The Murderous Haircut of the Mayor of Bel Air: A Psychic Barber Mystery

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Phillip Mottaz, 2021 - Fiction - 346 pages


Make your appointment for a fun amateur sleuth story that's one part "The Long Goodbye," dabs of "Blanche on the Lam" and "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" with just a little X-Men mixed in, too.

DANICA LUMAN has used her secret psychic abilities to squeeze by in the San Fernando Valley. Her powers help her give great haircuts - she sees into customers' minds and knows exactly what styles they want. Things are steady until one day, while giving a strange man a high-and-tight, the image Danica sees is of a dead body.

What Danica lacks in detective training, she makes up for in stubbornness. She takes on the role of amateur detective only to sink deeper into the muddy mystery, with each clue dragging her further into the weird underbelly of Los Angeles. Fighting off unpaid bills, attempts on her life and dangerous family squabbles, Danica gets tangled up trying to solve the murder and discover how it connects to the cops, a student newspaper, and an old man who calls himself "the Mayor of Bel Air."

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I love a good mystery novel. In my opinion, a good mystery must have two things to make it great. The first is a compelling hero that we enjoy following and learning about. The second is an intriguing mystery that is difficult for the reader to solve, but not impossible if they are paying attention. This book accomplishes both of those criteria in a tremendous way. Our hero, Danica, is thrust into this story because of her “unusual” power. She has no training as a detective, but her desire to help fuels her journey throughout the book. The author does a wonderful job painting the picture of Los Angeles as well as letting us “get to know” Danica as she tries to unravel what is going on.
The clues are given to us in small bites. Makes the reader curious, but never frustrated. Once the solution is given, it seems so obvious and made me want to read the book again.
The real gem of the story is Danica. She is a well-rounded character that I enjoyed learning about as the mystery unfolds. Can’t wait for the next book in the series

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I am an avid reader that usually tends to stay away from murder mysteries, but I am so glad I decided to read The Murderous Haircut of the Mayor of Bel Air. Having grown up in the San Fernando Valley, I loved being able to make connections throughout the story and it really brought me back to all the places I loved. I found myself rooting for Danica, the main character, until the very last page of the book. Believe me when I say, you might think you can predict the final outcome, but chances are, you will be wrong!! I can't wait for next one!! 

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About the author (2021)

Phillip Mottaz wrote his first novel when he was only 39. After growing up in Illinois' smallest city, he studied improv and sketch comedy in Chicago. Since moving to Los Angeles, he has written every kind of script imaginable, and produced multiple podcasts. His debut novel "The Murderous Haircut of the Mayor of Bel Air" is a cozy mystery in his Psychic Barber Mysteries series.

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