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Death by Design: A DIY Diva Mystery

(A DIY Diva Mystery #2)

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  23 reviews
DIY Diva Laurel McMillan rejoices when her student Jennifer's peacock pillow wins a design contest; that is, until Jennifer's husband Matt is smothered with the very same pillow. When the police confiscate her prize-winning pillow, Jennifer freaks out, and Laurel fears that Jennifer may be more upset about losing the pillow than about Matt's death. But the police arrest di ...more
Kindle Edition, 184 pages
Published June 20th 2019 by Cozy Cat Press

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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  26 ratings  ·  23 reviews


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Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is the second book in the DIY Diva Mystery, but it is easily read as a standalone book. I did not read the first in this series and had no problems following and enjoying this story. The protagonist, Laurel McMillan is teaching several classes at the community center and is encouraging her students to enter some contests. She is quite happy for Jennifer when she wins both the pillow and room makeover contests. Her happiness quickly changes to sympathy when Jennifer's husband Matt is found d ...more
Carol
Murder has come again to one of the residents
of the Hawkeye Haven Community.
Lauren McMillian and her chocolate Lab, Bear
live in the community. Laurel teaches crafts at
The Hawkeye Haven Community Center. She is
teaching a class on making pillows. Laurel has
encouraged one of her students to enter two
contests because of her creative ability. The
woman enters and wins both contest. Her
husband does not approve of her venture.
Book club is being held at the wi
...more
Debbie
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laurel McMillan has been teaching her class how to make perfect pillows in her community center’s DIY class. While all of her students have made progress, she’s had a couple stand out and encourages them to participate in some local contests. Not surprisingly, Jennifer wins with her stunning beaded peacock pillow. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s husband is murdered soon afterwards, and it appears the pillow is the weapon. Can Laurel help uncover who the murderer is?

What a fun cozy mystery!
...more
Seraphia
Second book in Paula Darnell's series, Death by Design, is an engaging cozy mystery that was a lot of fun to read.
Laurel McMillan is a successful DIY Diva. She helps out with Food For Families, has a great relationship with her detective boyfriend and enjoys hanging out with her friends and their book club. When a couple of decorating contests come around she encourages those in her pillow class to enter, but especially Jennifer. So, of course, she's thrilled with Jennifer wins both. Too b
...more
Kara Marks
This is the second book in the series, but works well as a stand-alone. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I wasn’t lost at all. I enjoyed it so much that I have the first book on my wishlist and will eagerly wait for future books in the series. I love the main character, Laurel, but the book is full of well-rounded characters, both pleasant and not. Iowa in winter was the setting, and it was almost a character in itself, as the weather was routinely addressed in descriptive terms. ...more
Sara Gordon
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Death by Design was a wonderful cozy mystery, it was a great follow up to the previous installment in Paula Darnell's DIY Diva series. I really like Laurel, she seems to be a genuinely very nice person and I love that she teaches craft classes while writing craft books, it's kind of my dream to do something like that some day! She's a really strong character and I am glad it looks like this series is going to continue for a while. She and Wes are a cute couple, despite how little time they get ...more
Andra Weis
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed-cozies
An enjoyable addition to the DIY Diva Mystery series by Paula Darnell. Death by Design takes us back to Hawkeye Haven and the lives of the residents of the guard-gated community. I must say – I found this second book in the series more entertaining than the first, though it may well have been that I am now familiar with the writing of this author.

We begin with Laurel McMillan teaching a DIY Perfect Pillows class to interested residents. What I wouldn’t give to be more creative (I think I am sim
...more
Vbloemer
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laurel McMillan calls the Hawkeye Haven Community home. She teaches DIY craft classes including sewing and jewelry making at the local community center. She is also involved in a book club and a charity organization. Her life never seems to have a dull moment. Her life gets a bit more hectic when during a book club meeting at a neighbor’s house, the husband of the neighbor is murdered. One of the book club members is charged with the murder, but claims she is innocent. She asks to see Laurel. La ...more
Dianne
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Death by Design, the second installment in the DIY Diva Mystery series, centers around DIY Diva Laurel McMillan. As a teacher and author of craft books, Laurel’s main focus involves pillow projects. She also participates in activities that benefit the townspeople in Hawkeye Haven, a gated community in Iowa. After a woman is arrested for the murder of a prominent citizen, Laurel is drawn into once again employing her amateur sleuthing skills that she initially used in the introductory book of the ...more
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-craft
Phew! Book 2 lives up to the high expectations I had after book 1, with murder and mayhem in the gated community happening again! 6 out of 5 stars.

