Nancy Cohen's Hair Brained nominated for RPLA

Hair Brained cover


Nancy Cohen’s latest novel, Hair Brained  is a Finalist in the RPLA. Hair Brained is the fourteenth installment in the Bad Hair Day Mystery series, starring Marla Shore (now Marla Vail), a Florida salon owner who is as good at solving mysteries as she is at styling hair. Titles in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, won a Readers' Favorite gold medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards.

Hair Brained represents a turning point in Marla’s life. Her friend is in a near-fatal car accident, which leaves Marla to care for her friend’s infant son. Marla’s husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident. Who would want Tally—or Ken in the car with her—out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought.  Nevertheless it’s her duty, as their son’s guardian, to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?  Can she juggle crime solving, operating her salon, and taking care of a household with her detective husband while confronting her own fears about motherhood?

Cohen likes to include  Florida issues in her books. In Hair Brained, and in the next book in the series Trimmed to Death (Sept. 2018), Marla gets involved in stopping the hot car deaths of children.

Hair Brained is available in trade paperback, large print, and ebook formats. 


Writing the Cozy Mystery: Expanded Second Edition

Writing the Cozy Mystery Expanded edition cover

In addition to the Bad Hair Day mystery series, Cohen has written two sci-fi series and a technical book for writers. Writing the Cozy Mystery is a well-loved, easy-to-read reference guide that will help you develop your characters, establish the setting, plot the story, add suspense, plant clues and sustain your series. The Second Edition has triple the content with more examples; additional writing exercises; expanded sections; and seven new chapters including The Muddle in the Middle, Romance and Murder, Special Considerations for Cozy Writers, Keeping a Series Fresh, Writing the Smart Synopsis, Mystery Movies, and Marketing Tips. You’ll find everything you need to know in an easy-to-read, clear manner to write your own mystery and maintain a long-running series.

Also, questions such as these are answered in this new edition: 

  • Can I use real places?
  • Does the crime have to be a murder?
  • How many suspects are a good number?
  • When should the dead body show up?
  • How can you avoid police involvement?
  • What is a Red Herring?
  • What types of questions must be resolved by the end of the story?
  • How important is originality?
  • Can serious issues be included in a cozy?

Recommended for cozy writers, mystery fans, and creative writing classes. Available for pre-order. Coming Nov. 12.



Nancy J. Cohen Author photo
Nancy Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, won a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. These books have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping. 



This blog is part of a blog tour about writers attending Bouchercon 2018 in St. Petersburg, FL. You can hear her on the BUSINESS IS COZY panel on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 11 am.