(Bianca Wallace Mysteries, #2)
Publication date: January 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery
Bianca’s determined to live a normal life in Edenville with her family, and she has no intention of getting involved in another case. While attending a fashion show, a model, also a childhood friend of her sister, collapses off the runway. Dead. Not the show Bianca planned on attending.
Detective Sims shows up to solve the case, but Bianca can’t keep silent. Too many clues are surfacing, and with a month-long fashion event in town, the suspects remain in Edenville. There’s no harm in Bianca investigating one more time, though Detective Sims wants her to stay away.
Can she discover the motive behind this unexpected death? Bianca’s life at risk with another killer isn’t wise. Not to mention the lives of her loved ones.
Bianca returned to her seat. “I know, Mel. It’s just unnerving. She’s almost seventeen, has a boyfriend, and close to graduating high school.”
A hmm escaped Melanie’s lips. “I know. I still can’t believe it, but enough of that. We’re here to support Sherry and have some fun!”
Bianca giggled at her sister’s enthusiasm, forgetting the empty nester syndrome that was creeping up her spine. Once 112’s song concluded, the lights dimmed. A shush took over the room, and Bianca crossed her legs. Melanie practically squealed in her seat. Spotlights and special lighting highlighted the catwalk. Then Bianca heard a woman’s voice over the microphone.
Thanks to the camera zooming in, Bianca could get a better look at the image on the monitor. The woman was curvy, with long, strawberry-blonde hair and a bright smile dancing across her full face. Though she had only talked to her through Zoom when she hired her, Bianca recognized Giselle Porter. “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. I’m your host, Giselle, and I’m happy to present to you this evening, our Clique Classic fashion showcase!”
The audience applauded and cheered.
“Amazing!” Melanie squealed.
Giselle continued. “We’ll be including our classic pieces this evening. “I’m also pleased to announce that since the scenery of this Edenville has struck me, I want our models to have their pictures taken around town after tonight’s first show! So… we’re going to be in Edenville for the next month!” The crowd cheered again.
“All month? That’s amazing!” Melanie exclaimed to her sister over the applause.
Bianca’s lips parted, speechless. Imagine how much publicity a month-long fashion event would bring to the town? Were more models attending? That would be a perfect networking opportunity for Bianca, since she did the graphics for the fashion show. Giselle already wrote a five-star review on her website. It was a matter of time before new clients came Bianca’s way.
Giselle said, “For tonight, we’re going to give you a preview of our upcoming summer line!”
More cheers, and whoops erupted from the crowd. Bianca giggled at the excitement. While she purchased nothing from Clique Classic herself—too out-of-the-box for her simple taste—the clothing line had a few items that piqued her interest. When she spotted Alyssa making her way back to her seat, Bianca stood to her feet. She noticed Alyssa looked back a few times, but she didn’t break her stride. When her daughter reached her, she touched her arm.
“Everything okay?” she asked her.
Alyssa shrugged. “Sure I guess. I thought I saw… I’m sure it was nothing.” She sat in her chair and adjusted in her seat.
“What? Something happen?” Melanie leaned over to hear.
Bianca sat next to her daughter. She didn’t know why her mind returned to the man from the day before. Sandy brown haired man who’d been looking for Sherry. “What did you see?”
Alyssa shook her head. “I couldn’t tell Mom. Like I said, it was probably nothing. There’s a lot of people here, anyway.” Alyssa tucked a curl behind her ear, and while Bianca didn’t want to accuse her daughter of not telling the truth, her mother’s intuition sensed there was more to the story.
“Here we go!” Melanie pointed to the stage.
Bianca refocused and joined in the cheering as the first line of models came from behind the sheer curtains. Hands on their hips, the women walked the catwalk as if they owned it. Black and white were their colors. A platinum blonde wore a block-colored dress, black and white. The other woman’s hair was jet black, long, and she was wearing a striped black-and-white dress.
“I love the stripes,” Melanie chimed in her ear, despite the loud music.
Bianca pointed to the platinum blonde. “I think I like hers better.”
Melanie nudged her shoulder as the next set of models joined the stage. The first two exited.
Giselle continued. “Short and sweet is the cool, summery look here, ladies and gentlemen. Our models are wearing khaki elastic shorts with red-orange jungle print tops, which look so cute with their open necks and cap sleeves. You can’t go wrong in this simple yet stylish outfit.”
The audience applauded once more.
Alyssa’s mouth dropped. “I love it!”
“Not bad,” Bianca commented, although she couldn’t see herself in red-orange. Covering her mouth, she stifled her giggle.
“There’s Sherry!” Melanie exclaimed while pointing towards the stage.
Bianca smiled while admiring Sherry’s outfit. Her knee-length, pearl-white dress with a jewel neckline was breathtaking. Her shoes? Red pumps. The camera zoomed in on Sherry’s face briefly, showcasing her flawless complexion. Bianca had to ask her about the red pumps. The height of the heel was perfect.
“Is she okay?” Alyssa asked.
Bianca blinked, focusing back on Sherry’s face. The model touched a hand to her forehead for a moment, but then placed a hand on her hip. She continued her model walk, swaying to the runway music.
“If you’re looking for an ensemble on a special night out, you’ll love this sleek yet stylish pearl white dress,” Giselle said.
Bianca stared at Sherry. The woman lost her balance but tried to play it off. She forced a smile and continued.
“Something’s not right,” Melanie said.
“I know.” Bianca couldn’t pinpoint it, but despite Sherry’s flawless makeup, she looked pale.
Daria has lived in Texas for most of her life. She never liked reading as a kid. In fact, she almost hated it. However, as she grew up that all changed. Though she received her degree in healthcare management, Daria kept her writing as a hobby. She meant it to be private and her own way of expressing herself. It never crossed her mind to publish until she was in college. She took a chance and published. It worked!