Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere | Blog Tour with Review, Guest Post, and Two Giveaways

The author of the Material Witness Mysteries is back, with a new cozy mystery series!

The Blurb

Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.

No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family’s costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for — literally — when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.

For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can’t hide a murderer in plain sight for long.


A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere
Series: A Costume Shop Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527828X
ISBN-13: 978-0425278284
e-Book File Size: 1563 KB

Click here to Start Reading Chapters 1 and 2 
of A Disguise to Die For on Penguin's website.

The Review

I just read a really good book, y'all — A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere. Let me tell you a little about this cozy mystery, the first book in Diane's newest series, the Costume Shop Mysteries. A Disguise to Die For stars Margo Tamblyn, who had been a magician's assistant in Las Vegas. Margo is temporarily (she thinks) spending several days in her hometown of Proper City, Nevada, working in the family costume shop, Disguise DeLimit. (I just love the name of the costume shop  — it slays me every time I read it!)

Margo's father Jerry, the shopkeeper and owner, has just had a heart attack, and is supposed to be taking it easy while he is convalescing in a wheelchair. (Instead, Margo arrives at Disguise DeLimit to find her dad trying to inventory his merchandise from his wheelchair. And the next day, he and a buddy take off for Area 51 to get some alien costumes!)   

Margo gets her first costume order from Blitz Manners on her first day back at the shop. He wants 40 detective costumes, for men and women, based on famous — and hip!  fictional detectives. Her friend Ebony, a party planner, is hired to organize everything for Blitz's detective-themed birthday party, to be held the upcoming weekend.

Margo and Ebony both have a strong, never-say-die work ethic. Despite the short notice, they pull off a spectacular soiree where everyone is having a blast. A blast, that is, until Blitz's goose is cooked, in more ways than one. 

Ebony is implicated in the murder. Margo knows that her friend is innocent and will strive to prove Ebony's innocence — until Margo's dead on her feet if necessary, because it's a do-or-die situation. I was surprised by whodunit. Both Margo and I figured it out at the same time.

I really like reading about Margo's interactions with the two people closest to her — her father, of course, and Ebony, who's been almost like a mother to Margo for over 25 years. I also like reading about the different outfits that Margo wears. For example, "Yesterday I went mod. Today I went Western." If only A Disguise to Die For was illustrated. Alas, I'll just have to use my imagination. 

I noticed one thing that maybe could have been done better. I thought that Margo could have "hung out" more with Bobbie Kay, since Bobbie Kay is her oldest friend, from when they were five and six years old. I realize, however, that the main goal in A Disguise to Die For, other than solving the murder, is to get Margo back home where she belongs. I suspect that in future books there will be more time for Margo and Bobbie Kay to get together, or at least chat on the phone. Speaking of future books....

Book 2 of the Costume Shop Mysteries, Masking for Trouble, is available now for pre-order, and will be released on 4 Oct 2016. I'm dying to read it! 

I recommend A Disguise to Die For to all fans of cozy mysteries, particularly fans of Diane's other series. I think it will have special appeal to fans who love costume parties, ride scooters, and still like to play dress-up. ;)   

I really enjoyed A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere, and grant it Four Kitties!

Four out of five kitties
 Note:  I received a complimentary copy of A Disguise to Die For in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Click here, to read other reviews, plus Guest Post and Interview! 

The Guest Post

Timeline of a Book

The idea for the Costume Shop Mysteries first came up during lunch in September 2013, but the book didn’t become a physical reality until February 2016. Ever wonder why it takes so long? Here’s a timeline of how A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR went from being a suggestion to a series.

September 2013: Lunch in NY, where the idea of the series is conceived after I told a story about making a yeti costume for my teddy bear.

October 2013: Publisher shows cautious interest and asks for a series proposal. This includes fleshed out information on main recurring characters and setting, and individual (1-paragraph) blurbs summarizing possible different books in the series. 

November 2013: Publisher likes the series proposal and requests sample chapters (first three chapters of book 1).

[sidenote: The planet Mercury has been retrograding through this, but it’s now over, so whew!]

[sidenote 2: yes, I made a note of Mercury Retrograde in my file.]

January 2014: Sample chapters complete, sent to publisher with comprehensive synopsis for book 1 and series concept as package

February 2014: Publisher makes offer on series! Deadlines for all three books are set.

September 2014: Manuscript for first book is turned in to publisher.

October 2014: Bear Vallere gets a new costume, this year as Kolchak, The Night Stalker. Who remembers that series? 

January 2015: Title for first book is selected: A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR

February 2015: Revisions from editor received. 

March 2015: Revisions made, turned in and accepted. Recipes added.

April 2015: Back cover copy is written.

May 2015: Cover!

June 2015: Copy edits

August 2015: Author Blurbs Due

September 2015: Author Photo submitted (in clown tie).

October 2015: First Pass Pages (typeset — here’s where it’s formatted like the printed book).

November 2015: ARCs.

February  2016: Publication Date!

The Author

About Diane Vallere

I’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries, and the Material Witness Mysteries. Coming in Feb 2016: The new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries!

The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST and CRUSHED VELVET. The third, SILK STALKINGS, will be out in August 2016.

The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRY; BUYER, BEWARE; THE BRIM REAPER; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE. (A short story, Just Kidding, tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK, THAT TOUCH OF INK, and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL. A prequel novella, Midnight Ice, can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE.

Find Diane Vallere on the web at

Find Bear Vallere, the inspiration for A Disguise to Die For, on

The Giveaways

Diane will award a paperback copy of A Disguise to Die For 
to one randomly drawn winner (US only)
via rafflecopter during the tour.
A Jane Reads Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diane will award this fabulous prize package 
to one randomly drawn winner (US only)
via rafflecopter during the tour.

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