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Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.
To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.
Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.
Meet Laura Bishop from Staging is Murder
The town of Louiston, Pennsylvania, is a wonderful place to live. Set in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains, we have a local college, a vibrant community theater, and wonderful people. I enjoyed growing up there. The same wasn’t always the case for my BFF Nita. With so many relatives in town, if she did something she shouldn’t be doing, one of her relatives was usually around and would tell her parents. But on the whole, it’s a great place to live.
That is, until I started my own home staging business and attempted to stage a home for Victoria Denton, the most difficult woman in town. Nita warned me that working with her would be murder, but since I was just starting out, I had no choice. I needed to find a staging job that would provide me with professional experience and references. If I thought it would help my business, I would gladly have staged a home for Hannibal Lecter. With Nita’s warning, I expected the job to be murder, but I didn’t expect it to include a body. When Victoria Denton’s body fell from a laundry chute and landed at my feet, that’s exactly what I got.
Unfortunately, the police have charged my young assistant, Tyrone, with the murder. When Mrs. Webster, Tyrone’s grandmother, beseeches me to help find the real killer, I’m flabbergasted. I have absolutely no experience solving mysteries—that is if you don’t count my solving the mystery of why a computer system malfunctioned at my previous job. For some reason, Mrs. Webster has faith that I will be able to help Tyrone.
Funny how when you start questioning people about the victim they all look guilty. It’s then that I realize that my wonderful community isn’t as idyllic as I thought. Everyone seemed to have a secret they were trying to conceal. Who living in Louiston could have murdered Victoria and dumped her body down a laundry chute? Could it have been Skip Denton, Victoria’s ex-husband; Carlos, her groundkeeper; Cora Ridley, who went into business with Victoria with disastrous results; Cora’s husband, Norman, a sleazy politician and local developer; or Warren Hendricks, the local funeral director. And that’s just to name a few. I soon discovered the list of people who would have been happy to see Victoria off the planet was a long one.
Come follow my adventures in STAGING IS MURDER as I try to identify what citizen of Louiston could be guilty of murder. Or was it one of the citizens of Louiston? Could it have been one of the Hell’s Angels camped out at the local campground that Nita drags me to late one night. Join us in Louiston to find out.
About the Author
Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. Grace is the current vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.
Website – https://www.gracetopping.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/gtoppingauthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GraceToppingAuthor
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomgracetopping
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