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Department store makeup?

Someday at Christmas Book Cover Someday at Christmas
Lizzie Byron
Fiction
Hachette UK
September 3, 2020
400

Enter the magical world of Duke & Sons department store, with this enchanting and laugh-out-loud funny romcom from Lizzie Byron, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Jenny Colgan and Beth O'Leary! Shell Smith is the most popular make-up artist on the ART counter at Duke & Sons, a beautiful but old-fashioned department store in her hometown. But whilst Shell's love life is looking up, now that her long-time crush Nick is back in town and business is booming in the beauty department, the rest of the store is noticeably quiet . . . The owner's grandson Callum has come up with some creative ways to keep Duke & Sons afloat this Christmas, including allowing a production company to film a romcom after hours. When Shell discovers the secret, Callum recruits her to help out and, in the process, Shell finds there is more to Mr Duke Jr. than sharp suits and a business-like demeanour. Change is coming and romance is in the air for Shell during this most wonderful time of the year. Except real life is nothing like a Christmas romcom . . . right?

Here we have a small town with an old-fashioned department store.

As we are all too aware these days, department stores are struggling and they need everything they can offer to help them make it into the next few years of consumer choice- adding to the experience of shopping seems to be the way forward.

I only use a department store myself for 2 things: 1. A personal shopper – for which they don’t charge; and 2. An occasional  quick facial – for which I usually pay £15 and then I purchase – often – some new item. But I never get the money I paid back in purchases! But then nearly every shop assistant in these beauty brands gets a bonus on sales so…

This store is very old fashioned in that people are salaried without bonuses on sales – except that the more funky make-up brands begin to offer their sales assistants interesting prizes if they do well. Take a look at the Gucci pink Marmont bag!

I do like to look at the funky brands myself – a cabinet full of items just for eyebrows for instance.  And lots of new products. Always coming out. The beauty department is where I gravitate! To it makes sense that this store should use it to help bring itself into a new age.

A sweet romance in the trope .

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Fluffy Coffee

Clouds in My Coffee Book Cover Clouds in My Coffee
Julie Mulhern
Fiction
Henery Press
May 10, 2016
256

"Mulhern's lively, witty sequel to The Deep End finds Kansas City, Mo., socialite Ellison Russell reluctantly attending a high school football game...There she stumbles on a dying teenage boy covered in blood, who asks that she tell his girlfriend that he loves her. Ellison determines to learn the girlfriend's identity and deliver the message, plus find the boy's killer...If that's not enough for one day, an unknown man turns up shot to death in her garden. Cozy fans will eagerly await Ellison's further adventures." - Publishers Weekly on Guaranteed to BleedWhen Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors' party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she's shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again? Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee...

A gentle cosy but lots of fun murder – attempted and accidental and bungled – mystery set amongst tyhe gentility of the Southern gentry. Country Club members all.

The calm surface of life in 1974 hiding a seething roiling boil of jealousy, infidelity, kinks, blackmail and much more with hidden emotions and sniping and snarking. Especially amongst the women. Who had little else to do as with housekeepers, cooks, nannies and cleaners, their time was spent on nails, hair and being bitchy at the club. Sly writing style shows this set off to their worst….

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Rural Indiana has fun?

Baby Daddy Mystery Book Cover Baby Daddy Mystery
Shady Hoosier Detective Agency Series, Book 2
Daisy Pettles
Hot Pants Press, LLC
(30 Nov. 2018)

It's spring in Pawpaw County, Indiana. Everyone has a bad case of hanky-panky pants. Senior sleuths Ruby Jane (RJ) Waskom and Veenie Goens are on the run, chasing down cheating heart jezebels and shaking child support out of deadbeat baby daddies. Love takes a peculiar turn when a prominent local dentist turns up dead, dressed like a scarecrow, on the porch of his father's mistress’s home in Hound Holler. When a gigged body floats up at the White River Boat and Gun Club, Sassy Smith, senior cougar, is arrested for the murder. RJ bemoans that no one in Pawpaw County can keep their pants on or their skirts down as her grown daughter, Joyce, begs for help chasing down her philandering husband. The romantic mysteries come to a surprise head as the senior sleuths outrun shotgun showers to close in on the answers at the Moon Glo Motor Lodge, the Original Home of Hillbilly Hanky Panky. Veenie and RJ have to buy an extra case of Bengay and a buttload of BBs just to keep up with the romantic misadventures in this humorous crime classic.

In HillBilly country there is nothing to do – it seems – but to have sex – with everyone and sometimes anything that comes along. And as the local population is limited and stable, and they can’t be bothered to travel far for entertainment, genes are very limited and very shared! Which is so not a good thing. Everyone is related to everyone else, whether they know it or not.

I enjoyed the storyline of older PIs basically investigating through gossip – which was very easy to entertain. Secrets were very hard to keep in this very inbred community.

And the eccentricities of life in rural Indiana were fascinating, as was the language and what they were prepared to eat. A diet very lacking in fruit, fish and vegetables it seems.

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And up to the Dead ‘line’

Deadline
Box set
Wendy Soliman
crime, murder, suspense
Independently published
kindle

The only issue I had with this nice 2 story series is that it had the potential for turning into a Midsommer Murders series.

Nicely written with believable characters and good twists.

This is not the usual genre for Wendy – she mostly write historical romance.

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Let’s gossip…

The Darkest Hour Book Cover The Darkest Hour
(Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 4)
Anina Collins
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
2016
kindle

Poppy and Alex come up against their toughest case yet, and they may never be the same again.

When someone close to both Poppy and Alex is found brutally murdered, all the clues point to Alex as the killer. But Poppy knows in her heart that her partner could never commit such a heinous crime. As the evidence begins to mount against him, Poppy must race against the clock to prove that the man she trusts with her very life isn’t the murderer, even as everyone around her is convinced of his guilt.

But if Alex isn’t the killer, who is? As the mystery unravels, the past and present finally meet in Sunset Ridge.

A nice cosy mystery story with a female sleuth who is nosy but not confident in herself.

This is Poppy’s first attempt at solving a crime and she uses her sleuthing skills from her work as a columnist on the local paper to help her.

Small town USA comes again. Where there are no secrets – someone always knows something – and sometimes they use this knowledge in nefarious ways.

Light and easy reading with a surprise villain.

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