Murder, Curlers & Kilts

A Valentine Beaumont Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
218 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Murder, Curlers & Kilts: A Valentine Beaumont Mystery by Arlene McFarlane is the fifth book in the series. Valentine should have known that the multicultural fair wouldn't be all fun and games. When she finds a dead body in a kilt, she stumbles headfirst into another mystery. Valentine dives headlong into the mystery despite Detective Romero wanting her to stay out of it, which only adds to her desire to learn the truth even if she must start her own investigation. Adding fuel to the fire, Jock de Marco keeps appearing along the way and insists that there's more between them than friendship. Add in a dose of family drama and Valentine has her work cut out for her.

The multicultural fair provides a rich atmosphere through various cultures while creating the ideal environment for sleuthing, murder, and mystery. The story is playful and has a lighthearted tone that places kilts at the forefront of the plot. Arlene McFarlane has delivered a mystery with suspense, humor, and flirty romance in a plot that has a fun tone and personality. The plot focuses on her chasing after a killer, though the story finds time for romantic encounters. Valentine is dating Detective Romero, and while their relationship isn't without complications, the two have genuine chemistry. The hint of a love triangle can be found throughout as Jock continues to pop into her life without remorse. He's attractive, seductive, and determined to win her heart, which creates a conflict for her love life.

Valentine is surrounded by delightful characters from two handsome men to her humorous family. The characters provide her with an assortment of suspects while also being great resources of banter such as with her friend Max who always has humorous comments. Her family has a natural inclusion within the story and shakes up the plot with a few family issues, though her Great-Aunt Tantig shines the brightest with her love of Tic Tacs and her disdain for being coddled. Arlene McFarlane flawlessly blends mystery and humor with a dash of flirtation and sizzling chemistry that brings Murder, Curlers & Kilts to life with charm, witty dialogue, and plenty of kilts.

Lorraine Svac

I thoroughly enjoyed this installment in the Valentine Beaumont series. Valentine is enjoying the annual Multicultural Festival at Rueland Town Park. She is there to help her parents with their booth, but is more interested in watching men in kilts participate in the Scottish Caber Toss. She becomes even more interested when she finds out that her hunky employee, Jock, is one of the participants. When a body inevitably turns up, Valentine is off again on a hunt for a murderer. In spite of warnings from Detective Romero, her sexilicious boyfriend, Valentine leaves no clue unturned in her search for the perpetrator. The Multicultural Festival is a great background, with Valentine’s family running the Armenian booth, Romero’s family running the Italian booth, and a Scottish booth full of suspects. Add in Valentine’s cousin and problem employee, Phyllis, selling junk from a wacky flea market booth, a mascot shaped like Planet Earth wandering around, and a mysterious mood ring, and you have an fun and suspenseful story. Will Valentine discover the killer before the killer silences her? Read Murders, Curlers, and Kilts to find out!

Betty Van Dyke

Valentine is all set to join a thousand people in Rueland Town Park for the annual May multicultural fair when the festivities turn sour. She has promised her parents she would help dish out Armenian food at the festival. As she was heading to her parent’s booth, Max decides she should accompany him to watch the caber toss. That’s where things go sour. It occurred when Phyllis decided she was going to compete in the caber toss. Valentine and Max were watching Phyllis lurching forward and backwards with the pole when Phyllis realized she didn’t know what she was doing, staggers uncontrollably, heads for the pond and the pole crashes into the water. It made such a splash that at first, everyone thought it was a missile. Suddenly, lying next to Valentine was not a missile but a corpse wearing a kilt coming face to face with Valentine. As usual, Valentine starts thinking about it and begins to investigate. She stumbles across Romero who had been gone for a little over three months investigating another crime in Baton Rouge and caught the red-eye to help his mother at the festival. She informs him what happened and things begin there. The twists and turns kept me guessing who killed Woody and why. Between Phyllis, Max, a mood ring, a mascot and Candace, Valentine has her hands full trying to solve this murder.

