30 Second Death
Author: Laura Bradford
The basics: To help out her Bestie, Hair Stylist Carter McDade, Tobi offers a part in a commercial to a problematic local prima donna, Fiona Renoir. Fiona causes problems wherever she goes and has little talent. She refuses to allow Carter to do her hair for a local production of Rapunzel, but happily leaves the cast when offered the commercial. On set, Fiona continues to cause problems. She throws tantrums, yells at the crew, and continues to make Carter's professional life a living hell. When Tobi informs her that she has no choice but to allow Carter to color her hair as part of the commercial, Fiona agrees. Unfortunately, seconds after he applies chemical to her hair, Fiona drops dead. Immediately the police suspect he killed her because of the feud they had going. Tobi jumps right into the case to clear her best friend before he is arrested and charged with murder. With the help of her grandfather and friends, Tobi sifts through suspects to prove Carter's innocence.
Although first person perspective is usually not my favorite, Laura Bradford pulls it off perfectly. The humor, advertising theme, and mystery makes this a fun, enjoyable cozy series! Tobi Tobias is an intelligent, funny and engaging main character. Her cast of supporting friends (and grandfather) add a nice depth to the books. As with most cozies, the mystery portion of the plot is light, but still engaging. No gore, no spurting blood, no cussing. So these books would be appropriate for readers from middle grade on up to adult. I enjoy the interaction between the characters -- a parrot who insists on making snorting noises whenever he sees Tobi, the relationship between Tobi and her grandfather, and Tobi and Carter's ongoing dislike of their elderly, cantankerous neighbor (and their horror when the grandfather wants to date her).
I enjoyed 30 Second Death just as much as the first book in this series (Death in Advertising). The mystery is well-paced, interesting and has plenty of suspects, twists and turns. I enjoy the advertising theme and the humor sprinkled liberally into each story as well. I will definitely be reading more of this series! The next book, And Death Goes To...., will be coming out in December 2017. I can't wait! :)
Laura Bradford is the author of several other cozy series including the Emergency Dessert Squad and An Amish Mystery series. For more information on the author and her books,check out her website: http://www.laurabradford.com/