Althoug this is the first in a new series, I constantly felt I was missing something. There kept being references to the main character as being a good sleuth, her solving a previous murder, etc. It was almost as if there should of been a book before this one, but for some reason there wasn't. There were too many characters to keep track of in this as well. When an author has to list the characters and their place in the overall scenario at the front of the book, and it isn't a historical novel you're reading, then you know things are bound to be confusing! The whole book felt muddled to me. I'd have to say the best thing about the book is the cover.
Ugh...this book is dreadful. The characters are ill-defined, the plot is muddy and full of inane and unnecessary details, and the theme of interior design barely plays a role in this garbled attempt at a cozy mystery. I kept going with it, hoping it would improve, but it never did. The best thing about this book is that it's only 210 pages.
The first thing I noticed in this book was a page-and-a-half list of characters ... and it's a good thing it was there, too. The characters were totally undeveloped, and thus, completely unmemorable.
This book is written as if it is the second in a series, although, if it is, I can find no record of the first. (Maybe because it was so bad as to remain unpublished?) There are constant references to a mystery Jean had solved before, which often left me scratching my head.
Also, the storyline had more holes than the finest of Swiss cheese. In an effort to apparently surprise readers with her cleverness, the author "skips over" things that make the story jump around disjointedly. As a result, the characters act in ways that make no sense, until the author tries to tie everything up with a neat little bow in the final pages (and not even then in some cases). Even with everything spelled out for me ... I found the premise thin, the characters flat, and the denouement disappointing.
Sadly .. I will not be buying Ms. Marberg's second Interior Design Mystery (or should it be third?).
This amateur sleuth is a grandmother...still a refreshing new trend for me as I enjoy seeing smart, older women as main characters. The small-town atmosphere and interaction between the characters is well-written and presented for a lively read that moves quickly but is not predictable. The quirky sister-in-law is a real hoot and I look forward to more in the series. Watch out for the dog with a personality of her own!
I enjoyed reading about some of the quirky characters found in this book, especially Jean, the main character. It does include descriptions of some of her design work but just when I was getting to the point of having read enough the writer moves on.
There were a few spots where I had trouble following what Jean was doing in the book. How she got from one point to another and a couple of times got confused and had to go back to see what I had missed. Even doing that, I still had trouble following some of her jumps and the conclusions that she reached to solve the crimes.
Even with that, I did enjoy reading the book and already have book 2 on the way to me.
I liked this book and the characters are believable, however, I did not like the constant reference to the main character's need for a cigarette and the nagging of those around her to stop smoking. I also lost track of the story line a few times wondering how she came to her conclusions. I read the next in the series and did like it a lot, so I will continue reading them.
Seville, Indiana, has 5 traffic lights abd one interior design team--Designer Jeans, co-founded by Jean Hastings and her daughter Jean Jr. Lately they-re finding that the keen eyes needed for plotting color schemes and tracking down flea market treasures also come in handy for interpreting more sinister designs.