Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: Crushed Velvet (A Material Witness, Book 2) by Diane Vallere


From the Back Cover of the Paperback Book:

Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business -- this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.

With the opening of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and, best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet.  But upon delivery, it's not quite the blend she expected, being ninety percent silk and ten percent corpse.  Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard.  His wife, Genevieve, local tea shot owner and a close friend of Poly is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him!  There's just a small matter of Genevieve's own incriminating confession:  I'm afraid I killed my husband.  Now, as Material Girl's grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams -- and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch...

Book Information:

Title:  Crushed Velvet (A Material Witness Mystery, Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425270580
ISBN-13: 978-0425270585
Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches

Amazon Link:


My review of Book 1, Suede to Rest can be found here: 


My Review of Crushed Velvet:

Crushed Velvet is another great installment of Diane Vallere's A Material Witness series.  

When a special order delivery of Poly's newest, original blend, fabric arrives at the shop, she's quite certain that her order didn't include the dead body of a man married to one of her friends, Genevieve. When Genevieve discovers Phil is dead inside the delivery, she disappears instead of waiting for the police - incriminating circumstance number one!  Sure that Genevieve has nothing to do with the murder of her husband, Poly's amateur detective skills come out in full force.  

Unfortunately, many of the discoveries found by either herself or the police, point directly at Genevieve.  These include teas, croissants, a potential mistress, and more.  Then a mystery girl named Kim comes to the tea shop opened by Genevieve and insists that she was hired by Gen and that she had to work there.  As clues stack up and continue to appear, can Poly figure out how Phil ended up buried underneath bolts of fabric in the delivery van and prove that Genevieve didn't do it?

Throughout the book, there are several people that appear to have been capable of murder or at least part of the plan, including Phil's wife.  The reader will think they've figured out who was involved in the murder only to have the suspect or suspects cleared of any wrong doing or another person with as much or more motive enter the scene. You will go on a wild ride trying to figure out who the bad guy(s)/gal(s) are and who are innocent. I loved the twists and turns this cozy mystery takes you on as you try to figure out who was involved and why something this heinous was carried out.

I really enjoy Poly's character. She is generous and caring. She has dreams, goals, aspiration just like you and me. Even though she finds herself embroiled in another mystery and plays amateur sleuth, Poly is so believable and realistically written. Her ambition and realization of what she wants in life leads her to reopen the fabric store willed to her in book 1. The fact that another murder happens in her new town doesn't ruin her anticipation for the grand reopening of the store - it just adds a serious level of anxiety. Poly handles everything like the professional that she is. Of course she sticks her nose in where the police department would rather she not, but Poly isn't your typical cozy mystery heroine.

We learn a little bit more about the secondary characters we met in Book 1, as well. Poly's friendship with Charlie, the town's mechanic becomes strained at certain points but that happens in real life, too. There are misunderstandings between Poly and her potential love interest, Vaughn, which also bring realism to Crushed Velvet. I found this cozy mystery to be well thought out, pleasantly paced, and engaging.

Review Copy:  Verified purchase for my bookshelf.

My Rating:


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