Friday, February 25, 2005

Death by Hair Product by Misty Simon

“Death by Hair Product” by Misty Simon, Crimson Dagger, February 2005

This story surprised me, pleasantly. I’ll admit to being a little put off by the title, but I was determined to give the story a fair reading. I’m glad I did.

The main character, Bernie (Bernice?) Styles, works as a “nail technician” in a beauty shop owned by Pam. Pam is late for work, something she never is. She is so late that Bernie decides to call her on the “never call me at this number” cell phone. She hears the cell phone ringing somewhere in the shop. Tracking the sound to a locked closet she opens the door. Pam’s body falls out.

Not long after the police leave, Bernie gets a call from a man named Tony who says he is part owner of the shop. He wants to meet with her. Bernie is very suspicious. Pam was so possessive of the shop that Bernie can’t believe she had a co-owner. She meets with Tony anyway because she needs the job. Tony wants her to continue to run the shop at a substantial increase in salary. Needing the money she agrees.

Increasingly suspicious after discovering that the shop is taking in more money than it should be, Bernie finds papers that Pam had hidden. Included is evidence that Tony was laundering money through the shop and that Pam was working with the IRS. Also included was Pam’s will leaving the shop to Bernie. Now Bernie has to figure out a way to turn Tony over to the Feds without suffering the same fate as her erstwhile boss.

This is a very well written, well-plotted story. Ms. Simon did an exceptional job with Bernie. Here we have another person that has to behave in accordance with their innate character rather than as we would want them to behave. In this case, Bernie has a big mouth, and she knows it. She also knows it is a fault that she should do something about, but she can’t. She is compelled to say things she shouldn’t. I liked Bernie a lot.

In short, well done, Ms. Simon.

3 Comments:

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Misty said...

Bob,

Thanks so much for this great review and comment. I'm so happy that you enjoyed Bernie's story. Kepp an eye out for further short mystery stories from Crimson Dagger and I also have a full-length cozy mystery coming out next year. Thanks again. You can find me and future titles at www.mistysimon.com.

Misty Simon

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Bob said...

Hi, Misty. Glad you found the review. I'm always happy to hear from the authors I review. I'll be on the lookout for your new stories.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger ibrahim said...

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