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 not so sure, and when Laurel encounters Jennifer while walking her lovable Labrador retriever, Bear, she's left with more questions than answers. Should the crafty DIY Diva play DIY Detective or does Edna really belong in jail?
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“Ladies and gentleman,” I began with a smile to the lone male student in my DIY Perfect Pillow class. Bud, a stocky, balding man, was a recent retiree and widower who’d enrolled in my class so he could learn to make new cushions for his outdoor furniture. So far, he’d completed one passable pillow and had started a second. Bud returned my smile with a grin and a bow, eliciting giggles from his classmates.The whirring of sewing machines ceased, and my students, all fellow residents of Hawkeye Haven, our guard-gated community, looked at me attentively.“Before we wrap up today, I have a couple announcements. You’re all doing such a great job I thought some of you might be interested in entering your projects in the creative pillow contest Suzi’s Fabric Shop is sponsoring. First prize is a $200 gift card at Suzi’s. I’m going to pass out the brochures with all the details.” I threaded my way between the sewing machines, distributing them to the students who wanted to enter the contest.“Bud?” He shook his head as I extended a brochure.“Don’t think I’m ready for prime time yet, Laurel.”Alyssa, a cool blonde who always made me think of an Alfred Hitchcock heroine, surprised me by also declining a brochure.“Are you sure, Alyssa? You have such a wonderful eye for design, and your craftsmanship is superb.”“Hey, teacher, you didn’t say anything about my eye for design.” Bud mugged as he winked at me, and I obliged him by turning red.“Gotcha. You’re way too gullible, Laurel.”I had to agree with him on that score. My boyfriend Wes wasn’t above teasing me himself. After my sleuthing had led to a killer’s confession a few months ago, Wes had dubbed me the “DIY Detective,” but my handsome guy was the real deal—a homicide detective with the Center City Police Department. Ignoring Bud, I turned back to Alyssa.“Please consider entering, Alyssa.” I knew that the gift card prize probably didn’t motivate her in the slightest, but I hoped recognition of her design talent might.Hesitantly, she accepted a brochure. “Well, I suppose I’ll enter if you really think I have a chance.”