Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Designs On Murder (Ghostly Fashionista, #1)” as Want to Read:
Designs On Murder (Ghostly Fashionista, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Designs On Murder

(Ghostly Fashionista Mystery #1)

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  60 reviews
What if you discovered your lively new friend wasn't really...alive?

Amanda Tucker is excited about opening her fashion design studio in Shops On Main, a charming old building in historic Abingdon, Virginia. She didn't realize a ghost came with the property! But soon Maxine "Max" Englebright, a young woman who died in 1930, isn't the only dead person at the retail complex
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Grace Abraham Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Designs On Murder, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Designs On Murder

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  60 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Designs On Murder (Ghostly Fashionista, #1)
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amanda Tucker is ready to start the next chapter in her life. With some help from her grandfather, she opens her own designer clothes shop. She purchases one of the stores in the Shops on Main shopping center. Much to her surprise, it comes with a 1930’s ghost named Maxine “Max” Englebright. Max is full of advice for Amanda.

Her quiet little shop isn’t so quiet when a fellow shop owner, Mark Tinsley, is murdered. Amanda’s grandfather fears for her safety, but Amanda is determined to make her shop
Chatting About
Excellent story! Amanda Tucker designs retro-style fashion clothing. With her newly opened boutique, Designs On You taking custom orders, Amanda is ecstatic her dream is coming true. She’s amazed to discover a ghost inhabits the space she’s leasing in the Shops On Main building. Fun and friendly Max (Maxine) is happy Amanda and her Grandpa Dave can see and talk to her, as can Amanda’s cat, Jazzy! When another renter in the building is murdered, Max makes an excellent spy as she disappears throug ...more
Peggy R
I thought this was a charming start to a new series for author Gayle Leeson. I was hooked right from the start and kept turning pages. The characters are terrific. Amanda and her new paranormal best friend are well written, spunky and fun individuals. I loved the relationship between Amanda and her Grandpa Dave. It was warm and loving and added a nice dimension to the story. Max, the resident ghost in Amanda's new shop is really a fun character. She was enchanting and provided a good bit of humo ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
This is the first book in A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery. A wonderful new series written by Gayle Leeson.
Amanda is opening her fashion design shop in an old building in the town of Abington, Virginia. Max, a ghost, that can read, just happens to come with that particular shop in the historic building.
Murder, a ghost, intriguing characters will keep you turning the pages of this well written story.
I loved the book and the interaction between Amanda and Max. Looking forward to more adventures wi
Designs on Murder by Gayle Leeson is the debut novel in A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery series. Amanda Tucker was on her way home from a job interview when she notices a For Lease sign at the Shops on Main in Abingdon, Virginia. She has dreamed of opening her own boutique to sell her vintage inspired fashions, but her parents (mostly her mother) had numerous objections. Amanda with financial help from Grandpa Dave takes the plunge and leases the shop for Designs on You. Little did Amanda know that ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great New Paranormal Cozy!

For a first in a new series, this book grabbed me from the beginning! I enjoy reading paranormal cozy mysteries quite often. This one honestly held my interest from the beginning until the end.

A recent college graduate, Amanda Tucker has been living in her parent’s home since they had moved to Florida two years ago. After another job interview, that she really wasn’t interested in, she wanders into a fabulous old building to check it out. As soon as she enters, she mee
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You could tell author Gayle Leeson had the spirt while she was writing this book, and that spirit was Max!

DESIGNS ON MURDER starts right off with very likeable characters. Protagonist Amanda Tucker is a young, bright woman with a passion for fashion designing. Her Grandpa Dave is a hoot, and he’s real supporter of his granddaughter. Then there resident spirit Max. Fun and sassy, every scene with her is simply entertaining! Ghost cozies aren’t normally my go to reads, with the exception of a few
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
“Designs on Murder” earns 4/5 Flapper Frills…Clever & Entertaining!

I am a fan of Gayle Leeson’s (aka Gayle Trent) Down South Café Mystery, so I was eager to read her new series, A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery. As with her other series, she pens a clever mystery with fun-to-follow characters, but this time she's added a bit of the paranormal….just the right amount for my tastes.

Gayle introduces Amanda Tucker, a delightful young woman who is setting up her own retro-style fashion design studio in
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
This delightful new series by Gayle Leeson combines the paranormal world with Max, a ghost from the 1920s; fashion through Amanda's designs; a touch of romance, and a murder that throws everything together despite the wishes of the characters.  If nothing else, you will want to read the story for Max and her quirky phrases, which weren't quirky for her time period, as they will give you a chuckle.

The cast of characters is not large and the author does a great job of pushing several characters to
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the first time I had read one of Gayle's books and I thoroughly enjoyed it "A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery" series is off to a great start. This series also has a nice hint of the paranormal with the ghost of Max. This book had me hooked from the beginning and I finished in a couple nights.

