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Frosted Shadow

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There’s nothing pretty about murder. Meet Toni Diamond, make up artist to middle America. She’s also got a nose for trouble and a passion for solving mysteries. Imagine Columbo in a lavender suit. She never met a woman who wouldn’t look better with a little help from the Lady Bianca line of cosmetics. But don’t be fooled by appearances. Underneath the fake diamonds and the There’s nothing pretty about murder. Meet Toni Diamond, make up artist to middle America. She’s also got a nose for trouble and a passion for solving mysteries. Imagine Columbo in a lavender suit. She never met a woman who wouldn’t look better with a little help from the Lady Bianca line of cosmetics. But don’t be fooled by appearances. Underneath the fake diamonds and the big hair is a sharp brain and a keen eye that sees the details as well as the funny side of life. When a Lady Bianca sales rep is murdered at the annual convention in Dallas, Toni is the one who notices things that some people, like sexy Detective Luke Marciano, might easily miss. Only someone who understands as much about how to make appearances deceiving could see into the mind of this killer -- a murderer who wants to give Toni a permanent makeover. Into a dead woman.


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There’s nothing pretty about murder. Meet Toni Diamond, make up artist to middle America. She’s also got a nose for trouble and a passion for solving mysteries. Imagine Columbo in a lavender suit. She never met a woman who wouldn’t look better with a little help from the Lady Bianca line of cosmetics. But don’t be fooled by appearances. Underneath the fake diamonds and the There’s nothing pretty about murder. Meet Toni Diamond, make up artist to middle America. She’s also got a nose for trouble and a passion for solving mysteries. Imagine Columbo in a lavender suit. She never met a woman who wouldn’t look better with a little help from the Lady Bianca line of cosmetics. But don’t be fooled by appearances. Underneath the fake diamonds and the big hair is a sharp brain and a keen eye that sees the details as well as the funny side of life. When a Lady Bianca sales rep is murdered at the annual convention in Dallas, Toni is the one who notices things that some people, like sexy Detective Luke Marciano, might easily miss. Only someone who understands as much about how to make appearances deceiving could see into the mind of this killer -- a murderer who wants to give Toni a permanent makeover. Into a dead woman.

30 review for Frosted Shadow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    I was really enjoying the book and the characters, but then Ms Warren lost me when she just had to throw in the sex scene between Toni and Luke. Why is it that just about every writer now days has to make their book porn. Is it because they don't think that anyone will read their work without it? Take out the porn and you would have a good book. I was really enjoying the book and the characters, but then Ms Warren lost me when she just had to throw in the sex scene between Toni and Luke. Why is it that just about every writer now days has to make their book porn. Is it because they don't think that anyone will read their work without it? Take out the porn and you would have a good book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat Lebo

    Frosted Shadow, a Toni Diamond Mystery By Nancy Warren I had no expectations going into the reading of this book. I’d never heard of the author or the main character before, probably because this is the first book in the series (with the only other one I found being published in May of this year – 2014). It sounded like a fun, easy, no-heavy-thinking involved reading, and it was. First – great editing and proofreading. I only found one error – blondr for blonder at location 646 on my Kindle, in th Frosted Shadow, a Toni Diamond Mystery By Nancy Warren I had no expectations going into the reading of this book. I’d never heard of the author or the main character before, probably because this is the first book in the series (with the only other one I found being published in May of this year – 2014). It sounded like a fun, easy, no-heavy-thinking involved reading, and it was. First – great editing and proofreading. I only found one error – blondr for blonder at location 646 on my Kindle, in the first paragraph of Chapter Seven. So, kudos on that front. There was a dandy mystery in this book. It was well plotted and paced. I did figure out who the murderer was by the time of the second murder – but still enjoyed the path to confirmation of my guess. The setting for the mystery was interesting – a large hotel in Corvallis, TX, during a set of conventions, the most important being the Lady Bianca cosmetics national conference. However, other conventions were meeting there at that time, including a convention of mystery readers. The high drama and high jinx going ons that emanated from that cosmetics were hilarious, but I’d imagine would have any decent Avon or Mary Kay representative cringing. The main character, Toni Diamond, is a hoot. She’s a rags-to-riches tale, with a sassy attitude and a fetish for physical perfection. She, and her host of strange but wonderful cohorts are fun, easy to identify with and you find yourself wishing someone would invite you to one of their at-home makeup parties. One of my favorite parts of the book involved the quotes at the start of each chapter, some real, some obviously not so real. My favorite was the first chapter’s quote, from American playwright, Jean Kerr: “I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That’s deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?” However, although I really enjoyed the book, I’m not particularly driven to purchase the next book in the series. I liked Toni Diamond. I did. I liked Detective Luke Marciano, too. I was happy to see them get together. But, I’m happy leaving them where the novel did and not so sure I’m interested in more cosmetically inspired mysteries.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Gresham

