first mystery in this series by Diane Vallere.
There's no time to dwell on what might have happened to Patrick, an internationally known designer who simply went by one name. He was coordinating a fashion competition, sponsored by the store, in which the winner would receive $100,000 and a guaranteed order from the store … and that competition was to start soon. Samantha steps in to offer her services in his place, but that quickly changes when Patrick's body is found, strangled, behind the store. Though she's not really a suspect in his murder, she continues to be drawn into the case, especially when clues keep turning up that point to her being involved. She's convinced the competition has something to do with his death and sets out to learn the who and why involved.
Designer Dirty Laundry is a light, cozy-style mystery written in a breezy manner. The murder plot is nicely set up, the suspects all credibly drawn, and Samantha Kidd an engaging amateur sleuth. It's probably easy to tag this book as chick-lit, but — so much the better — it's more substantial than that, more akin to an English village-style mystery, where even the most innocent characters always seem to be harboring a secret or two. The ending has Samantha deciding to stay put, but enough of the small-town setting was introduced here to suggest that there will be plenty of future opportunities for her to practice her craft. Readers will be pleased to welcome her back.
Acknowledgment: Polyester Press provided an ARC of Designer Dirty Laundry for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
A Disguise To Die For
Berkley Prime Crime (Mass Market Paperback), February 2016
ISBN-13: 9780425278284; ISBN-10: 042527828X
Location(s) referenced in Designer Dirty Laundry: Pennsylvania
— ♦ —
Designer Dirty Laundry by Diane Vallere — A Samantha Kidd, Style and Error Mystery
Publisher: Polyester Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: June 2012
List Price: $14.99
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites