Hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are delighted by every aspect of their new home, until their next-door neighbor illegally erects a fence on their mutual property line. Marla?s hopes for making friends are ruined by a resultant argument between Dalton and the man, who happens to be the homeowners? association president. Things grow worse when their neighbor is found dead in his home the next day.Despite a suicide note, Dalton suspects foul play, but he?s removed from the case due to a conflict of interest. At her husband?s suggestion, Marla works to know her neighbors better. One of them might have had a reason to want their president dead. Is it another board member? Or a local woman he?d spurned? Perhaps the guy?s nephew wants his inheritance? And what about the protesters who disrupt the community garage sale? As Marla learns more about the guy next door, she discovers ugly truths that a murderer wants to keep hidden. Cana sharp-witted salon owner untangle the web of secrets before the killer strikes again?With a cast of eccentric characters, a sassy hairdresser sleuth married to a sexy detective, South Florida scenery, and a suspenseful story mixed with humor, Hanging by a Hair is a fun, fast-paced mystery that will make you observe your neighbors more closely.
Marla Vail, a hairdresser in Royal Oaks, Fla., tackles married life and a slimy homeowners' association in Cohen's cheerful 11th series entry (after 2012's Shear Murder). Marla and her husband, Dalton, a police detective, run afoul of the association's high-handed president, Alan Krabber, at a board meeting. When Alan is found dead, an apparent suicide by hanging that the police soon come to suspect is murder, Dalton is taken off the case because of his public confrontation with the deceased. Fortunately, Marla's incessant gossiping with the neighbors proves a highly effective investigation technique. Seemingly every time she drops by the community center, she overhears a significant clue. Still, some mysteries remain unsolved in this pleasingly lighthearted cozy: for instance, why Marla tells Dalton that he shouldn't make ravioli for dinner explaining that she, as an observant Jew, abstains from pasta and other leavened foods during Passover and then dashes out to a cafe to order an English muffin.