Review: Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell

Review: Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy HowellHandbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell
Series: Haley Randolph #1
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp. on 2009-06-01
Pages: 320
Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

Haley Randolph is always ready to go to any lengths to get the latest Louis Vuitton. Unfortunately for Haley, her life goes from glam to grim when her passion for fashion outlasts her credit cards, and she's forced to work at Holt's--a mid-market department store. Looking for a bit of shopping inspiration, Haley sneaks into the stock room to get a first glimpse of Holt's one-of-a-kind selection of handbag styles. But instead of the newest Vuitton, Haley discovers her boss is the ultimate fashion victim. According to the security tapes, Haley was the only person in the stockroom before, during, and after the murder. With everyone in the store eyeing her like last season's Marc Jacobs, Haley turns to the hunky Ty Cameron, who heads up the store's loss prevention unit, to help her investigate the murder. Now her knowledge of hot trends will take her from the sales floor to the boardroom to the gritty streets of L.A.'s Garment District as she searches for a killer with impeccable fashion taste. . .

Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell is a fun read that is perfect for summer. It’s funny, fast-paced, and there are enough designer handbag references to make you drool. I’m not a handbag afficionado. I buy cheap at Target. But the book even had me drooling when I looked up pictures of the handbags in question.

I had a hard time liking Haley at the beginning of the novel. I found her vapid and narcissistic and not too like-able. For a while, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the novel at all. I mean, she finds a dead body and it’s not big deal? Why isn’t it a big deal? Dead body. Pool of blood. BIG DEAL! But, something shifted for me around the time she figured out she was being accused of embezzlement. She had this moment of “How could I have been so stupid?” and vowed to never let it happen again. That moment of self-realization shifted me from “I always finish books, no matter what” to “What’s going to happen next? I HAVE TO KEEP READING!” At that moment, she became real to me.

My advice to you: keep reading. It gets better.

I think Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell is equal parts Confessions of a Shopaholic and Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum novels. I noticed a few similarities in the dynamics between Haley/Ty/Jack  and Stephanie/Joe/Ranger.  It’s not an exact replica, Hayley and Jack’s flirtation is very similar to the flirtation between Stephanie and Ranger. I think if you’re fans of both series, you’ll enjoy Handbags and Homicide.

I have the next book sitting on my shelf. I’m pretty excited to read it. Hopefully I’ll continue to like Hayley. As always, report back and let you know!


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