Title: Death by Sample Size
Author: Susie Black
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humorous Cozy Mystery
The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.
“The question isn’t who wanted the victim dead; who didn’t?”
No kidding, Columbo. Get in the boat and row.
Bunny Frank may have been diabolical but that doesn’t mean she deserved to be murdered. Swimwear sales executive Holly never expected finding big wig buyer Bunny dead humorous, but her reaction echoed off the parking garage. Sure, everyone had a reason to hate Bunny, Holly included, but murder? Nah. The police call it a rage murder and seek Holly’s assistance. Holly reluctantly agrees, especially after they arrest her coworker. Holly slyly investigates on her own time. As she narrows the suspects, she herself becomes a target. Can Holly nab the killer before she becomes the next death by sample size?
Death by Sample Size is a hilarious cozy mystery that will have you clutching your sides. In my previous life, I worked in fashion on the store level. Fashion is a cutthroat industry, and I am sure there were many people who wanted to off conniving buyers. From the start, the one-liners of Holly’s inner dialogue kept me invested in the story and gave me comic relief. My favorite lines are at the top of this review. Classic. Holly is an honest character, to a fault at times, and it endeared me to her. I connected with her on so many levels. The mystery itself is so well-conceived with quite a few twists and turns, I didn’t know who the killer was until it was revealed to me. Kudos to Susie Black for a superb cozy plot with red herrings, a full cast of characters, a wise-cracking ME, and a bumbling detective. An added bonus was the ins and outs of the swimsuit industry. That, in itself, was worth the read. Death by Sample Size is Susie Black’s debut novel, yet you’d never guess by the quality of the writing. Sophisticated prose, characters that leap off the page, snappy dialogue, all make Death by Sample Size a must-read. I look forward to reading more from Susie Black. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Born in the Big Apple, Susie Black 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.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N