Sunday, August 16, 2015

Crushed Velvet by Diane Vallere | Blog Tour with Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

The author of Suede to Rest is back with another Material Witness Mystery!

The Blurb

Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business — this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.
With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it’s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There’s just the small matter of Genevieve’s own incriminating confession: I’m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl’s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams — and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch…


Crushed Velvet by Diane Vallere
Series: A Material Witness Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime / Penguin
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425270580
ISBN-13: 978-0425270585
e-Book File Size: 2087 KB
ASIN: B00QH832E0
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM! | IndieBound | Powell's | Goodreads

Why wait? Go to the Publisher's website now to start reading an excerpt!

The Review

I just read a really good book, y'all — Crushed Velvet by Diane Vallere. Let me tell you a little about it.

Crushed Velvet is the second book in the Material Witness Mysteries starring Poly Monroe, and can be read as a standalone. The first book in the series, Suede to Rest, tells all about how Poly (short for Polyester!) acquired her unusual name, acquires the fabric store, Land of a Thousand Fabrics in San Ladrón, California, acquires two kittens, and solves two murders. 

Crushed Velvet takes place a few months later, during which time Poly has moved from Los Angeles to San Ladrón, in order to reopen the fabric store with the new name Material Girl. The action in Crushed Velvet begins as Poly is having the old exterior storefront sign removed, six days before the Grand Opening, so the new Material Girl sign can replace it. 

Before the signage swap can be completed, Poly's delivery arrives, containing not just the expected twelve bolts of custom velvet but also a crushed corpse. Poly's custom velvet, to be the highlight of her fabric displays, is seized as evidence by the Deputy Sheriff, who also orders that the sign work be halted. 

The Deputy Sheriff's prime murder suspect is the victim's wife, one of Poly's closest friends. Poly begins sleuthing to help clear her friend (and also to get her custom velvet released!). Will Poly get everything all sewed up in time for her Grand Opening?        

Author Diane Vallere has blended together realistic and likable characters, dialogue that is snappy, snarky, and witty, and a mystery plot with more twists and turns than rick-rack, to fabricate a marvelous weave in Crushed Velvet. I was on pins and needles until I found out whodunit.   

I am looking forward to Silk Stalkings, previewed at the end of Crushed Velvet, and the next book in Author Diane Vallere's Material Witness Mystery series. I really enjoyed Crushed Velvet, and hereby award it Four Kitties! 

Four out of five kitties
 Note:  I received a complimentary copy of Crushed Velvet from the author,in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Click here, to read other reviews and Author Guest Posts, plus Author Interviews! 

The Guest Post

Wasp Work Ethics

There is a wasp living outside of my apartment. A mud dauber, to be exact. I first noticed her a couple of weeks ago, by the appearance of what looked like a small brown tube about the size of a hollow Bic pen. It was attached to the outside of my window, and my first thought was: that can’t be good.

Removal of a wasp nest is simple: insert a screw driver into the tube and destroy it. No, I didn’t do this.

Over the next several days, I became fascinated with the wasp and her work ethic. What started out as a curious buzzing outside of the window while I was trying to work became a sign that she had arrived and was busy with her own to-do list. Why wasn’t I? Every day she showed up and worked steadily on her nest, adding a second small tube of mud, and then a third and a fourth. Every night the tubes were all sealed up, but I could tell which was the most recent by the color of the mud. The next morning, one tube would be open. Did she sleep in there? Was she literally making her bed and then lying in it?

The more she worked, the less I feared her. She became a reminder of what we can accomplish when we wake up and start to tackle a project. Almost anything worth doing takes effort, and we rarely get results overnight. You can’t write a book without first writing chapter one, and you can’t write chapter one without first writing a first sentence. Producing anything of note — a song, a painting, a sculpture, a book, a poem — all requires us to first believe that whatever it is we want to accomplish, we can as long as we make that first effort.

I’ve become attached to my wasp. I don’t know how much longer she or the nest will be there, but of all the apartments in my complex, she picked mine, and I wonder if anybody else would find her actions inspiring. By using spit, mud, and a daily commitment, she’s created something. In a way, it’s proof that we all have something in us, and if we’re willing to get a little dirty and make a little effort, we can create something too.

The Author

About Diane Vallere

After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. SUEDE TO REST, the first book in the bestselling Material Witness Cozy Mystery Series, was a Lefty/ Best Humorous Mystery nominee. CRUSHED VELVET, book two, comes out August 4.

Diane is the current president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, and was co-chair of the 2015 California Crime Writers Conference. She also writes the Madison Night and Style & Error Mystery Series. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.

Find her on the web at

The Giveaway

Diane will award two yards of custom fabric
to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  
The winner may choose one of the four custom fabric designs shown.

The custom fabric designs can also be viewed here.

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