Death by Diamonds
Annette Blair
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Buy *Death by Diamonds (A Vintage Magic Mystery)* by Annette Blair online

Death by Diamonds (A Vintage Magic Mystery)
Annette Blair
288 pages
July 2010
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Dominique DeLong is dead - Death by Diamonds! is the day’s number-one headline topper, but Madeira Cutler already knew the news from Dominique herself. In a clear final note, Dom sends a plea for help from the other side of death, it would seem: she knew she was going to be murdered, and it's Mad’s job to solve the crime. Mad’s “special” talents are being called upon, but beyond that, Dom was one of her dearest friends. Mad is determined to find whoever ended that brilliant life so tragically.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they've proven to be a hazard to Dom’s health. Regally painted in real diamonds for the Broadway show she starred in, Dominique’s beauty and success continually proved her to be a cut above the rest. She wasn’t a fool, either, and her fear thickened when she overheard plots for her death; the diamonds were an irresistible incentive for the parasites wanting to remove her. Prepared as she was, it would seem they were more so.

Mad soon finds herself hot on the trail of parasitic Broadway elites whose lives evolved around Dominique. Their insincere displays of grief and the obvious benefits her death brings to them narrows the list of murder suspects, but there are still too many unanswered questions. As Mad delves deeper into the world that Dom left behind and the last memories Dom chose to help guide her to the killer, the pieces begin to fall into place - and the danger begins to rise.

Leave it to Dom to live her personal life in as theatrical a manner as her stage life. With the secret soirees and building drama knotted in such a confused tangle, her killers could get away scot-free. The problem is the diamonds, always the diamonds - whatever did Dominique do with the diamonds? If Mad can't find the precious stones, she may be the next victim to a killer who is already closing in.

Murder meets crimes of fashion in author Annette Blair’s "Vintage Magic" mystery Death by Diamonds. With all the focus on the vintage and modern fashions flaunted by a fictional star-studded cast of characters, as well as references to many real-life acting greats throughout the novel, it’s a wonder the murder is solved. However, as the storyline progresses, the unique involvement that clothes play in the Mad’s sleuthing skills morph into flirty fun, with several good laughs to boot.

The crime and subsequent string of clues is laid out much like a trail of breadcrumbs leading through the forest. Some of the clues are easy to find; others tend toward the misleading, making the narrowing of suspects a little more complicated. Twists are a must in any murder-mystery plot, and they are delivered here with gusto. Death by Diamonds proves itself a fashion and paranormally-charged murder mystery that is “absolutely marvelous, darling!”

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Sonia R. Polinsky, 2010

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