    I love this book it has amazing details and out going thought this book is one of the most high track, mind thinking nail bitten book it all starts out with romantic comedy. There's nothing pretty about murder.Meet Toni Diamond, make up artist to middle America. She's got a nose for trouble and a passion for solving mysteries. Imagine Columbo in a lavender suit. She never met a woman who wouldn't look better with a little help from the Lady Bianca line of cosmetics. But don't be fooled by appear I love this book it has amazing details and out going thought this book is one of the most high track, mind thinking nail bitten book it all starts out with romantic comedy. There's nothing pretty about murder.Meet Toni Diamond, make up artist to middle America. She's got a nose for trouble and a passion for solving mysteries. Imagine Columbo in a lavender suit. She never met a woman who wouldn't look better with a little help from the Lady Bianca line of cosmetics. But don't be fooled by appearances.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roberta Pearce

    This novel reads so airily and smoothly, the pages practically turn themselves. Ms. Warren has a lovely economical style; the prose is not weighted down with characters’ convoluted wonderings and examinations of thoughts. Simple statements and naturally flowing dialogue render the entire work a beautifully crafted cosy [if I understand the correct meaning of that]. I read it in one sitting, uttering an “Ah!” at the end, in regret it was over and pleasure that I had read it. As a rule, I note any This novel reads so airily and smoothly, the pages practically turn themselves. Ms. Warren has a lovely economical style; the prose is not weighted down with characters’ convoluted wonderings and examinations of thoughts. Simple statements and naturally flowing dialogue render the entire work a beautifully crafted cosy [if I understand the correct meaning of that]. I read it in one sitting, uttering an “Ah!” at the end, in regret it was over and pleasure that I had read it. As a rule, I note any formal-style issues in review - mostly because I’m pedantic and can’t help myself. So . . . Double hyphens rather than em or en dashes, and were inconsistently styled. Some commas missing before names of addressees -[a fictitious example, not taken from the novel!] “Let’s eat Grandma,” rather than “Let’s eat, Grandma.” Lastly - and most importantly considering the overarching storyline - the spelling of “makeup” varied: “makeup”, “make-up”, and “make up”. “Makeover” also was inconsistent, with at least one “make-over”. But enough of negatives. I enjoyed this novel immensely. I won’t rehash the plot [the blurb covers all that a potential reader needs, and I would regret slipping with a spoiler]. Toni Diamond is a heroine to be admired: smart, independent, funny, flawed, and courageous; a woman who has come from nothing and is intent on building an empire for herself as a cosmetic sales rep. Is makeup frivolous? Yes . . . and no [she writes, hugging her Maybelline Great Lash protectively to her]. Women - and men, for that matter - prefer to put their best face forward; we merely don’t like to brag too much about the machinery of doing that. Ms. Warren’s novel, on the other hand, proudly celebrates that machinery in the over-the-top world of sales reps hawking the fictitious Lady Bianca beauty line as the backdrop to an intriguing murder mystery. There is a constant sense of colour - the writing is brightly painted with it. Maybe there were a few too many beauty tips tossed into the narrative, but they suited the story . . . and I learned a lot [so thanks, Ms. Warren!]. And at the heart of the novel is a wealth of clever words and nuance, with many hilarious lines - many of which were literal LOL moments - too numerous to list here. The chapter lead-in quotes are excellent in lieu of chapter titles, giving the reader a pithy image of what’s to come. And the climax builds and peaks with precision, wrapping up the novel with no unnecessary lingering - and at the big reveal, I was still a bit unsure who the murderer was. With glittering fake diamonds and big hair and tongue-in-cheek descriptions of same, Ms. Warren puts an unadorned human face on the cosmetic. And it’s awfully pretty. For my random thoughts on writing, visit my blog on Goodreads.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    What can I say? I'm a sucker for the cozies! This was the first book in the series, and the first time I have read anything by Nancy Warren. It was entertaining, and light. A bit too light, but OK. Toni Diamond (real name) is a make-up sales rep (like Mary Kay), and she is one of two highest sellers. The other is Nicole Freedman. Every year, they battle it out to see who wins the 2 carat diamond ring at the yearly conference. The difference is that Toni does it honestly, while Nicole will win at What can I say? I'm a sucker for the cozies! This was the first book in the series, and the first time I have read anything by Nancy Warren. It was entertaining, and light. A bit too light, but OK. Toni Diamond (real name) is a make-up sales rep (like Mary Kay), and she is one of two highest sellers. The other is Nicole Freedman. Every year, they battle it out to see who wins the 2 carat diamond ring at the yearly conference. The difference is that Toni does it honestly, while Nicole will win at any cost to the reps who are under her wing. There are 2 murders during the conference, and when Toni becomes involved in finding the murderer, or murderers, things start to happen. All in all, a fun read. I could stop and start, and pick up easily.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Glenda

    fun cozy mystery. Would have given it 5 stars if not for the 1 long sex scene...added nothing to the fun story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steffie Dawn