Jedi Master Yodachick

I know this is called a a "mini" mystery but there is nothing mini about it. This story was a non stop full blown roller coaster ride. It's a pleasure to read the latest Valentine adventure with all the cast of characters. I love the dialogue between Val and Max and Max and Phyllis and of course, Val and Romero. (Romero had me at Iron Man). For the first time there was a bit of tension between Val and her pals which was an unexpected twist but true friendship won. And Jock? Well, he was there to make sure he shakes things up. I never saw the ending coming and my heart was in my mouth reading -- what was Val thinking!! Arlene's ability to tie everything together is seamless. Can't wait for the next chapter.......

Kay Hudson

Murder, Curlers & Kilts, the fifth installment in Arlene McFarlane’s charming Valentine Beaumont series, finds Valentine attending Rueland’s annual Multi-Cultural Festival. One of this year’s big attractions is a caber toss—or is it the participating men in kilts? When a kilt-clad body pops out of the pond in the middle of the park, Valentine is on the trail.

Helped or hindered by the usual gang of beauty specialists (Valentine’s salon employees Max, Jock, and Phyllis, not to mention her arch-rival Candace), Valentine works her way through a long list of possible suspects while trying to stay under the radar of Detective Romero. In true Valentine fashion, she finds herself hanging on for dear life as she pursues the killer onto a Ferris Wheel.

And—biggest question of all—is it true what they say about men wearing kilts? Well, Valentine may just have a chance to find out.

Judy Williams

I love the Valentine Beaumont series. Absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Please keep the books coming.

Kindle Customer

I loved these stories, the characters and not knowing who the bad guy is going to be. I am really anxious for another book to find out what other messes that Valentine puts herself into. Great fun, great romance and kooky characters. Thanks for the ride

Amazon Customer

Arlene has done it again! Another winner. Don't know how Valentine gets into all the trouble she does and does it in 4" heels. Her family is something else. Keeps you turning pages, that's for sure. Read it in a day!

Carol Smith

Rueland’s annual Multi-Cultural Festival is starting.
Valentine Beaumont is attending. Her employee and
best friend, Max is walking the grounds with her.
The big attraction at the festival is the caber toss
with men in kilts. One of the participants is Jock
de Marco who is an other employee of Valentine.
What a surprise when a dead body wearing a kilt
comes out of the pond....landing right next to
The man has been murdered. Valentine starts
her own investigation even after her boyfriend,
Detective Romero warns her not to look into
the death.
Let the shenanigans begin...the mystery is
very well written with characters that are well
defined, interesting, quirky, relatable and
This is a very well crafted story that I throughly
enjoyed. While it put a scare in me as I followed
Valentine around the festival grounds, I also
found humor in the antics in the story. There is
even a hint of romance.
This is book # 5 in the Valentine Beaumont
Mysteries series. It can be read as a stand
alone. It can be read as a stand alone as the
author presents the past and present together

Lola Reads

I have been waiting for this book to be released for a few months. I originally found the series right when the quarantine started in the US. I was hooked from the first pages of book one. This installment to the series does not disappoint. From the beginning to the end I was laughing and enjoying all the characters.
I’m a big fan of cozy style mysteries. Finding a good series that manages the murder logically, while engaging you with the characters and bonding you to the main character is hard to do. Arlene does this seamlessly book after book. If you’re familiar with the series, prepare yourself for laughs and laughs over Max and Phillis, a murder that you won’t prematurely figure out, and of course so much sass from Valentine.
What I love most about the book is how real the characters are. They are so relatable and engaging. The consistency of the series keeps me coming back for more. The hardest part of reading the book is not finishing it in one day! I literally have to pace myself so that I can draw out and enjoy the story rather than finishing it in hours.
The story is well written, and full of fun. I don’t ever tire of the characters, and when I finish one of her books I’m sad because then I have to wait for the next one to be published.

