Dolled Up for Murder by Deb Baker stars Gretchen Birch, Boston native who is currently unemployed. Her humdrum existence is shaken up when she receives a frantic call from her aunt Nina informing her that her mother has been kidnapped. Thus begins a whirlwind ride that will leave the reader breathless and panting for more!
Gretchen’s mother Caroline is an expert on dolls. These are collectors’ items that can cost thousands of dollars. Caroline repairs these dolls which is delicate business, but lucrative enough for Caroline to maintain a comfortable home and life in the Phoenix area. Her sister Nina trains dogs, the kind that you carry around in a purse. As Gretchen arrives in Phoenix/ Flagstaff, she slowly learns the whole story. There has been a murder on Camelback Mountain, which happens to be in her mother’s backyard. Her mother is suspected of leaving the mountain at the time of death and is a suspect or at least a person of interest. Nina introduces Gretchen to the doll collectors’ club. The detective on the case is the son of a ‘doller’, and is on Gretchen’s tail. As Gretchen talks to the different people, an unlikely story unfolds. The dead woman was a once well off homeless woman who had an expensive doll collection. As Gretchen and Nina follow clues, they are no closer to solving the riddle. Where is Caroline and why is she on the run?
I loved reading about the dolls, and had no idea about the different types. What an unusual but pretty item to collect? The Phoenix area including Camelback Mountain was a treat to read about, and an area I will love to visit anytime. There are a lot of different characters, each with an agenda and they make interesting reading. The homeless people add their own aspect and add to the intrigue. The purse dog angle is hilarious. There is nonstop action and thrills including rains that bring floods. I want to warn Gretchen off her cheating boyfriend, and nudge her toward the detective.
Dolled Up For Murder exceeded expectations, and I eagerly look forward to more from the series. Wholeheartedly recommended for all mystery lovers!