Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second in a new cozy series from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness Mysteries.
Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.
Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud…
As it is almost Halloween I decided this was the perfect moment to finally read Masking for Trouble. Masking for Trouble is the second book in the Costume Shop Mystery series and it takes place around Halloween. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and while this was a great sequel, in my opinion book 1 was better.
What I enjoyed about this book was the focus on the costumes, the costume shop and the Halloween feel. The author really focuses on the costume thing and with the timing around Halloween that was even more prominent. I enjoyed reading about the different costumes and it really brings me in the mood for Halloween. For the most part if was an enjoyable read, it was well written and I easily got into the story.
What I enjoyed less about this book was the mystery and the romance. The mystery started off well, with a dead body and the main character being the main suspect. Sadly after that it felt like it progressed very slowly. I also had trouble keeping two side character separate for some reason. While the book progressed I had no idea who the murder was, I did enjoy the book, but for a long time it felt like the mystery didn’t go anywhere. And the police didn’t seem to do much other than interview our main character a few times.
My main issue with the mystery was the murderer. It was a good surprise and I didn’t predict who the murderer was, but that’s also the issue I had as looking back I was unable to find many if any hints toward this person being the murderer. It just felt a bit off as there were no well placed hints about who the murderer was. I also felt like at the end there were some things that could’ve been wrapped up a bit more. There were a few plot lines that could’ve been explained/ tied to the murder a bit more at the end in my opinion as now I was left with some questions.
I liked the main character of this book. She’s a bit quirky, dressing in costume every day and has her strong points and flaws as well. She is a bit too curious for her own good and gets involved into another murder mystery because of that. I also liked her bond with her father and their dynamic. And I liked we got to see more of familiar side characters as well.
In my review for the first book in this series I remarked how for a chance I actually found a cozy mystery were I liked the romance. Well this book completely turned that around. Margo turned into a doubting mess and the romance was filled with miscommunication, lack of communication and secrets. And there was a lame attempt to turn it into a love triangle. At the end of the book I feel like most of the things got resolved luckily and we got one sweet scene involving the two of them. But for the main part of the book the romance really bothered me.
To summarize: This is a fun cozy mystery set around Halloween. I really enjoyed the focus on the costumes, the costume shop and the Halloween touches. Main character Margo is fun to read about with how she is a bit quirky and dresses in costume, I also liked how it felt pretty natural how she got involved in the mystery. Sadly the mystery didn’t quite work for me, I felt like the mystery didn’t progress forward a lot, until the end. I hadn’t figured out who the murderer was, so that was good. But it felt like there weren’t enough hints to point to this person, so that felt a bit off. I didn’t care for the romance in this book. I really liked Tak and Margo in book 1, but this book was full with miscommunication, lack of communication and secrets. I do hope the romance will be better in book 3 as most of it got resolved by the end of the book. All in all it was a fun Halloween themed read.