Donna Townsend

Valentine Beaumont and her gang of beauticians are back! This time they are all volunteering at the local International festival. Thanks to Phyllis’ usual ineptitude, a body pops up in a nearby pond, sending Valentine on her next mystery-solving adventure.

Not only is the whole gang onsite, but her hot romantic interest, the cop Romero, has returned from afar and has eyes, and hands, only for Valentine. Will they finally get it together, or will sexy Jock win out once and for all?

I love these stories! Cousin Phyllis was in fine form, using expensive locks of hair as part of a costume. And Mom and Auntie were busy at the Armenian booth. And Val bumbled her way through tracking the many possible bad guys using her handy beauty tools as weaponry. Romero was at his sexiest and Max was in top form.

I would have liked to see the gang in the shop for a chapter or two. And a bit more laugh-out-loud antics. The strength of these books are the clever fun characters and I love their interactions. I still chuckle at the food fight on the cruise . . .Terrific series!


Valentine is unique! If you've read any of the books in the series, you know this well, If you haven't read any of the books, you need to! The books are written in first person so you know everything Valentine is thinking and feeling - and I mean everything! In this book, Valentine is in her favorite town park, attending the multicultural festival. She's supposed to be helping her parents at their booth but is really at the "caber toss" (Scottish Highlands games) watching two of her employees compete with her other employee, Max, when suddenly a dead body lands next to her...a man in a kilt, no less! Well, Valentine is on the case! However, Valentine finds out that her love, Detective Romero, who she hasn't seen for 3 months due to being out of town, is there at the park and he tells her to "stay out of if" as usual, and as usual, she doesn't! What follows is a lot of hilarity, danger and confusion! There are a lot of suspects and let's see if you can figure out who the killer is! Returning, we have the usual previous characters from other books, and then new ones too. Lots of laughter and some romance round out this satisfying tale of mystery! Not to be missed!

Barbara H.

Valentine seems to have a knack for finding dead bodies. What starts out as a plan to help her parents man their booth at the town’s ethnic festival turns into Valentine once again being drawn in to a murder and the mystery surrounding it. Although she knows she should leave the detecting to the police, how can she ignore the fact someone is staining the memories of her childhood safe haven, the city park?
After a long stint out of town, Romero makes a sudden appearance just when Valentine “stumbles” onto the current victim. What a reunion! Picking up their romance where it left off when Romero had to leave is tangled up with Valentine’s desire to solve the murder before the end of the festival and everyone leaves the area. Mayhem and pent up sexual tension ensues on all fronts.
Another fun, summer, read! Already looking forward to the next in the series.


Beauty Salon owner, Valentine Beaumont has promised to help her family serve shish kabobs in the Armenian booth at the annual international festival being held in her favorite park in her hometown of Rueland, Massachusetts. Just as she arrives, men in kilts are about to toss the caber. Since Jock, Valentine’s very hunky and multi-talented employee will be participating, she and best male friend, Max hurry over to watch. Of course, Jock performs perfectly, but the next caber that’s tossed splashes into the pond and a dead body lands on the lawn right beside our brave heroine.
Super handsome Detective Romero, who was inconveniently called away on a case several months ago, just as he was demonstrating some self-defense techniques on our heroine, has returned for the weekend to help his mother in the Italian booth. He tries to warn Valentine to let the police do the investigating, but Valentine has solved several murders and this is HER FAVORITE park and she will not be deterred from finding the killer.
You can count on Valentine to always tell you exactly how she feels, to describe every sensation she experiences and to tell you precisely where she tingles. One can’t help but root for romance for this delightful creation. So, without giving anything away, the last page will leave readers tingling with anticipation.
Once again, zany characters, hilarious situations, and steamy encounters with the hunkiest, sexiest guys, make “Murder, Curlers and Kilts” a great addition to Arlene MacFarlane’s series. I can hardly wait for the next book!

