Category Archives: Dorothy Howell

Book Review: “Evening Bags and Executions” by Dorothy Howell (Haley Randolph #7)

eveningbagsexecutionsTitle:  Evening Bags and Executions

Author:  Dorothy Howell

Series:  Haley Randoph #7

Synopsis (from amazon.com):  Haley Randolph, newly-single fashionista extraordinaire and occasional part-time sleuth, has definitely landed her ticket to ride this time: a job planning events for big-deal Hollywood clients. Everyone likes a party, right? So what could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, quite a lot. Haley’s nasty new boss sets her up for disaster by putting her in charge of a hugely complicated Beatles-themed charity bash. Before Haley can say, “Oh! Darling,” she’s on her way to look at the party’s custom yellow submarine cake.  .  .only to find the baker, Lacy Hobbs, lying in a pool of blood here, there and everywhere!

Of course Detective Madison–Haley’s occasional nemesis (though he does have a hunky partner!)–is eyeing her as the murderer, so she’ll now be working at least eight days a week to get to the bottom of the mystery. Of course the suspect list leads down a very long and winding road as Lacy had quite a few Tinseltown enemies, including a very unhappy bride–and a rival baker.

It’ll take more than a hard day’s night for Haley to both hold onto her job and keep herself out of those awful blue prison outfits while tracking down the season’s hottest bag: the Enchantress. And though Haley’s not one to run for her life, the killer may be much closer than she thinks!

My thoughts:  Well here we are with the next adventures of Haley Randolph!  How does one describe Haley:  college student (sort of), employee at Holt’s department store (kind of, when she wants to but hates every moment of it), fashionista, handbag lover, ex-girlfriend of the always handsome and charming Ty, daughter of a high-maintenance ex-beauty queen, and now event planner at the high class L. A. Affairs.  This right here should tell the reader they are in for a ride when it comes to Haley books.

Haley is one of those characters that I absolutely love to hate . . . kind of the like the main character in Sophie Kinsella’s shopaholic series.  Part of me always gets really annoyed with her . . . her lack of motivation, her ability to somehow never hold down a job and yet afford exquisite fashion and to die for handbags (I’m think I’m just jealous :), her attitude of blowing everything off.  Yet the other part of me of course thinks she is absolutely hilarious!

I will admit that this book in particular had some hilarious, laugh out loud moments and some great snarky lines that I wanted to write down!  A great cast of characters and a decent mystery that will keep you reading!

A great, fun cozy series that always leaves me coming back for more.  The end of this particular book of course makes me wonder what is up next.  And I don’t have to wait to long as the next Haley Randolph book Beach Bags & Burglaries comes out in July 2014!  Can’t wait!

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Dorothy Howell, Fiction

Book Review: “Tote Bags and Toe Tags” by Dorothy Howell (Haley Randolph Series #5)

  Title:  Tote Bags and Toe Tags (Haley Randolph Series #5)

Author:  Dorothy Howell

Publisher:  Kensington

Synopsis (from bn.com): In Howell’s fast and fun fifth mystery featuring feisty 24-year-old Haley Randolph (after 2011’s Clutches and Curses), a misunderstanding lands Haley a well-paying job as an event planner at a prestigious Southern California corporation. Unfortunately, Haley once again becomes a murder suspect after stumbling on the bludgeoned body of the company’s security department head, who was doing a background check on her. In addition to searching for the real killer to clear her name, Haley must locate a missing housekeeper, deal with hot private detective Jack Bishop, and puzzle out her hot-and-cold relationship with boyfriend Ty Cameron—not to mention hunting for the perfect designer handbag. Howell’s complex and compelling heroine is equal parts arrested adolescent, cunning investigator, accomplished liar, good friend, and fabulous dresser. Established fans and newcomers alike will look forward to her next appearance.

My thoughts:  Well, Haley Randolph, the quirky, snarky, handbag loving, Holt’s store employee, has found herself in hot water yet again when she runs across a dead body at her new gig as a corporate events planner.  Who of course looks like a primary suspect?  Well, of course Haley herself.

This is the 5th book in the Haley Randolph series and I will say I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I have been working my way through the last three books in the series recently and liked this one more than I had book 3 which for some reason fell flat for me.  Yes, as I have said in all my reviews on this series, the main character can get a bit annoying in her selfish, immature actions at time, but that is what makes Haley, Haley afterall 🙂  The way this book ended definitely left me wondering what book 6 will hold!  I do wish I could figure out a way to afford Prada, Louis Vitton, and Marc Jacobs on a retail employee’s paycheck 🙂

This series offers a fast read.  Great beach read or on the plane on your way to summer vacation!

Happy reading,

And remember,

Books are Life,

Heather

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

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 bn.com):

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,

Heather

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