Review: The Brim Reaper by Dianne Vallere


Diane Vallere uses fashion brilliantly to show character. She understands its place in culture and history. And she uses it to plant clues. I’m not a fashionista—more the opposite—but I loved getting immersed in Samantha Kidd’s personal and professional world of style. She’s a feisty, funny, independent protagonist, determined to help a friend. Vallere successfully sustains the plausibility of the amateur sleuth when Samantha’s good friend and former colleague Eddie becomes a possible suspect for a fashion-related murder at a museum where he’s in change of an exhibit featuring the hat collection of a famous neo-noire actress. The crimes to be solved include hat theft as well as murder and attempted murder.

The author strikes a good balance between humor and mystery, with a touch of romance. The characters and their relationships as well as the well-planted red herrings the kept me so involved, the pace never slowed down and I didn’t figure out whodunit until Samantha did.

This is the third book in the Style and Error series. Vallere handles backstory so smoothly a reader could begin here and feel neither lost nor bogged down in catch-up details, but I recommend going back to the beginning and getting to know Samantha from the start.

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