Welcome to my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Styled for Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J. Cohen. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
Hairstylist Marla Vail flushes out a killer when murder disrupts her mother’s home renovation plans in this stylish cozy mystery.
Styled for Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Styled for Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
17th in Series
Publisher : Orange Grove Press (November 16, 2021)
Paperback : 286 pages
When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects. Which one of them wanted the foreman to pipe down about their shady dealings?
Meanwhile, the lead investigator sets his sights on Marla’s stepfather, Reed, who’s keeping secrets from his family. Reed has a past connection to the victim and won’t come clean about what he knows. As Marla drills deeper, she’s showered with suspicions, but nobody’s willing to leak any information. She needs to hammer down the prospects, or time will drain away and the murderer will strike again.
To flush out the culprit, Marla taps into her pipeline of resources. Can she assemble the clues and demolish the alibis to nail a killer? Or has someone designed the perfect murder?
Hi, Nancy! Thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you a bit better!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I write the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring hairstylist sleuth Marla Vail. Styled for Murder is book #17 in this award-winning series. I’ve also written scifi romance, a novella, a short story, and two nonfiction titles. Writing is what I do full-time aside from going to Disney World and visiting our grandson. We live in Florida and enjoy the warm weather and amenities here. I like to eat as well as cook, so food features into my stories enough that I pulled all my recipes into A Bad Hair Day Cookbook. I enjoy interacting with fans and look forward to when we can resume in-person meetings and conferences.
I too am a big Disney World fan! What is your favorite thing about Disney World?
I love the happy ambiance of being at the parks. People are smiling. Bright colors decorate the park via bedded flowers and seasonal decor. It’s pleasant just to stroll around without even going on any rides. Often we’ll come in the morning to take a walk and we’ll leave after lunch. That’s the advantage of being annual passholders. We’ve been on most of the rides anyway, although I’ll never pass up a chance to go on the People Mover or Carousel of Progress. Disney World truly is a magical place where you can forget about the outside world.
Which park do you enjoy exploring the most?
I enjoy World Showcase at Epcot. I like the food festivals where you can sample foods from around the world. The shops are fun to explore as are some of the attractions, like the new Beauty and the Beast Singalong. You need your walking shoes the most for this park, though. If you get tired, you can sit at the amphitheater by the American Pavilion and listen to a concert. I do also love the Animal Kingdom, which is like a giant zoo with lots of walkways that make you feel you’re in a rainforest. The tropical shrubbery and plants are relaxing even without the attractions. It’s a great place to unwind but come early before it gets crowded.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first novel while I was in grad school for nursing. It took me six more books before I finally sold a futuristic romance to Dorchester. I wrote four books for this NY publisher and then switched to mysteries. Kensington bought my Bad Hair Day series and published nine of those titles. When I got orphaned at their house, I left the company and wrote several scifi romances for Wild Rose Press. Then Five Star picked up my mystery series and it continued for four more books. At that point, they cancelled their entire mystery line and I decided to go indie.
Did you always want to be an author? What made you choose the cozy mystery genre?
I’ve always had a love for storytelling. But it wasn’t until I started writing novels, joined a critique group, and met an agent at a writers’ conference that my career propelled forward. Jill Churchill’s punny titles and cute covers drew me into the cozy mystery genre. I liked the humor, the touch of romance, the lack of gore and forensic detail in these stories. The focus is on the interrelationships among the characters, the mystery as a puzzle, and an amateur sleuth who has an interesting life aside from her crime-solving exploits. When I started in this subgenre, there wasn’t a definitive writing guide, and so I wrote Writing the Cozy Mystery. This walks you through the entire process of writing a whodunit.
Do you prefer to read cozy mystery books, or do you have another favorite genre? What are you reading now?
I like genre fiction and will read cozies and historical mysteries, historical romance, plus scifi/fantasy. Currently, I am reading Dead Silent by S.L. Menear. It’s book #1 in the Jettine Jorgensen Mysteries. Also on my nightstand is The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. These are print books. So is A Touch of Fire by Julie Moffett, a historical romance. On my Kindle, I am reading a time travel romance. I like to juggle several books at the same time, depending on my mood.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I have a dedicated home office that faces our front street. Inside is my computer desk that’s part of a corner set with cabinets and hutched shelving. Three more bookcases, a mahogany desk where I do household business, a shredder machine, and piles of stacked plastic containers holding my excess books take up the rest of the space.
What’s on your desk (if you write at one!)?
Pens, a coaster from Bryce Canyon, a calculator, reminders of upcoming promo events, a stack of papers related to book marketing, an advance reading copy of Styled for Murder, a red glass heart paperweight, colored paperclips, flashlights (for power blackouts during tropical storms) and an all-important bottle of hand sanitizer. Farther up on the shelves are the awards and medals I’ve won from various writing contests and more paperweights.
What is the first book you remember reading as a child? What was one of your favorite books you read as a child?
I read Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and Judy Bolton series. That’s the earliest I can remember. Nancy Drew inspired my love for mysteries. Cherry Ames led me to become a registered nurse. And Judy Bolton taught me that it’s important for your main character to evolve and change during the course of a series. I couldn’t wait for the next installment in each series. I hope my readers feel that way about my books!
Do you like audiobooks, physical books, or e-books better? Why?
I really like audiobooks, but I don’t have the patience to sit there and listen. It’s great if your eyes are tired or you don’t have the energy to read or watch TV. People also love to listen when working out or driving. Mostly, I prefer print and ebooks. I read both equally, depending on pricing, what I want to keep on my shelves, and availability. When I travel, it’s definitely ebooks on my Kindle Paperwhite.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
My books take place in Florida, which is where I live. I love the warm weather, the varied ecosystems, the cultural diversity. So I really wouldn’t choose anywhere else. The only times my books have taken place elsewhere were for The Drift Lords series, one of my scifi romance book series. I used my travel notebooks from prior trips to Hong Kong and Japan to write those scenes. For my mystery series, only two books diverge from the South Florida setting. Killer Knots takes place on a Caribbean cruise and Peril by Ponytail is set at an Arizona dude ranch. I’ve based those on my experiences visiting these places.
What or who has influenced you the most as a writer?
Aside from the early series I’d mentioned above, I got drawn into cozy mystery writing by Jill Churchill’s punny titles. I loved the humor and the lighthearted approach to solving a whodunit.
Do you have any author friends who support you while you’re writing? Do you belong to any writing groups?
I have wonderful critique partners and I also get together with a couple of local Sisters in Crime members for a bimonthly stroll. I also belong to Booklovers Bench, a team of seven authors online at
We have a website, blog, monthly contests, and we cross-promote for each other. In addition, I’m a former president of MWA Florida Chapter and Florida Romance Writers, plus I’m a member of Novelists, Inc., Florida Writers Association, Florida Authors and Publishers Association, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and MWA.
Finally, what are you working on now? Can you tell us a bit about it?
My next Bad Hair Day mystery will take place at a battle reenactment. Marla’s husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, is a history buff. I still have to do the research as well as figure out how Marla will fit in caring for their one-year-old son in this story. Maybe they need to hire a nanny!
Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions! I really enjoyed reading your answers!
About Nancy J. Cohen
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal and a RONE Award, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards.
Her nonfiction titles, Writing the Cozy Mystery and A Bad Hair Day Cookbook, have also garnered numerous awards, including the FAPA President’s Book Award and the Royal Palm Literary Award. Active in the writing community, Nancy is a past president of Florida Romance Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter.
When not busy writing, she enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.
Follow Nancy online
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com
Blog – https://nancyjcohen.com/blog
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/nancyjcohen
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/nancyjcohen
Pinterest – https://pinterest.com/njcohen/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Instagram – https://instagram.com/nancyjcohen
(Affiliate links included)
Enter the giveaway
Styled for Murder TOUR PARTICIPANTS
I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
My Journey Back – RECIPE POST
Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Novels Alive – GUEST POST
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – GUEST POST
Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?