Christmas seems to be bringing out the worst in everyone this year. Or so it seems to impoverished debutante Nora Blackbird. While her sister Emma remains checked into rehab, sister Libby is going on a spending frenzy she can ill afford. And at luxurious Haymaker’s department store, Nora is shocked to witness two women—the store owner’s fiancé Cindie Rae and elderly heiress Pinky Pinkerton—fighting tooth and nail for the same designer handbag. Both women claim the bag was promised to them by the store’s premier personal shopper, Popo, whom they’re both ready to kill.
While trying to break up the fight, Nora becomes locked in the ladies’ room; when she finally breaks free, she finds Popo suffocated to death in a display bed dressed with 500-count sheets. Has Cindie or Pinky made good on her threat? Or could the killer be Popo’s personal assistant Darwin, who resented Popo for cheating him out of his promotion? Or the store’s owner, inattentive Alan Rutledge, whose business would be in jeopardy if Popo left him for the competition?
All Nora wants is to enjoy the season with her friends and family, but she won’t be ringing in the holidays until she catches a killer.
Originally published February 2005 in Signet anthology, DROP DEAD BLONDE.
(A Blackbird Sisters Mystery Novella)