A Killing in Costumes: 12/12/22
A Killing in Costumes by Zac Bissonnette and Melanie Carey and Paul Bellatoni (Narrators) (2022) is the first book in the Hollywood Treasures mystery series. Set in Palm Springs, it features a pair of divorcees who have gone into business together. They're still best friends despite it all; they just each realized they were gay.
Jay Allen and Cindy Cooper run Hooray for Hollywood, a movie memorabilia shop. Unfortunately expenses have out stripped income and they need a miracle to save the shop. That might be in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety year old actress who has amassed a massive collection of costumes that she now wants to sell.
Unfortunately there's competition in the form of a much larger auction house. Things only get worse when the representative of that house ends up dead and Jay and Cindy are persons of interest. Working with their prospective client, they hope to solve the murder.
Maybe it's the fact that the main female character has the last name Cooper, or maybe it's just her banter with Jay, but this book has a similar vibe to the Cupcake Bakery mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. But since these two are twenty years older and have already tried marriage, there isn't the awkward and forced romantic tension to get in the way of the mystery solving.
My favorite bit of this mystery was Yana Tosh's role as a Columbo villain, presumably back in the 1970s. Knowing how Columbo episodes work, it made her character all the more interesting and set the stage for how this mystery would play out. That said, Cindy and Jay aren't Columbo, so they put themselves in a lot more danger than he ever found himself in.
There's no second book announced yet but I will definitely read it when it's available.