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Handbags and Homicide (Haley Randolph #1)

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  743 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Haley Randolph is always ready to go to any lengths to get the latest Louis Vuitton. Unfortunately for Haley, her life goes from glam to grim when her passion for fashion outlasts her credit cards, and she's forced to work at Holt's--a mid-market department store. Looking for a bit of shopping inspiration, Haley sneaks into the stock room to get a first glimpse of Holt's o...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,632)
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Lisa Kay
Louis Vuitton organizer about $700.


★★½☆☆ Whoa. And I thought I was materialistic? I couldn't connect with the heroine. She was too materialistic, too self-centered, too inconsiderate, and worst of all too lazy. She doesn't know how to tell a supervisor on the phone - when he puts her off by saying he's on a break - that there is a dead body? Pretty easy to say those two words: "dead body." There are very few good scenes in this one, and they don't come until the second half, when the heroine sta...more
Robin
Tried the Kindle sample of this one. From the description, it sounded like "Confessions of a Shopaholic" with a murder mystery - so I expected the main character, Haley, to initially be irresponsible with her money. But I wasn't expecting a lazy, shallow, disrespectful, mean spirited main character.

Within just the short Kindle sample, she manages to inwardly call a customer the B word just for complaining that the store was a mess (which it was), insult her (again, inwardly) for being "only a 3...more
Genji Bailey
What a stupid novel, what a totally unlikeable, lazy, bad-work-ethic main character. Wow - really disappointed. I got to chapter 3 and when she got upset because her supervisors were going to watch tapes that might include her practically mapping in the stock room when she was supposed to be attempting to assist a customer, got upset that her boss was killed and that might crimp her plans, and she specifically avoided a store customer who needed help - not that the customer had any redeeming qua...more
Jessica Workman Holland (Tales Between the Pages)
You can see this review at Tales Between the Pages

Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell is a fun read that is perfect for summer. It’s funny, fast-paced, and there are enough designer handbag references to make you drool. I’m not a handbag afficionado. I buy cheap at Target. But the book even had me drooling when I looked up pictures of the handbags in question.

I had a hard time liking Haley at the beginning of the novel. I found her vapid and narcissistic and not too like-able. For a while, I...more
Barbara
Some books I'm embarrassed to admit that I read and this is one of them. But I want to get it on my list to remind myself not to read any more in the series. The main character, Haley was completely unlikable; shallow, lazy, dumb and irresponsible with money. I enjoy a well written chic-lit mystery but this was not it. I figured out the two "mysteries" long before she did and I kept saying to her "you were set up because they knew you were stupid!" Near the end when she also figured it out she a...more
Marni
I read alot of mysteries but had decided that I wouldn't give any 5 stars--5 star ratings are reserved for my all time favorite books. Well after reading a clunker previous to this I just fell in love with this funny mystery. Handbags are quite bountiful in the world of Haley Randolph. She is funny, smart, relatable and sassy. Most mysteries have the typical solve the crime and all the pieces come together at the end. This one had a couple of nifty twists and turns at the end. A complete and utt...more
Andrea
This is book 1 in the Haley Randolph Mystery series. Haley Randolph has a thing for designer handbags. She has a day job at a law firm and has had to take a part time job at a department store because she has overdrawn her bank account and needs to earn some extra money. Things turn bad when she discovers the dead body of the assistant store manager in the stockroom and she is considered a suspect in the case. Things turn even worse when she is escorted out of the law firm on unpaid leave pendin...more
Kayeb
OK........ not compelling, but amusing. I did take the time to look up some of the handbag designers on the web, since I am so not a handbag junkie. So I have at least seen prada and so on in pictures. The conclusion is a bit of a surprise, given that we are introduced to a bit more self reflection than we ahd seen with the main character previously.

[close:] Witty, smart, and always chic-to-die despite a less than glam checking account balance, Haley Randolph has it all--Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Co...more
Kerstin
This was a very light and entertaining read. I honestly didn't think I would enjoy it, as after the first couple of chapters I was very sure I didn't like Haley, the ditzy designer handbag addict who is our protagonist, and left the book lying around for a couple of weeks. When I finally picked it up again, I did end up being amused by it and even warmed up to Haley.

