STAGING IS MURDER

STAGING IS MURDER

by Grace Topping

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Overview

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.

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STAGING IS MURDER by Grace Topping | A Henery Press Mystery. If you like one, you’ll probably like them all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635114874
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Series: A Laura Bishop Mystery , #1
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 172,996
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.56(d)

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STAGING IS MURDER 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 1 days ago
Great book kept me guessing till the end
lghiggins 8 months ago
Laura Bishop has quit her boring IT job, but still has debts to pay off from her mother’s illness and funeral. She has allowed herself one year to make a success of a new staging business, helping people prepare their homes to look their best for resale. Her friend Nita, whose large Italian family “adopted” Laura years ago, is the “Lucy” to Laura’s “Ethel” as they try to solve a murder and free Tyrone, Laura’s assistant in the business. There are lots of suspects, and my heart was in my throat when Laura decided to confide in one of them as I felt sure he was the murderer. Was he? Why did someone want Laura to stop investigating? Will she be able to discover the murderer before he or she strikes again? Grace Topping’s Staging is Murder is a good start to a new cozy mystery series. Read it to answer all these questions and to learn if her first staging job is a success or a flop. I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dollycas 10 months ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Grace Topping starts this book/series out with a big thump. While curbing the clutter in the huge 19th-century mansion, her protagonist Laura Bishop heads to the cellar with a box only to have her client’s body fall from the laundry chute right at her feet. Victoria Denton was difficult but who would have done such a thing? The police decide Laura’s assistant, Tyrone is their prime suspect. He accidentally broke a vase sending Ms. Denton into a tizzy. She also is on the committee holding Tyrone’s fate in her hands as he waits to hear if he will be awarded a college scholarship. The woman threatened to basically blackball him everywhere and police assume he retaliated. Laura defends the young man but when his grandmother begs for her help she knows she has to do more. Detective Alex Spangler thinks he has his man so Laura grabs her friend Nita Marino and tries to use all the knowledge she has gleaned from reading cozy mysteries to start investigating. There are such strong characters in this debut. Laura Bishop has left her IT career behind and opened her own business staging homes to help home sellers get the best price and the quickest sale of their homes. She is also new to investigating and admits it which was a big plus for me. She is a very kind person and for the most part, makes really good decisions. Her best friend Nita is the Watson to Laura’s Holmes and they make a good team. The character I liked best was Tyrone. He’s a college student studying design and clearly has talent. He is a hard worker. He has 3 jobs earning money both for school and to help his grandmother. He has such a positive attitude even when things are going wrong. Even behind bars, he was a breath of fresh air. I also loved meeting Inky, Laura’s rescue kitty. The story flowed well for me. There are several suspects and some great twists. Tossing the victim down the laundry chute was a bit eerie. I love big old homes that have them. My aunt had one in her newer home but the opening was nowhere near large enough to stuff a body through. I enjoyed following along with Laura and her investigation while she continued to work on the mansion to get it ready for an open house. The mansion needed a lot of help and I was surprised by all Laura did with the help of so few people. The author found a nice balance between solving the mystery and everyday life. Humor was also incorporated in a very thoughtful way. Each chapter starts with a staging tip and the staging theme was super interesting to me. Not that I’ll ever need to stage a home, but several tips made sense to brighten up the home I have. This series is off to a great start. The characters have plenty of room to grow. The theme provides endless possibilities. I am really looking forward to book #2.
bookwomen37 12 months ago
This was just an OK cozy mystery for me. I felt the story and the mystery were a little too simple. The sleuth and the police were both simple minded. I was able to figure out the killer early. I did like the staging background and the staging hints at the beginning of each chapter. It was a quick read.
Carstairs38 12 months ago
Laura Bishop is just getting her home staging business off the ground, and she is thrilled to land Victoria Denton as her first client. Victoria can make her reputation in their small Pennsylvania town. Unfortunately, Victoria also has a reputation for being hard to work with, and Laura is finding that all too true. Working late one night, Laura is shocked to find Victoria’s dead body. When the police arrest Laura’s assistant, she decides she needs to look into the crime to find out what really happened. But can she do it? Since this is the first in a new series, we get to meet quite a few new characters here. I enjoyed Laura and her friends, although they do have a little room to grow as the series progresses. The plot starts off strong, but bogs down a bit as Laura struggles to figure out how to start her investigation. Not that I can say much since I identify with her struggle. Once she gets moving, thanks in part to some blunt questions from her friends (again, too much like me), the story picks up and I was fully on board. The climax was creative and answered all our questions. Laura is a mystery fan herself, and I enjoyed her comparing herself to the main characters in the books she’s read. Each chapter starts with tips on staging your home, and they made me very thankful that I am not planning on selling my condo any time soon due to all the work involved. I’ll just enjoy reading about Laura’s efforts to stage houses and solve mysteries.
Chatting-About-Cozies 12 months ago
Author Grace Topping debuts nicely with her Laura Bishop Mystery series from Henery Press. This cozy is a light read with lots of plausible suspect’s and a killer who was cleverly snuck into the plot and never even on my radar! There are plenty of chuckles along the route to the satisfying conclusion. Protagonist Laura Bishop is a beginner in the home staging business and her very first client, Victoria Denton, is a doozy! Nita, Laura’s best friend, has a huge Italian-American family who embrace Laura as family, also, and they are a delightful bunch and a great help to her. The supporting cast is great and I look forward to learning more about them in future stories. Laura’s rescue cat, Inky, is a comforting and precious pet character. I enjoyed the tips for staging your home for an open house that the author shares at the first of each chapter. I feel this new series is off to a great start! Thanks to the author for providing an ARC galley for my honest review.
Rockport_rocker 12 months ago
I greatly enjoyed Staging is Murder, the first book in the Laura Bishop series. I liked that Laura understands that she doesn’t know how to conduct an investigation and that she might not find the answers. Since her assistant and dear friend Tyrone is arrested and the police are satisfied that they have the murderer, someone has to try to find the real killer, and it seems she is elected. Tyrone is studying design and is a natural at developing great stage settings, so it seems a great idea for her to hire him to help plan the staging for her first home staging job, an outdated Victorian that must sell fast. After all, he is talented and a hard worker, not to mention he needs the income from that third job to help his grandmother and to pay college expenses. With the perennially discontent, and sometimes down right mean, Victoria in residence it isn’t long before the young assistant gets crosswise with the woman who threatens to make sure that he does not get the scholarship that he needs for his junior year tuition so he can use his income to help his grandmother who took him in when his parents died. Within hours of their confrontation the Victoria is dead. Although she has crossed words with many people, Tyrone is one of the few people who has a key and was seen in the vicinity near the time of her death. That little detail is enough reason for the police to arrest him and for the judge to set his bail too high for his grandmother to cover. Laura struggles to figure out who might have a reason to kill Victoria, but she refuses to give up even when her own life in threatened. There are some helpful staging suggestions at the beginning of each chapter, but Laura’s staging of the Victorian is only alluded to. I enjoy seeing some of the details as the main character works on staging or decorating so I was disappointed in that one aspect of the book. Laura’s loyalty more than made up for that deficit. I enjoyed the book and look forward to seeing what she gets up to in the next one. As always, good characters are the main draw for me and in addition to Laura and Tyrone, there are several that I enjoyed watching interact with Laura. I received an advanced readers’ copy of the book from Henery Press via Edelweiss. I choose to review on several sites because I believe this book is the beginning of a series that will develop well and will continue to pull me into the lives of the characters.