In Vallere’s debut murder mystery, shoe-buyer and trend-spotter Samantha Kidd tries to figure out who killed her new boss—and why she’s suddenly the prime suspect.
Samantha uproots her life in New York and moves back to her hometown of Ribbon, Pa., to accept a position at Tradava, the local upscale department store. She’s hoping to change her life for the better, to find a little happiness and maybe even a little satisfaction. What she doesn’t expect is for her co-workers at Tradava to have no idea who she is and to find her new boss, Patrick, dead on the elevator floor before her first day has even fully begun. Suddenly, Sam is not only unemployed, she’s a person of interest in a murder investigation. Things only become more complicated when Patrick’s body disappears not long after Sam discovers it with Nick Taylor, a former colleague and flirt whose motives are not entirely clear. The likable Sam, who initially appears flighty and quirky, will grow on readers: She develops from a self-conscious, seemingly none-too-bright fashionista into a confident woman determined to do what’s right and nab the real killer. Secondary characters are also well developed, such as Eddie Adams, an old acquaintance from high school who steps in as a surprise ally. Despite relying on several familiar genre tropes to propel the story forward, the book is enriched by the author’s cleverly phrased prose and convincing characterization. The surprise ending will satisfy and delight many mystery fans.
A diverting mystery that offers laughs and chills.