Shampoo & Condition by M.L. Ortega

Published: August 30, 2022

M.L. Ortega

Pages: 85

Genre: Mystery

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This title is available to read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and I leave my review voluntarily.

M.L. Ortega was raised in the North by Southerners and thus learned to embrace dichotomy, which shows in her writing. With humor at the wheel, dark subject matter rides ‘shotgun’. Moving frequently throughout her childhood, her family finally settled in California, where she eventually married and had four children. The children have grown and moved away, leaving her in the care of a very patient husband and two independent cats.

‘Twas Beauty Killed the Beast
If Janet Evanovich’s signature character were a single mom, she’d answer to the name Maggie Chessman. In Shampoo & Condition, Vivian, Maggie’s soon to be ex sister-in-law, drops dead in a beauty salon and Maggie’s brother becomes suspect number one – creating friction between our main character and her policeman boyfriend.

What can a girl do but pursue other suspects: Vivian’s shifty sisters, a smooth financial operator, and a secretive shampoo girl.

Meanwhile, Maggie’s best friend is matching corpses with missing persons on the Jane Doe website, eventually spotting a dead person in their midst.

“She might still be able to swing this.”

Maggie gets a text from Jane, informing her that her elusive sister-in-law is at the hair salon. When she dies suddenly, Maggie finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation.

I enjoyed how quick this book was. The storyline moved fast, with no unnecessary fluff. We catch up with the sawn cast as the first book but meet some new characters.

I like how M. L. Ortega brings her characters into the story, introduces them, and gives them history. The way things click into place is well done.

This was a fast-paced who done it. The list of suspects quickly grows but just as quickly reveals who the real killer is. I like that there was no drama or exaggeration in telling this story—just the facts.

Once again, I am happy to say that Tuna is still our hero, and Maggie and Jane helped solve another mystery in their not-too-sleepy town.

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