    You know you have mixed opinions on a book when you have 5 pages of notes but still couldn’t put it down. That was me with this book. I don’t want to be a negative nelly as a reviewer and I must say, I really enjoyed this book. The story itself was great, the murder mystery, though I did often feel like I was 10 again reading about missing objects and following the clues along with the character, rather than being a grown up reading a grown up book! But that’s not technically a bad thing, it was You know you have mixed opinions on a book when you have 5 pages of notes but still couldn’t put it down. That was me with this book. I don’t want to be a negative nelly as a reviewer and I must say, I really enjoyed this book. The story itself was great, the murder mystery, though I did often feel like I was 10 again reading about missing objects and following the clues along with the character, rather than being a grown up reading a grown up book! But that’s not technically a bad thing, it was great to remember what it was like to be 10 years old! So the book begins and we meet Toni Diamond, a strong independent business woman. I didn’t like her but I also loved her, she very much came across as someone I would not get on with in real life but I still admired her for her talent and skill in the makeup industry. The first thing to make me cringe with this book was the fact business cards are handed out over the murdered corpse, ok, the author did mention that the character was not beyond it but there was no mention of it being disrespectful or anything and this was the first time I thought “I don’t like Toni Diamond”. By the next page I had to take a break, I was very confused. The story felt so slow with overly told perspectives and then at the same time with many clues already figured out in the first 6% of the book it felt too fast! It was making my head spin. I considered abandoning the book at this point, I knew I was going to probably have a love/hate relationship with the book but I decided to persevere simply because I wanted to know who the murderer was! “Her face was flushed with either anger or fear. Or maybe high blood pressure.” Hated this line and had to read it multiple times. It isn’t described at all, we as the reader are told the character’s face is flushed either because of anger or fear or high blood pressure. I was always taught not to start a sentence with the word ‘Or’ another one the author does is the word ‘and’ at 18% the author writes this sentence “And blondr” now forget the spelling mistake, it was the only one I really noticed in the whole book! However, that is not a sentence. I can’t understand why it has been written with a full stop before the word AND just for two words, it didn’t need any punctuation there at all. This brings me smoothly to my next point. The editing was great other than the one above I did not come across any spelling errors but there were a load of punctuation errors that really made me cringe. It felt like neither the author nor the editor understood when and how to use semi-colons and because of this many sentences (from one full stop to another) seemed completely lost in limbo as it had not been connected right to the sentence before it with the use of a semi colon. One or two of these and I honestly wouldn’t notice but when it keeps happening and breaks the reading flow… yeah it’s noticed. Ok, my next ‘what the hell’ moment came when I arrived in chapter 7 and read the word putrid for the second time. Now putrid means “decaying or rotten” and is most often associated with smell. However, in Chapter 5 it is used to describe the colour purple. “a putrid purple” which is fair enough it might be a rotten purple for the character Luke who I believe is the one thinking this but when the word putrid is used again in Chapter 7 to describe purple and then compare it to Easter baskets it makes absolutely no sense. Who associates something disgusting with Easter?? I had to check to see if the USA definition of this word was different to the UK one because I did not understand otherwise why it was written in this way. Nope, putrid is the same in UK and US English. I found the building attraction between Luke and Toni very poorly written, I got it just. I mean, subtle touches, him coming to rescue her and so on were tiny signs that it was coming (and that fact I knew there was romance in the book) but it just wasn’t put out there that this attraction was there and building, it kind of just happened and left me as a reader going… “What?” I mean it kind of jumped from him coming to rescue her, a subtle touch and a random kiss to having sex! There was no real description of how the physical body was reacting nor the mental thought process of either character building up to the romance, it was all told and never shown. Being completely honest, I was disappointed with the way the book was written because I enjoyed it so much! If it was just that the story wasn’t told to me and instead shown to me, I couldn’t imagine any of the characters or visualise their behaviour or actions. “She already seen [removed for spoiler]. Half [spoiler] head blown off.” Serioulsy? That’s it? When someone sees a head blown off they don’t just see a head blown off, they see blood splatter, a gapping red hole, etc. None of this was described, the author just told me the head was blown off. It didn’t make me squirm, didn’t make me feel a little sick, it just happened. Right, onto the positives; this story kept me guessing all the way to the very end. I haven’t read a mystery in years because I always figured it out before the end but hand on my heart I didn’t with this book. That is the reason for 4 stars instead of 3 because it takes a great mystery writer to keep me guessing and Nancy achieved it with this!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    An easy and light read

