Thursday, October 6, 2016

Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere | Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway

The author of A Disguise to Die For is back with another Costume Shop Mystery!

The Blurb


Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second in a new cozy series from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness Mysteries.

Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer — before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud…


Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere
Series: A Costume Shop Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime / Penguin
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425278298
ISBN-13: 978-0425278291
e-Book File Size: 2635 KB

The Review

I just read a really good book, y'all — Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere. Let me tell you a little about this cozy mystery.

Masking for Trouble is the second book in the Costume Shop Mysteries starring Margo Tamblyn, and takes place about six months after the action of Book #1, A Disguise to Die For (my review here)Masking for Trouble can be read as a standalone, because Author Diane Vallere adds enough backstory from A Disguise to Die For so that readers new to the series can keep up. 

The costume shop mentioned above is Disguise deLimit, the family shop of Margo and her father Jerry, located in Proper City, Nevada. Proper City was founded by Pete Proper to be a sort of anti-Las Vegas, with gambling, casinos, and factories outlawed. Instead, the town is renowned for their costume parties, because the residents love to dress up for any and all occasions (and sometimes for no reason at all). Even cats dress up.
Soot, my cranky smoke-gray cat, swarmed around my ankles and meowed at me. Perhaps a dog would have been willing to wear a costume around the shop, but the most I'd been able to get Soot to wear was a tiny necktie that hung from his collar.
Margo dresses up year-round, a habit which began in early childhood. Instead of shopping for school clothes at a mall, she chose her clothes from the vast array (5,000+) of costumes in the shop.
~ "Costume shop? Is that why you're dressed up?"
I looked down at my gangster outfit. "I'm not dressed up. What's wrong with what I'm wearing?"
"It's — nothing. It's unique."

~ "Because you were dressed like a park ranger. But seriously, a park ranger?" He looked at me like he didn't really believe me.
"The rest of the year it's more like an accessory here and there, but it's our busy season at the store so I step things up a bit."
"Why aren't you in a costume tonight?"
"I am." I glanced at my suit again. "This is my Normal Woman costume."
"Do you wear that one often?"
"I've never worn it before in my life."

In Proper City, Halloween is a very big deal. It lasts a week, not a day, and is launched with the annual kickoff party, held this year at the Alexandria Hotel. 
...October was to our costume shop what April was to tax accountants.... Our whole town of Proper City went a little crazy around Halloween, and somewhere in the eighties the Proper City High School had adjusted their curriculum to include a weeklong break.

At the end of Masking for Trouble, Author Diane Vallere has included recipes perfect for a Halloween party, as well as instructions for three costumes and ideas for ten more.

Many cast members from the previous book are present in Masking for Trouble, including Margo's dad Jerry, her good friend Ebony, her special friend Tak, BFF Bobbie Kay, part-time shop employee Kirby, and Detective Nichols. Some of the new characters are Paul Haverford, his silent partner Bill Perth, Tak's friend and former co-worker Cooper Price, seismologist Francine Wheeler, and Annette Crowley from the Clark County Conservancy.

Masking for Trouble is a fun, quick read that I didn't want to put down. I had to finish it in two days, to discover whodunit. Author Diane Vallere has included several likely suspects, and I suspected all of them  except the actual perpetrator. Can you figure it out before Margo does?

Author Diane Vallere made me LOL many times, between the witty dialogue and humorous situations in Masking for TroubleI am looking forward to reading Book #3 in the Costume Shop Mystery series!

  • To read an author interview, "Behind the Story of Masking for Trouble," and enter a giveaway for a paperback copy of Masking for Trouble and a $5 Starbucks gift card, click here. 

I recommend Masking for Trouble to all fans of cozy mysteries, particularly fans of Diane's other series. I think it will have special appeal to fans who love to dress up, costume parties, and Halloween.

I really enjoyed Masking for Trouble, and bestow upon it Four Kitties! 

Four out of five kitties
 Note:  I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of Masking for Trouble.
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Click here, to follow the tour and read other reviews and spotlights! 

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 four series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries, the Material Witness Mysteries, and the new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries!

The Costume Shop mysteries debuted with A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, which introduces Margo Tamblyn, costume shop owner, who helps solve a murder after one of her clients is found dead at his own costume party (dressed as Sherlock!). MASKING FOR TROUBLE, the second in the series, was released October 4, 2016, just in time for Halloween.

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,  was just released.

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, was released in May 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in mid-century 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 on the web at

The Giveaway

Diane Vallere will award a Haunted House jigsaw puzzle  
to a randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

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