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Death by Inferior Design: A Domestic Bliss Mystery    by Leslie Caine order for
Death by Inferior Design
by Leslie Caine
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Interior designer Erin Gilbert finds herself embroiled in a design contest. In a posh Colorado neighborhood, she competes with another designer, Steve Sullivan.

But before a decision can be made, the contest judge inconsiderately dies. And while making renovations in a bedroom, Erin discovers a photo of herself as a child. This poses more questions than the death of the designing judge (heart or murder?), since Erin was adopted. Could she have discovered a clue to her background? Why was the snapshot placed in a wall? Who put it there? Why? Was she meant to find it?

Along with rampant clues to both mysteries are designing tips that could be used by any of us - a new wrinkle in mysteries. Line the cover for a pillow with a thin sheet of cotton batting to prevent lumpy pillows! Keeping up with the tips is a snap compared to keeping up with the relationships of the home owners of this beautiful spot. Seems like they all slept with each other. Or if they didn't, they wanted to.

Pay close attention. The characters are fun in a deadly sort of way. The locale incidental. The action is fast-paced, moving at a good clip. Erin finds herself in more trouble than the job called for. Apart from her van being a target for shooting practice, a house nearly collapses on her and - horror of all horrors - her nemesis Steve Sullivan is starting to look pretty good to her.

Death by Inferior Design is a fun book. Its author, Leslie Caine, already a certified interior designer, can also hang 'Cozy Mystery Writer' on her door.

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