Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review: Grand Theft Retro by Diane Vallere (Samantha Kidd #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Story, characters, fun
Cons: Cons are so outdated
The Bottom Line:
Missing retro clothes
Start Samantha’s latest case
A wild and fun ride

When Retro Fashions Become Criminally Hot

I’m woefully behind on Diane Vallere’s Samantha Kidd mysteries, but I’m enjoying catching up on them.  They seem to be getting stronger as they go along, and Grand Theft Retro, the fifth, is no exception.

Samantha Kidd has finally landed a new, full time job.  For the last few months, she’s been working at Retrofit Magazine, an online only fashion magazine devoted to incorporating the styles of the past into modern fashion.  The publication is a perfect fit for her, and she is enjoying the work, not to mention the steady paycheck and benefits.

Samantha’s boss has an idea on expanding their brand to print publications, with each edition covering a different decade.  Up first will be an issue devoted to the 1970’s, and there’s a nearby collection that will be perfect for them.  However, after Samantha sees it, the collection is stolen.  Then she receives threats aimed at her and her friends.  Trying to work on her own to protect those she loves, Samantha has to figure out what is really happening.  Can she do it?

I love it when a mystery keeps going in all kinds of unexpected directions, and that’s exactly what we got here.  There were so many twists that I was always a little off balance, but in the best way possible.  I never wanted to put the book down, and I loved the climax, which tied everything up perfectly.

Meanwhile, the characters are strong.  Samantha spends a lot of time by herself in this book, but she is more than capable of carrying the action.  Now that isn’t to say we don’t see some of the regulars (although not all).  I enjoyed their appearances and the growth in Samantha’s relationships with them.  And the new characters?  They are wacky enough to fit into Samantha’s world perfectly.

Yes, I did say wacky.  This may be a page turning mystery, but it has a great sense of humor.  I laughed multiple times at Samantha’s adventures and misadventures.

As I always say when I review this series, I’m not into fashion.  I’d read some of the author’s other books, so that made me want to try this one.  I’m glad I did because the fashion is only the setting for the great mystery.  It never overshadows, and I’m never lost due to not knowing fashion.  Heck, at times, I’m laughing at how seriously Samantha takes fashion.

Grand Theft Retro is another delightful mystery.  Pick up the book and hold on tight for all the twists and turns to come.

Enjoy the rest of the Samantha Kidd Mysteries.


  1. I love Diane Vallere though somehow I don't think I've ever read this series. I need to fix that!

  2. Well, this one's cover really caught my eye. I was under the impression this was a historical mystery. Glad it turned out well!