Crushed Velvet (A Material Witness Mystery)

Valutazione media 4,05
( su 275 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780425270585: Crushed Velvet (A Material Witness Mystery)

“Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series.”—Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries

Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business—this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.

With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it’s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There’s just the small matter of Genevieve’s own incriminating confession: I’m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl’s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams—and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch...

INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

About the Author:

Diane Vallere is the author of Suede to Rest, the first book in the Material Witness Mystery series. After twenty years in the fashion industry, she now writes full time, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

One

The crash was louder than I expected.

Two men stood on the top rung of their respective stepladders on either side of the Land of a Thousand Fabrics sign, or rather, where the sign had been ten minutes ago. The man on the right had lost his grip on the L in Land, and it fell to the sidewalk in front of the store, cracking the concrete. The effects of weather and time, a decade since the store had closed for business but almost half a century since the store had first opened, had rusted the cursive iron letters in the logo. Bird poop and leaves were almost indistinguishable from the decorative font, and one of the metal posts that anchored the massive sign to the storefront had broken sometime in the past week. Since then, Thousand had hung in a diagonal slope downward. The men on the ladders were hired to remove the rest of the anchors so the sign could be replaced with my new sign, Material Girl, before I opened for business in six days. They’d rescheduled the job twice, and now I had less than a week before the registers were scheduled to ring.

It was eleven thirty on a Monday morning. The first time I’d scheduled this job had been on a Monday, too, because I knew most people would be at work, and the handful of hair salons on the street would be closed. I’d alerted the businesses on either side of me: Tiki Tom, who sold Polynesian ephemera to my left, and the Garden sisters, Lilly and Violet, who ran an antiques shop called Flowers in the Attic to my right. They’d both agreed to close for the day. The construction crew canceled at the last minute, leaving my neighboring stores out of a day’s business. I made it up to each of them with ten yards of a fabric of their choice. You work with what you have.

Two weeks later, an unexpected February downpour kept the crew from showing up for the job, which meant it was today or nothing. I didn’t love that a sidewalk of tourists and nosy neighbors had a front-row seat to my sign troubles, but the small town of San Ladrón had codes and zoning regulations, and a job like this had to happen Monday through Friday between the hours of ten and four. If it wasn’t today, I wouldn’t have a proper sign when I opened on Sunday.

“Polyester Monroe?” said a voice to my left. I turned to see a man in a red plaid shirt, faded jeans, and a yellow construction hat. He held a clipboard under one arm. His phone was Velcroed onto his belt below a generous belly. “Zat you?”

“Yes, I’m Polyester Monroe,” I said. “But call me Poly.”

“Is your legal name Polyester?”

I nodded.

“Then that’s what I need you to sign. Here, here, and here.” He pushed the clipboard in front of me and tapped the paper three times with the end of the pen.

I scanned page one of the documents. “I already signed the contract for the sign removal and a few notices from the city. What is this for?”

“Release form for the contractors. If anyone is hurt in the course of the job, you’re responsible. If any property is damaged in the course of the job, you’re responsible. If any—”

I pushed the clipboard back at him. “I applied for a petition through the city council. I have all the forms I need. They recommended you for the job because you have experience with this sort of thing.”

“Still gotta sign the release,” he said.

“And you still have to finish the job. The store opens on Sunday. I need a sign.”

“Lady, this is San Ladrón, not Times Square. You turn on your lights, you open the front door, and you hang out a shingle. If people want what you’re selling, they’ll come in and buy it.”

I took the clipboard, signed my full legal name by the Xs, and wrote the date after my signatures. “You should have had me sign it before you let it crash to the ground,” I said, and pushed the clipboard back at him.

The rest of the construction workers were scattered around, moving large chunks of concrete that had broken loose when the large iron Land had hit the sidewalk. My attempt to make the fabric store look new again, to make it more of a shining star than a sore thumb on Bonita Avenue, wasn’t exactly going according to plan. Tiki Tom and the Garden sisters were already conspiring against me. I had decided to placate them both with gourmet tea baskets from my friend Genevieve’s tea shop, who was heading this way now.

