A Killing in Costumes, Zac Bissonnette’s first Hollywood Treasures mystery, deftly balances a tightly plotted mystery with glamorous characters and a unique setting in the world of movie memorabilia.
Decades ago, Cindy Cooper and Jay Allan were bona fide celebrities. The married-in-real-life performers starred as a couple in a popular soap opera to great acclaim—until they decided to reveal their true sexual orientations to the world. Jay and Cindy lost their acting careers and ended their marriage but remained close friends.
They now own Hooray for Hollywood, a movie memorabilia store in Palm Springs, California. Business is slow, and they’re in danger of having to close the shop for good until they’re offered a chance to represent retired silver screen legend Yana Tosh in the sale of her personal collection of film costumes and memorabilia. When a vice president of the auction house competing for Yana’s collection is found dead, Jay and Cindy become suspects in the investigation. To clear their names, keep their business afloat and win Yana’s collection, the friends must work together to solve the case—before the killer strikes again.
Bissonnette does an exceptional job constructing A Killing in Costume‘s central whodunit: Each entertaining suspect has believable motives and opportunities, and mystery fans are sure to appreciate his deftly hidden clues. But the heart of the story lies in Cindy and Jay’s close friendship, which has weathered the collapse of their careers, new jobs and relationships, and every success and loss along the way. Both are deeply funny people who are fiercely protective of each other, and their passion for and knowledge of the film industry will delight readers who are also movie buffs. Finally, Cindy’s struggle to find a new normal after the loss of her beloved wife to cancer provides a serious note that is both touching and authentic.
A Killing in Costumes has all the hallmarks of a great cozy: a unique setting, an intriguing cast of characters and an exciting mystery.