Sunday, October 31, 2010

Faux Finished by Peg Marberg

In Faux Finished, Jean Hastings is an interior designer and owns Designer Jeans with her daughter, Jean Jr. They have just finished redecorating the dining room at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club and plan to celebrate with a grand reopening. Suddenly, there are two dead bodies and Jean is compelled to investigate.

This book was pretty good. It's a fun cozy mystery with an interesting side story (interior design) and likeable characters. I did have a little trouble keeping some of the characters straight because there was so many of them. Also, a few of them had similar names, which didn't make things easier. Luckily there was a list of "Citizens of Seville, Indiana" at the beginning of the book that helped me keep track. I referred to it often. If it weren't for that, I'm afraid I would have been very lost at times.

The interior design aspect of the book was interesting, but there wasn't enough of it. Jean appeared to spend more time investigating mysteries than doing her full time job. I would have preferred that she do more designing (or talk about designing) while she was solving the mystery. She was a pretty good amateur detective, though, and I enjoyed following her around as she put together the pieces.

I didn't know it as I was reading, but this is the first book in An Interior Design Mystery series. It didn't quite feel like one. There was some background information presented, but I believe there were some previous investigations or events that were referenced. I assumed they happened in another book. Imagine my surprise when I learned this was the first in the series. This could have been the author's intention or maybe it was just my impression. It felt a bit odd.

I appreciated the information about the Art Deco style at the end of the book as well as the decorating tips on how to achieve that style. Before reading that section, I wasn't sure what Art Deco was. Now I have a better idea and I'll be sure to keep my eye out for it.

I'd really like to read the second book in the series before I recommend this series to others.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the Berkley Prime Crime website.

Faux Finished by Peg Marberg, The Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin), ©2007. ISBN 9780425314282(mass market), 214p.

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