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Stilettos & Scoundrels

(Presley Thurman Mystery #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  718 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Alternate Cover Edition for ASIN: B003YJEQPY

Presley Thurman tells her boss what he can do with her job in HR, and embarks on a new career as a freelance journalist. What seems like a simple interview with a Senator turns to murder when, the day after her interview, the Senator turns up dead. Does the fact that Presley was one of the last people to see him alive make her a
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published March 21st 2010 by Five Seas Ink
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful gem found amid the dross that seems to becoming the norm for cosy mysteries these days. The author provides a wonderful protagonist, Presley (Pres), who finds herself smack dab in the middle of the murder investigation of a senator with wandering hands (and unzipped trousers!)
I seriously enjoyed this tale (enough to download the second book and follow the author) and unlike a lot of cosies it wasn't dripping with sugary sweet romance, just the perfect amount of "will they or won't t
Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner is about Presley Thurman; a 30-something shoppaholic/coffeeholic HR manager who got fired after blocking her boss's repeated attempts of sexual harassment. She recently broke up with her cheating bf, too. Having nothing else to do in the big city, she agrees on a friend's offer to work as a freelance editor for an online magazine which required her to make an interview with Senator Tom Daniels in her hometown. The Senator was found murdered with a stiletto ...more
My father got this book for free from the author herself in 2010 while he was visiting New York for work. He was appreciative, but he didn’t read much anymore by then, so the book just gathered dust in one of our house’s shelves by the time he got back. For years I saw the book and I never thought anything of it, until midst of 2013 when I started reading. I saw it in the aforementioned shelf and the cover always drew my attention. Since then I always meant to read the book but never got to it, ...more
Laina Turner
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I want to be honest and let you know I am the author of this book. Of course I have good things to say about it but I also have a lot of constructive feedback for myself. As my first fiction novel I made a lot of mistakes that as I am working on the sequel to this book, Handbags and Hooligans, I hope to do better.
Presley is a Senior Human Resource Manager at McLaughlin Industries. Right in the beginning of the book, she gets fired from her job. She definitely has to find some kind of work since she loves shoes and shopping! As you can see from these quotes:

"Enough reflecting, she said to herself, unlocking her door. There were more pressing things to worry about--like finding a new job. The bills wouldn't pay themselves, and she didn't have a sugar daddy in her back pocket. Stepping on the foyer, she kic
Feb 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I don't normally pay attention to editing as I work with social media and forget not to shorten everything anyway (ie texting). However, I found myself re-reading paragraphs when the wrong pronoun was used. I had to think about what the author was trying to say when "they" was used instead of "we".

The second thing I failed to understand was how the main character (Presley) worked as a Human Resource Manager and managed to get fired from her job when she was the victim of sexual harassment. Isn't
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stilettos Scoundrels Book 1. The Presley Thurman Cozy Mystery Series by Laina Turner.
I received a free copy of this book via author and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I really liked the story and enjoyed the way it developed throughout the chapters. I will continue reading the Presley Thurman Series to see how it developed in time.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After an "incident" in her boss' office, Presley Thurman is let go from her position as HR manager. Needing time to assess her situation, she heads to her hometown for quality friends and family time. Then a murder is committed and her friends are implicated; it's up to Presley to put things together and save the day.

To be honest, I had a hard time putting together my synopsis for this book. Partly due to the fact that I was switching rapidly between other novels and partly because my mind kept
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Presley is an intriguing protagonist in this mystery, but her mother is someone this reader can do without. Some slight continuity issues, but other than that, a good mystery.
Jaidis Shaw
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski is a quirky tale with all of the essentials: murder, mystery and great fashion! Presley Thurman is just your average single female trying to make her way up the corporate ladder while looking the best she possibly can. So when her boss fires her after she refuses his advances, she naturally prepares thinking of ways she can have a career and her shoe collection at the same time. Quickly being offered a job for a newspaper, Presley heads to her small ...more
Paula  Phillips
Are you a fan of Stephanie Plum or Holly Woods ? Do you love reading books about females who love detective work but get into mischief along the way ? I know I do as I have always been interested in the crime solving type books and shows and often I could imagine myself like these characters - always finding trouble. They are also good books if you want a laugh and wanting a mystery that isn't too gory. The other thing I loved about Laina Turner's books is that each one has alliteration in the ...more
Rebecca Graf
I originally was going to tackle these stories separately, but I would be repeating myself too much. Maybe if I hadn't read them all so soon after each other I could have done it successfully. So, I'll review the Presley Thurman Mysteries as one.

