Review

Handbags and Homicide: A Haley Randolph Mystery

by Dorothy Howell

Haley Randolph works in the accounting department of the most
prestigious law firm in Los Angeles, Pike Warner. At least she did.
Now she has been placed on administrative leave pending an
investigation into her practices as an accounts payable clerk. It
turns out that a routine audit has revealed an anomaly in Haley's
work, and now she is persona non grata until further notice.

Haley is crushed. Not only does she miss spending her days in
Pike Warner's luxurious offices among those clad in Armani, Dolce
& Gabbana, and Rolex, she desperately needs her paycheck in
order to pay her ever-mounting credit card bills and a serious
overdraft in her checking account. And then there is her seriously
over-the-top handbag habit. Oh, but not just any handbag will do
for our Haley. Oh, no. It has to be designer, and her latest desire
is a majorly expensive Louis Vuitton organizer. She HAS to have
it!

Of course, Haley still has her part-time job at Holt's, a
mid-class department store that carries apparel she wouldn't be
caught dead in, shoes that are beneath her notice and handbags to
which she wouldn't give a second glance. Nonetheless, a paycheck is
a paycheck and so Haley continues to trudge in to work each
afternoon. The problem is, the seven dollars an hour Holt's pays
her isn't compensation enough to cover finding the store's
assistant manager dead in the stockroom. She is going to need a
serious pay raise pronto if things keep up like this.

In spite of the pressure she’s under, Haley isn't too
stressed to notice that the owner of Holt's, Ty Cameron, is a
seriously good-looking hunk of a man. When he shows up on the scene
to oversee events at the store, Haley seems to be uppermost on Ty's
list of interests. But she doesn't know if it's because of her
on-the-job faux pas, her good looks, or the fact that he suspects
her of murder. Why does life have to be so hard?

The good thing is, Haley can multi-task. While she certainly has
her sights on Ty, she still has interest to spare for Jack Bishop,
the oh-so-sexy private investigator who does work for Pike Warner.
She has him hot on the trail helping him follow up leads on her
accounting situation, and while he is helpful, he seems a whole lot
more interested in investigating Haley in a personal way.

As if all of these problems weren't enough, Haley has to deal
with her well-to-do, self-centered mother, her place in the family
as the underachiever, and attempting to get her own business off
the ground in order to make some money to pay her bills. One thing
leads to another as Haley tries to do as little work as possible at
her job at Holt's, clear her name with Pike Warner and juggle the
two men who have caught her eye. She's a busy girl but more than up
to the challenge.

Personally, I couldn't put this book down. Haley Randolph is
naive in an endearing sort of way, hilarious in the stunts she
pulls, and determined in a way that most of us could learn from. I
just had to keep turning those pages to see what hot water she
found herself in and what happened next. HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE is
an extremely satisfying read, and I, for one, am dying to get my
hands on her next adventure, PURSES AND POISON.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on January 22, 2011

Handbags and Homicide: A Haley Randolph Mystery
by Dorothy Howell

  • Publication Date: June 1, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • ISBN-10: 0758223757
  • ISBN-13: 9780758223753