The reader is introduced to an Agatha Christie-like cozy mystery meets Inspector Clouseau-style heroine in this charming murder mystery, Design on a Crime: Deadly Decor Mystery.
Maybe not a profound whodunit story, but this book packs a wallop with the list of suspects, the main one being designer Haley Farrell, bungled "snoop" sessions, comical happenstances between her arch-rival Dutch and the "Karate Chop Cop", and Haley's downs-and-ups in her faith.
The main story may seem more of "who killed Marge", but the sub-plot concerning Haley's faith and her eventual growth in Christ strengthens the storyline.
Marge's death leads to Haley's understanding that not everyone is perfect, and even the most undesirable person can receive forgiveness. Everyone has a choice, and sometimes people choose to ignore the right choice. This theme is worked throughout the book without it being preachy.
The constant references to Starbucks can be seen as the character's way of downplaying the situations in her life and past, an escape that only coffee will allow or so she thinks. Eventually, she learns that her true escape from the horrors and stress comes not from humor, self-depreciation, martial arts training, or coffee, but from standing back and letting God do His work.
Secondary characters added to the character Haley's storyline. Each gave his or her own advice, help, and love to guide Haley onto the path of healing.
I look forward to reading the rest of the Deadly Decor Mysteries and Haley's eventual love/hate relationship with Dutch (which is foreshadowed in this book).