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Authors: G.T. Herren

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G.T. Herren - Paige Tourneur 01 - Fashion Victim

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G.T. Herren - Paige Tourneur 01 - Fashion Victim
Paige Tourneur [1]
G.T. Herren
booksBnimble (2012)
Tags:
Mystery: Cozy - Reporter - Humor - New Orelans
Mystery: Cozy - Reporter - Humor - New Orelansttt
To hear her buddy Chanse McLeod tell it, Paige Tourneur is rotund, cute as a button, a truly bad driver, and the best friend a gay P.I. could possibly have. Now Paige gets a chance to tell it herself in her own witty and worldly-wise way. And it seems like she has quite a past that’s starting to haunt her.
Paige has long since left the
Times-Picayune
, played out a stint on television, and has now landed a job at
Crescent City Magazine
, which sends her out to do a personality piece on bitchy fashion designer Marigny Mercereau. Only Marigny ends up dead fifteen minutes before her fifteen minutes of fame.
Twisting through Marigny’s creepy past, Paige is accompanied, as always, by best friend Chanse, her cop buddies Venus Casanova and Blaine Tujague, and her new boyfriend, Blaine’s brother Ryan. So what happens when a woman meets the perfect man and her past comes calling?
G.T. Herren - Paige Tourneur 01 - Fashion Victim
Paige Tourneur [1]
G.T. Herren
booksBnimble (2012)
Tags: Mystery: Cozy - Reporter - New Orelans
Mystery: Cozy - Reporter - New Orelansttt

To hear her buddy Chanse McLeod tell it, Paige Tourneur is rotund, cute as a button, a truly bad driver, and the best friend a gay P.I. could possibly have. Now Paige gets a chance to tell it herself in her own witty and worldly-wise way. And it seems like she has quite a past that’s starting to haunt her.
Paige has long since left the
Times-Picayune
, played out a stint on television, and has now landed a job at
Crescent City Magazine
, which sends her out to do a personality piece on bitchy fashion designer Marigny Mercereau. Only Marigny ends up dead fifteen minutes before her fifteen minutes of fame.
Twisting through Marigny’s creepy past, Paige is accompanied, as always, by best friend Chanse, her cop buddies Venus Casanova and Blaine Tujague, and her new boyfriend, Blaine’s brother Ryan. So what happens when a woman meets the perfect man and her past comes calling?

 

Praise for FASHION VICTIM, the first book in G.T. Herren’s Paige Tourneur Missing Husband Series:

“A delicious, witty, deftly plotted mystery, G.T. Herren’s
Fashion Victim
offers up a compulsively readable tale—
Devil Wears Prada
meets Agatha Christie.”


Megan Abbott, Edgar-winning author of
Queenpin
and
Dare Me

“Set against the dark and vibrant backdrop of wondrous New Orleans, Herren’s wit and ingenuity make his mysteries a constant pleasure.”


Alex Marwood, author of
The Wicked Girls


Fashion Victim
is a witty, engrossing slice of New Orleans life (and death). When a reporter sets out to profile a murdered designer, she must work around the post-Katrina reality of lost records and missing persons. Lucky for the reader, this means piecing together delicious bits of gossip and hints of hushed-up scandal. Wry observations about old money in the new New Orleans add extra sparkle to a plot full of lively characters and satisfying twists.”


Lia Matera, author of the Willa Jansson and Laura Di Palma series

Praise for Greg Herren, G.T.’s alter ego:

“Herren, a loyal New Orleans resident, paints a brilliant portrait of the recovering city, including insights into its tight-knit gay community. This latest installment in a powerful series is sure to delight old fans and attract new ones.”


Publishers Weekly

“Herren does a fine job of moving the story along, deftly juggling the murder investigation and the intricate relationships while maintaining several running subjects.”


Echo
Magazine

“So much fun it should be thrown from Mardi Gras floats!”


New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Greg Herren just keeps getting better.”


Lambda Book Report

FASHION VICTIM is the first book in the Paige Tourneur Missing Husband Series.

 

FASHION VICTIM

A
Paige Tourneur
Mystery

By

G.T. Herren

booksBnimble Publishing
New Orleans, La.
Fashion Victim
Copyright © 2012 by Greg Herren
All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Cover by Andy Brown
eBook edition by
booknook.biz
 
ISBN 9781625170279
www.booksBnimble.com
First booksBnimble Publishing electronic publication: December 2012

Contents

Start Reading

Full Table of Contents

Chapter One

There really needs to be a law against serving cheap red wine at a boring party.

The person who invents a pill you can take to either prevent or cure a hangover will win the Nobel Prize and my undying gratitude
, I thought as I staggered down the long and steep curving staircase from the second floor of my apartment to the first, my hand clutching the railing with a death grip. I reminded myself for the umpteenth time to remind my cleaning lady not to polish the stairs again— every time she did they became slick as oiled ice, and one of these days I was going to slip and kill myself.

I also gave myself a good cussing out for drinking so much of that cheap red wine they’d been serving. I’d been bored out of my mind, and each glass made the party a tad bit more interesting. I had a vague memory of pouring myself into a cab, and I hoped I hadn’t made a complete fool of myself.

