PURSES AND POISON by Dorothy Howell


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Valley girl investigates murder, gets free Judith Leiber bag.

Haley Randolph is just trying to be your average SoCal college girl, a task complicated by the mix-up last year that implicated her in murder (Handbags and Homicide, 2008) and the fact that she’d rather be studying the newest lines of handbags than studying for classes. Added to all this is her part-time job at Holt’s Department Store, which keeps her close to her sort-of-boyfriend Ty Cameron, the store’s owner, but forces her to wait on people who actually want to buy Holt’s clothes. So of course it’s worse than inconvenient when model Claudia Gray, Ty’s ex, turns up dead at the employee luncheon. Not only is Haley a suspect, as she was mysteriously MIA when the deed went down, but her mother also makes the police department’s short list. In order to clear their names and redirect Ty’s attention from his store’s bad press back to her, where it belongs, Haley must turn sleuth again. There’s an ever-growing list of suspects to wade through, and Haley gets mixed up in a series of goofball mishaps that quickly spiral out of control. The story is told by Haley, who’s witty and too cool for school. The effect can be biting, but Haley’s sympathy for even the most uncouth neighbors shows that her heart’s in the right place.

A treat for those with a passion for fashion. No doubt this sassy heroine’s in for a long run.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2376-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2009


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