My parents gave me a long brown wig for my seventh birthday. Itâ€™s unclear how
they knew that this would be an awesome present for a second grader, but I
remember being delighted beyond my wildest dreams. One summer day, while my mom
and dad were lounging out back of our house, I dressed up in my yellow dance
leotard, a yellow, pink, and light blue maxi skirt, the long wig, and my momâ€™s
oversized sunglasses and then went out back to join them.
I was surprised by how hard they laughed.
Throughout my growing-up years, costumes came and went. Sometimes they were in
the form of inherited clothes from a great grandparent that were inappropriate
for every day but possible for Halloween (a long, full black skirt with layers
of netting underneathâ€”perfect for a witch costume, a pair of baggy menâ€™s pants
from the fortiesâ€”perfect for a hobo). Sometimes they were styles that went out
of fashion but were relegated to the box of paint clothes (a pair of denim bell
bottoms that were printed with seashells). Sometimes they were items made by my
mom (a blue and white checkered dress inspired by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz).
I didnâ€™t play dress up to be someone else, I played dress up because I was
figuring out who I was.
As I got older, I started to develop my own sense of style. In the eighties,
that meant neon, fishnet, and a punk-meets-preppy vibe. Clothes that others
would have thought of as costumey felt completely normal to me. Thrift shop
purchases mixed with sweaters worn backwards, two different colored shoes, menâ€™s
vintage tuxedo jackets and my momâ€™s bowling shoes became â€śme.â€ť I went from being
a quiet wallflower to having an identity.
Fast forward to today. Many of my outfits have names: thereâ€™s the Amelia Earhart
(sage green leather dress with cargo pockets), the Coco Chanel (black boatneck
sweater, wide leg pants, tons of pearls and a white camellia), my
Chinatown suit (ivory pants and blazer). My black crocheted poncho
makes me feel like Batman and I have no less than five dresses to choose from if
invited to a luau. Like Margo in A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, to
me, costumes are clothesâ€”or should I say clothes are costumes? Either way, I
love getting dressed in the morning!
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere
traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. CRUSHED VELVET, the second
book in the nationally bestselling and Lefty-Nominated Material Witness Cozy
Mystery Series, comes out August 4. Diane is the current president of Sisters in
Crime Los Angeles and was co-chair of the 2015 California Crime Writers
Conference. She also writes the Madison Night and Style & Error Mystery Series.
Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion
for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.
Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the
national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.
sooner does former magicianâ€™s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper
City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her familyâ€™s costume shop, than she gets
her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a
detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to
die forâ€”literallyâ€”when, in the middle of the festivities, Margoâ€™s friend and
party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very
For Margo, clearing Ebonyâ€™s name is anything but elementary,
especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective
in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as
she soon learns, even a killer disguise canâ€™t hide a murderer in plain sight for
INCLUDES RECIPES AND COSTUME IDEAS!
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