Vintage Clothing Mysteries
The Vintage Clothing mysteries offer a compelling blend of suspense and style. In every book, the memorable characters, twisty plots, and delectable fashions are beyond fabulous. Highly recommended, especially for those who like a little couture with their crime. – Cynthia Kuhn, Agatha award-winning author of the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries and co-editor of Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature
There’s no dressing up murder.
All Portland vintage clothing store owner Joanna Hayworth wants to do is turn her back on the modern world and retreat into a carefully curated life of satin cocktail gowns, icy martinis, and old movies.
But when Joanna finds a key in a 1930s Lanvin coat cast off by an ex-showgirl, everything changes. The elderly woman turns up dead, and Joanna is pulled into a long-ago drama of back room deals, blackmail, and lost love. She must find a very real—and present day—killer before she becomes his next victim.
As you dive into this intriguing mystery novel featuring vintage clothing dealer/sleuth Joanna Hayworth and a quirky cast of characters, prepare for an entertaining ride through long-buried crimes and Portland lore to solve the mystery of ‘the woman in the Lanvin coat.’ A truly enjoyable read! —Christine Finlayson, author of Tip of a Bone, a Pacific Northwest mystery
It’s a situation tailor-made for trouble.
Portland, Oregon, vintage clothing store owner, Joanna Hayworth, is in a tight spot. Her plans to upgrade her store have derailed and costs are mounting. When she wins three trunks of vintage haute couture in an auction, she thinks her luck has changed—but it’s about to get much worse. The clothing’s high-society matron owner turns up poisoned to death, and police seize the wardrobe, leaving Joanna with more debt, a friend wrongly jailed for diamond theft, and a convent of quirky nuns depending on her for help.
There’s only one way to calmer waters: find the murderer, and fast.
Can Joanna skirt death again?
In this third book of the Joanna Hayworth Vintage Clothing mystery series, Joanna lands the dream assignment of dressing a bride for her celebrity wedding at a remote mountain lodge. The bridal gown is the rare and disturbing Tears dress from Schiaparelli’s 1938 circus collection. Add one monstrous snowstorm, a mother who can’t stop reliving her Studio 54 days, a New Age minister with a mysterious past, a temperamental young chef—and a growing number of corpses—and Joanna’s dream soon becomes a nightmare. Slain in Schiaparelli adds a witty, contemporary twist to the classic country manor mystery.
Hemmed in by danger
As vintage clothing store owner Joanna Hayworth blissfully awaits her wedding a week away, her only challenge is to find the right dress. Then she discovers a dead drag queen among the sequined gowns and frothy wigs of the Fille Fantastique pageant. She does her best to help the police maneuver the social minefield of the drag world, until the dead queen’s “ghost” reappears, accusing her of the murder.
To clear her name, Joanna must investigate the strangely impassive family running a funeral home; a rival drag queen who’s gone AWOL; the obsessive proprietor of the queen’s favorite watering hole; and the mole-like man who lives in the cabaret’s basement. If Joanna’s not careful, her wedding will turn out to be a funeral.
Collared by death
When Joanna Hayworth visits Bradley Stroden, a onetime protégé of legendary costume designer Edith Head, she expects to find closets bulging with drool-worthy gowns to stock her Portland, Oregon, vintage clothing store. Instead, she finds a corpse.
With movie costumes as bait, Joanna investigates why Stroden was murdered. Could it be tied to the tell-all Hollywood memoir he was writing? Or to a midcentury film noir that was mysteriously yanked before it was released? Or to his “adoring” sister? At the same time, Joanna stumbles upon a priceless pair of emerald earrings hidden on her laundry shelf. Her houseguest has some explaining to do.
To unravel these crimes, Joanna enlists the help of the Book Bunnies, an oddball group of middle school girls. Joanna’s new marriage—and, possibly, her life itself—depend on figuring out who is acting and who is for real.