buyer-bewareUnemployed fashionista Samantha Kidd just wanted a little money to update her wardrobe when she initially planned the art heist — she can’t stand being a season behind the hottest trends. She wasn’t expecting to get caught up in a murder, and she certainly wasn’t expecting that the owner of the hottest new clothing store around would offer her the position of handbag buyer/security maven on the strength of it.

Samantha finds that the retail empire is hiding complicated relationships, complex emotions, and a little creative accounting. She also finds herself drawn to two — or is it three — handsome men. Between the challenges of her job and the confusion in her personal life, Samantha may be in over her head — and in danger.

Fortunately, she’s also back in fashion by the end of the book.

Samantha and her friends are fun, complex characters and the book is filled with delicious details of clothing and decor. The relationships sustain the reader’s interest and there’s plenty of action to keep the story going.

The plot is not the strong point of this book. Samantha solves the crime by accusing and confronting one suspect after another till she finds the one who’s willing to try to kill her — ipso facto, the murderer. There’s a lot of explanation at the end that should have turned up in the course of the story, if we hold the book to the standard of the classic mystery.

We shouldn’t hold it to that standard, though. This is less a mystery than a chick lit series that happens to have crimes in it. Enjoy it, and read the rest of the series, too, to get to know the characters better. The bodies are just the trimmings on a series with an interesting ensemble cast and a fun setting.