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    "Strictly for the ladies" Perhaps the predominance of make-up references was what made me lose interest a third of the way through this one. It was a different twist for a mystery story line, and it's fairly well written, but I can't see that single quirk being able to sustain a three book series. I was hoping for an easy, fast read, but looking at the chapters I skipped, I was in for a long slog. Sorry, not my shade of lipstick. "Strictly for the ladies" Perhaps the predominance of make-up references was what made me lose interest a third of the way through this one. It was a different twist for a mystery story line, and it's fairly well written, but I can't see that single quirk being able to sustain a three book series. I was hoping for an easy, fast read, but looking at the chapters I skipped, I was in for a long slog. Sorry, not my shade of lipstick.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Kimbriel

    Recommended. Toni Diamond (she was married just long enough to gain a one-in-a-million last name) never met a women who couldn't be enhanced by the Lady Bianca makeup line. As one of their top sellers, Toni lives and breathes her business, even when she recognizes that it's not a fairy tale business. She's got a sharp eye both for commerce and for detail, and also an appreciation for the humor of a situation. Toni has fought her way to the top of a competitive business, and she's earned her fake Recommended. Toni Diamond (she was married just long enough to gain a one-in-a-million last name) never met a women who couldn't be enhanced by the Lady Bianca makeup line. As one of their top sellers, Toni lives and breathes her business, even when she recognizes that it's not a fairy tale business. She's got a sharp eye both for commerce and for detail, and also an appreciation for the humor of a situation. Toni has fought her way to the top of a competitive business, and she's earned her fake (and real) diamonds and the nice home that took her out of the trailer park where her mother still happily lives. When a woman is murdered at the Lady Bianca national convention in Dallas, Toni's sharp eye sees details that the sexy attending detective might miss--details that have the police on the trail of a serial killer whose next victim might just be Toni Diamond. I thought that this was a cute amateur detective story, almost a cozy except for a dash of sex. Toni is intelligent and sympathetic, a capable people-handler with good instincts about management and murder. The supporting cast (including her mother, a smart women of ghastly taste, and her daughter, whose current joy is Goth everything) is appealing, the current love interest an attractive person, and the characters are not too stupid to live while solving the story. I'd return to Toni's world to find out what happens next--and you even get a few makeup tips along the line! Recommended to anyone checking out a new cozy series, or in the mood for a few grins while enjoying a more classic, murders off-stage mystery. (It has a long sex scene that didn't add anything to our understanding of the characters, which is the only reason I didn't run off right away for more of the series. But I plan to return to it.)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susie Kline

    This was genuinely a pleasant surprise to read! I've been waffling about reading lately, knitting and watching TV instead. Then I volunteered to review this book. I am so glad I did! My reading mojo is back! Frosted Shadow by Nancy Warren is well-written with great characters, lots of action, lots of information, fun settings, and a great plot. Maybe I just found it intriguing because I once sold Avon...and Stampin' Up!...and can see how things can get out of hand. Fortunately, this is a work of This was genuinely a pleasant surprise to read! I've been waffling about reading lately, knitting and watching TV instead. Then I volunteered to review this book. I am so glad I did! My reading mojo is back! Frosted Shadow by Nancy Warren is well-written with great characters, lots of action, lots of information, fun settings, and a great plot. Maybe I just found it intriguing because I once sold Avon...and Stampin' Up!...and can see how things can get out of hand. Fortunately, this is a work of fiction! Toni Diamond sells Lady Bianca cosmetics with flash and flair, using her last name to her advantage. She's a director with the company and ready to shine and sparkle (all those diamonds help!) at the company's convention. But people keep getting murdered! Determined to put her over-sized and carefully contoured nose into the investigation, she gets in deeper than she wants. Well, except when she's in the arms of Detective Luke Marciano... Makeup and murder make for an exciting combination at the Lady Bianca convention. This is one year the participants--the ones who manage to survive!--will ever forget! Get this book ASAP! It's a fun, fast read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cait

