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Book Review: Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere


It's hard to say if I'll be a fan of this series at this point, since there are good and bad points to it. So, I'm conflicted.

Polyester "Poly" Monroe (by far one of the most unique character names that I've ever come across) has inherited her late great aunt and uncle's fabric store. It's Friday afternoon and this is the first time that she's been to the store and the city of San Ladron in a decade.

On the night of Poly's high school graduation, her Aunt Millie was working late at the fabric store and after a robbery, she was murdered and then her Uncle Marius cuts all ties from the family. Or at least that's what Poly believes.

A friend from school, Ken Watts, is handling the real estate paperwork and pushes for her to sign the papers since there are investors who want the property, most notably Vic McMichael, the richest man in town.

He's had his eye on the property for years and hopes that Poly will sell to him since he wants to bring in a big retailer into town. But, Poly also learns that her boyfriend Carson (along with some investors) want to buy the space and then sell it to McMichael for a bigger profit.

As Poly mulls over everything, she goes to her car and sees that someone has vandalized it and goes over to Charlie's Auto, where she meets tough cookie, Charlie. Charlie tells her that she can have the car ready the next day and she takes her over to The Broadside bar for a drink.

Since Poly isn't going anywhere, she spends the night in the apartment above the store and the next morning discovers the body of Tom Pickers, the leader of the Senior Patrol in the alley.

Poly comes under suspicion and later finds out that her car still won't be ready and asks Charlie if she can take a shower at her place. Charlie takes her out back to a shed and while taking a shower, someone tries to get at her.

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Once she gets back to the store, McMichael's son, Vaughn, shows up with dinner for the two of them. Poly had agreed to dinner, but since she couldn't make it, he thought he'd bring dinner to her and Poly assumes that he's there just to come up with some type of deal on the store.

The next day, with her car still inoperable, Poly borrows Charlie's truck to go shopping for some clothes and Carson comes up to the store. He tells her that he has a meeting with the older McMichael and when she finds out, she leaves him at the hotel.

At the shop, Poly finds out that she doesn't have any power (since it was just turned on for Ken's showing) and she stays the night again.

When Monday rolls around, Charlie tells her that the car still won't be ready and she's shocked when her parents come up to the store.

Throughout the story, Poly keeps flipping back and forth as to if she's going to keep the store, or sell it. This becomes monotonous (but we know that she's going to keep it) and because of this back and forth, it does become rather boring.

Since the book takes place just outside of Los Angeles (I'm assuming that Glendora is a city or two over) San Ladron is approximately thirty miles away and the way this is written, it's almost as though Poly has to drive cross country to get to and from Los Angeles.

Yes, I've driven in Los Angeles traffic, but thirty miles, really anywhere wouldn't make it seem like you have to spend the night. I, like the characters, hate driving, but what are you going to do?

San Ladron also seems like a mysterious town since no one really seems to be on the street. It's almost like a ghost town with suspicious residents around every corner.

For crafters, there is a project at the end of the book for throw pillows, which might be enticing.

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