The mystery was well written and carries through the entire story. There were a couple of twists and turns that I didn't see coming but I did guess the killer halfway through. The author brought all t
Karen (BaronessBookTrove)
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Great Escapes Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Fashion, Murder, and a Ghost, Oh, My!
Designs on Murder by Gayle Leeson is fantastic. I absolutely adored everything! I was so gone after “the elephant’s eyebrows.” The characters are smart, witty and so funny. The setting is perfect, from the small town atmosphere to the diners, and the Shops On Main.
The Characters
Amanda Tucker
Amanda is so
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Wow, just WOW! Gayle Leeson has written a book that is the total Cat's Pyjamas! Murder, Ghosts and Fashion ... oh MY!

I wish I had the spirit of either Amanda or Max, Amanda (with prompting from Max) has decided that corporate life isn't for her and with the backing of her beloved Grandfather Dave (who also loaned her the down payment), she has leased a shop in an old house (there are half a dozen units as well as the general office), she has decided to go for it and set up a bespoke fashion shop
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I thought this book was a really fun ride.

As soon as Amanda made the decision to start Designs on You, a fashion design studio, she ran into a lady named Max. Max was cool, quirky and... a ghost, a flapper from the 1930’s. Amanda had been able to see Max as soon as she walked into the building. It was an odd phenomena since Max hadn’t spoken to anyone since she died. Shops on Main, where Amanda opened her business, used to be a Victorian house. She had fallen down the stairs on her way to a dat
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a sucker for books based in historical locations and places I have lived in. With an influx of new cozy series choices out there right now, I was looking for a few new options. When I saw this book based in Abingdon, Virginia adding it to my reading list was an easy decision. And I’m glad that I did.

When Amanda Tucker finally follows her passion and opens her own fashion design shop in an old building, she’s not only excited about striking out on her own, she’s excited to find that her lease
Jerri Cachero
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun new "ghost" of a series!

Being a fan of books that feature ghosts as a part of a crime solving team, Designs on Murder was a fun read!

When Amanda opens a custom made dress shop, in a historic building, she finds along with her fellow business owners, a lively ghost named Maxine "Max" resides in the building. While trying to solve the murder of a previous tenant, Amanda delves into the mystery of Max's death.

I enjoyed the supporting characters - Amanda"s supportive Grandpa Dave, her feist
Lisa Malmquist
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very cute cozy!
Amanda Tucker opens her custom clothing design shop.
A cute area of older shops and in a historic building with a ghost on the property.
Max Englebright, the ghost, died in the 20's died on the property.
Another shop owner in the building is shot and killed in his office upstairs.
Amanda and Max are on the case!
Luckily, Max can spy on others without them knowing she is there which comes in handy when trying to figure out who the guilty party is.
Great characters, like the handsome ph
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fun thrilling read. I truly enjoyed every single minute I read this book. Like seriously, who wouldn't want to have a fabulous ghost as a friend? Me!!

Plus Max the ghost knew fashion, could read books on a tablet, walk through walls, was hilarious and was the next Agatha Christie solving crimes. The best name calling I have ever heard "pillowcase" & "elephant eyebrows" were truly the funniest thing I read in this book. The plot was head on with the story. The characters were so fantastic.
A super fun intro a new cozy series! I really loved this mystery, from the setting, to the fact that Amanda is setting up a new clothing boutique to the mystery to her new friend Max-who's a ghost! A charming cozy and I can't wait for the next installment!
Barbara Hackel
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brand new series starts now and it is from Gayle Leeson. This time the book is about a twenty-four year old woman, Amanda Tucker, who has interviewed for another boring job that she is overqualified for and uninterested in. Her degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship was what her parents wanted her to major in and pushed her in that direction. Her dream was to open a fashion boutique featuring her designs reminiscent of the 30's, 40's, and 50's ...more
Jody Joy
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to be able to read the first book in a new series by Gayle Leeson. Designs on Murder is part of the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series. If the series is going to be anything like this first book, you are going to fall in love with it. Amanda has opened up her new fashion studio in historic Abingdon, Virginia. The shop she leases comes with one of the most loveable characters, Max. She just so happens to be a ghost and becomes Amanda’s best friend. Gayle brought all these charact ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
Designs On Murder: A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery (Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series Book 1) gets off to a great start and just keeps on going. The first chapter provides a solid initial description of all the people and places, sets the scene and introduces all of the important players (so far). I had a good sense of the setting and surroundings and the characters to start the mystery.

Amanda Tucker is an interesting, complex character. She’s innocent, cute, and funny with a good heart and full
Felicia's Bookshelf
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
This is the first book in a Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series.

