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Design on a Crime
by Ginny Aiken

Reviewed by Lori Fox

"...a well thought out story with some very unique and delightful characters---and one crazy cat."

Haley Farrell believes that God, and the judicial system, have failed her. After an attack four years previous, and no justice achieved, Haley has some real trust issues. With the advice of her friend and mentor Marge Norwalk, Haley has learned to defend herself, earned a degree in interior design, quit her job, and launched her own design business.

But when customers fail to flock to her new business, Haley is left up a creek without a paddle. The only hope for her fledgling company is a very rich woman who is determined to buy the mansion that is being offered for sale by Marge’s auction house, and completely renovate it. Haley gets the job, if the rich client gets the mansion.

Unfortunately for the rich client, and even more unfortunate for Haley, just before the mansion is set to go up for sale, Marge Norwalk’s body is found. Murder. Even worse for Haley, she’s the one who finds the body---and all the clues point to her as the murderer.

Now, the race is on. Can Haley catch the murderer and collect enough proof before the police decide to arrest her? With a suspicious contractor determined to put her behind bars trailing her every move, and a seemingly emotionless detective left with no choice but to follow clues to the logical conclusion, the end doesn’t look too bright for Haley Farrell.

Design on a Crime, the first of the Deadly Décor mystery series, is a well thought out story with some very unique and delightful characters---and one crazy cat. I have to admit, when I first began reading this book I thought the ending was entirely too obvious, making me wonder if it was worth finishing this book. Let me just say, YES! Perhaps aficionados of the mystery genre could have told me how the book would end, but I, personally, was shocked. This book had the best twist ending I’ve read yet. And, frankly, I can’t wait to get my hands on Decorating Schemes, the next book in the series.

That being said, this book was written in the first person, start to finish. While the dialogue was smooth, and you could get a good picture of the individual personalities presented, it was a very dialogue heavy book. There was little internal monologue, and rather than discovering clues and information with Haley, they were described to you by her showing them to someone else.

Surprisingly, I found myself laughing quite a bit, despite this being a murder mystery. The devastation caused by murder was in no way underplayed, but it was balanced quite well with humor. When boiled down to the basics though, Design on a Crime is not really about a murder mystery, but about a girl who’s lost her faith. And how she finds it again.

Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.