Now that I was editor of
Crescent City
magazine, the last thing in the world I needed to be doing was offend people, so I’d started restricting my wine consumption in public. So far, I’d managed two years in the job without saying anything untoward.

In public, anyway— these days, I was only pissing people off by doing my job, which was the way it should be.

Somehow, I safely made it to the bottom of the steps without either slipping off the stairs or tripping over Skittle, my oversized orange and white cat. He just stared at me from the doorway to the kitchen, blinked, and howled.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re hungry, I get it,” I said, stepping over him and reaching for the canister of dry cat food. I filled his bowl before staggering the length of my narrow kitchen to the coffee maker and pushing the “brew” button. I’d had the foresight to get it ready before leaving for the fashion show last night, on the distinct possibility I would be in this kind of shape this morning. I tossed a bagel into the toaster and grabbed the cream cheese from the refrigerator.

Fuck the calories, and fuck the diet. This was an emergency.

I finished the bagel as I walked over to the table in the little breakfast nook. I started feeling better as it started soaking up the alcohol, and I closed my eyes in relief. Skittle hopped up on the table and glared at me through narrowed eyes. I made a face back at him. I wasn’t in the mood for cattitude just yet.

I closed my eyes and rubbed my forehead as I started sorting through my memories of the wretched fashion show.

Fashion shows are not my thing, as a rule. Sure, I have a closet full of gorgeous designer clothes, but I buy those for practically nothing at thrift stores and consignment shops in Uptown. I’ve outgrown what my best friend used to call my “gypsy on acid” look, but I can still give Stevie Nicks a run for her money when I feel like it. But this had been Marigny Mercereau’s first show in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, and my boss decided this was a big enough deal to warrant putting Marigny on the cover. She was getting the full treatment— coverage of the runway show, a cover shoot, and an in-depth interview. I wasn’t convinced she deserved it, frankly. Don’t get me wrong— I knew it was a
good
thing that the House of Mercereau was open for business again. Any business coming back since Katrina was terrific, a sign that things were getting back to normal— whatever that meant in New Orleans.

But a
cover
story on a business whose primary clientele was rich women, drag queens, and high school girls in the market for a prom dress?

I pointed out to my boss this was hardly a newsworthy enough story in our post-Katrina world to warrant such coverage— even if Marigny was a huge advertiser, which she never had been and was unlikely to become. Since I’d gone to work at
Crescent City
, we’d moved away from being a fluff magazine about the city to doing more in-depth investigative pieces— because as a monthly, we could do the kind of in-depth reporting the city’s daily and weekly papers couldn’t, and we were doing quite well with this kind of hard-hitting journalism.

I didn’t understand the return to fluff, but I gave in with good grace.

Choosing your battles wisely is becoming a lost art.

I didn’t even bat an eye when the interview was assigned to me— at Marigny’s request. I knew her— I’d dated one of her sons briefly in the pre-Katrina world, and for some reason Marigny liked me. She seemed rather pretentious to me, and her sense of humor was odd… and it’s not like I was really into the entire fashion scene. But before I had a chance to say okay, my boss gave me the whole “team player” speech.

Obviously, she was expecting me to pitch a fit of some sort.

But I loved working at
Crescent City
, and I really liked my boss. It was a great job, and a huge improvement over working at the city’s daily paper— and besides, there was that whole
choose your battles wisely
thing. I figured I could use the good will I’d earn doing the Marigny Mercereau interview to my advantage later. We’d scheduled the interview for later this afternoon— so I really needed to pull it together. Marigny had also sent me tickets to her fashion show last night— enclosing them in a card with the note
So looking forward to seeing you again, xoxoxoxoxo Marigny—
in what she called her “trademark” pink ink.

After all, nothing screams “professional” like pink ink, right?

So I’d left the office early yesterday and come home like a good girl. I dug through my closet until I found a nice black dress in my closet— you can never go wrong with basic black— and took a cab I had every intention of expensing to the House of Mercereau.

My cell phone started vibrating on the table, which sent the cat scurrying up the stairs at high speed. I opened my eyes and looked down at the screen. My boss’s smiling face filled the screen. For a brief moment I considered not taking the call, but I’d played the “oh I forgot to charge my phone” card a few too many times lately. With a sigh, I touched the red “accept” bar and picked up the phone.

“Paige!” Rachel Delesdernier Sheehan managed to sound both cheerful and professional— a trait that in anyone else would annoy the hell out of me. But now, she seemed breathless and not herself. “Have you heard?” She went on, without giving me a chance to respond, “I’m sorry if I woke you up, but I had to call as soon as I heard the news.”

“What news?”

“About Marigny.” She took a deep breath. “She was
murdered
last night.”

I couldn’t have heard that right. I shook my head. “What?”

“Marigny was shot to death last night. In her own
house.”

“Marigny’s dead?” I replied, trying to wrap my mind around it.

I’d just seen her, barely twelve hours earlier. I closed my eyes, and remembered her rushing up to greet me when I arrived at the party, her arms open wide, a big smile on her face. “Paige darling! It’s been too long!” she’d said, crushing me in a hug and giving me a wet kiss on each cheek.

Dead? Murdered?

“You’re sure?” I said slowly.

“Yes, it was on the radio just a minute ago.” Her voice sounded shaky. “I’m in my car, so I pulled over and called you immediately. There was a press conference…”

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