Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday Review Contest: The Fashion Police by Sibel Hodge

Yes, I know it's Tuesday, but I'm stubbornly sticking to my Monday Review Contest theme. And yes, I know I missed last week, so I'm reviewing TWO wonderful indie romance titles to make up for it this week (wait for the next one and check back soon!).

Sibel Hodge's The Fashion Police (Amber Fox Mystery) is the first book in a series of romantic mysteries starring Amber Fox, a former policewoman who turns to detective work between jobs.

Hodge uses first person for The Fashion Police, and after reading a bazillion (yes, I counted) romance books written in third person, with tons of head hopping, it took a few pages for me to shift to reading in first person.

It's all tell in The Fashion Police, and Amber Fox is a spunky police officer/detective with a (kinda, sorta) weak spot for her former fiance, Brad Beckett. Brad hires her to do some insurance work for him at Hi-Tec and when the owner of a fashion company she's investigating goes missing, the mystery and suspense develop into a humorous, goofy romantic suspense ride.

Hodge writes Amber with stream-of-consciousness, non-stop observations. A model is "so thin she looked like she'd been photocopied" (I laughed out loud at this). At times, though, she has Amber telling us about the emotions of others - emotions that would be better explained through description. A character doesn't give Amber a once-over - Hodge has to have Amber noting her "disdain." The showing works better stripped down, without the exposition.

This is a $3.49 eBook and a full-length novel. Hodge bucks the $.99 trend and I admire that; any good novel under $5 will likely sell well, and writers need to carefully weigh out their financial and marketing options when looking at price points.

While I'm not, personally, a big fan of first-person fiction, Hodge has done well with this point of view within the genre, and I can respect the style - readers who do enjoy viewing the world of Amber Fox through her own eyes and observations will find this a likeable journey. The Fashion Police is the first in Hodge's series, with follow-up book Be Careful What You Wish For (Amber Fox Mystery) just released.

Also available on B&N ($3.99) and Smashwords ($3.99).

As with all my contests, one lucky blog reader will win a Kindle copy of The Fashion Police this week. You don't need to own a Kindle to read a Kindle eBook - remember, you can use an iPhone, iPad, Android device, PC, Mac, etc.

All you need to do is comment on this post! I'll announce the winner next Monday. Thanks!


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to review The Fashion Police! :)

  2. I am usually a crime thriller reader and have steered away from romantic chic lit type books as the few I have read have been really "wishy washy" or too "pink and fluffy" as my friend says. Your review of this makes this book sound really different in that it's a bit of romance with a bit of crime thrown in too.
    I have never read anything by this author and may have to download a sample of it to see how I get on.
    Thanks for the review, as without these reviews some of us would be stuck with the same old authors every time.

  3. Would love to win this as I have really enjoyed the other Sibel Hodge books I have read. Real page turners! (is that still right on a kindle???!!)

  4. This book was compared to the Stephanie Plum series, which I am a huge fan of. The Fashion Police sounds really interesting, and I'm always a fan of a little romance thrown in with my mystery (or vice versa) :)

  5. Harper,

    I agree that first person can be tricky because the reader only knows what the main character knows and sees. From your review, however, it appears that Ms. Hodge may have balanced out this endeavor with the quality of her storyline, adding in the humor and goofiness to make it even more enjoyable for the reader.

    I also agree with your comments about the pricing. As an author myself, 99¢ for a full-length novel - even if it is digital - is difficult to justify.


  6. Fiona, maybe we should use "finger swiper" as a replacement for "page turner."

    "That eBook was a real finger swiper!"


  7. I'm definitely interested in reading detective chick lit!

  8. As a huge fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, I think that this is something I would really enjoy!

  9. Sounds interesting! I hope I win!

  10. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the Fashion Police. I enjoy a great romantic mystery between my other suspense/thriller mystery books. I look forward to winning this book to add to my growing collection of kindle books.

    kkappleby at msn dot com

  11. Thanks for the giveaway!