Former New York assistant DA Irene Seligman moved home to take care of her aging, demanding mother, Adelle. She thought she was leaving a world of corruption and violence behind. But after opening her store, Irene’s Closet, and getting acquainted with the locals, she learns that violence and corruption aren’t indigenous to big cities. Unfortunately, her friend Juanita Calabaza, a Native American artisan, can’t seem to escape the decidedly unfashionable surge in crime.
Juanita’s handcrafted jewelry has been known to catch the eye of many tourists on the plaza in Santa Fe’s historic district. However, lately, she’s been attracting the wrong kind of attention, from the police. Juanita foretells the death of one of her son’s associates, which comes back to haunt her when the man actually turns up dead. Now Juanita’s trading in her turquoise beads for an orange jumpsuit. Irene will need to call upon all her old investigative skills to find a killer before it’s too late.
Accessories to Die For is an extremely original story. Ms. Paul writes an intriguing and entertaining story that will get the attention of the reader. Her writing is faultless, with little to no issues transitioning from one scene to another.
Irene Seligman is a well-rounded character with plenty of personality and a few character flaws that make her a wonderful main character that reader will enjoy learning about. She is intelligent with a curious streak that lands her in trouble more often than not. Although someone might wonder about her loyalty to her friends and family due to her legal training. Sometimes she forgets that she is no longer a DA and has trouble convincing herself to stay away from the police investigation side of crime.
Irene’s mother is a study in what a seventy-year-old woman should not be doing. She worries about what people will think, yet goes out of her way to meddle in situations that no proper lady would get involved with. Adelle doesn’t seem to understand that there are limits to what she can get away with at her age. PJ and Angel are fantastic characters play a more prominent part of the overall plot of this story.
The use of the Indian lands as well as Santa Fe and surrounding towns is a great location and setting for this story. The landscape makes for some interesting situations, and it is easy for the reader to imagine the lay of the land as it is described throughout the book.
The plot of this story is unusual for a cozy. There might be a bit too much violence for most readers of this type of material. Accessories to Die For is a good mystery but it is not easy to read. Some of the cultural background needs to be explained to the reader in order to follow the basic plot. This book cannot stand on its own without reading the other books in the series.
Although the story is fundamentally well written the solution to the murder among other issues are not resolved in a believable manner. Vital clues that would help the reader learn of the killer’s identity and make the story far more enjoyable are left out of the story and are only brought to the reader’s attention after the killer has been revealed. This makes for some frustration and disappointment.
Overall, if the reader has read the previous additions to this series they may well enjoy this book. Unfortunately, the ending leaves too much to be desired to make this a great book.