    This was a free book from Kobo. I love mysteries, so the description of the book drew my interest. The story itself is pretty good. Toni Diamond is a sales rep for an Avon/Mary Kay type beauty company called Lady Bianca. When she attends a Lady Bianca convention at a hotel, she discovers that there may be a serial killer staying at the hotel who is targeting fellow LB reps. Toni has good instincts, and tries to help solve the mystery, but can't stick her nose into the investigation without recei This was a free book from Kobo. I love mysteries, so the description of the book drew my interest. The story itself is pretty good. Toni Diamond is a sales rep for an Avon/Mary Kay type beauty company called Lady Bianca. When she attends a Lady Bianca convention at a hotel, she discovers that there may be a serial killer staying at the hotel who is targeting fellow LB reps. Toni has good instincts, and tries to help solve the mystery, but can't stick her nose into the investigation without receiving a few threats herself. There is, obviously, a detective who becomes a possible love interest. However, there is enough twists in the story to keep it from being too similar to all of the other women sleuth novels. I didn't like that the story talked about Toni's mother a lot, but didn't actually give her mother a name until the author remembered that she needed one. I also didn't like how it didn't mention anything more about Melody at the end. I would have liked to know how she felt. Overall, it was a fun read, and I enjoyed it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anika

    Rate: 3.5 It was interesting so much so that I wanted to read the next book in the series. It was about a convention in hotel where Members of the Bicana makeup met. There was a woman who died and police first think it could be related to the Bicana makeup conference but Toni Diamond one of the leading women at the conference does not want the company's reputation associated with the murder so she and sexy cop Luke go about trying to find out the killer. But there's another murder and it is Toni Rate: 3.5 It was interesting so much so that I wanted to read the next book in the series. It was about a convention in hotel where Members of the Bicana makeup met. There was a woman who died and police first think it could be related to the Bicana makeup conference but Toni Diamond one of the leading women at the conference does not want the company's reputation associated with the murder so she and sexy cop Luke go about trying to find out the killer. But there's another murder and it is Toni's frenemy so naturally everyone is talking about her and the fight that they had earlier. It was a good book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tulay

    Perfect mystery for the cosmetics sales people. Mary Kay or Avon sales people will enjoy this book, maybe learn some things. Chapter headings will make you laugh and think. Toni and Detective Luke Marciano characters are written so good, I can picture them perfectly. Cozy mystery you'll love. Perfect mystery for the cosmetics sales people. Mary Kay or Avon sales people will enjoy this book, maybe learn some things. Chapter headings will make you laugh and think. Toni and Detective Luke Marciano characters are written so good, I can picture them perfectly. Cozy mystery you'll love.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Olson

    This was a freebie, so I gave it a shot and enjoyed it more than I expected to. The Mary Kay-ish heroine had a lot more steel and more brains than I would have expected, and the mystery kept me guessing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Jane

    Conference confrontation Toni Diamond is dedicated to providing high quality service to her Lady Bianca clientele, a top sales director she's got a team of saleswomen with her at the conference ready for the awards ceremony. Her biggest rival Nicole has a totally different outlook on business and is determined to beat Toni no matter what it takes. She pressures her saleswomen to buy more stock than they can sell, persuades them to take out extra credit cards and even to divorce their husbands if t Conference confrontation Toni Diamond is dedicated to providing high quality service to her Lady Bianca clientele, a top sales director she's got a team of saleswomen with her at the conference ready for the awards ceremony. Her biggest rival Nicole has a totally different outlook on business and is determined to beat Toni no matter what it takes. She pressures her saleswomen to buy more stock than they can sell, persuades them to take out extra credit cards and even to divorce their husbands if they question the business ethics behind buying more than you can sell. When an unknown woman is murdered in the conference suite all eyes are on the thousands of Lady Bianca consultants, the police are convinced that this is to do with them and that feeling is increased when Toni explains that the woman is wearing Lady Bianca make up, but Toni knows that this isn't a consultant. There's just no way one of them would be wearing Capri pants and Birkenstocks.. Lady Bianca has standards and pantyhose, suit and closed toe shoes are the standard set by the company. This, then has to be a make over client but how to find out who it was that did the make over and find the true identity of this Jane Doe victim.. good thing Toni is nosey and has seen not just the victims make up but also the sample kit laying beside the body. She's on a mission to help the rather handsome Detective Luke Marciano and he's strangely attracted to her despite not looking for a relationship. When the killer strikes again Toni is even more determined to crack the case.. after all everyone heard her arguing with the victim and to make it worse she found the body.. can she solve it before the killer strikes again because it looks like he's now after her.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Renae Rogers