“You look like you could use a pick-me-up,” Genevieve said after handing over two of the three baskets she held.

Genevieve Girard was the owner of the small, French-themed tea shop called Tea Totalers. It was about two blocks east of my fabric store. I’d befriended her a few months ago when I first inherited the store. She and her husband, Phil, had met at the World Tea Expo, and after a typical courtship that involved flowers, candy, and twenty pounds added to her curvy frame, they married and set up shop in San Ladrón, Phil’s hometown. They plunked their savings into the tea store, but a poor economy kept them from making it the joint project they’d hoped. He went back to driving a taxi and occasionally picking up delivery jobs and she ran the store. A nice patchwork résumé, the new reality for the small business owner.

“Genevieve, you have no idea how happy I am to see you.”

She set the picnic basket on a public bench and flipped the wooden handles open. When she lifted the lid, the scent of buttermilk biscuits and mulled cider filled the air. Mugs, saucers, flatware, and napkins were attached to the inside lid of the picnic basket by elastic loops that had been sewn to the red-and-white checkered interior. She removed a mug and saucer, filled the mug with cider, and handed it to me. I took a sip, savoring the rich apple-and-clove flavor.

“This is heavenly,” I said.

“Try the biscuit. It’s a new recipe: I added pureed loquats to the batter.”

I took a bite. The flavors of loquats and cranberries complemented each other perfectly. “You’re a genius,” I said.

“Can you take out an ad in the San Ladrón Times and tell people that? I could use the endorsement.”

“Business is still slow?” I was mildly surprised. “I thought it picked up after you started promoting your proprietary blends of tea.”

“The only person who’s responded to those ads is a food distributor who wants me to sell out to the big grocery stores, and that’s not what I want for Tea Totalers. I need to get people to the store. Right now I have about five regulars—not that I’m complaining, so don’t you even think about not showing up tomorrow!—and a handful of walk-ins a week. It’s barely enough to pay the bills, let alone buy the supplies I need.”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw two men standing on scaffolding that had been suspended from the roof of the fabric store. They looped thick ropes around the iron letters of the parts of the sign that hadn’t crashed to the sidewalk and slowly lowered the word Thousand to the ground. When I turned to watch what happened next, I saw another group of men move the iron word to the back of their truck, where they’d put Land. It was after twelve now, and there was one word left. I’d specifically asked that they take Fabric down last in case there were any snafus. Better branding than of or a. Now they could remove the iron bolts that jutted out from the façade and mount the sign I’d designed during the nights when I was too excited about the prospects of opening the store to sleep.

I did a quick calculation. At the rate the construction crew was working, they’d be at it for hours. Removal of the sign was one thing, but removal of the scaffolding was another.

“Wait here,” I said to Genevieve. I walked over to the foreman.

He held up his hand palm side out. “Hard hat,” he said, and pointed to a yellow helmet resting on the back of the truck.

I tucked the front of my auburn hair, cut in a style made famous by Victoria Beckham a few years ago, behind my ear and set the half-lemon-shaped hat on top of my head. The hat was bigger than my head and almost covered my eyes. I tipped it back so I could see. The foreman waved me forward.

“How long do you think you’re going to be?” I asked.

“This is an all-day job.”

“How can that be? The words are down, and that had to be the hardest part.”

“We gotta finish removing the iron. Then we gotta get your new sign in place and run the electrical. Then we gotta test everything. Then—”

“So, what does that mean? Three? Four?”

“At least. We go into overtime at five.”

“Zoning laws say you have to be done by four.”

“Then we’re going to need to pick back up tomorrow.”

I put my hands on my hips. “Not. Acceptable. This is a one-day job. You said so when you gave me the quote. You canceled on me twice.”

“Once. Couldn’t do much about the rain, lady.”

“You started at ten. You will finish at four. And by finish, I mean finish. Gone. Cleaned up. Out of here.”

“Those wall mounts are pretty rusted through,” he said. He pulled his hat off and rubbed the back of his arm across his forehead.

