Beauty and the Deceased


Beauty and the Deceased (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

About Beauty and the Deceased 

Beauty and the Deceased (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lyrical Press (December 14, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 191 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516111036
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516111039
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B092LH3FBZ

Kelly Quinn’s Long Island consignment shop offers high style at secondhand prices—but when a body is found on the beach, she needs to start hunting for a wolf in sheep’s clothing . . .

Kelly is thrilled when she gets a visit from a cousin she hasn’t seen in years. Becky’s cosmetics company is taking off, and she just might have laid the foundation for a big-money buyout. It’s a time to celebrate—but Kelly is heartbroken when a killer puts an end to their happy reunion during a mysterious midnight meeting near the shore.

Despite multiple warnings to steer clear, Kelly starts shadowing a variety of suspects both inside and outside the beauty business—when she isn’t busy filling the racks of the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique with lots of new inventory from a local shopaholic. Gossip and accusations are flying, but there’s no glossing over this ugly crime, and she’s going to make sure the culprit faces justice…


Kelly arrived back at the boutique a few minutes after opening. Shoot. She’d wanted to be the one to open, even though both Breena and Terry were working. It was vital for her as the owner and boss to set an example to her staff. Though, she had been working, not out dilly-dallying like her granny used to say.

She gathered her tote, coffee, and an armful of clothing from the Jeep’s cargo area. That armful barely made a dent of what was stashed in the space. She’d have to make a few trips to get everything inside.

With some maneuvering and juggling of everything in her arms, she twisted the back door’s knob. With her foot, she kicked it open wider and entered the staff room. The air conditioner’s cooling was a welcomed relief as she made a beeline for the round table.

Breena Collins looked up from pouring coffee into her mug. Her hair color had changed again. She was now a strawberry blond. Her shoulder length hair was set in soft waves and a wisp of bangs brushed her eyebrows. Last spring, she began a workout routine and had stuck to it, leaving her hour-glass figure lean.

“Look at that haul! Pepper wasn’t exaggerating about Camille’s shopping obsession.” 

Kelly let go of the clothing. The garments fell onto the tabletop, and she let out a whoosh of relief.

Breena returned the carafe to the coffeemaker. She worked part-time as a sales associate while juggling college courses, working another job, and raising her daughter. Like Kelly, Breena had left Lucky Cove for New York City. There she pursued an acting career but learned she wasn’t the only star of high school plays looking to make it big on Broadway. “I now see why you’re late getting back. But no worries, we got everything covered.”

“Good to hear. And thank you.” Kelly dropped her tote on her desk chair. “By the way, this is only part of the clothes I have to bring in. The Jeep is packed.”

“Seriously? She has that many clothes?”

Kelly nodded as she reached into her tote and pulled out a hair tie. She gathered her shoulder-length blond hair into a ponytail. The back of her neck was clammy and sweat beaded on her temples. She reached back into the bag and pulled out Camille’s contract.

“There’s a Lilly Pulitzer inspired maxi dress still in the Jeep. It’ll look amazing in the window.”

“Oooh, do you think it could be used for your spot on Long Island View Point?”

“It’s not my spot…yet. But, yes, I think it would be perfect to showcase during the segment.” Kelly had been contacted by the producer of the sixty-minute lifestyle show that covered community organizations, local businesses and cultural events. They planned a feature on sustainability and wanted to interview a consignment shop for the segment. Kelly had jumped at the chance to promote her boutique and was waiting for the confirmation.

“Don’t fret. You’ll be on the show. I feel it in my bones.” Breena smiled as she lifted her electronic tablet from the countertop and tapped on the device. “What to hear your horoscope for today?”

Kelly shook her head no. She didn’t believe in that stuff, and Breena knew it.

Nevertheless, Breena ignored Kelly’s objection and read from her device. “There are a lot of things up in the air right now in your life, but you don’t need to feel nervous.”

She looked up from the tablet.

Kelly blew out a breath. She hated to admit it, but the horoscope was right on point. 

The door from the hall swung open, and Terry Carlisle breezed in. Wearing cropped trousers and a cap-sleeved blouse, she looked chic and comfortable. 

“Good morning, Kelly.” Terry’s gaze landed on the table. “Look at all those clothes.

Camille’s closet must be huge.” 

“She has several closets.” Kelly gazed at her laptop. It was a reminder she had bookkeeping to do and an article to edit. Several months ago, she landed a regular column on a fashion website. Budget Chic appealed to financially savvy women who wanted to look good but not spend a fortune. The pay wasn’t great, but every little bit helped, and it also boosted her presence online.  

“I was just reading Kelly’s horoscope. Let’s see what yours says. You’re a Pisces, right?” Breena asked. When Terry nodded, she groaned. 

“What’s wrong?” Terry asked. 

Breena’s forehead crinkled as she read out loud. “A visitor from your past will challenge your day. Do your best not to engage.” 

Terry frowned at the forecast of her day. She looked to Kelly with wide eyes suddenly clouded with concern. Kelly didn’t need half of her staff depressed all day waiting for doom and gloom to happen thanks to a couple sentences written by some woo-woo charlatan. 

“Hey, don’t look so worried. Those things aren’t accurate. No one can predict how your day will turn out.” Kelly walked back to the table. “There are bunch more clothes out in the Jeep. Would you mind bringing them in? Then we can get them ready for sale.” 

Terry didn’t look comforted by Kelly’s words. She shrugged her shoulders and uttered “sure” as she made her way to the back door. When she was gone, Kelly turned her attention to Breena. 

 “Look what you did.” Kelly pointed toward the door. “Now she’ll be worried all day.”

Breena pressed her lips together. “Maybe she should be. Contrary to what you think, these horoscopes are correct. I wonder who the visitor from her past will be.”

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links

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  1. The important day is almost here! I enjoyed the excerpt and Beauty and the Deceased sounds like a great book and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a magical holiday season!

  2. Sounds like a fun mystery with likeable characters.

  3. Lovely book, had fun learning about it.


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