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was a lot of fun. The MC was sharp and observant. The makeup tips were actually useful and accessible. And I really got an insight into a world I only knew a tiny bit about. My mum was a consultant for a direct sales cosmetic company at one point and I knew a little bit about the company structure. What I didn't know about, since she was one of the people who joined mostly just to receive the discount on purchase prices, was the whole actual business of selling. The friendly fishing. T This book was a lot of fun. The MC was sharp and observant. The makeup tips were actually useful and accessible. And I really got an insight into a world I only knew a tiny bit about. My mum was a consultant for a direct sales cosmetic company at one point and I knew a little bit about the company structure. What I didn't know about, since she was one of the people who joined mostly just to receive the discount on purchase prices, was the whole actual business of selling. The friendly fishing. The more persuasive methods that someone might use to sell. And oh my gosh, the amount of stuff some of these women choose to keep on hand so they're stocked up for a client who might want something. And then the company changes their colours each year and the old stock is verboten. They give out samples to each makeover client but the colours from last year are no longer allowed to be used. What is a person supposed to do with all that suddenly worthless stock? I get that it's good for the company in that their sales occurred already. They got their money. What about the poor on-seller? At least back in my mum's day, she only carried her demonstration stock for doing parties and if anyone wanted anything, she put an order in at that point. That way, she wasn't carrying a whole lot of stock she might not be able to shift and hadn't outlaid a whole lot of money she wouldn't be able to recoup. Sorry, I digress. Except that I'm not, because that's actually all relevant. Anyway, it was very interesting. I'm conflicted about what she does for a living and her viewpoint on makeup, but the quotes at the beginning of each chapter were food for thought.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alannah Davis

    I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I expected yet another formulaic cozy, especially since this mystery involves a scenario (murder at a convention for Mary Kay or Avon type make up consultants who get their business via home parties) that could so easily fall into something that falls short, like a bowling ball hitting the gutter instead of the pins. But to my delight, I connected with these characters and did not want to put this book down. It probably helps that I have exp I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I expected yet another formulaic cozy, especially since this mystery involves a scenario (murder at a convention for Mary Kay or Avon type make up consultants who get their business via home parties) that could so easily fall into something that falls short, like a bowling ball hitting the gutter instead of the pins. But to my delight, I connected with these characters and did not want to put this book down. It probably helps that I have experience with the type of sales convention that is the background of this story. In the '60s and '70s when I was a kid, my mom sold Beeline apparel via home parties, and I accompanied her to some conventions and also did some modelling of the kids line. As an adult, I have attended conventions related to a couple of sales ventures in which I became involved. The scenario in this story of Toni and the Lady Bianca convention is totally real. I love Toni's family life behind her big Texas hair and Lady Bianca makeup perfection. She has a Goth daughter and a Dolly Parton-worshipping mom (exactly like I am with Def Leppard!) who, again, could have easily been caricatures but we're written endearingly. That's a pretty tough balance, and I commend the author. I will definitely be seeking out more of the Toni Diamond series!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    This is a cute cozy mystery, and the first of a series. I will be checking out the others. Toni Diamond is an independent consultant for Lady Bianca cosmetics, and she's at the annual convention where diamond rings, mink coats, and more will be given out for those who meet the highest production goals. If this sounds to you like a thinly disguised version of Mary Kay, this former rep says you're right. So, I did a lot of snickering. Anyway, a woman turns up dead in one of the convention rooms with This is a cute cozy mystery, and the first of a series. I will be checking out the others. Toni Diamond is an independent consultant for Lady Bianca cosmetics, and she's at the annual convention where diamond rings, mink coats, and more will be given out for those who meet the highest production goals. If this sounds to you like a thinly disguised version of Mary Kay, this former rep says you're right. So, I did a lot of snickering. Anyway, a woman turns up dead in one of the convention rooms with a new makeover and a pocket full of samples ... that are outdated. Toni is asked by one of the local policemen, Luke, whether she knows the woman. She doesn't, but she sure knows the makeup! So, the woman her mother calls nosy (we get to meet her mother and daughter as well) inserts herself into the investigation. There another subplot involving infighting among beauty consultants over whose team will sell the most (although it's technically on who orders the most wholesale) ... and what, if any, involvement the folks at the mystery readers' convention in the same hotel might have with the homicide. Cute, entertaining and not at particularly gory (given that it's a murder mystery). Those who enjoy their cozies are sure to like this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    When I found out that the main character was high up in an MLM I wasn’t sure I was going to like this but I surprisingly enjoyed this book, maybe it’s because I had just read Parlez-Vous Murder? and therefore, anything would be an improvement. If you are looking for a relatively fast paced cosy mystery, I think you may enjoy this. I read it quickly – in one sitting and it scratched the cosy mystery itch I had. I do feel like the book could’ve been formatted better, maybe some lines between a chan When I found out that the main character was high up in an MLM I wasn’t sure I was going to like this but I surprisingly enjoyed this book, maybe it’s because I had just read Parlez-Vous Murder? and therefore, anything would be an improvement. If you are looking for a relatively fast paced cosy mystery, I think you may enjoy this. I read it quickly – in one sitting and it scratched the cosy mystery itch I had. I do feel like the book could’ve been formatted better, maybe some lines between a change of scene as it could be quite confusing how fast a scene changed. I wasn’t a fan of the romance, it didn’t quite make sense to me. For the second murder Toni would make sense as the prime suspect so it didn’t quite make sense to me that Luke would continue to pursue a relationship with her. I was a bit uncomfortable as at times it tried to excuse MLMs and there was a point of weirdly sexualising an elderly woman “her ample bosom stuck from her chest like a shelf, and he imagined her resting her novel there while she was reading”. All in all I enjoyed the book and hope to continue on with the series!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kara Prem

