Kensington, Dec 2004, 22.00, 256 pp.
When the lights go out during working hours at Marla Shore's beauty parlor Cut'N'Dye, the owner's first thought is that Carolyn Sutton of Carolyn's Hairstyle Heaven is up to one of her tricks. Since Carolyn moved her business into the same shopping center where Marla is located, the newcomer has been playing dirty tricks on her in hopes of stealing or at least reducing her rival's customer base. When Marla goes to her meter room, she trips over the dead body of her competitor.
Marla's boyfriend Detective Vail heads the investigation. Marla publicly announced to her customers that she would kill Carolyn if she was responsible for the outage. Vail does not suspect her, but asks her to help him by talking with people who knew the victim especially her employees. Marla learns that Carolyn had a lot of secrets including being a blackmailer.
There is a romantic subplot between Vail and Shore where she decides whether she loves him and his daughter.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner