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Nancy J. Cohen / Nancy Cane Books In Order

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Publication Order of Bad Hair Day Mystery Books

as Nancy J. Cohen
Permed to Death (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hair Raiser (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder by Manicure (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Body Wave (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Highlights to Heaven (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Died Blonde (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Roots (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Perish by Pedicure (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killer Knots (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shear Murder (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hanging by a Hair (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Peril By Ponytail (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Haunted Hair Nights (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Facials Can Be Fatal (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hair Brained (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hairball Hijinks (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trimmed to Death (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bad Hair Day Cookbook (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Easter Hair Hunt (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Styled for Murder (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Star Tangled Murder (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Drift Lords Books

as Nancy J. Cohen

Publication Order of The Light-Years Trilogy Books

as Nancy J. Cohen
Circle of Light (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moonlight Rhapsody (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Starlight Child (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Keeper of the Rings (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Writing the Cozy Mystery (As: Nancy J. Cohen) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

"Wicked" Women Whodunit(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Nancy J. Cohen also known as Nancy Cane is a mystery and romance author born to Minnie and Harry Heller in 1948. She went to the University of Rochester, where she got her clinical nursing degree before she proceeded to the University of California for her masters in 1975. After graduating from college, she practiced as a clinical nursing specialist before she quit to become a full-time author. She has asserted that she has always been interested in creative fiction as she was creating stories and poems as a child. In 1975 she decided to take a concrete step and got a “How to Write” guide. However, it was not until 1994 that she published her first work “Circle of Light” the debut novel of the “Light Years” series under the pseudonym Nancy Cane. Cohen started out writing futuristic romance novels but would shift to mysteries when romance lost its luster. She changed her name to her real name Nancy J. Cohen and just when mysteries were becoming more popular she started writing the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. The first novel of the series was “Permed to Death” first published in 1999, which went on to spawn more than ten more novels in the still ongoing series. Other novels series she has written include the “Drift Lords” series and the single standing novels “Keeper of the Rings” and “Silver Serenade.”

Nancy J. Cohen has always been intrigued by mystery plots and a heroine that women could identify with, which made the creation of Marla Shore the hairdresser a no brainer. She tossed in some aspects of the Florida neighborhood where she lives including a dash of her Jewish heritage and humor and poof, she had a bestselling series. She has always been driven to write as she has asserted that she moves around with a writer’s eye taking notes, observing and finding the words to convert what she has into delightful stories. She has said that she writes to entertain and coax people from the pain and troubles of daily life. If they get to learn some other things from the novels then Cohen deems that as a bonus. As such, she conducts a lot of research on varied subjects which make their way into the novels. For instance, the “Bad Hair Day” mysteries include facts about tropical vegetation, pet fur products, and Samoan fire knives as they are used in hairdressing. Her research has seen her travel to several locations such as the Florida Everglades, funeral parlors, the police academy in Plantation, Florida and a Turkish bath.

For each of her novels, Cohen loves to include intriguing topics that she is interested in. As such you can find tons of information on aspects of immigrant labor, volcanoes, tilapia aquaculture. Amphibians, and biomedical waste disposal among others. Nonetheless, scientific subjects tend to hold more of her attention though she also does read a lot of science fiction, mystery, and romance which she blends into her novels. She was inspired to write the Bad Hair Day mysteries when she was bored one day while waiting for her perm to set. Nancy began to think just what would happen if one of the women was to die in her chair and just like that her protagonist was born. In the first novel of her series “Permed to Death” Marla Shore the beautiful hairdresser and salon owner has one of her clients die while in her salon. She has died of poisoning and Marla is now a suspect forcing her to become an amateur sleuth to find the man who had the motive and opportunity to commit the crime. The second novel is a busy and engaging novel where Marla who is the newest member of a coastal preservation group has to deal with caustic internal politics. When the chefs find themselves targeted by unknown persons, it is up to Marla to unravel the mystery of the unpleasant accidents. Mayhem and mystery abound in the third novel “Murder by Manicure.” One of her clients falls dead and she had to find the culprit responsible through one of the most unconventional methods she has used yet.

“Permed to Death” the first novel of the “Bad Hair Day” Mystery series by Nancy J. Cohen has Marla come into her salon to serve one of her long-standing clients. She sets Bertha Kravitz’s hair and in the spirit of good service gives her a coffee before going to the back to get some towels. But then she hears a gasp and rushing back to the front finds her client slumped in her chair, dead. When Detective Vail comes to the salon to do his investigations, he is convinced that she was poisoned and suspects Marla Shore. When she learns that her client had been killed, she has a déjà vu moment when the child she had been babysitting died. The child had gotten out of her playpen and drowned while she was speaking with her parents. What is worse for Marla is that the client had been using her guilt over the child’s death to blackmail her into providing her with free hairdressing services. Now that she is a suspect, she needs to go into amateur sleuthing mode to find the killer if she is to keep her freedom and save her business.

In the second outing of Nancy J Cohen’s Bad Hair Day mysteries “Hair Raiser,” Marla Shore has to resolve a mysterious series of happenings in her tranquil seaside town. Marla has joined a coastal preservation group and is now some kind of volunteer for the Ocean Guard group. She is in charge of a fundraiser for the conservation group, which means that she has to deal with all aspects of organizing refreshments during the day. But then Chef Pierre Chevalier is involved in a huge fire and Marla thinks that it looks more like sabotage than an accident. There is something very wrong in Palm Haven and it is not just a polluted seashore. Things get more interesting when Benjamin Kline the lead attorney for Ocean Guard gets killed. It was not that Shore had been interested in the man, though in all truth nobody really liked him. He had a lot of enemies and fingering the killer might prove difficult. Detective Vail believes that the killer must be one of the esteemed board members of the Ocean Guard. The irritating yet appealing detective wants Marla’s help in apprehending the culprit.

“Murder by Manicure” is a great story that opens to Marla Shore our favorite hairstylist having joined a gym to get in shape. But then she stumbles onto the dead body of Jolene Myers, one of her hairstyling clients drowned in the gym’s whirlpool on her first day. The staff tries everything they can to revive the woman but nothing works. The police investigation reveals that she had taken a strong sedative just before she died, which would indicate that she was murdered. Still working with Detective Vail, Marla is determined to put her skills to work to resolve the murder. Since she was still new she did not have many friends at the gym but as she gets to know everyone, she starts compiling a possible list of suspects. Could it have been the outspoken animal rights activist? Or the slimy city councilman? Maybe the shady pharmacist? You could also throw in the staff of the fitness club who never did like Jolene. But when another member is killed, Marla knows she has to do something fast since the killer makes it clear that she may just be next.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nancy J. Cohen / Nancy Cane

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