Designed for Death Meets Crafty Ladies

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A few days before Christmas, I found myself in Michaels Craft Store picking up a spool of wired red ribbon for a friend.  It had been at least ten years since I’d stepped foot in a crafts store. And with good reason. To check out, I had to stand in the world’s longest Conga line.

Now I don’t know about you, but personally I’m missing the crafts gene.  You know the one where you glue and staple stuff together and end up with something adorable all your friends coo over.  Well, that has never happened to me–will never happen to me.  So after ten years, this trip to Michaels had the freshness of a brand new experience.  While I stood waiting to pay for the ribbon, I was struck by the fact that practically everybody in town had hit the store at the same time. And that the customers, mostly women, clutched wrapping paper, candles, silk flowers, wreaths, garlands and all manner of, well, crafty supplies.  Clearly, these women wanted to make something beautiful for other people—children, spouses, family, friends.  In other words, they hoped to create a little happiness in the world.

So I tried to be good, no shoving, no sighing out loud, no grousing that the line hadn’t moved an inch in fifteen minutes.  Instead I thought of my mother who had elevated homemaking to a high art, who loved decorating rooms for my father and me, and for whom nothing—except maybe her budget—ever kept her from achieving her goal.

I thought, too, of my daughter who has taken her grandmother’s sensitivity to house and home and raised it to a new level.  She runs her own interior design firm and is the inspiration for my heroine, interior designer Deva Dunne, the amateur sleuth in Designed for Death, the first in my Murders by Design Mystery Series which Carina released just yesterday. Yipppeee!

Deva is a fun, irreverent, witty gal who, after losing her beloved husband, struggles to find a new life while fighting off a killer.  And all the while, she’s creating beautiful homes.  No question, Deva can multi-task.

So…back to my Michaels adventure.  After I paid for the ribbon and left the store, I decided to give myself a break.  Maybe my contribution to general household happiness is helping people relax. They can lounge in their easy chairs and romp through the pages of my tongue-in-cheek mystery Designed for Death. If their toes curl with vicarious tension while they’re having a laugh with Deva so much the better.

Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  Glue gun or no glue gun.

Bio: After a stint as an advertising copywriter, Jean Harrington taught writing and literature for sixteen years at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts.  She enjoyed teaching tremendously, but always simmering on the back burner of her brain was the desire to write a book of her own.  So when her two children were grown and launched, Jean left Becker and moved to Florida with husband Big John (He loves it when she gives her heroes his name) and began to write in earnest.  Nine novels later, Jean is carving out a brand new career creating tongue-in-cheek cozy mysteries.  She never knew a life of crime could be such fun.



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22 thoughts on “Designed for Death Meets Crafty Ladies”

  1. J.F.Harrington says:

    Hi Jean, Heard your love interest in the book is named Jack. True or false? Maybe you can guess why I’d like to know. Good luck with this release. Liked your other books, sure I’ll like this one.

  2. Jean:
    I love Deva. I’m into the thick of the story and am planning to finish it tonight. I love the voices of your characters and the wit of your voice.
    I’ve laughed out loud several times.
    I know that whoever picks this up on their kindle or nook are going to thoroughly enjoy it!!!
    I’ll be waiting for the next book of the series.
    Teresa Reasor

  3. Jean Harrington says:

    Thanks Teresa, It’s people like you in Lethaladies that make the writer’s life a joy. For anyone writing mystery/thriller/suspense, Lethaladies provides a cyber critiquing group that offers friendship and great, objective–that’s the operative word–criticism. Highly recommended. Cheers, Jean

  4. Jean Harrington says:

    To J.H. Oh, Jack. Or is it John? Jean H.

  5. Deva sounds like a fun character to read about. If I like Murder by Design, I’ll recommend it to a friend who loves humor, but first I have to drag her into the electronic age so she’ll read online ( I have a kindle, but she doesn’t and prefers to listen to novels.) Are yours audio yet?
    Carolyn Williamson

  6. DJ Welker says:

    Saving story for tonight. Can’t wait to meet Deva. Humor makes the world turn easier!

  7. Hi, Jean.

    I’m not so good with crafts either, but I do like watercolor painting.

    Designed for Death is a fabulous book. I enjoyed it the first time through, but I’m going to like it even better this time because there won’t be a wait between chapters.

    Keep them coming!

    L. j.

  8. Jean Harrington says:

    Carolyn, Thanks for your comment, and yes, Designed for Death is out on audio. I downloaded it onto my Kindle and am thrilled with the narrator’s voice. So professiona. She narrates, she emphasizes, and she asumes male voices and female voices so the dialogue is enacted. What a hoot. Loving it.

  9. Jean Harrington says:

    D. J. Welker. Thanks for stopping by. I love a laugh too.

  10. Jean Harrington says:

    To L.J. Charles. I know you! You’re the terrific paranormal writer with a gift for detail. Thanks for the input. Best of luck in 2012 with your own writing career.

  11. A new Jean Harrington book! I can’t wait to read it. I absolutely love your voice!

  12. Rayne Golay says:

    So glad I found your blog. Hope it’s not too late.
    This is the perfect weather for crawling into a couch corner with your book. Look forward to the read.
    Love the sanddollar with the blood spot on the cover.


  13. Jean Harrington says:

    To Lynnette and Rayne, Thanks for coming by. Your comment Lynn about the voice is indeed flattering from one who’s narrative voice is stellar. And Rayne, I love the sand dollar and the blood spot. Maybe a splat of liquid–wine–paint–could become a theme for the covers. Willl have to wait and see what the covert artist thinks. Cheers to you both. Jean

  14. Katie Reus says:

    I’m missing the crafts gene too so you’re in good company. Loved your post! Congrats on the new release :)

  15. Jean Harrington says:

    To L.J. Charles and Katie, Good to have crafty sisters in spirit. Jean

  16. Avery Flynn says:

    I too am without the crafting gene, but have been on many a mission to Michaels for kids’ school projects and such. It is always packed. :) Can’t wait to read more Deva. Off to download. :)

  17. Jean Harrington says:

    Avery, I’ve finally decided I’m still a real woman even though I can’t run a glue gun. Some of us can, and some of can’t. But I make a killer peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Hope you like the book. If so, do let me know at Would love to hear from you.

  18. Ramona McNicholas says:

    Jean ,
    Sidelined for two days after a cataract op, I was at wit’s end because I couldn’t read even large print books. Then a light went on ! Download Designed for Death for my iPad where I can make the print SUPER large ! I have had great fun following Deva around Naples. The hurricane chapters were brilliant. Laughs, romance , mystery and suspense. What more could I want? Well, another book from you.
    PS This was my first downloaded book . Now I ‘m hooked.

  19. Chris says:

    Congratulations, Jean!! Looking forward to reading your latest novel. I’m sure it’s going to be yet another page turner. My best, Chris

  20. Jean! Your craft gene is indeed put to great use. Crafting wonderful stories for me (and others!) to enjoy. Thanks for expanding your genre, and I can’t wait to curl up with my Kindle! Hugs, Risa

  21. Diane O'Key says:

    Loved your blog–so sounds like you!
    Can’t wait to read this one. Your others hooked me, and I’m sure this one will do the same…in a totally different way. Have always enjoyed your wry humor.
    Here’s to your well-deserved success, my friend. :-)

  22. Thanks to Ramona, Chris, Marisa and Diane. Good always to get feedback. Thanks, big time, to all of you.

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