We start with one of Laurel's classes (this time she is focusing on cushions/pillows) with a small class, including one man, we then move swiftly to a fund raiser where Laurel and her police detective boyfriend, Wes, realise that not everything is hunky dory in the lives of some of the people Laurel spends her time with, luckily one person
...more
Jessica Bone
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mrs. Darnell takes us to bake to Hawkeye Haven where Laurel finds herself in broiled in another murder investigation where she would rather not be because is being held for the murder. Laurel pulls out all the stops in this new DYI Diva Mystery. Her friend Jennifer husband is dead after being left in the care of a local woman whose past leaves a lot to be desired, Edna. Edna says she did not do it and is in fact asleep in the sun-room for about an hour that day. That only leaves the women in the ...more
LuLu
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fun summer read! Paula Darnell is a new-to-me author and her book, Death by Design, did not disappoint. Laurel McMillan is a DIY Diva. Her books and classes are popular, and she’s found a lovely sanctuary in her small Iowa community. But, Laurel soon learns that looks can be deceiving and some of those close to her have lives that are much more complicated than she realizes.

Death by Design is a well-paced book with a strong plot. The writing is very detailed, and the dialogue
...more
Pamela Mitchell
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic DIY Diva cozy mystery with charming characters and a well-written mystery that included interesting suspects and enough twists and turns that I couldn't put the book down. I felt an instant connection with DIY Diva Laurel McMillan who becomes a DIY detective when Edna Elkins claims she's falsely accused of the murder of Jennifer's husband Matt. I loved her dynamic with the other characters especially her boyfriend Wes who is a homicide detective with the Center City Police Depar ...more
Maureen
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the DIY Diva series. Laurel lives in a gated community called Hawkeye Haven. She writes DIY books and teaches some classes at the community's center. After a neighbor is killed, the accused begs her to find the real murderer. Laurel receives a bit of help from her detective/boyfriend Wes, as well as her other neighbors and friends.

The author has built a cozy world with interesting people. Laurel is like-able and her community is full of characters that rang
...more
Kelly
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the main character, Laurel, and especially her chocolate lab Bear. She lives in a gated community and teaches DIY classes there as well as writing DIY books. Her latest class and book are about making pillows. I like the way that the book continued from the first book in the series, but that you wouldn't feel lost if you hadn't read it. I enjoyed the secondary characters and their interactions with Laurel. It feels like a real community that you would want to live in. And I like the way t ...more
Michelle Fidler
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hearing about the peacock pillow made me interested in this book since I enjoy crafting mysteries. The cover even changes color!

I liked the fact that there was an animal in the cozy, a dog named Bear. Laurel had lots of friends and activities, including a book club, so a lot went on in the book.

Reading of the will - they don't do that in real life, at least none of the lawyers I ever worked for did that. Maybe they did that in years past. That section was enjoyable. I wan
...more
Melissa
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting story. The characters were great and I was very surprised by who the killer was. I enjoyed reading this book and definitely would like to read the next installment.
Billie
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
DIY Diva Laurel McMillan rejoices when her student Jennifer's peacock pillow wins a design contest; that is, until Jennifer's husband Matt is smothered with the very same pillow. When the police confiscate her prize-winning pillow, Jennifer freaks out, and Laurel fears that Jennifer may be more upset about losing the pillow than about Matt's death. But the police arrest disgraced nurse Edna Elkins, not Jennifer. Begging Laurel to find the real killer, Edna insists she's innocent, but Laurel's no ...more
Laura
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
When a second murder is committed in a gated community in Iowa, people are starting to wonder how well they really do know their neighbors and friends.
Lauren McMillian teaches DIY classes to community members also also take part in other activities, such as a book club. While at a book club meeting the totally unexpected occurs - the hostess's husband dies, or rather is murdered. Does this mean one of the friends is responsible?
With a multitude of suspects and unclear motives, it seems su
...more
Krystyna
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hidden details

A good read. Okay I must admit that my suspicions where raised early on as the clues were really just a tad too obvious but it was a nice plot. Well thought out and well constructed. The characters though seemed just a bit less real then I expected. Not sure why but they came over as being slightly flat.
Her class is going well and she wants to encourage her students to enter some competitions. One of her students wins both but her efforts are discarded by her husband at the
...more
Pammy
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Death by Design is a FANTASTIC cozy mystery. I absolutely loved this story. Guess what, I had no clue “who done it” until the end, totally kept me guessing, which isn’t easy to do. I typically always know who it was....not in this book. In my opinion, the author (Paula) is a heck of a writer, it’s very hard to stump me.... It is the second in the series, however, can be read as a stand alone and you won’t be lost. I recommend you read this....you will not regret and you may find another author o ...more
Heather Wamboldt
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book from author Paula Darnell and I loved it!

Did Jennifer smother her husband with her lovely handmade pillow or did nurse Edna kill him as the police suspect? DIY Diva Laurel McMillan is on the case as she seeks to find out the true murderer.

This was a fun story with great characters and a delightful storyline. This author has a talent for bringing her characters to life.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy
Katie  Cunningham
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the series but I had no problem following because she backfills the previous action nicely. The plot is twisty and the story interesting, as are all the characters. It kept my interest right up to the end. I'm going to go back and read the first book now.

I received an ARC of this book and am leaving an honest review in exchange.
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An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she's also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master's degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

L
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Other books in the series

A DIY Diva Mystery (2 books)
  • Death by Association: A DIY Diva Mystery