Amanda Tucker is a 24 yr old with a bachelor degree in Business. She always wanted to be a fashion designer but her parents discouraged her cause they said it was hard to break into. With her parents in Florida, she decides to check out a space for lease in Shop on Main. A beautiful building that once was a private residence. Upon entering the space for lease she comes across a woman that looks to be in her 30’s and wearing clothing
Marcy Barth
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this first book of the newest mystery series from Gayle Leeson. She has such an imaginative way of writing mysteries that ensnare you from the very beginning and keep you enthralled throughout the entire book. They’re so easy to read and flow so smoothly that you never realize how much you’ve read until suddenly, it’s over. Leaving you wanting to know what’s coming next. I so cannot wait to read the next one.

Amanda Tucker is at a crossroads in her life and has decided to go
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed previous mysteries by Gayle Leeson and I always like finding a new series. This didn't disappoint me. If you like a well crafted mystery, an engaging female protagonist (or two) and a ghost from the 1920's, give this one a try.
Amanda lives in historical Abingdon, VA, in the house she grew up in. Her grandfather lives not too far away. One day Amanda decides to use her talents of fashion design and business degree and open her own design studio in a converted Victorian house called
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The First Ghostly Fashionista Mystery

When an opportunity to rent a space in a lovely historic building presents itself, Amanda Tucker takes a chance on a dream. The space is perfect for her fashion design shop and, with the help of her grandfather, Amanda sets up business. Amanda is surprised when she discovers her new friend, Max, is a ghost, but that's nothing compared to the shock when another tenant is found shot to death in his office! While Max encourages A
Susan Johnston
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Princess Fuzzypants here: There are a number of cozy series with ghosts as sidekicks to the heroines. I wasn’t sure if this would be just one more but I found myself thoroughly entertained. Amanda has a business degree but what she really wants to do is design and make clothing. On a whim, she looks at space in a building and puts in an offer after chatting with a stranger who happens to be in the building. It is not until somewhat later that she realizes her new friend is a ghost that only she ...more
Rachel V.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun ghost/murder/mystery story. When Amanda sees what she thinks would be perfect shop space in an old building in Abingdon, Virginia it inspires her to pursue the career she’s always wanted which is designing clothes for her own shop. When she goes in to inquire about the rent she meets Max, a ghost who died in the building in the 1930s. Amanda is the only person who can see and hear her and she and Max become instant friends. When there’s a murder in the building Max talks Am ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Designs on Murder is the first in the new series by Gayle Leeson, A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery.
This is a clean, easy to read Cozy mystery with a great setting and a great story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.
The main characters are Amanda, her grandfather , and Maxi the resident ghost, who passed in the 1930's, that only can be seen by Amanda and Grandpa Dave. I love the relationship between Amanda and Dave.
Amanda steps off the curb and decides to open her
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first of the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series. Amanda Tucker has just had an interview for a new job when she stops into the Shops on Main when she sees a “for lease” sign and meets and amazing lady Max who dresses in 1930’s era cloths. Amanda has always wanted to design her own fashions and dreams of opening her own shop. Max gives her some encouragement and Amanda decides to put together a plan and runs in by her Grandfather and asks to for his help to get it all started. She mee ...more
Jody Joy
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to be able to read the first book in a new series by Gayle Leeson. Designs on Murder is part of the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series. If the series is going to be anything like this first book, you are going to fall in love with it. Amanda has opened up her new fashion studio in historic Abingdon, Virginia. The shop she leases comes with one of the most loveable characters, Max. She just so happens to be a ghost and becomes Amanda’s best friend. Gayle brought all these charact ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Murder in the Storybook Cottage (Book Retreat Mysteries #6)
  • Southern Sass and Killer Cravings
  • Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery 8)
  • Mrs. Morris and the Ghost (A Salem B&B Mystery, #1)
  • The Last Curtain Call (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8)
  • Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #3)
  • Mums and Mayhem (A Magic Garden Mystery #3)
  • Murder in the First Edition (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #3)
  • Prologue to Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #2)
  • Proof of Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #4)
  • A Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery #1)
  • Mousse and Murder (Alaskan Diner Mystery #1)
  • Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece (A Haunted Craft Fair Mystery #1)
  • Death of a Blueberry Tart (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery #12)
  • Midnight Magic (Familiar Kitten Mysteries #2)
  • Murder in Waiting (Tourist Trap Mysteries #11)
  • Strangled Eggs and Ham (Country Store Mysteries #6)
  • Ghost Mortem (Ghost Detective #1)
See similar books…
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of B

Other books in the series

Ghostly Fashionista Mystery (2 books)
  • Perils and Lace (Ghostly Fashionista, #2)

News & Interviews

It’s time to turn your attention to something dark and twisty, to a story (or two or three) so engaging, the pages just fly by. In short, it’s...
26 likes · 3 comments