Pamela Mitchell

I loved this fun cozy with a cast of wonderful characters and a great mystery that quickly became a page-turner that I couldn't put down because I had to find out whodunit!! I love Valentine Beaumont, full time beautician and part-time sleuth and enjoyed her dynamic with the other characters especially hot and sexy Detective Romero. "Murder, Curlers, & Kilts" is the perfect escape from everyday stress and I can hardly wait to find out what happens next with Valentine and the gang in Rueland, Massachusetts.

Lucrecia Tolbert

This book & series is one that is a must read. It's filled with mystery, humor, and romance. What more could a reader ask for? Having read most of the books in the series, I do wonder why does Valentine endure as must as she does by the way of her interpersonal relationships. I guess that is just the added drama that lingers in her life. Any reader will be pleased with this book.


Only Valentine. I snorted a few times reading this book. I think I would give up after some of the situations she finds herself in, but of course I’m glad she doesn’t and I keep reading to see what is going to happen next. These characters are so funny and play off each other so well. I love fairs and parks and enjoyed the storyline. I’m already looking forward to the next Valentine adventure.

Sue Lopp

I love this series and Murder, Curlers, and Kilts does not disappoint!!! If you haven't read about the antics that Valentine and her friends get into you don't know what you are missing!! Arlene is an auto buy author do mine, give her books a try you will not be disappointed!!!!!


This murder mystery was tricky to figure out! I didn’t guess the real murderer at all as the story unfolded- the best kind of mystery! The characters had depth and I connected to them feeling their silliness, frustration and worry.
I liked the setting, the multicultural fair, and the details weren’t overwhelming but added great texture to the story.
I also liked the romance. It was further along being book #4, it felt more realistic.

Glad to have this for vacation as it was perfect for one sitting on the rainy day. The story was compelling and exciting and I’m glad to not have to be interrupted to enjoy it!

Jodi Sweet

I’ve been waiting for so long for another Valentine Beaumont book and it’s finally here! It did not disappoint! I love how she has her bag of stylist tools that she uses as weapons. Too funny! How she puts up with Phyllis I’ll never know, but the stuff Max says to Phyllis to get her riled up...omg! I hope the next book is coming out soon!

Marsha Holz

This is another awesome book in Arlene’s Valentine Beaumont series. I loved it from 1st few pages. It has great mystery, laughs, craziness & easy read. I can’t wait for the next book. & if you are buying her books for 1st time, I recommend you buy the whole series. Happy reading. I will reread this book one day.

Misty S.

I was so excited to get to read about Valentine and her crazy crew again. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing the ‘whodunit’. Plenty of laughs and a great mystery. Can’t wait to see where Valentine’s next adventure will lead her.

Wanda Watkins

Just finished Kilts and honestly it was better than Kegs !!!
How does Arlene keep coming up with ideas? Here I am in the Val desert again LOL Can hardly wait for the next installment.
Arlene keep up the good work!


I can't get enough of Valentine and the gang. And Jock and Romero? The heat they generate! The imagery is almost too much to take. Sexy as hell. On the flip side, Max and Phyllis are a riot. Murder, Curlers, and Kilts is a fun read. The attention to cultural details rings true and the fast paced story draws you into their world. I felt the pain of the characters as the story delves into bullying, and it's lifelong impact. I dare you to put it down. Only one complaint - I need the next adventure now!

Diane Peterson

I love this series and this new book definitely did not disappoint. I read it in one night, I don't like to read them at night because I wake my husband up laughing. This book I think is the best one yet.

Amazon Customer

I liked everything about this book! Just like I have loved the entire series! I can’t wait for the next one!

Jana R. Buxton

Lots of humor and a little romance! Characters have great chemistry and lots of twists and turns! Keeps you guessing.

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars! Evenly mixed suspense, laugh out funny and romance!

Always look forward to reading about the cast of characters that are laugh out loud funny! Another big hit!!! When is the next one??!!

Joy Moeller

Fun book to read!!!