I chose to read The Monet Murders by Jean Harrington for two simple reasons – art and murder. It’s a combination that I have a weakness for and this time around made for a good story. This is the second in the series, but I had no problem reading it as a stand-alone.
Our sleuth is Deva Dunne, a recently widowed interior designer with a habit of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. She arrives at a client’s house expecting to work, only to find one of the beautiful Monet paintings missing and the cook dead, murdered. As is so often the case, Deva can’t just leave the investigation to the cops, not even the gorgeous Lieutenant Rossi, after all she’s got her business to save and she doesn’t like feeling like a suspect herself.
There is a nice, long list of suspects, including the owners of the Monet, their guests and business partners, even the cook’s husband, at least until he ends up dead too. Deva comes up with plenty of clues, the problem is they all point in different directions. I will say that Deva does tell Rossi what she knows at each step along the way, she just ignores him when he tells her to stay out of it.
The mystery’s well-plotted, and I didn’t guess the killer. Not that I ever do. There are certainly some twists and turns, and of course Deva gets herself into a couple perilous situations, exactly what I expect from a cozy.
I like Deva, she felt real. She still hurting over her husband’s death, unsure if she’s ready to let a new man, aka Rossi, into her life. She’s kind and generous, but also a tough lady. Rossi’s a great love interest, rough around the edges, but sexy and solid. He’s a good guy, willing to give Deva the time she needs. The supporting cast is well-drawn too, although there is one relationship that felt a little rushed, a little too easy, but I’m willing to overlook that minor detail.
Overall, it was an enjoyable little mystery, not outstanding, but a nice summer distraction.
3 out of 5 stars
Category: Mystery – Cozy
Murders by Design #2
Published June 11, 2012 by Carina Press
Book source: For review
Murders by Design Series
- Designed for Death
- The Monet Murders
- Killer Kitchens (due early 2013)