Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery and characters
Cons: A few minor details could have been worked in better
The Bottom Line:
Taking buyer job
Fun, fast paced story
Is Samantha in Danger Taking a Dead Buyer’s Job?
The problem with discovering an author with lots of books out is the fact that it takes forever to catch up. That’s partially why it has taken me so long to get back to Samantha Kidd – I’ve been reading other books from Diane Vallere. But I finally made time to revisit Samantha in Buyer, Beware, and I enjoyed it.
For Samantha, it’s been six months since we last checked in with her, and she has yet to find a new job in her hometown of Ribbon, Pennsylvania. Then comes word that Heist, a trendy department store chain, is opening a store in the area. Samantha and some friends are among those who attend the opening night party, but the party ends prematurely when Samantha finds a dead body in the handbag sections of the store.
The victim is the store’s handbag buyer, and Samantha is shocked when she is asked by Heist’s owner to go undercover. She’s to take the dead woman’s job but also poke around and see what she can figure out about the woman’s death. She quickly begins to suspect that her new coworkers have something to hide, but is one of them the killer? Has she put herself in danger by taking on a dead woman’s job?
If I didn’t already know and like Diane Vallere’s books, I would probably be reluctant to pick up this book. I mean, I’m a guy. Fashion? Who cares as long as the clothes fit. However, I know that Diane can spin a great mystery, and that’s the case here.
The story is fast paced with a number of twists and suspects that kept us guessing until the very end. Honestly, I had no clue where things were going until we got there, but the journey was lots of fun, and I was hooked the entire way.
There aren’t too many characters who return from the first book, but the small core are all fantastic. Samantha really has grown from the first book, and she continues to grow as a character here. We are introduced to a new character I have a feeling will become a series regular. The other new characters, aka the suspects, are all fantastic as well. They were believable and did a great job of keeping me guessing their true motives.
I found it interesting that Samantha is starting a relationship, but her boyfriend is in Italy for the book. It worked from a story standpoint, and I still was rooting for their relationship, but it isn’t something you see this early in a typical cozy series. I especially enjoyed it for that reason.
I did feel a few details could have been explained better or smoothed out. Overall, this is a minor complaint since I was still able to follow the twists of the story with no problem.
And yes, there is discussion of fashion. In fact, fashion plays a part in the mystery. However, I didn’t feel bored with that aspect of the story at all. It was perfectly mixed into a book that never once forgot it was a mystery.
If you enjoy high fashion and want a mystery set in that industry, Buyer, Beware is definitely for you. But if you aren’t into fashion, don’t let that scare you away at all. This mystery will entertain anyone looking for great twists and turns.
If, like me, you have some catching up to do, here are the Samantha Kidd mysteries in order.