Friday, December 2, 2011

#24 Cozy Mystery: Murder on Music Row

TITLE: Murder on Music Row
GENRE: Cozy Mystery

When a thirty-five-year-old Nashville hairstylist finds her famous ex-boyfriend bludgeoned to death with his own Grammy Award, she and her zany friends comb the Music City to untangle clues to prove her innocence.

Nan Macomb daydreamed as she cut her new client’s hair. Misti Sowell was her last appointment of the morning, and Nan looked forward to an afternoon of shopping with her two best friends—a weekly ritual.

This chick had talked nonstop since she’d walked through the door of Nan’s cozy home salon. This was exactly why Nan didn’t take new folks without a referral. Who sent her, again? Maybe she’d have to start getting two referrals—

“Wait. What?” Nan stopped, scissors still in Misti’s thick brown hair. “What’d you just say?”

“I said, I saw Amy Soleman in the grocery store, and she said she was six weeks pregnant. Do you know her? She’s a cute little thing. Married to that hotshot record producer, Randy Soleman. I met her at an art class—”

Nan’s hand jerked and she gashed the back of her client’s hair.

“Ow.” Mitsi’s hand shot to her head.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to pull. I’m uh . . . I’m trying something a little different in the back. I hope that’s okay.”

“With your reputation, you can do whatever you want. It took me forever to find one of your clients who’d give me a . . .”

Thank goodness the chair was turned away from the oversized mirror so Misti couldn’t see the shock on Nan’s face. She watched the clock as she finished the cut, praying her two best friends would show up on time. She needed them.


  1. I'm kinda already in love with this one... I love the humour and pace. It reminds me a little of Laura Levine's Jaine austen series. I would definitely read on. Nice job.

  2. Great read - I'd love to keep going! I'm not typically a mystery reader but the writer's voice and what looks to be a fun protagonist are drawing me into this one.

  3. You had me at bludgeoned with his own Grammy. Love cozies, and this one looks like a fun read. Right up my alley. :)

  4. I really like this! Nan sounds like a great friend to have - fun, fiesty, in some sort of trouble. I'd read on!

  5. Make it three best friends....I want to meet Nan and go along for the ride. Ditto Karen's note about the Grammy...I'm ready to read more.

  6. I think I would delete the first two sentences and the last sentence. This would make for better hooks.
    Otherwise an interesting read.

  7. "You had me at bludgeoned with his own Grammy." Ditto!

    Cozy mysteries are not usually on my reading list, but I LOVED the voice here, I sympathized with Nan immediately, and was sucked into the situation with the ex right away. I want more. Awesome job!

  8. I've never read a cozy mystery. I want to read this one now! Good luck.

  9. I do read cozy mysteries and I liked this one. But I'm wondering if I'd like it more if you slowed down a little bit, adding a few sensory and setting details to really sink us into the scene and character. I'm not saying to do an info dump, but maybe add a few telling details. Example: What's she daydreaming about? Do her feet hurt? Does 'cozy' mean small or decorated in a certain way? And I want to know how the back of the woman's hair looks!

    Good luck with this one!

  10. I have no criticisms except maybe that you don't gash the back of hair you gash skin. And I wasn't aware that stylists requested referrals anywhere.

    But great voice, pacing, tone. NICE dialogue. I wanted to keep reading.

    This is strong.

  11. I enjoy cozies and would definitely read this one. I really like the voice. It gives a good sense of who Nan is. I had one nit-picky comment - I don't think that you need to state "her two best friends" in both the first and last paragraph of the page. I would suggest leaving it in the first and just writing "praying her friends would should up on time."

    Good luck with the auction!

  12. The logline is lots of fun. I'd also like a little more texture and detail around the dialogue to help round out the scene, and I'd especially like to see what she's done to the back of Mitsi's hair and how she tries to fix it. She just "finishes the cut" when there's an opportunity for more humor and whimsy, and identification with Nan's character, in seeing what she's done and how she tries to cover it up, and waiting for her friends to rescue her.

  13. I'm not really a cozy mystery kinda gal, but I lived in Nashville for 4.5 years and it holds a special place in my heart - so the title caught my eye and I read on and really love the voice. Your excerpt flows really well - I'd love to read more!

    I also liked how the logline was refreshingly short, tidy and to the point. The only thing I'd mention is that perhaps "zany friends" needs to be fleshed out a tiny bit more. I'd start reading this book to see bits of Nashville I recognise in it, but I think I'd keep on reading it because of how quickly it drew me into the story. Great work!