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Death by Pins and Needles by @hollyswimsuit is a Toasty Reads pick #cozymystery #preorder #giveaway

Title: Death by Pins and Needles

Author: Susie Black

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Book Blurb:

Set in the heart of the competitive Los Angeles Apparel Industry, Death by Pins and Needles is the story of one ruthless woman who didn’t care who she had to step on to get to the top. Lissa Charney is the showroom manager of a ladies’ swimwear line in the California Apparel Mart. Since Lissa didn’t think any of the rules applied to her, she had no problem breaking them all. From job stealing to dumping a boyfriend when he needed her the most, selfish and self-centered Lissa’s list of enemies rivaled those of Al Capone. So, when Lissa is murdered, no one on the swimwear aisle was particularly surprised…the only surprise was what had taken so long.

Who wanted Lissa Charney dead? The list was as long as your arm….but which one actually killed her? The last thing Mermaid Swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected to find when she opened the closet door was nasty competitor Lissa Charney’s battered corpse nailed to the wall. When Holly’s colleague is wrongly arrested for Lissa’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth sticks her nose everywhere it doesn’t belong to sniff out the real killer. Nothing turns out the way she thinks it will as Holly matches wits with a heartless killer hellbent for revenge.


Countries were formed faster than the pace of the never-ending parade of pie charts and problems at our weekly production meeting. The endurance test snore-fest finally ended an eternity later at four-forty-five. I grabbed my purse and messenger bag, ran out of the factory as if my hair caught fire, and drove like a bat out of hell to the mart. I checked my watch for the bazzillionth time while stuck behind a local DASH bus creeping along at a snail’s pace on Main Street. I finally drove past Ninth Street and made an illegal left turn into the mart. I careened around the subterranean parking structure ramp on two wheels and screeched to a halt into the first open space. The elevator Goddess smiled at me, and I miraculously got to the swimwear floor at five-fifteen.

Fifteen minutes to prepare for my meeting with the Queen of Mean, Sue Ellen Magee -the nasty, my time is valuable but yours isn’t powerful swimwear buyer at Bainbridge Department Stores. And of course, the one available time in her majesty’s busy schedule? Five-thirty on Friday afternoon. Good thing my social life is in a dry spell. Ok, ok, so it’s non-existent, but let’s not quibble over small details. If one existed, it would not be Sue Ellen’s problem if I had to break a date. It begs the question. Did she ever go out on one? As if. Is Cruella de Ville’s dance card full? Catty? Too bad. Meow.

An empty swimwear aisle. Not a surprise. Fridays the whole industry gets out of Dodge early. Crap. In my rush to get to the mart, I left my showroom key in my office desk drawer. I didn’t remember it until I got halfway to the mart, but didn’t have enough time to turn back for it. No biggie; our showroom manager Patti practically lived in the showroom. Except for today. Fanfreakingtastic. A delivery notification was taped next to Patti’s sorry, had to leave early note. With no one else around, the guy left the package of fabric swatches for my meeting with Sue Ellen at Lissa Charney’s showroom. My heart sank. Cripes, of all the competitors to leave it with, the guy chose the one who closes shop the earliest. Unless by some miracle lazy Lissa stayed late, count me screwed.

Explaining this key thing to crabby Sue Ellen ought to be scads of fun; the same as an appendectomy with no anesthetic. Then I remembered. Lissa and Patti exchanged keys in case of an emergency. I walked to Lissa’s in case God made a mistake, and by some miracle, she’d stuck around. For giggles and squeaks, I pushed on Lissa’s door. Remarkably, it opened. Hot Diggity Dog. Amazingly, the fabric Goddess covered my play. My envelope with the fabric swatches lay on the first workstation table. Now for the key, and I’d be all set.

“Lissa,” I called out, “It’s Holly from Mermaid. I came for my package. Thanks a bunch for accepting it. Listen, Patti left early and I forgot my showroom key in my desk drawer at the factory. Can you give me my spare?” Dead silence. Weird. Maybe she’s on the phone with her office door closed?

“Lissa,” I funneled my hands around my mouth into a megaphone and yelled, “It’s Holly Schlivnik from Mermaid.” Still a whole lotta dead air. God short-changed me in the height department at four feet nine inches tall, but the Good Lord compensated for it by blessing me with a strong set of pipes. Unless the woman was deaf as a post, no way she couldn’t hear me.

I went back to Lissa’s office. Lights are on, but nobody’s home. Where the Sam Hill could she be? Not in the showroom. Not in her office. Not in the kitchen. Not in the copier room. In the ladies’ room? Abducted by aliens? Hiding in a closet?

I was out of options and time; so, for giggles and squeaks, I pulled open the doors to the enormous sample closet that stretched across the back wall and peered inside. Good news. I found Lissa Charney. The question was; did she have my key? A dozen swimsuits picture -framed Lissa’s battered, bloody corpse like a museum exhibit. She’d been shot through the heart with a nail gun and hung crucifixion style by her appendages to the back of the closet.

Naturally, I burst out laughing.

Buy Links:

The ELECTRONIC FORMAT of my featured book is on sale at Amazon until February 10th!

What makes your featured book a must-read?

Given the distressful things going on in the world now, laughter is still the best medicine. Death by Pins and Needles is a must-read book because it is a fun way to escape your troubles for a few hours and laugh, laugh, laugh.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs February 3 – February 13, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on February 14, 2023.

Author Biography:

Named Best US Author of the Year by N. N. Lights Book Heaven, award-winning cozy mystery author Susie Black was born in the Big Apple but now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries. She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.

Looking for more? Contact Susie at:

Social Media Links:


Feb 11, 2023

My fave cozy romance is Driven by K. Bromberg!


Anastasia Abboud
Anastasia Abboud
Feb 08, 2023

"Naturally, I burst out laughing." So did I! Holly cracks me up! So excited about the upcoming release! Susie Black will no doubt have us laughing throughout as we try to work out the mystery. Thank you for this spotlight, N.N. Light!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Feb 06, 2023

Thank you, Susie, for sharing your book in our Toasty Reads Bookish Event! I can't wait for release day.

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