Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Faux Finished - Peg Marberg

Faux Finished
An Interior Design Mystery
Peg Marberg
Berkley Prime Crime


With her daughter grown up and married, and her husband retired and dedicated to golf, Jean Hastings realized that she needed a purpose of her own. She found that purpose in interior design. She went to school, got the right certifications, and now, with her daughter Jean, Jr. (JR), she owns Designer Jeans, the one and only interior design firm in the small town of Seville, Indiana.

Their biggest and most public job to date is the updating of the main dining room at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club. Designer Jeans ripped out the shag carpet, crumbly wallpaper and broken light fixtures and re-imagined the place in all its original Art Deco glory. Not that there wasn’t some opposition. The club’s manager, Harrison Fowler, would have preferred to spend that money on paving the parking lot. But, as usual, the wishes of board president Vanessa Higgins overrode all else. The only real flaw in the grand reopening is the absence of board member Harmon Brinkman, who died recently in a freak fall. During the gala party, Harrison Fowler rises to give a speech, makes a few coughing sounds, and collapses, dead.

FAUX FINISHED is a solid beginning to what is sure to be a winning mystery series. Jean is the kind of woman who might live next door to you. She’s realistic, and unwilling to let a wrong go un-righted. The rest of the cast is interesting without veering into eccentricity. The story is full of interesting decorating details, and is sure to please fans of home decorating shows and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. There are a lot of great ideas floating around here, and they’re nicely incorporated into the mystery. I look forward to my next visit to Seville, Indiana.

Rating: 7
February 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21428-2 (paperback)


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