Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Review: A Killing in Costumes, by Zac Bissonnette

Releasing today,  A Killing in Costumes is the latest book by and the first novel by author Zac Bissonnette, whom longtime readers of my blog will remember from his fantastic book The Great Beanie Baby Bubble. (Off-topic, but there is going to be a movie adaptation of that book coming in 2023!!)  A Killing in Costumes is a cozy mystery set in present-day Los Angeles, about two collectibles dealers suspected of the murder of a third.

Cindy Cooper and Jay Allan are ex-spouses and co-owners of the struggling store Hooray for Hollywood Movie Memorabilia, a shop they opened together as a shared dream and to honor the memory of Cindy's late beloved Esther. Both Cindy and Jay came out as gay and while their marriage ended they continued as best friends and business partners. One day, aging starlet Yana Tosh contacts them about consigning her collection of costumes but the couple has competition in the form of a high end dealer, who winds up dead, with Cindy and Jay as prime suspects.

As Cindy and Jay begin investigating the murder alongside handsome detective Simon Fletcher, they become enmeshed with a panoply of shady characters- Yana's son Warren, the dead dealer's assistant Eydie among them. The book is peppered with allusions to movies and television, music and theater, and comes to a satisfying conclusion by the end.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Killing in Costumes. Longtime readers of this blog might also recall my taste for grim, depressing and bloody crime novels; this is definitely out of my comfort zone but I have to say it was a really good time. I read it on my recent cruise and sitting in a deck chair facing the ocean or curled up in my stateroom was the right way to read this delightful book. Bissonnette does a great job creating momentum and creating well-drawn, believable characters I grew to care about. The setting is also beautifully rendered; I could feel the California sunshine in my hair and the LA streets under my feet. I also really enjoyed Bissonnette's depiction of the world of collectible and memorabilia. I get the feeling that he might not have to come to this subject for the first time.

So I definitely recommend the book for mystery readers, cozy readers, and anyone looking for a book to help them relax and get lost for a little while. I'm going to be giving the cozy shelf a longer look the next time I'm shopping for books thanks to A Killing in Costumes.

Pick up a copy from Bookshop.org. I receive a small commission on sales.

I received an advance copy for review from the author.

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