Deb Baker Dolled Up For Murder Reviews

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“Dolled Up For Murder ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 31/07/2006

Dolled Up For Murder
Deb Baker
Berkley, Oct 2006, $6.99, 288 pp.
ISBN 0425212637

Gretchen Birch's family has some interesting occupations; her mother collects and repairs dolls and her aunt Nina trains small dogs to stay in purses. When Nina calls to tell Gretchen that her mother is missing, she asks Gretchen to fly out to Phoenix. When she arrives there she learns that her mother's friend Marha, a "one time doll collector" who ended up as a homeless person fell off the cliff on Camelback Mountain. In her hand there was a note in her hand stating "Carolina Birch-put her away"

Two hikers saw Caroline on the mountains shortly after Martha was murdered which makes her the prime suspect. It doesn't help that Caroline disappeared or that an inventory list contained a doll that belonged to Martha was found in Caroline's home. Caroline meanwhile is in Chicago looking at a doll and bidding on another doll on e-bay in the hopes of bringing down a villain and clearing her name. Gretchen and Nina work independently of the police but everything they unearth points to Caroline as a killer.

Deb Baker has written a charming cozy that brings into the light the dark side of doll collecting. The support cast is so well drawn that readers understood their motivations, including the two homeless persons integral to the plot, and the heroine who is an everyday person who goes about investigating in a rational realistic manner. Dialled Up For Murder is a great opening book to what feels like a charming new mystery series.

Harriet Klausner

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