    This novel is mostly set at a hotel in Dallas that is hosting a few conventions - a Lady Bianca sales group and a mystery writers group. The main character, Toni Diamond, is a divorced mother who had her daughter when she was very young. She has worked her way up in Lady Bianca and is now a regional sales director. She eats lives and breathes Lady Bianca. She is a lot, and I don't think she is someone I would want to encounter in real life, as she is incredibly pushy. She dresses and acts like a This novel is mostly set at a hotel in Dallas that is hosting a few conventions - a Lady Bianca sales group and a mystery writers group. The main character, Toni Diamond, is a divorced mother who had her daughter when she was very young. She has worked her way up in Lady Bianca and is now a regional sales director. She eats lives and breathes Lady Bianca. She is a lot, and I don't think she is someone I would want to encounter in real life, as she is incredibly pushy. She dresses and acts like all she knows is makeup, but she is more intelligent that most people would think. A woman is murdered at the hotel, she was there for the mystery writers, but had a Lady Bianca makeover just before being killed. Toni butts her way into the investigation and catches the attention of Luke, the lead detective. She works with him to solve the mystery and they form a relationship along the way. The book was a fun, easy read, and I loved Toni's mother.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan C Stafford

    Good mystery I don't really like this book. It was light and entertaining, but also a well-done mystery. The characters were strong and well drawn. Yes, there was a naughty bit or two, but less than usual. I was also fascinated at the inside look at Lady Bianca cosmetics and how that type of business model works. I don't know firsthand what that's like, but I have some idea so what I read rang true. I am also not the kind of person who wears makeup and heels and all that. So was interesting to me Good mystery I don't really like this book. It was light and entertaining, but also a well-done mystery. The characters were strong and well drawn. Yes, there was a naughty bit or two, but less than usual. I was also fascinated at the inside look at Lady Bianca cosmetics and how that type of business model works. I don't know firsthand what that's like, but I have some idea so what I read rang true. I am also not the kind of person who wears makeup and heels and all that. So was interesting to me to read about women for whom that was really important. Kind of like seeing how the other half lives. In any event, I thought the book was well written, well-structured, and entertaining. If you like light, challenging mysteries, you will really enjoy this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dahrose

    This was perfectly readable - it just didn't have that spark though that could turn my like into love. Toni Diamond is both admirable - in that she grew up dirt poor and is now independent and driven (but the author never EVER lets you forget that) - and she was irritating - the cultish brainwashing can-do salesgirl attitude never lets up. I thought the author did a very good job of describing the conference/attendees and the hyper cheerleading quality of the sales cosmetic reps. Which was at ti This was perfectly readable - it just didn't have that spark though that could turn my like into love. Toni Diamond is both admirable - in that she grew up dirt poor and is now independent and driven (but the author never EVER lets you forget that) - and she was irritating - the cultish brainwashing can-do salesgirl attitude never lets up. I thought the author did a very good job of describing the conference/attendees and the hyper cheerleading quality of the sales cosmetic reps. Which was at times amusing, though more often scary. The mystery itself was a bit of a yawn. As was Toni's supposed 'detective' skills - which suddenly take her from the sidelines and make her a target a little too quickly. An okay read - but for me this diamond didn't sparkle.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen Lamoreaux

    Makeup sales can be murder Toni is a very likeable character. She notices things and makes deductions similar to Sherlock Holmes. The story line was fun and made me think of Mary Kay sales reps. I didn't figure out the murderer until near the end. I enjoyed reading a cosy mystery that did not follow the set story frame. Toni actually loves and respects her mother and her daughter. Her daughter has her own style but does not hate Toni. The detective does not snub her and dismiss her, he actually l Makeup sales can be murder Toni is a very likeable character. She notices things and makes deductions similar to Sherlock Holmes. The story line was fun and made me think of Mary Kay sales reps. I didn't figure out the murderer until near the end. I enjoyed reading a cosy mystery that did not follow the set story frame. Toni actually loves and respects her mother and her daughter. Her daughter has her own style but does not hate Toni. The detective does not snub her and dismiss her, he actually listens to her ideas and welcomes her help. Thank you, Ms Warren for that.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This was an entertaining read, the setting one which I’d personally run a mile from but it seemed very realistic. The cutthroat (maybe not literally) world of the ‘make up’ reps is one that Toni Diamond revels in but she finds it’s not possible to plan for everything. I sussed out the culprit before the end but that was no problem because there was still more to come- and how! The characters are nicely portrayed. Toni has plenty of depth and there’s just more to learn about the lovely Detective L This was an entertaining read, the setting one which I’d personally run a mile from but it seemed very realistic. The cutthroat (maybe not literally) world of the ‘make up’ reps is one that Toni Diamond revels in but she finds it’s not possible to plan for everything. I sussed out the culprit before the end but that was no problem because there was still more to come- and how! The characters are nicely portrayed. Toni has plenty of depth and there’s just more to learn about the lovely Detective Luke Marciano. Nasty characters? Yes, there are some of them as well. If you’re looking for a cosy crime that’s an amusing read, I’d recommend this one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Simcox