Haley is a shopaholic, often spending more money than she owns. She has a job at a famous law firm in the accounting department and...more
Dalene
Original review posted at A Date with a Book

I haven’t given 5 stars to a cozy mystery in a long time. I loved this book from page one and until the end. As indicated on the back, there is a cliffhanger which will leave the reader wanting to read the next book quick. Oh yeah it does. It really does leave you hanging so if you can’t stand to wait, make sure you have book two ready to go!! I’ve got to find the second book, ugh.

Haley is quite the character. She finds herself on the edge of destru...more
thegirlinpink
304 pages on sale for $6.99 in Amazon.com


What is it about? Dorothy Howell’s novel is about a 24-year-old bagaholic named Haley Randolph. Some trouble in her primary job, along with financial problems due to her shopping expeditions land Haley as a worker in Holt’s Department Stores... much to her dismay. During one of her dreadful nights at Holt’s Haley stumbles upon a dead body, and that is where the plot gets thicker. Accused of financial irresponsibility in her first job and murder in her sec...more
Ana

Haley Randolph is a purse whore. buying the lates brand name items. She was fired from her job, so now she is working at a horrible clothing store where she regularly gets yelled at. Right when she thought things couldn't possibly get worse. She ends up finds the body of her boss and all the evidence points to her. Meanwhile she's trying to figure out how to get her job back the only one that brought in tons of money for her purse and handbag addiction. While she tries to clear up her name she g...more
Reina
This was a pretty good book. It is compared in some reviews to Stephanie Plum books, although I found it to be kind of a PG-13 version (rather than R). The main character is a little hard to really like, because she is SO shallow, and wants to stay that way; although she does have a few altruistic moments, they are so few and far between that it's not enough to help with her likableness. I guess I'm saying I would like the book more if the main character was more likable and relatable.
Lisbeth Mizula
This book was so much fun to read. Yes, she's immature. Yes, she has a horrid work ethic. Yes, she's hugely self-centered. The series is funny exactly because Haley Randolph is doing what we, the (supposedly) nice people, aren't supposed to be doing. Going for a lie-down in the break room when you're on the clock. Running from customers on the sales floor. Spending the rent money on a handbag. Eating three candy bars from the snack machine in one seating. Of course in real life we aren't doing t...more
Lisa
I must confess that I could not finish reading this book. I had high hopes, as I love cozy mysteries but this was just horrible from the get-go. It seemed promising, but I just couldn't connect with the main character, and I had to force myself to turn the page. The main character was over-the-top materialistic, shallow, self-centered and lazy. I couldn't connect with her whatsoever. This was my first and last Dorothy Howell mystery.
Rickie Blair
If you're looking for an amusing light read with a definite chick-lit vibe, this is your book. It has the obligatory adorable heroine (this one has a weakness for designer handbags) and a well-crafted mystery.

It's a entertaining beach (or bus) read. Just be sure to bring along the appropriate purse to stow it in when you're done!
D.L. Williams
Haley Randolph has many problems, she lies, she doesn't really like people which doesn't go over well in retail, she is late a lot, she is lazy, she lost one job and may lose the other. But, I like her very much, and I like the way she was written very much. This book was meant to entertain, and it does. I cant wait to read the next in the series.
Christia
Haley Randolph reminds me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, only much more fashion conscious. An entertaining, fast paced, easy read. Due to her unxepected and unexplained sudden administrative leave from the high powered attorney's office where she works in accounting, Haley finds herself dependent on her part-time job that she loathes, working at Holt's, a low end department store. To make matters worse, she finds the store manager dead in the stock room.

