Nothing derails a good start in a new career like murder.
Laura Bishop, who’s given up her boring IT job, hopes to begin afresh as a house stager, assisted by Tyrone Webster, a talented young man trying to get a scholarship to help with his design studies. Their first job is staging an immense historic home reluctantly offered for sale by abrasive Victoria Denton. Victoria wasn’t raised wealthy, and although her failed marriage to Skip Denton got her the position in life she yearned for, she can’t afford to keep the house, which has beautiful bones but is dark, dreary, dirty, and overfilled with furniture. Doug Hamilton, retired from the Navy and recently come home to help his dad at Hamilton Real Estate, has given Laura a week to whip the place into shape before the first open house, an almost impossible task. Though Victoria could hardly have been more unpleasant to work with, Laura is horrified when her client's dead body falls out of a laundry chute at her feet. When Detective Spangler arrests Tyrone because he has no alibi and had a fight with Victoria over a vase he broke, Laura accedes to the appeal of Tyrone’s grandmother for help. She knows no more about detecting than Doug Hamilton does about real estate—everything she’s learned comes from books and TV shows—but as she toils to finish the staging, she finds time to ask questions of so many people who disliked Victoria that she gets threatening calls, is almost run off the road, and has her tires slashed. Scared and angry, she soldiers on, determined to free Tyrone.
A promising series debut with pleasing characters, plenty of suspects, and helpful tips on home staging.