“Good. That means instead of trying to save them, you can save time by just cutting them off.”

He looked at the picnic basket behind me. “We could work a lot faster if we had food.”

“Don’t worry about food. I’ll take care of that. But this job? Done by four.”

He scratched his head and pulled his hard hat back on. “Deal.” He turned around and yelled to the workers. “Hey! Pick up the pace! We’re on a timetable.”

Genevieve was halfway through her third biscuit when I returned to the bench. “Can you do lunch for”—I twisted around and counted the various colors of flannel—“nine men on short notice? I’ll pay menu prices.”

“Poly, I can’t let you be my savior. You’re putting all of your money into the store.”

“Let me worry about my money. You worry about lunch for nine.”

“Fine. Lunch for nine. Can you drive to the store in half an hour? Phil took the truck to LA to pick up your fabrics.”

“See, you guys are my savior, too.”

When the lease had come due on their Saab, Genevieve had convinced her husband to turn it in and invest in a van they could use for deliveries. She’d had the logo for her tea shop painted on the side and hoped it would help raise her shop’s profile. As it turned out, most delivery orders could be handled by bike and the van spent more time sitting behind the shop than cruising the streets of San Ladrón. Ever pragmatic, Phil still took the occasional moving and delivery jobs in the greater Los Angeles area to justify the price of the vehicle.

When I’d first decided to reopen the fabric store, my parents had helped me sort through the bolts of fabric that had been in the store for decades. My uncle Marius had closed the store ten years ago, but left the interior intact. A surprising amount of fabrics were still in sellable condition. I hoped to one day be able to take the kind of trips that Uncle Marius and Aunt Millie had taken—Thailand for silk, France for lace, Scotland for cashmere—but until I established a cash flow, I had to do what I could on a shoestring budget. I sorted through the old inventory and then contacted many of the dealers in New York and New Jersey, spending hours selecting whimsical cotton prints, Pendleton wools, and a glorious spectrum of silk de chine. I offered to buy any bolts they had with less than five yards if they’d make a deal on the price and a few of them did. A few of them remembered my aunt and uncle and deepened my discount when I told them I was reopening the store. It was a start.

Still, I needed a hook, something to make people come to me. After two weeks of stopping by Tea Totalers every morning for a cup of Genevieve’s proprietary blend of tea, I got my idea. A proprietary blend of fabric.

It was no coincidence that I owned a fabric store and my name was Polyester. The store had been in my family for generations and I’d been born inside on a bed of polyester. Growing up, I’d been teased on a regular basis and often wished I’d been born on a less controversial fabric. Was there a person alive who didn’t think of the seventies when they heard the word polyester? Still, it was what it was. Instead of fighting my name, I decided to use it for a PR opportunity. I reached out to all of my contacts and finally found a mill willing to weave a custom blend of velvet using ninety percent silk and ten percent polyester.

I had experience working with blended fabrics in my former job at To The Nines, a somewhat sleazy dress shop in downtown Los Angeles, and I knew that ten percent of a synthetic woven into a fabric could change the drape and wearability of the cloth without dramatically altering the appearance. Fabrics that were woven with a synthetic blend resisted wrinkles and held color better than their pure counterparts. My former boss liked to use mostly synthetic fabrics that came cheap (and sometimes defective). Having grown up around the best fabrics in the world when Land of a Thousand Fabrics was in its prime, I’d always wanted to work with top-quality weaves. This was my opportunity.

My custom velvet had arrived at a distributor in Los Angeles late on Friday afternoon. The warehouse was closed for the weekend. Genevieve had mentioned that her husband was going to Los Angeles for supplies for Tea Totalers today and I’d arranged for him to pick up the fabric. It was a win-win.

Even though the store was locked up tighter than a drum, I had a few misgivings over leaving the crew to pick up lunch. The foreman saw me watching them and gave me a thumbs-up. I smiled a thin smile and walked around the back of the store to my yellow VW Bug. Five minutes later I was parked in front of Tea Totalers.

