Design For Murder

Murder, She Wrote, #45

Murder, She Wrote: Design for Murder by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain, and Renee Paley- Bain

Jessica is globe-trotting again…

This time, Jessica off to glamorous New York City, to visit her nephew, Grady, and to attend ‘Fashion Week.’

A fashion designer, originally from Cabot Cove, is having a huge fashion show, and Jessica is happy to have been invited. But, when she arrives for the first show, she is shocked when a seventeen-year-old girl making her catwalk debut, keels over dead. Was is it a heart problem? The questions regarding the young girl’s health are endless, until a very famous supermodel is found dead a short time later, meaning more sinister questions come to mind, and the police make it their business to see if there is a connection. Naturally, Jessica finds herself right in the thick of things when suspicions are aroused. Were these two tragic deaths connected?

Jessica is not very impressed with the environment behind the scenes of the fashion industry, however, she does strike up a friendship, of sorts, with a local detective named Aaron Kopecky. The two work pretty well together, and make a great detective team, although Aaron was hoping for a deeper relationship with Jessica.

This is another sturdy and entertaining cozy mystery featuring our favorite amateur sleuth, Jessica Fletcher. I enjoyed catching up with Grady and his family and the small cameo from Seth, who advises Jessica over the phone.

The fashion industry is under fire here, depicting a super competitive atmosphere, full of pettiness, shallowness, shady business dealings, and plastic surgeons with no morals or ethics. Jessica’s presence in this environment seems a little out of place, but with a couple of Cabot Cove natives in the mix, Jessica managed to make quite an impression.

Of course, her intuitions prove to be spot on, and as the layers of the onion begin to peel back, Jessica finds herself in a spot of danger, making the final showdown a little tense.

Naturally, Jessica was happy to see her family, enjoyed her visit, and is happy to have made new friends, but as always, is ready to return to Cabot Cove to start on her new novel.

This addition to the long-running TV tie-in series is a dependable installment that is pretty much par for the course and is basically what we’ve come to expect from this series. I don’t mean that in a bad way, either, because readers want the books to remain true to the characters we have come to know and love.

The mystery was solid, the characters were very well-drawn, and the story is entertaining. I recommend this book to those following the series or anyone who enjoys a clean cozy mystery.


Book Blurb for Design For Murder

In the newest in the USA Today bestselling mystery series, Jessica Fletcher visits New York City during fashion week, only to discover someone has rather fatal designs...

Jessica is in Manhattan to attend the debut of a new designer. Formerly Sandy Black of Cabot Cove, the young man has reinvented himself as Xandr Ebon, and is introducing his evening wear collection to the public and—more important—to the industry’s powers-that-be: the stylists, the magazine editors, the buyers, and the wealthy clientele who can make or break him. At the show, the glitz and glamour are dazzling until a young model—a novice, taking her first walk down the runway—shockingly collapses and dies. Natural causes? Perhaps. But when another model is found dead, a famous cover girl and darling of the paparazzi, the fashion world gets nervous.

Two models. Two deaths. Their only connection? Xandr Ebon. Jessica’s crime-solving instincts are put to the test as she sorts through the egos, the conflicts of interest, the spiteful accusations, and the secrets, all the while keeping an amorous detective at arm’s length. But she’ll have to dig deep to uncover a killer. A designer’s career is on the line. And another model could perish in a New York minute.


Night Owl Reviews May, 2016 4.00