Missing Mabel



Title:  Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)

Author:  Nancy Mehl

Pages:  249

Year:  2010

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

I have read all of Nancy Mehl’s more recent books and was happy to discover she had written this mystery series earlier in her career.  The story is set in Wichita, Kansas in the present.  Hilde Higgins is a young, single woman with a very interesting and some might say strange job.  She is a hairdresser for the deceased.  She styles the hair of dead people before their funeral services.  Her mother is not happy with her career choice, especially since she quit college to pursue this job.

Hilde is called to one of the local funeral homes for a job, but accidentally goes into the wrong room to discover the body of Mabel Winnemaker, awaiting delivery to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.  Hilde is supposed to dress the hair of another woman.  Hilde quickly leaves the room and finds the correct body and proceeds to do her job.  A few days later she is called back to the funeral home to dress the hair of Mabel.  The only problem is the Hilde has a photographic memory and the body she has been told is Mabel is not the same Mabel she saw a few days ago.  She notifies the funeral home owner, but he thinks she has made a mistake.  Then, Hilde is accused of stealing an expensive ring from Mabel’s body and Hilde fears her reputation and career will be ruined.  She sets out to find out where the real Mabel is and to notify Mabel’s family of the situation.

An old friend contacts Hilde to renew their acquaintance and Hilde can sure use his help to find out what happened to Mabel.  Hilde also makes friends with a crusty old gentleman, Gabe, across the street from the boarding house where she lives.  They interaction between Hilde and Gabe were just so funny!  Those conversations were one of my favorite parts of the book and I hope Gabe appears in the other books of the series.  I also liked how Hilde’s faith in God was evident in how she lived her life.  Her best friend was not a believer, but Hilde prayed for her and tried to show her the love of God in how she lives her life.  Hilde’s renewed friendship with Adam also revealed his faith, which I thought was so important for the beginning of a relationship.  I am looking forward to book two in the series, Blown Away.