The tea shop was actually a small house that sat away from the street. A narrow sidewalk led to the front door. Small white iron tables and chairs with mismatched, faded cushions were scattered around the front interior. Inside, Genevieve had hung checkered curtains on the windows and tacked a few French posters featuring roosters and chickens on the walls.

Genevieve was a self-professed Francophile, and her shop was a testament to her love of the country. I’d secretly been working on a makeover for her store, including curtains, cushions, aprons, placemats, napkins, and tablecloths from linen toile, gingham check, and other French fabrics. I even found a bolt of place-printed cotton canvas, too heavy to use for apparel, with images of roosters on it. I planned to stretch the images over wooden frames and suggest she hang them like art. I couldn’t wait to surprise her with the concept, but I wanted to get it all together before it was done, and I wanted to find a way to use the new velvet in the design.

Genevieve was stacking sandwiches wrapped in parchment paper, sealed with stickers that featured the Eiffel tower on them, into a wooden crate.

“I hope you don’t mind that I didn’t go fancy. I’m low on a couple of supplies. Jambon sandwiches with brie and Dijon mustard on croissants, with a side of pommes frites. Is that okay?”

“That’s not fancy?” I asked with a smile to my voice. “I think it’ll do. What time is Phil expected back?”

“Hopefully soon. He left yesterda...

Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

I migliori risultati di ricerca su AbeBooks

1.

Vallere, Diane
Editore: Berkley, New York (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Soft cover Prima edizione Quantità: 1
Da
Scene of the Crime
(St. Catharines, ON, Canada)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley, New York, 2015. Soft cover. Condizione libro: New. No Jacket. 1st Edition. First edition first printing of the second novel in the Material Witness series. In fine unread condition. Codice libro della libreria 19645

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 5,17
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
Da: Canada a: U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

2.

Diane Vallere
Editore: Berkley Books, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
Da
The Book Depository US
(London, Regno Unito)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series. Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder. With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect. Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There s just the small matter of Genevieve s own incriminating confession: I m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780425270585

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 5,48
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
Da: Regno Unito a: U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

3.

Diane Vallere
Editore: Berkley Books, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 10
Da
Book Depository hard to find
(London, Regno Unito)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series. Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder. With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect. Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There s just the small matter of Genevieve s own incriminating confession: I m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780425270585

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 6,55
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
Da: Regno Unito a: U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

4.

Diane Vallere
Editore: Berkley Books, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
Da
The Book Depository
(London, Regno Unito)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series. Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder. With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect. Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There s just the small matter of Genevieve s own incriminating confession: I m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780425270585

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 6,55
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
Da: Regno Unito a: U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

5.

Vallere, Diane
Editore: Berkley Pub Group (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Quantità: 2
Da
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley Pub Group, 2015. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria KS-9780425270585

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 3,49
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,34
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

6.

Diane Vallere
Editore: Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Quantità: > 20
Da
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Penguin Random House. Condizione libro: New. Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 0425270580

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 4,01
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 2,93
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

7.

Vallere, Diane
Editore: Berkley Pub Group (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Quantità: 10
Da
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley Pub Group, 2015. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria IB-9780425270585

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 3,75
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,34
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

8.

Vallere, Diane
Editore: Berkley (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Mass Market Paperback Quantità: 3
Da
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley, 2015. Mass Market Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria 0425270580

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 6,62
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 1,67
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

9.

Vallere, Diane
Editore: Berkley Books 8/4/2015 (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi Paperback or Softback Quantità: 5
Da
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley Books 8/4/2015, 2015. Paperback or Softback. Condizione libro: New. Crushed Velvet. Book. Codice libro della libreria BBS-9780425270585

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 8,41
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

10.

Vallere, Diane
Editore: Berkley
ISBN 10: 0425270580 ISBN 13: 9780425270585
Nuovi MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Quantità: > 20
Da
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Berkley. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0425270580 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Codice libro della libreria SWATI2132115713

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 5,92
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,34
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

Vedi altre copie di questo libro

Vedi tutti i risultati per questo libro