A Disguise to Die For (Costume Shop mystery #1) by Diane Vallere (Berkley Prime Crime mass market paperback, 2 February 2016).
Margo Tamblyn takes a few days from her job as a magician's assistant in Las Vegas and goes home to Proper City, Nevada to look after the family's costume shop, Disguise Delimit (say it out loud, if you don't get it).
Her first day back at the shop, a young man comes in and orders forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday party. Blitz Manners and his frenemy Grady O'Toole were having a competition to see who could throw the best (most expensive) costume party, which Blitz thinks he can win by buying costumes from Disguise Delimit and hiring her friend Ebony Welles to plan the party.
Margo attends the party as Ebony's assistant, and all seems to be going well until she walks into the kitchen and sees Ebony holding a large carving knife. Not alarming, except for the fact that Blitz's body is lying on the floor in front of her.
Margo is certain that Ebony did not kill the obnoxious young man, but she doesn't know how to prove it. Her task becomes even more difficult as pieces of evidence leading to Ebony's guilt start popping up.
Diane Vallere (who also writes the Material Witness series for BPC) is one of my favorite cozy writers at present. Her characters and locales are unusual but believable, and this engaging story is no exception.
At the end is an excerpt from the second book in the series, Masking for Trouble, though no release date is given.
The publisher has generously offered a copy of A Disguise to Die for to one of my readers. Please comment below by 12:01 a.m. on Monday, February 8. Please don't forget to include an email address where I can contact you if you win. Entries from the U.S. only, please.
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book.