Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Review: Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere (Costume Shop Mysteries #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, creative mystery, Halloween setting
Cons: All cons disguised beyond recognition
The Bottom Line:
Halloween killer
Disguised at costume party
Another great book

Who is the Killer Behind the Mask?

If you write a mystery series set in a costume shop, you must be prepared to write a book set at Halloween.  That’s just what Diane Vallere does in the second book in her Costume Shop Mysteries series, and Masking for Trouble is a pleasure to read.

As you’d expect, a town like Proper City, Nevada, which uses any occasion to throw a costume party, really ramps things up for Halloween.  There’s an epic town party, with smaller parties all week.  In fact, the schools close for the week, and things are hopping all month at Disguise DeLimit, the costume shop that Margo Tamblyn has taken over from her father.

However, things threaten to come to a screeching halt when Paul Haverford shows up in the shop a week before the big day.  Paul is a venture capitalist with big plans for Proper City, including taking over businesses in the area and shutting those down that won’t sell to him.  He’s also sponsoring this year’s town party, which means only those businesses that have sold to him will be allowed to participate.  Since Disguise DeLimit is one of the hold outs, they are banned, and no one renting costumes from their shop can win any costume contests.

Margo tries to reason with Paul, but that only makes things worse.  Still, she sneaks into the party that night.  The party is being held in a long abandoned hotel on the outskirts of town, and the atmosphere is appropriately creepy.  Things take a dark turn when Margo discovers Paul’s body in one of the hotel’s elevators.  The police seem to think that she had a good motive for killing Paul.  Can Margo unmask a killer before she has a new costume – prison orange?

I fell in love with these characters when I read the first book in the series, and it was fabulous to be back in their presence here.  We got to know them better in this book, and I liked how certain relationships progressed.  And can I say how much I love Kirby and his swim team friends?  They were an absolute blast.  Of course, we meet some great new characters here that make interesting suspects.

Speaking of interesting, the plot for this book is quite intriguing.  It twists in some ways I didn’t anticipate before we reach a logical and fun climax.

And the book makes great use of the Halloween setting.  You can’t help but feel the late October in the air.  Okay, so being Nevada, it’s desert air, but still, if you love this holiday, you’ll love this book.

We get some fun extras at the end as well.  There are four easy recipes, ideas for fun and easy costumes (something I always need), and lists of some other slightly scarier but non-traditional Halloween costumes.

Halloween and costumes are such a natural fit, and Masking for Trouble does a great job of combining them with a fun mystery.  Don your favorite disguise and settle in for a page turning book.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Friday, October 14th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 10/14.  You will have until midnight on 10/18 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 10/19.


  1. Nice post! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I'm so happy to hear you liked this book. It's been quite a week of reviews! Fortunately for me I also enjoy all these series and really can't wait to get my hand on them! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and I appreciate the chance to win.

    Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  3. Great review thank you, I want to read this, Love that cover. Penney

  4. Can't wait to read this!

  5. It sure seems like a perfect fit as you say, Halloween and a costume shop! Have you read her Mad for Mod series, I really like it! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. thanks for the chance.

  7. Looks like a good series.

  8. Looks like an awesome series! Thank you for a chance to win! My email address is

  9. Sounds like a good read. kckendler at gmail dot com

  10. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of the book. Sounds like a great story.

  11. Thank you for a chance

  12. Always a pleasure to read your reviews Mark. Thank you for a chance to win. sxygrndma48{at}yahoo{dot}com

  13. I can't wait to read this book utaker555(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Sounds like a great cozy! Your reviews are always on point! Thanks for the chance to win!!!

  15. It's on my list! Thanks for the review

  16. It's on my list! Thanks for the review

  17. I love this series as I love Halloween and the costume shop. Thanks for the chance to win.

  18. I love this series as I love Halloween and the costume shop. Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. Great review. Would LOVE to read this book.

  20. Disguise DeLimit - love the name! Holiday themed stories can be such fun reading.


  21. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  22. review is great...and so is the giveaway! good luck to me! LOL

    1. to add my email with my comment.

  23. This looks like such a fun series! Thank you for this giveaway!

  24. I love Halloween mysteries, and this sounds like a good one. Thanks for the chance. mbradeen (at) yahoo (dot) com