All of these stories are centered around one person, Presley Thurman. She is an outspoken woman who acts before she thinks many times. She is not afraid to take a chance and will despite the consequences. She also seems to be a magnet for trouble. Murder
Kathleen Kelly
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Stiletos & Scoundrels gave me a chuckle in a lot of the spots. The main character, Presley, yes her mother had a fondness for Elvis, is a zany type of character. She gets fired from her job in the big city of Chicago where where she lives. She loves the windy city and lives just blocks away from the busy downtown shopping area. She has a passion for shoes, Starbucks and snooping. I think it was a good thing she got fired because she is wasting her talents in my opinion being a HR director. She t ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
STILETTOS & SCOUNDRELS by Laina Turner-Molaski is an interesting chick lit/suspense/mystery/romance.It has a large cast of characters each one with their own insight into the problems,and their own way of thinking. It is well written with details and style. This is a quirky tale of murder,mystery,fashion,chick lit spin,climbing the corporate ladder,sensual harassment by an employer,scandals,and adventure. Presley has adventures abound,is fired from her job after refusing to slept with her boss a ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I am reading a mental 'junkfood' mystery. I do this a lot when I find the kindle versions free on Amazon. A lot. Seriously, I 'spend' more on free books than I do any other kind, heh.

At least this one isn't a paranormal mystery, those are like crack to me. So sad...

ETA Okay, this book blows. I tried to muddle my way through it, but only made it about 35% before the crappy writing and unlikable characters got to me. I will read some serious trash too, so you know this one had to be pretty ba
Kristine (A Cozy Booknook)
I couldn't finish this book. I didn't find the main character likable at all, she seemed immature to me. The author chooses to spend a lot of time going into detail about the main character's clothes and accessories that became annoying. I have read other series where this is done but is handled much better. The other thing I was having difficulty with was the change from first to third person at random times which throws off the flow of the story. Unfortunately, I probably won't be reading any ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sorry to have to rate this a 2, but the writing was stilted. Real people use contractions in everyday casual speech. Not so in this book. It made the characters less believable for me. I'm addition, there were problems with identifying the proper use of a semicolon. There were verb tense issues as well.

Nobody's perfect. With good proofreading, I would have given the book a 3 star rating. The story line was fun. This book could have been a pleasure to read.
Gayla Glass
The basis of the story is good. Presley is a bit annoying. The author tells the story from Presley's point of view but strays every now and then she throws in thoughts from Cooper or another character. The editing was bad. Lots of mistakes. Presley mentions Simons parentage before she actually discovers the truth!
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Turner is a fast-paced, humorous cozy mystery and the first book in the Presley Thurman Cozy Mystery Series. 
Who killed the Senator, and what happened to the people that Presley grew up with?
Presley Thurman
Presley is our sleuth, main character, and point of view. She has this funny inner voice that keeps adding humor to even
Kathy Davie
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
First in the Presley Thurman Mystery series revolving around an idiot woman I would prefer to see die. Gee, Kath, tell us what you really think...

My Take
Omigod, the woman is oblivious...what am I saying? She's not a woman, she's still an immature girl who has got so much growing up to do yet. At age 33. Her whining about having to actually listen to Brian is a major indicator. Grow some balls, girl. She's overly obsessed with accessorizing and, yeah, I know a lot of other books have had characte
Never start reading a novel when you are feeling contrary. I did so with Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner, and for that reason, had trouble getting involved in the story. For instance, I thought Presley should have had a tape recorder running in her pocket when she went in to talk to her boss, who basically told her to 'put out or get out'

Luckily a good night's rest brightened my mood considerably and I have literally just 'turned the last page' in my Kindle reading app, and the more the s
Debbie Orazi
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well done! I was totally surprised by the ending, not who I thought was the killer at all. The author is a master of misinformation and distraction.

