There have been times when I can't wait to finish a series and it took a lot of effort to finish this last installment.
As the book opens, there's a Midnight in Paris party at the Waverly House (an upscale restaurant in the fictional town of San Ladron, California) when Polyester Monroe and her date Vaughn McMichael see billionaire Harvey Halliwell faint.
He's fine and the next day, Harvey stops by Poly's fabric shop, Material Girl, to discuss pageant gowns for the upcoming Miss Tangorli contest. Since he was the founder of the pageant, this is something close to his heart and it takes precedence in his life.
That life ends a few hours later when Poly discovers him dead in the alley outside the Waverly House.
Poly learns from Harvey's right hand, Nolene Kelly, that the show will go on and the terms of the contract will remain in place. She tells Poly that she'll have a sizeable check for her on Monday and when Poly goes to pick it up, she notices that Nolene's car is loaded with luggage.
And that the check has bounced since someone cleaned out the Halliwell accounts and Nolene has disappeared.
Poly gets a call from Nolene's assistant and she tells her that they have cash for her and when Poly goes to pick it up, she sees Nolene and the suspicion is taken away from her.
The contestants all arrive at the shop to pick out fabric and design their dresses and Poly later learns that one of the contestants, Sheila Allen, wasn't a contestant afterall. She gave the actual contestant wrong directions to the store (on purpose) in the hope of trying to get a place in the contest.
Occasionally, Poly spots a strange man hanging around (she and Vaughn saw him with Harvey at the party) her friend Charlie Brooks' auto shop.
Whenever Poly asks about the man, Charlie changes the subject and won't disclose any information. Eventually Charlie does open up and a whole lot of worms are spilled.
Not only that, but others in town begin to learn of Charlie's past (which isn't any news since we were first made aware of her past in the first installment) and how she's going to accept her future won't be known.
With Harvey dead, the scene for the pageant is destroyed, but give Poly a week and the show goes on!
Unfortunately, at the end of the story there are of course a lot of questions and possibilities for future installments, but in reality, there really wasn't any growth to the series. It was very lackluster.
As I said before, it started off really good and halfway through the first installment, began to lose steam. It never really found a voice, therefore probably only having the three installments.
Based on the plotline, this installment could have redeemed itself in a slight way, but, there really wasn't any character growth at all and there aren't too many crimozies that have a beauty pageant theme (those that do have been really good).
I never felt connected to any of the characters, but, the dialogue has always been good, but there wasn't a resolution to the series. There are still questions about Poly's great aunt's murder (in the first installment, the chalk outline is still in the backroom where she was found and it's been a decade since the murder) along with a few other questions that I had. Truthfully, I just didn't care after awhile.
However, for a sewer or fabric lover, you might like this series and at the end, directions are given on how to make a garment bag.