Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: Dressed to Confess by Diane Vallere (Costume Shop Mysteries #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good characters, fun location, interesting mystery
Cons: Book leaves a couple of minor things open
The Bottom Line:
Festival trouble
Comeback ruined by murder
Can’t hide fun for us

Conspiracy Disguises the Killer

While characters I love are one thing that bring me back to a series I enjoy, setting can play a part as well.  I have come to love the town of Proper City, Nevada, the setting for Dressed to Confess, the third Costume Shop Mystery.  You see, Proper City loves to throw big parties and community events – costumed events.  How much fun is that?

As this book opens, the city is getting ready for the Sagebrush Festival, something the city holds each year in the spring.  This year, the theme for the event is board games, and Margo Tamblyn has been busy coming up with costumes to match.  The headlining event is a reunion of the Domino Divas, a singing and dance group that broke up 50 years ago when a scandal erupted just as they were about to truly make it big.

Not that the reunion is going all that well, either.  Margo has been providing costumes for the group, so her friend Ebony, the party planner for the event, asks Margo to help when a rehearsal goes wrong.  But a bad rehearsal doesn’t mean a strong performance, in this case.  Opening night, group member Ronnie Cass can’t be found.  Called on again to intervene, Margo finds Ronnie dead in her trailer.

Margo vows to stay out of the investigation, but she keeps finding clues.  Then her father’s friend, Earl, becomes the police’s prime suspect.  As more information from the past comes to light, Margo feels like she’s stumbled into a conspiracy.  But who is truly involved?  What happened all those years ago?  How does it impact the present?

With conspiracies and the past impacting the present, this mystery is filled with surprises and twists.  I was proud of myself for figuring out things out, but the rest of the plot surprised me.  The climax wraps up the big picture, although as I think about it more, one or two things seems to have been left opened.  Still, it’s a minor complaint; you’ll be satisfied overall.  And don’t let the word conspiracy scare you away.  While there is definitely more of a conspiracy feel to this book than others in the series, it’s still a light, fun read.  This element adds a nice twice to the mystery, but it doesn’t overwhelm it.

As I hinted at earlier, I do love the characters in this series.  They are a fun lot, although there is one that falls into the fun to hate category.  I do feel that a couple of the regulars don’t get as much page time as I would have liked, although they do have their own sub-plot.  The new characters are strong, which is important to keep us guessing until the end.

And, really, it’s hard not to love a town that takes throwing events to a whole never level.  City wide costume events?  With a great shop like Disguise DeLimit to supply great costumes?  Sounds like so much fun!  It’s the kind of place I’d love to visit – between murders, of course.

This series has included a recipe or two in each book, and this one is no exception.  We get recipes for Spicy Acorn Treats and Spice Acorn Salsa.  We also get some suggestions and tips for pulling together costumes for a conspiracy themed party.

In case, I’ve disguised my feelings about the book, let me be clear – you will enjoy it.  Dressed to Confess is another fun book in this creative series.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


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 Thursday, August 10th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 8/10.  You will have until midnight on 8/15 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 8/16.


  1. Loved the first one, I have to get started on the second, I really need more reading time, LOL.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  2. Wonderful review, this sounds very good. thanks
    Penney penneyw at

  3. Great review! Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. I love this series and this is a great review. Thanks for the chance to win! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I haven't read this series yet. I really enjoyed the description of the book, looking forward to reading.

  6. Sounds like a fun read! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

  7. Love this author. Thanks for your review and the giveaway!

  8. This book sounds so good. I enjoyed previous books by this author and now that I have just recently gotten my vision almost back from problems with cataract surgery complications. This would be a nice treat to win. Thank you. Cynthia. ceblain (AT) tmlponline (DOT) net

  9. New series for me and it sounds great~!


  10. This is a new to me series and author. I'd love to win as always looking for new authors to read. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  11. I really like this author too and she is so good at making these appealing places and characters. Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. This is a new series to me---I'd love to try it. Thanks for the contest.

  13. I haven't read this series yet but it's on the list. I'm excited to give it a go. Thanks for the review and the chance to win too!

  14. Thankyou for the review. This sounds like a book I'd really enjoy reading. Thankyou for the opportunity!

  15. As always, I enjoyed your review & thoughts. This series is on my Wish List so thank you for the chance to win. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series and pretty much everything by Diane Vallere for that matter. I love the whole concept of this series! What fun to dress in costume so often! Glad this was a good addition to the series. I'm looking forward to reading this one! katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. Can't wait to read book #3, thank you for the chance to win it... dianetelford(at)Hotmail(dot)com

  18. I love the Costume Shop mysteries and would love to add this new one to my collection.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com