Monday, October 13, 2014

Suede to Rest

Suede to Rest
Diane Vallere
Berkley Crime Mystery
Noveber 2014
ISBN: 978-0-425-27057-8
Mass Market Paperback
$ 7.99
304 pages

"A breeze rippled through the trees to the left and the right of the storefront.  I stood across the street, taking in the blacked-out windows and the once-magnificent sign now covered in bird poop, decades of grime, and spray-painted curse words.  Land of a Thousand Fabrics, it said.  I wondered briefly if that had ever been true, if my great-aunt, Millie, and great-uncle Marius, had ever actually counted the bolts of fabric in their inventory or amassed that number in order to avoid false advertising.  And now that it had been left to me, I wondered if that would become my concern."

What do you name a baby who is born in a fabric store?  Polyester Monroe grew up in her family's textile store in San Ladron, California.  Life was normal and happy until her aunt was found murdered in the family store.   Since it was Poly's high school graduation, her parents chose not to inform her until later after the celebration.  Her uncle chose to close-up the store immediately. 

In the ten-years Poly was succeeded in becoming a well-respected dress designer working in Los Angeles.   She is frequently frustrated with her boss using inferior fabrics and cheapening her designs and dreams.   Is it time for a change?

Land of a Thousand Fabrics not belongs to Poly, the lone inheritor of the business.   Remembering her childhood brings back pleasant memories and makes her realize the positive influence of the family store.   As she reenters the store into her past, she wonders about the condition of the bolts of fabric.  She realizes the unusual value her family possessed in quality textiles rather than the cheap imitations that she commonly and currently views and uses causing her to hesitate in selling the store.

Her initial thoughts were to sell the store.   With a developer ready to buy the store and her boyfriend also willing to assist with unloading her store, selling should be simple.   Unfortunately, Poly is hesitant.   When a senior citizen on the neighborhood watch is murdered behind her store and two kittens are also discovered in her dumpster, Poly's curiosity makes her hesitant to sell.  What difference could a few days make in selling the place?

Suede to Rest is a delightful romp through bolts of fabric complete with kittens, murders, and even instructions for making glamorous throw pillows and even an enlightened perspective regarding the fashion industry today.

Author Diane Vallere bases her books on years of personal experience as a seamstress as well as owning her own detective agency.  She has three series the Style and Error Mysteries featuring Samantha Kidd, the Mad for Mod Mysteries featuring her interior decorator Madison Night, and the Material Witness Mysteries with Polyester Monroe.

Suede to Rest is a delightfully realistic cozy mystery featuring a wonderful new protagonist, Polyester Monroe.

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