Title: Designed for Death by Jean Harrington
Murders by Design Book 1
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 67,000 words
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
An Eye for Detail, a Nose for Trouble
Interior designer Deva Dunne’s latest project comes to a screeching halt when blood on the carpet leads her to the body of her client, an exotic dancer with a mysterious past. But the murdered woman is not the only resident of the posh beachfront condominium with secrets, and investigating officer Lieutenant Victor Rossi considers them all suspects.
Though wary of working in the killer’s midst, Deva continues decorating the unit for the new owner. When she stumbles upon clues that might help crack the case, she can’t resist doing a little digging of her own, despite Rossi’s orders to quit meddling. Now, she’s juggling the investigation, her career and sexy neighbor Simon Yaeger, who seems interested in more than her etchings.
Deva can’t help but be flattered by all the male attention—that is, until she realizes the killer has designs on her, too…
Jean Harrington’s Designed for Death is a refreshingly light-hearted and clever murder mystery. Widowed interior designer Deva Dunne investigates the death her murdered client, retired exotic dancer Treasure.
Designed for Death is a well-written novel with an all star cast of three dimensional and diverse characters. Deva Dunne is a complex and likeable character. She is a smart, funny and incredibly engaging heroine. Her emergence from the grief of her late husband’s death catches her by surprise as she unexpectedly discovers her burgeoning attraction to Lt. Rossi and neighbor Simon Yaeger.
The supporting characters are a group of colorful and appealing individuals. Lt. Rossi is hot on the trail of the killer and despite his repeated warnings to stay out of the investigation Deva delves deeper into Treasure’s death. Simon is the sexy neighbor of the deceased and he makes no effort to hide his romantic interest in Deva. Deva’s assorted neighbors and Treasure’s friends and co-workers round out the eclectic cast of secondary characters.
Designed for Death is a tightly plotted novel that is fast paced and compelling. The interior design aspect of the storyline is interesting and yields some useful clues in Deva’s crime solving efforts. It also provides valuable insight into the various characters’ personalities. By skillfully utilizing red herrings Ms. Harrington successfully conceals the killer’s identity.
Mystery lovers should definitely add Designed for Death by Jean Harrington to their must buy list. The light atmosphere, witty dialogue and charming characters are the perfect combination for an engrossing read. Murders by Design is a fresh and innovative new mystery series, and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!