Rooms to Die For (Murders by Design) - Jean Harrington

A reminder of why the contemporary American cozy is my favorite genre of mystery.  This one is terrific.  Well written, well-edited, strong female lead with an interesting love interest and a challenging but not impossible-to-figure-out mystery.

Interior designer Deva Dunne is working for a client with plenty of money but little taste when they make a trip to the Naples Design Mall. A very common activity for Deva but usually without the presence of a antiques dealer hanging from the third floor railing.  As the antique dealer and his wife were close friends of Deva's, she can't let this supposed suicide go until the truth is uncovered.  Her significant other being the lead homicide detective complicates matters but doesn't stop Deva from delving into the situation to find the truth.

Rooms To Die For has a cast of interesting characters including Deva's client who loves pink and bling but is in love with a minimalist architect.  The shopkeepers and workers at the mall are distinct and well-drawn.  The lead character does a minimum of stupid things which I appreciate.  Yes, investigating a murder would never make sense in real-life but we wouldn't have cozy mysteries if writers didn't have amateurs do it but this particular character keeps her common sense intact most of the time. There were a couple of loose ends that weren't tied up quite to my satisfaction but not too many.

My favorite quality, atmosphere, is present in this book.  You can feel the late summer heat and humidity of Florida all the way through.  This book is very much in it's setting.

I have not read the earlier books in this series but I will.  This could become one of those series that feels like a comfortable old friend to visit and that's a feeling I like.

I received this book through Netgalley and I appreciate the opportunity to read it and give it an honest review.