The Fashion Police - the fashion business just got deadly…
Title: The Fashion Police
Author : Sibel Hodge
Genre: Chicklit mystery
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Tell us the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this novel?
I love reading romantic comedies and mysteries, so I thought why not mix them up! The Fashion Police is a screwball comedy-mystery, combining murder and mayhem with romance and chick-lit. Written in a similar style to Janet Evanovich and Harlan Coben, it is Stephanie Plum meets Myron Bolitar.
Tell us about the book cover.
This is my new cover. The old one was a bit too raunchy for Amazon! I think it’s a fun and sassy with a hint of intrigue - just like Amber Fox.
How does it represent your book? How did you choose the artwork?
The cover represents a lot of the elements in the book. You’ll have to read it to find out why! I chose the artwork from iStock photos. It screamed, “Yes! Pick me!”
The Fashion Police was a runner up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition 2010 and nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements 2010 by The Romance Reviews.
Amber Fox has been making too many mistakes lately and something's got to give...
For starters, Amber accidentally shoots Chief Inspector Janice Skipper and gets thrown off the police force. The only one who knows the truth about the incident is Amber, but no one will believe her.
After accepting a job as an insurance investigator from her ex-fiancé, Brad Beckett, it turns out that Brad thinks they've still got unfinished business and the job description includes sexual favours that come with a price.
When fashion designer, Umberto Fandango, goes missing, Amber becomes embroiled in a complicated case. But Amber's arch-enemy, Chief Inspector Skipper, is also investigating his disappearance, and it's a race against time for Amber to solve the mystery before Skipper does and get her old job back. And just when Amber thinks things can't get any worse, she's being stalked by some crazy mobsters.
Who is Umberto Fandango? Is he dead? And can Amber stay one step ahead and stay alive?
Luckily, throbbing body parts didn’t keep me awake that night. Mine or Brad’s – although I was quite sure that Brad would’ve liked the idea. However, he had left shortly after we consumed our dinner. Random thoughts deep in my subconscious kept me awake, instead. There was just something about the disappearance of the fashion collection. Something about it kept niggling away at me. I woke up early with an idea burning in my brain.
I crawled out of bed and toed through the discarded clothing piled up on the floor. I peered in the closet, only to discover that a clothes-stealing troglodyte had been wearing all my clothes and failing to return them, washed and ironed. All I had left in the closet were my girly clothes, which were far too nice and too expensive to wear while chasing criminals. I dug around a little more and finally discovered a pair of camouflage combat trousers and a sweatshirt in my laundry basket that appeared to be recyclable.
I didn’t have time for breakfast, so I gulped a glass of orange juice and grabbed a cold baked potato to eat in the car. My foot still felt a bit tender when I stuffed it into my stand-by pair of sneakers, which I kept in the back of the cupboard for just such an occasion. That proved the theory I’d had for a number of years now: a girl can never have enough pairs of shoes.
My first stop was Heather’s apartment. As I pulled into the communal parking lot, I noticed that her BMW was still parked in the same spot. A black and white cat rubbed himself against the tires in ecstasy, like he’d been snorting catnip. I took the stairs to her apartment, and rapped my knuckles gently on her door. As I did this, the door swung open a couple of inches. Either I had magic, door opening knuckles, or the mob goons had left it unsecured. My second guess seemed like the most plausible. I suspected they weren’t particularly security-conscious guys.
I took a deep breath and pushed the door open all the way. Everything seemed exactly as I’d left it when I ran out on Saturday, minus the goons. I wandered through the rooms with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Heather still hadn’t returned.
Next up, I went by Fandango’s office, just in case Heather had been mysteriously transported there in some kind of weird Star Trekky time warp. The only living thing that greeted me was a solitary sparrow, pecking about on the ground. The doors were still locked. I banged on them a couple of times just in case. While I waited, I peered through the leopard skin curtains, but the place was as deserted as the Mary Celeste.
I said goodbye to the sparrow and made my way to Tia’s apartment.
‘Hi.’ Tia’s face lit up when she saw me. ‘Have you got any news? The police haven’t told me anything.’ She beckoned me inside.
Her apartment was exactly how I’d imagined it would be. A mix of vibrant colors and textures filled the spacious, open floor-plan apartment, which overlooked the Union Canal. A shrieking orange sofa took center stage in the living room, covered with leopard print cushions. In front of the sofa stood a modern-style chrome and glass coffee table, and a matching chrome and glass TV stand took up a corner wall. She must be Fandango’s daughter after all, I thought, as I observed her choice of décor. Again, I noticed the lack of photos or personal items. Maybe it was me. Surely I wasn’t the only person in the world with OCD: Obsessive clutter disorder?
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Sibel Hodge has dual British/Turkish Cypriot nationality, dividing her time between Hertfordshire and North Cyprus. She is a qualified personal trainer, sports and massage therapist, and writes freelance feature articles on health, fitness, and various lifestyle subjects. Prior to this, she also worked for Hertfordshire Constabulary for ten years.
Her debut novel, Fourteen Days Later, was short listed for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008 and received a highly commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009. It is a romantic comedy with a unique infusion of British and Turkish Cypriot culture. Written in a similar style to Catherine Alliott and Marian Keyes, Fourteen Days Later is My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Bridget Jones. My Perfect Wedding is the sequel to Fourteen Days Later, although it can be read as a standalone novel.
The Fashion Police is her second novel and was a runner up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition 2010 and voted Best Novel with Romantic Elements 2010 by The Romance Reviews. It is a screwball comedy-mystery, combining murder and mayhem with romance and chick-lit, and the first in a series featuring feisty, larger-than-life insurance investigator, Amber Fox. Written in a similar style to Janet Evanovich and Harlan Coben, The Fashion Police is Stephanie Plum meets Myron Bolitar.