Book Review – “Clutches and Curses” by Dorothy Howell

  Title:  Clutches and Curses (Haley Randolph Mysery Series #4)

Author:  Dorothy Howell

ISBN:  9780758253309

Publisher:  Kensignton Publishing

Synopsis (from

Life is finally looking good for amateur sleuth/professional fashionista Haley Randolph. Her sort-of-boyfriend Ty is now her official boyfriend, her job at Holt’s department store is going well, and she’s on track to get her hands on the Delicious—the hottest purse of the season. What could possibly go wrong?

A curse from an irate customer? Haley doesn’t believe in curses but when things start to go really wrong she jumps at the chance to pack up her wardrobe and transfer to the new store near Las Vegas. . .where she promptly finds the body of Courtney Collins, an old classmate, sprawled across the floor of the menswear department.

It seems the curse also made the trip from L.A. because Haley is now suspect #1. Sure, everyone knows she was jealous of the now un-fashionably late Courtney back in the day, and Courtney was about to launch a spectacular new line of designer bags. And, well, there weren’t any witnesses when Haley actually found the body. . .

Since she definitely doesn’t look good in prison stripes, Haley’s going to have to get to the bottom of this increasingly strange mystery. Finding and catching the killer won’t be easy. . .and getting rid of this curse once and for all may mean going against everything a real fashionista stands for.

My thoughts:  Haley Randolph, great lover of all things handbag, is back in this 4th book in the Haley Randolph Series.  After Haley is convinced that an angry Holt’s Department Store customer put a curse on her, she decides to take the opportunity to head off to Las Vegas to help set up for the opening of a brand new Holt’s store.  Imagine her surprise as she enters the menswear area and they body of an old high school classmate is found dead on the floor.  Who of course is one of the main suspects but Haley herself?  Haley embarks on the latest whodunit to prove she in fact is not the killer!

This is a charming cozy mystery series, especially for those of us who love a good designer handbag and thoroughly enjoy dreaming that we had all the handbags mentioned in these books – Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Judith Lieber, Prada, Louis Vitton, oh to dream . . . 🙂  As I have mentioned before in previous reviews of Dorothy Howell’s books, the main character is almost too similiar to the main character in Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series and I feel like somehow I have slipped in to a Kinsella book.  That being said, I still recommend these books for a fast, quirky, delightful read.  There are a couple new characters introduced in this book that I would like to see in future books.  And the very last page does indeed make you want to run to the next book to see what is up with the boyfriend Ty!  That is all I will say, but I already have the next book “Tote Bags and Toe Tags” from the library and will be jumping right in.

A perfect book for your beach bag!

And remember,

Books are Life,


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Filed under Book Reviews, Chick Lit, Dorothy Howell, Fiction, Mystery

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