Title: Secrets and Stilettos
Author: Gina LaManna
Series: Murder in Style #1
Publisher: LaManna Books
Release Date: January 10, 2020
Pages: 284
Book Source: eBook

“Jenna McGovern’s strappy shoes and sundresses are not going to cut it when she makes the move from Hollywood Hills to Blueberry Lake, Minnesota in the stone-cold dead of winter. A former stylist to the stars, Jenna’s determined to bring the latest red-carpet fashions back to the Midwest in an effort to revive her mother’s floundering thrift shop.
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When Jenna finds out her first client is Grant Mark, the best man in a high-profile winter wedding, she’s thrilled. However, when Grant gets a little too handsy in the dressing room, Jenna is forced to fend him off with her stiletto and send him packing. While she’s glad to be rid of the difficult groomsman, it’s pure bad luck that Grant is found dead later that afternoon from a high heel to the throat. What’s worse is that the attractive chief of police is convinced Jenna’s the one who put it there.
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If Jenna doesn’t clear her name quickly, she’ll not only lose the chance to style the biggest winter wedding Blueberry Lake has ever seen, but her mother’s thrift store will go under for good—and Jenna will be stuck flaunting the worst fashion of all time: a neon orange jumpsuit.” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

What a fun read. The mystery, the clothes, the romance! I read a lot of cozies, so when I find the first in a new series and one that takes place in the Midwest, I get super excited. And Gina LaManna’s, Secrets and Stilettos did not disappoint.

Although Jenna makes a lot of fashion faux pas when it comes to dressing properly for a Midwest winter; stilettos, fluffy boots, and mittens not tightly woven, I found it amusing and could totally see someone coming from a warmer climate doing the same thing. I did worry that she was going to freeze to death before the murderer had a chance to try to kill her. Hopefully Jenna gets a little smarter in future books…. but if she doesn’t I’ll probably keep reading the series.

I’m a bit sad in the direction Jenna decided to go in the love triangle. Personally I would have gone in the other direction, but I do enjoy a man who can cook. And if she’s not friendly with the police, where is she going to get some of the intel that she’ll need. I did enjoy that the sheriff realized early on that Jenna was going to investigate so he may as well help her instead of continually telling her not to try to figure out the killer. I also really enjoyed the pool that the whole town had going in regards to Jenna’s love life, it added a great touch of humor.

I didn’t see the killer coming and I do love when the killer is just crazy and it comes out of nowhere, it’s one of my favorite tropes. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of mess Jenna gets into in book two, Lipstick and Lies, of the Murder in Style Mysteries. I also want to return to Blueberry Lake to get to know the characters more since I can relate to a lot of them or see traits of theirs in various people I know.

Another great cozy series that I recommend. And if you like suspense, you may want to check out her novel, Pretty Guilty Women, which I really enjoyed.

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