By Jean Harrington, author of THE DESIGN IS MURDER
When you decide you want to write something that’s happy and light-hearted and fun, your mind doesn’t necessarily turn to murder . . . or does it? Call me wacky, but in my case, that is what happened. Well, let me qualify that. In my Murders by Design Mystery Series, a murder occurs—sometimes more than one—in each of the five books. But heroine Deva Dunne takes these deaths seriously and works her tail off to solve every single one. In her world—which happens to be subtropical Naples, Florida, justice prevails and good trumps evil.
Are we having fun yet? No. The fun comes in as Deva, with her quick wit and no-nonsense approach to life, tackles the bad guys (who are sometimes gals).
Number 5 in the series is The Design Is Murder.
In this story, Deva has some help from Charlotte, a five pound Maltese puppy. (BTW, the operating principle here is: Small car, big key; small dog, big name.) A little spirited ball of energy, Charlotte is the pampered darling of one of Deva’s prime clients. She’s the proud owner of a collection of couture leashes, has a favorite veterinarian and a chiropractor and adores, absolutely adores, her daily cocktail dog walks. Best of all, she plays a major role in nailing the killer, and how many five pound dogs can say that?
So Charlotte is fun, and so is Deva’s attitude. Widowed a few years earlier, in the first book in the series, she flees to Naples to rebuild her life and start her own interior design business. Doing so was very difficult, but her basic optimism prevailed, and over the series, the sunshine and flowers and sea breezes—plus studly Detective Victor Rossi–helped her laugh and love again.
With Rossi, Deva lives a life of crime—busting–though he keeps telling her to stay out of his cases, let the police do their work. But Deva can’t ignore telling details. They keep cropping up, in her design projects and in the crimes she’s forever stumbling across, including those in her latest caper, The Design Is Murder.
Jean Harrington is the author of the tongue-in-cheek, Naples-set Murders by Design Mystery Series. The books feature an interior designer as amateur sleuth with a studly, tough-talking detective as her soft-at-heart love interest. A former English professor at Becker College in Worcester, Mass, Jean now lives in Florida and writes for the exploding field of electronic publishing. She’s awed by its impact on readers and writers alike. Excerpts of this witty series are posted at www.jeanharrington.com.
In The Design Is Murder, Deva employs a graphologist, or handwriting analyst, to narrow the suspect list. Do you believe graphology is a valid tool to use in helping to reveal a murderer?
Interior designer Deva Dunne should be focusing her attention on buying a new home with Lt. Victor Rossi. But in typical Deva-style, she’s got her mind on everyone else’s abodes. Keeping her busy are her two newest clients, who have a lot in common. They both live on Whiskey Lane, and both were involved with the same woman. Coincidence or competition?
James Stahlman believes Stew Hawkins moved into the house across the street to terrorize him after he became engaged to Kay, Stew’s ex-wife. But Stew is over it. He’s remarried–and to someone much younger. When both women are found “accidentally” dead weeks apart, Deva thinks there’s something afoot on Whiskey Lane. Coincidence or murder?
Deva can’t stay away…as much as her protective fiancé would like her to. And it’s becoming clear that someone thinks Deva’s seen too much. With the list of suspects growing, and Deva and Rossi that much closer to becoming homeless–really, where are they going to live?–she’ll have to sift through the clues herself, or there’ll be no happily ever after.