Thursday, May 9, 2019

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping: Review and Giveaway!

Staging is Murder

(A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Henery Press (April 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511490X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114904
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511487X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114874
Digital ASIN: B07N96J65X
Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

About the Author

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 as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. Grace is the current 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.

Author Links

Website -

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping

My Summary of the Book

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping takes us to Louiston, Pennsylvania.  Laura Bishop has quit her boring job in IT to start her own home staging company called Staging for You.  She has done homes for family and friends for years, but now she has received her first paid commission.  Unfortunately, the job is staging the notoriously difficult Victoria Denton’s home, but, if the job is done well (which it will be), it will give Laura a good reputation and a much needed reference.  Tyrone Webster is Laura’s assistant and Victoria’s constant criticism has him on edge.  After accidentally breaking a vase, Victoria insists he no longer work on the project and threatens a scholarship Tyrone has applied for at school.  Later that day, Laura is in the basement when she hears a rumbling and Victoria tumbles out of the laundry chute at her feet--dead.  Detective Alex Spangler puts Tyrone at the top of his suspect list and soon arrests him.  Tyrone’s grandmother, Mariah Webster visits Laura and asks her to clear Tyrone’s name.  Laura has been an avid cozy mystery reader thanks to the influence of Sister Madeleine at Holy Spirit School and uses what she gleaned from books to guide her investigation.  Detective Spangler is firm in his belief that he has the correct killer and is not open to Laura’s meddling.  Laura, with help from her best friend, Nita Marino, dons her sleuthing cap and begins her inquiries.  Can Laura solve this case in time, or will Tyrone end up designing stylish cells for the local prison? 

My Thoughts

Staging is Murder is the first book in A Laura Bishop Mystery series.  We meet Laura Bishop who had a well paying job in the IT industry, but she found it dull.  Her true love is interior design.  Laura took the plunge and set up Staging for You.  Nita Marino is Laura’s best friend who has a large family (Italian-American’s) who treats Laura like one of the family.  If Laura needs some type of assistance, Nita has a cousin who meets the need (lawyer, painters, etc.).  Laura has hired college student, Tyrone Webster as her assistant.  He has a flair for design and designs sets for local plays.  Victoria Denton is not the ideal client, but she has influence in the town which can help (or destroy) