Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud of glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.
As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell—or worse, a funeral.
The question every reader wants to figure out before the reveal. The question every author tries to muddy the answer to by layering in red herrings and giving plenty of suspect options. We love when we hear the reader couldn’t figure out until the sleuth did, and when they go back and reread see how all the clues played out. I love those moments. I love when the plot starts flowing, the words coming, and I know everything is coming together into an awesome ending.
Then there are the times when I’ve come to the place in a mystery I’m writing where I no longer know “whodunit”. I knew at the beginning of the book. I outlined some pivotal moments. Necessary scenes. Twists and turns. The clues. The red herrings. The “innocent” suspects and why they are suspected and what takes them off the sleuth’s list. I know the where, how and most important with the mystery the motive of the crime. But somewhere along the way to The End, the who changed.
In the book I’m writing now, I even wrote the end/reveal scene a month ago. I was so excited. I knew the in and outs of the story, had it all planned out and all I needed was chapters six through twenty-four and I’d have the book done. No problem since I, the author, knew everything.
But…something happened on the way to the awesome ending I pre-wrote. Something I suspected might happen even as I moved forward with my plot. It has happened in every mystery and suspense book before it, but this time I was certain the phenomena wouldn’t reoccur. For once, I would know the real killer before my sleuth figured it out.
I was wrong. The suspect who I blamed the murder was (and is) innocent. They didn’t commit the crime. It baffles me every time it happens. I said he or she did it. Plotted that he or she did it. Planted most of the clues showing he or she committed the murder, only to have my amateur sleuth prove me wrong. In going back through the book, I see clues here and there I wrote showing the identity of the real culprit.
I get so intent on writing the plot I constructed, I don’t quite pay attention to what is happening in the story as I work on the novel. The cute little scene that popped into my head, the snarky bits of dialogue, all held tiny clues and hints of the truth I hadn’t noticed. Thankfully, my heroine (and heroes) are much better than I am at detecting and help me reveal the real who in the whodunit.
The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.
Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.
Designed to Death by Christina Freeburn is the 2nd book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This series. As a scrapbooker, I was immediately drawn to this series, and Christina didn’t disappoint. I really felt like I was there in the scrapbook store with Faith and the other characters. The mystery and the plot are well written and kept me guessing. I felt like I really was given the chance to connect with the setting and the characters. This is a really nicely written cozy mystery series, definitely one you don’t want to miss (especially if you’re a crafter!).
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