This is a perfect read for the beac...more
Leslie
Storyline was good but something was definitely missing. I wouldn't have minded and would have given this book a higher rating if it hadn't ended as abruptly as it had, left me wondering what happened but not enough to read the next book.
Carol
This is a reader's choice selection from the county library. (FYI: for every 5 reader's choice books you read, you get a free book.) I didn't like this book when I started reading it, but ended up liking the book overall. (I kept reading to help me earn my free book....I know! So lame of me!) The main character (Haley) is really bad with money, and it made me anxious as she continued to shop compulsively as a way to cope with life's challenges. This made it hard for me to enjoy the story. And ye...more
Nd
Hilarious with an obnoxiously funny protagonist. A good poke at materialism. I found myself laughing out loud poolside, which was an odd juxtaposition to the calm and beauty of the ocean and dunes on my Jekyll Island excursion.
Matthew Cousens
When I first started reading this I thought it was very similar to the BODY MOVERS series and almost lost interest. I'm glad I didn't. While both series have characters with part-time jobs as salesclerks, and both discuss high-end designer purchases, Haley Randolph is a great character on her own right. I enjoyed reading this series because of the humor and found the pages turning quickly. The plot might not be the most developed one I have ever read but there were enough twists that it kept me...more
Melanie
This book was just okay. It was interesting enough that I wanted to finish it, but I don't plan on reading the other two books in the series. The story line was really good. Haley, the main character, is lacking. She is pretty much the waste of a person. When I was positive about Haley I wanted to compare her to Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, but Elle has ambition. Haley doesn't have ambition. In the end of the novel she does plan to go back to school. However, we are given a chapter of the nex...more
Kshydog
Totally chic-lit style without the sex. Haley is all about herself, spending more $ than she has (probably not worried coming from a family with $), getting jobs she is not qualified to do, having guys interested in her ( liked her retail boss Ty and her PI helper Jack) and being an overall space cadet. The aspects of the murder mystery and why she lost her job were the best parts.
Molly
When I first started reading this book, I was convinced I'd hate it. I, like Haley, am a bit of a handbag junkie, but definitely not to the extent that she is! As I said, I was completely convinced this book but be whiney and far too unrealistic for me to even finish! However, I was proved wrong. Once you get past the slow character developments and take Haley as 'comedic', then you're in for a good read! Intriguing, funny and pieces together very well, I'd recommend this book for those who have...more
Terry
1st in a new series by veteran romance author Dorothy Howell. Super-light and fits into my "murder goes retail" frame of mind, since I just finished the car dealership one. . . Noteworthy: southern California mind-set is perfect, Haley is a handbag expert (and key to the plot), and she's gently funny. It took awhile to connect the dots between Century City law firms and Santa Clarita's "Mervyn's/Kohl's" but the Stephanie Plum character wasn't all that put together when she started either. Also,...more
Julie
This was a really fun book. The main character is a bit ditzy at times and has a serious problem with binge spending. Her rationale is not the average. Besides that, the book had quite a few funny moments and great snide comments. The character reminds me so much of Sophie Kinsella's heroines.....just the American version. I read this book in one day because it kept me interested in the two mysteries that Haley was involved in with work. I liked the guys in her life. No bad apples. The ending ma...more
Margaret
I really enjoyed this! Light, fun & fast - our sleuth Haley is young, very impulsive, jumps to incorrect conclusions a lot, has a designer handbag obsession, eats too much junk food and makes bad financial decisions - all of which made her likable and engaging. The LA setting and retail store environment brought back memories of my stint in retail at the May Company (they are Macy's now) in Redondo Beach, CA. Like her, it was not a job I liked but just tolerated although the 20% discount was...more
Susan
Not since I read the shopaholic books has a main character annoyed me like Becky did, make me wonder why I keep on reading (but do?!?!) until I read Handbags and Homicide. While I did enjoy the book(s), I think that it was in the way that something irritating ends up being something you decide that you have to overcome, if that makes any sense.

Haley Randolph is self-absorbed, a chronic lier and can't seem to see when she needs to put her credit cards away and stop self indulging, yet the hunky d...more
Barbara
This is an amusing, light mystery that was fun to read.
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Dorothy Howell writes for two publishing houses, in two genres, under two names. She writes mysteries as Dorothy Howell historical romance novels under the pseudonym Judith Stacy.
More about Dorothy Howell...
Purses and Poison (Haley Randolph, #2) Shoulder Bags and Shootings (Haley Randolph, #3) Clutches and Curses (Haley Randolph, #4) Tote Bags and Toe Tags (Haley Randolph Series, #5) Evening Bags and Executions

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