Death by Association: A DIY Diva Mystery

· A DIY Diva Mystery Book 1 · Cozy Cat Press
22 reviews

About this ebook

From an award-winning author, this cozy mystery will "keep you guessing until the end." (Goodreads reviewer)

In Death by Association, DIY Diva Laurel McMillan learns that the high walls and guarded gates of Hawkeye Haven can't protect her community. When Laurel takes her pampered chocolate Labrador retriever, Bear, for an early morning walk, she finds her friend, security guard Bessie, bleeding and unconscious at her guardhouse post. If the attack on Bessie isn't enough to set the residents' nerves on edge, the murder of Victor Eberhart, the unpopular president of the powerful homeowners' association, certainly does the trick. Despite teaching DIY classes and writing project instructions for her latest book, DIY for Dog Lovers, Laurel manages to squeeze in time for some DIY detective work. But as she gets closer to the truth, Victor's killer would like nothing better than for the DIY Diva to take a dive.

Includes recipes for dog treats and project instructions for a reversible, two-tone, fringed dog scarf and a no-sew foam bed for pampered pooches.

The DIY Diva Mystery Series includes

Death by Association (Book 1)

Death by Design (Book 2)

Death by Proxy (Book 3)

Author Paula Darnell is the winner of three book awards. In 2020, she won an award for Death by Association in the at-large communications contest for a novel, more than 40,000 words, from the National Federation of Press Women and an award for a published fiction book in the Public Safety Writers Association Writing Competition for her historical mystery, The Six-Week Solution. In 2021, Paula won another award in the NFPW's at-large communications contest for a novel for The Six-Week Solution.

Ratings and reviews

22 reviews
Jan Kreischer
September 19, 2023
Death by Association was well crafted and interesting throughout, leaving me guessing till the last chapter. Living in a gated community with 1,000 rules for my daily conduct would be my living nightmare, but it was fun to read about anyway.
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Gee Pee
May 28, 2021
I can see why this book won an award. I love the characters, especially Laurel and Bear, and the mystery's solution is a real challenge.
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Tsu Nimh
August 7, 2023
Too much plodding detail bogging the plot. I didn't get past the first chapters.
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About the author

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.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop.

Paula's interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications. She is the author of Death by AssociationDeath by Design, and Death by Proxy, all in her cozy series, the DIY Diva Mysteries as well as the author of Artistic License to Kill, Vanished into Plein Air, and Hemlock for the Holidays, all in her cozy Fine Art Mystery series.

In addition, she wrote The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Reno, Nevada, in 1955. A former Reno resident, she was inspired by the local history and found the 1950s when Reno was considered the Divorce Capital of the World to be an interesting era in which to set a mystery. 

Paula is an award-winning author with three book awards to her credit, one of which was for Death by Association, the first novel in her DIY Diva cozy mystery series.

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