A BAD HAIR DAY by Sophie Dunbar


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A second tangled tale set in New Orleans and narrated by beautician Claire Claiborne, owner of the plush Eclaire (Behind Eclaire's Doors, 1993). Claire's mentor, Marcel Barrineau, is promoting a highly publicized Bad Hair Day to repair salon and self-inflicted hair damage, and Claire is there, along with some of the city's top hairdressers, clients, and hangers-on. There's a lot of gossip about the recent wave of vandalized salons and the gruesome murder of Lochner Smith, effete owner of a chain of shops and of an elegant house furnished in museum-quality Art Deco. Claire's assistant, Renee, is with her--depressed and strangely short of money. On hand, too, are Marzipan Jones and others from Gino's Emporium, a supply house; Babs Hooper and her weirdo son Lamont; Duchess Crowe, owner of a glitzy nightclub complex, with Tom Toy, leader of her newest rock group, whose ex-love Vicky Su is working on Duchess's hair. The frantic goings-on are being filmed by Charlotte Dalton of WBGZ under the direction of station manager Harry Corvus, an English expatriate. It's Lamont who discovers Duchess dead under her hair dryer--poisoned. Police detectives do their thing, but the answers lie in a video left by Lochner with his lawyer--answers concerning dark deeds of the past mixed up with drug-dealing, blackmail, and bizarre relationships. The author laces her story with fanciful names, sophomoric raunchiness, outlandish characters, designer labels, and a mess of subplots. Spottily entertaining, but in need of severe thinning and shaping.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1996
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's