Presley Thurman gets fired from her HR job after refusing to sleep with her boss. She decides to go home to visit her parents and friends. While catching up on the local gossip with her friends she decides to try her hand at writing a human profile article for an online magazine. She pushed her way into an interview with a local Senator. The next day
Jamie Jack
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p-2019, mystery
After a MeToo moment, heroine Presley quits her job in HR and decides to become a journalist. The day after her first interview, her subject--a senator--is found murdered, the weapon being a stiletto heel. Was Presley the last one to see him alive? Her ex-boyfriend Cooper thinks she's a suspect.

Who murdered the senator? Does this spell the end for Presley's new career . . . and her freedom? Will old feelings resurface between her and Cooper, or will they be at each other's throats?

This is the de
Suzanne Hare
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Presley has made a change moving from the city and her mediocre job to her home town and trying her hand at journalism. She gets a plum assignment interviewing a Senator. Unfortunately the next day the Senator is killed and his security team thinks she is the prime suspect. The head of the security team just happens to be her ex-boyfriend. It is going to be a challenge getting herself out of this one while keeping her ex at hands length.

This is a great cozy mystery with a strong, quirky female l
Sid Stark
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Stilettos & Scoundrels" combines elements of chick lit, romantic suspense, and cozy mystery, so if you like those genres, you're likely to enjoy this book. Presley leaves her high-powered life in Chicago to go home to small-town Illinois, where she reconnects with an old flame--actually, more than one old flame--and gets involved in a murder mystery. Hijinks and romance ensue.

The small-town Illinois setting is nice, and the mystery has a twist that I didn't see coming, which is always nice. Pre
Douglas Williamson
Our heroine gets fired from her PR job and interviews a senator to make some money in the meantime. Only he turns up dead the next day and now she has to clear her own name.

This is the first book in this series and the first I have read by this author. It introduces our heroine, a bit of an air headed female turned PI, with no real skills but a bit of feisty determination (occasionally). What we get is an interesting mystery story with a bit of intrigue, a bit of romance, and a bit of humor. I f
Emily Pennington
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Presley Thurman lost her job and, with nothing else to occupy her and a need for a paycheck to buy clothes and other necessities, she takes her friend up on a suggestion to work as a freelance editor for an online magazine. Her first assignment was to interview Senator Tom Daniels from her hometown, but shortly after the interview with him, the Senator is murdered by a stiletto plunged into his neck! Presley now is determined that she will solve the mystery of the Senator’s grisly murder. Can sh ...more
Sassy Beta Reading & Review
This looks like it will be a really good cozy mystery.

We get to meet Presley and Cooper. Presley has came back home to visit after losing her job in Chicago. She comes home to figure out what her next plans will be and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. Cooper owns a security company and is guarding a senator, only to find out his client has ended up dead.

This hints at the possibility of romance, but it is not the main focus of the story. Good story line, entertaining characters,
Sarah Marriott

**** Spoilers*****

This book should have the promise of being a good page turner with murder, intrigue and mystery. Presley returns to her parents home after losing her job in the city. Whilst she is there a local senator is murdered and Presley sets about catching a killer. 

I am left feeling disappointed by this book. The story feels disjointed. One moment Presley says she needs to go see someone and the next chapter she is not doing this but has seen someone else. Similarly, there
All in all I liked the story. The "sleuth" was adorable, very down-to-earth, I really liked her and her friend (even though I got quite riled up with Katy along the way and just can't understand why she does what she does). The men intrigued me too (and I would never have thought of the culprit before the end). But how she treats the sexual harassment at work is disputable (yes, this is reality in many companies. But still... I'd have liked stronger words and action instead of just walking away) ...more
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As a child, Laina thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child). As she grew older, she realized her talents lay in other areas, and for the last several years has been a college professor teaching business and English.

Through all her career choices, she has continued to have a passion for writin

Other books in the series

Presley Thurman Mystery (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Necklaces & Nooses (A Presley Thurman Mystery, #2)
  • Handbags & Hooligans (A Presley Thurman Mystery, #3)
  • Gems & Gunshots (Presley Thurman Mysteries #4)
  • Tiaras & Texans (Presley Thurman #5)
  • Vows & Victims (Presley Thurman #6)
  • Romance & Revenge (Presley Thurman Mystery #7)
  • Accessories & Alibis (The Presley Thurman #8)
  • Bats and Bling (Presley Thurman Mystery #9)
  • Weddings & Weapons (Presley Thurman Mysteries #10)
  • Diamonds & Disguises (Presley Thurman #11)

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