    Appearances may not be what you think they are. Beneath the false gems and the large doo-up is Toni, a strident intelligent woman that understands particulars, and she has fun with them. She must contend with her roguish enemy, Nicole, who has no good intentions for her. Toni and the Rep are in a close-fitting struggle. There is a homicide in which everybody gives the impression to reason the Lady Bianca Cosmetic Line has ins on it. Then Toni promptly gets tangled in the details. I liked this bo Appearances may not be what you think they are. Beneath the false gems and the large doo-up is Toni, a strident intelligent woman that understands particulars, and she has fun with them. She must contend with her roguish enemy, Nicole, who has no good intentions for her. Toni and the Rep are in a close-fitting struggle. There is a homicide in which everybody gives the impression to reason the Lady Bianca Cosmetic Line has ins on it. Then Toni promptly gets tangled in the details. I liked this book. The characters were entertaining and I looked forward to seeing what occurred next. I say it was amusing mysterious, captivating, and humorous.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I laughed so hard at the Lady Bianca Cosmetic sales meetings I had tears. It brought back memories of the Pink Cosmetic company..... Toni Diamond is a Texas top team leader with Lady Bianca Cosmetics. Attending a conference/sales meeting are hilariously accurate. Toni's eye for details and observations of people help her sell her cosmetics but it also leads her to solving the murder of a fellow cosmetic consultant at the sales convention. Great series. I plan to read them all in sequence this week I laughed so hard at the Lady Bianca Cosmetic sales meetings I had tears. It brought back memories of the Pink Cosmetic company..... Toni Diamond is a Texas top team leader with Lady Bianca Cosmetics. Attending a conference/sales meeting are hilariously accurate. Toni's eye for details and observations of people help her sell her cosmetics but it also leads her to solving the murder of a fellow cosmetic consultant at the sales convention. Great series. I plan to read them all in sequence this week.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mairi Krausse

    Fast and exciting read! This story is fun, fast and exciting! The heroine in this active tale is Toni Diamond, a flashy name for a flashy woman. Her mother is a Dolly Parton worshipper, and her daughter a rebellious Goth teen. Toni is a home party famous makeup line’s top tier sales rep, and the action all takes place during a Sales Rep Yearly Conference at a convention hotel in Dallas. If you like murder mysteries, romance novels and adventure stories, this book will certainly satisfy your taste Fast and exciting read! This story is fun, fast and exciting! The heroine in this active tale is Toni Diamond, a flashy name for a flashy woman. Her mother is a Dolly Parton worshipper, and her daughter a rebellious Goth teen. Toni is a home party famous makeup line’s top tier sales rep, and the action all takes place during a Sales Rep Yearly Conference at a convention hotel in Dallas. If you like murder mysteries, romance novels and adventure stories, this book will certainly satisfy your tastes!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ilene

    Loved it! The Lady Bianca makeup convention is largely disrupted when a young woman is found stabbed to death in one of the conference rooms. As a regional sales leader, Toni relies on her wits to ferret out clues as to the murderer’s identity. With the help of a police detective, Luke, she suspects a connection to the convention itself. Then Toni’s competitor for the coveted sales award, Nicole, is found also stabbed to death. The pace of the story is quick and enthralling. Great read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    Fun and Feisty Love your story line and characters! Great truth in beautiful women also being able to be intelligent and compassionate. I also liked the smart goth daughter and the relationships between daughters granddaughters. You have a good editor - only 5 errors in the whole book. If you want an excellent editor at very affordable prices, check out LifeRegeneration9.wixsite.com/editing. Fun and Feisty Love your story line and characters! Great truth in beautiful women also being able to be intelligent and compassionate. I also liked the smart goth daughter and the relationships between daughters granddaughters. You have a good editor - only 5 errors in the whole book. If you want an excellent editor at very affordable prices, check out LifeRegeneration9.wixsite.com/editing.

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