Welcome to the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery) by Grace Topping. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, spotlights, reviews and more!
Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping
I received this book free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 254 pages
Laura Bishop’s new home staging business is growing in popularity, though not with her nemesis. Laura has long suspected established interior designer Monica Heller of sabotaging her fledgling company—and having an affair with her late husband.
When the ultra-chic Monica is caught at the scene of a murder, Laura is plenty happy to imagine her languishing in a prison cell with bed sheets far from her normal 600-thread Egyptian cotton. But her delight is short-lived.
When Laura’s friends land on the police’s radar, Laura must overcome her dislike of Monica to help solve the crime. Not an easy task since Laura and Monica have been at war since the second grade.
I’m so happy to have been introduced to this series! Staging Wars is the second book in the Laura Bishop mystery series. If you didn’t read Staging is Murder, you can start there, but you don’t have to. You’ll quickly catch up with and warm up to the characters in the series.
Laura and Nita have been friends since grade school. Knowing that Laura’s situation at home was pretty lonely, Sister Madeline encouraged the friendship. Nita’s big family welcomed Laura as one of their own, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now, many years later, Nita’s joined Laura’s new staging business, and they make the perfect team. Detective team that is! Okay, they make a great staging business team too, but they do seem to stumble upon a number of bodies in their business much to the dismay of Detective Spangler.
In Staging Wars, Nita stumbles upon a body; then she stumbles upon another! This time with the murderer (?) standing above the body with a bloody knife! Poor Nita! Well, Sister Madeline, being the gentle, kind, manipulating soul she is, guilts Laura into helping the suspect of the second murder (again, much to the dismay of Detective Spangler!).
Speaking of Detective Spangler, he’s just one of the well written secondary (sorta primary) characters in Staging Wars. One of the characters I adore is Mrs. Webster. Mrs. Webster speaks her mind! I was cracking up during several scenes where she appears. Tyrone Webster works part time for Laura and Nita, and, yes, he’s related to Mrs. Webster. He’s her grandson, so you know he’s a good kid.
Another of my favorite characters is Laura’s visiting Aunt Kit. Kit is much like her sister, Laura’s mother, was in that she has a personality that is a bit harsh and hard to warm up to. But as she spends more time with Laura, some of her icy shell starts to break off. I think that she and Laura’s mom were probably raised in a cold home, so they learned to be cold. I do hope that Aunt Kit decides to make her visit permanent!
Staging Wars fits my definition of the perfect cozy mystery book. It’s not gruesome; doesn’t have strong language; has a well-plotted mystery that’s not easy to solve; doesn’t have sexual situations; and leaves you with a good, cozy feeling.
I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to see what Laura and friends get up to next!
About Grace Topping
Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes for sale as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The series is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is a 2019 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. Grace is the former vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.
Website – https://www.gracetopping.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/gtoppingauthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GraceToppingAuthor
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