Deva Dunne of Deva Dunne Interiors, who has a thing for Monet’s arrives at the Alexander mansion thinking she is alone. The cook and the majordomo are off duty and away from the Estate. She turns on the light to find “Sunset at Royan”, a Monet painting missing. Someone had cut it away from the frame. Rushing into kitchen to call the police, she is reporting the theft when she notices Maria Cardoza, the cook, lying on the floor with a bullet hole in her head. Giving the address she runs to get out least the killer still be there. In her head long rush she falls hitting her head and passes out in the foyer. She awakens to find Lieutenant Victor Rossi looking at her closely.
Rossi who has a personal interest in Deva decides to use the offer of having her redo his bedroom to get Deva's attention. Deva agrees but can't help wonder what Rossi is up too, because a man less interested in interior design she can't imagine. Deva goes by the Irish Pub for a drink and something to eat. She is pleasantly surprised to see Lee Skimp who helped her catch the Treasure Killer working as a waitress. She finds Lee is hiding out from her father who wants to force her to return to his home even though she is over 21. Lee asks Deva if she can intern with her 2 afternoons a week. Thinking for only a moment, Deva agrees only if Lee will let Deva buy her some different clothes and she has to bring her school work when it is slow.
So much for not becoming involved with another man after Jack's death. She now has two, Simon and Rossi. Is she ready for that? Can she let go of the past enough to open her heart to a new romance? What's up with Mr. Skimp and his daughter, Lee? How far is he willing to go? After using all his money to pay his wife's medical bills would he be enticed to steal a million dollar painting? Follow Deva and the clues as she tries to solve the murder to avoid becoming the next victim herself.
The Monet Murders is a wonderfully light cozy with well-rounded characters. It’s short enough to finish in an afternoon yet long enough for a well thought out plot and conclusion to be enjoyed without feeling like the author has rushed you.
From the moment I opened the book it kept my interest. You are drawn into the lives of the characters and are given a ringside seat into the mindset of Deva who has rebuilt her life following the death of her much loved husband. You will grow to call her and the others your friends and be eagerly waiting for the release of each new installment. This is the 2nd book in the Murder by Design series. Both book 1 (Design for Death) and book 3 (Killer Kitchen) are both available for immediate purchase and download. Like most cozy series titles this book stands alone easily, but if you are like me you will prefer to read the series starting with book 1 and reading them in order so that you can enjoy the development of the characters and the relationships with one another. Be sure to take a moment to lounge in the summer sun and enjoy them all.
Interior decorator Deva Dunne never dreamed she'd see a Monet hanging on someone's dining room wall. Then she snags a client with two Monet seascapes. Her thrill lasts until she finds one of the paintings missing, cut from its frame, and the cook shot dead.
Rough-around-the edges, but gorgeous all-around police lieutenant Victor Rossi insists Deva leave the sleuthing to the police. But what could it hurt to come up with a list of suspects that doesn't include herself? Like the owners of the Monets, a rich man and his trophy wife, and their frequent guests. Even the cook's husband is suspect. Then Deva finds another victim, clutching a very strange set of clues.
Desperate to save her business amid the negative publicity, Deva helps Rossi investigate. And when he needs advice decorating his bedroom, she just might find a client for life. Unless a killer gets to her first.