Collecting can be murder — Diane Vallere — #bookgiveaway

Diane -- Barbie Collection CollageWe’re celebrating the upcoming release of my third Food Lovers’ Village mystery, BUTTER OFF DEAD (July 7—save the suspense and pre-order it now!), with a glimpse of some of your favorite authors’ prized collections.

Today, we’re peeking into Diane Vallere’s not-so-secret obsession!

“You may have heard me say that I write about shoes, clues, and clothes…well, this little lady had something to do with that. yep, I’m a Barbie fan. I didn’t always collect them, though. One day I was wandering the aisles of Toys R Us (long story) and ended up in the Barbie aisle. The first in the seasonal series, Autumn in Paris, was marked down to $20. I was in my early thirties at the time, but I felt like a child, standing there, holding the box, staring at this little doll. Sure enough, she went home with me, and slowly I started collecting more. Several of these were gifts, and I’m totally fine with that. There used to be more, but space limitations forced me to streamline my collection. They all used to reside in a box in a closet until a pipe burst and ruined the packaging (blog post about that traumatic event here). Now I enjoy the sight of them every day!

PS: the background of the photo is officially called Barbie Pink, otherwise known as Pantone 219. I even used that color in my 2015 mailing!”

SuedeToRest_final cover CrushedVelvet_cover


After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. SUEDE TO REST, the first book in the bestselling Material Witness Cozy Mystery Series, was a Lefty/ Best Humorous Mystery nominee. CRUSHED VELVET, book two, comes out August 4. Diane is the current president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, and co-chair of the 2015 California Crime Writers Conference. She also writes the Mad for Mod Mysteries and the Style & Error Mystery Series. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Connect with her on her website, on Facebook, or Twitter.

Leslie says: I’ve still got my original Barbie from 1963, in the case, plus the raft of handmade clothes that came with it, courtesy of a church fundraiser. Diane and I would love to hear about yours!

Leave a comment on my Facebook page or blog for a chance to win a SIGNED copy the SUEDE TO REST, first in the Material Witness series from Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House. Ruff the Cat will choose a winner at random—check back in the morning to find out!

cat on desk

Butter Off Dead (final)And today on Killer Characters, Erin is telling you a little about BUTTER OFF DEAD and the Food Lovers’ Film Festival!

(Hint: if you subscribe to the blog, you’ll receive the posts by email and you won’t have to hunt for them on FB.)

(This contest is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.)



44 thoughts on “Collecting can be murder — Diane Vallere — #bookgiveaway

  1. I didn’t have a Barbie because my mother did not like her figure! Instead, I had a Tammy doll which had a more “natural” figure of a typical teen. I think my mother was ahead of her time. I saved Tammy and her friends and her clothes and passed on to my girls (offered to son, he turned it down 😉 ). I did get to enjoy Barbie through kids, grandkids and now great-grandkids.

    • A friend of mine’s mother wouldn’t let her have Barbie because, as she said, “I don’t want any woman in the house with a better figure than mine!”

  2. I have my Barbies from when I was young, Skipper, Midge, Scooter everyone. When I played The Barbie game along with the car I had the dolls in the clothes so you got the card and doll. (I always picked Pointdexter as I like the smart guys). My daughter collects the Silkstone Barbies.

    • The Silkstones are my FAVORITES! The very first Silkstone, called Lingerie Barbie, came out when I was in my first buying job–of lingerie. We were planning our annual meeting of department managers and I convinced my boss that we should buy them for everyone! Believe it or not, there was a typo on the box and those dolls (in their packaging) are now worth about $400.

  3. I had an original Barbie from 1959 and had left it in my Mother’s basement. My sister gave it to my niece to play with and her sister took it and stomped on her boobs. She didn’t live through that experience

    • < snort > Mine’s a little younger than yours — 1962 or 63, I think, the first year cases were made. I did pierce her ears, but she’s otherwise in great shape!

  4. My great grandmother sewed and crocheted my sister and I clothes for our Barbie’s. I still have some of them put up. I took them out and let my nieces use them when they were little girls. When I look at them, they bring back some fun memories.

    • How much fun is that? Mine came from a church raffle, with some commercial clothes and others handmade. When my niece came to visit my parents, she always asked if she could play with my Barbie, which still lived with them. She was nearly reverential with it — no doubt the trigger for her own sizable collection!

      Love all these memories!

  5. I did not keep any dolls, but as an adult collected Beanie Babies. Still have a few around…seasonal ones mainly. Judy D.

  6. No Barbies back in the 40s/50s but I did make clothes for my dolls. Grand/greatgranddaughters all Barbie fans. I still have boxes of G.I.Joe and Star Wars Figures somewhere from my boys.
    Your books are terrific!

    • Hi Karen,
      I had one Ken doll to go with my Barbies (he was quite popular!). I don’t remember his actual name, but I seem to recall Facial Hair Ken. He came with stick on sideburns, a beard, mustache, goatee, etc. Oh, the seventies!

    • Of course, many of us were kids when there was just one Barbie, although she came as a blonde or brunette white model, and later, as a black model. No themed Barbies, like now!

      • Several years ago I bought an Asian Barbie for a Korean woman who worked with me. She was in her mid-twenties, and had never had a doll that she felt looked like her. She loved it! (And I’ve always been partial to the brunette Barbies over the blondes 🙂

  7. As a child my parents prohibited Barbie dolls (old school Dutch values ruled). Our daughter never showed much interest in them. They do each have a treasured American Girl doll collection. Our granddaughter has a few Barbies but prefers Bitty Baby.

  8. I still have my Barbie, Ken, Midge, Scooter and Skipper. My neighbor sewed and would make clothes for me. What memories this post brought up! Thanks!

  9. My Barbie’s are long gone, as I was a bit hard on dolls and toys. Those that survived were given to younger cousins. I am very interested in Suede to Rest, as I haven’t yet gotten a copy. Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. I still have several of my Barbies and their clothes. I think the clothes were a big draw for me with them. I loved nothing better than pretending Barbie was like Cinderella and getting her ready for her ball. Thanks for the chance to win a great book!

  11. No Barbie’s in my childhood either but I did play with my Best Friend’s Barbies and she had all the cool stuff that went with them too.

  12. That is so funny to remember Barbie. My Sister loved baby dolls and no matter what they bought me I lugged around Barbie. Mine was a career girl with lots of the clothes including the strapless black evening dress and the red dress. I loved the clothes…

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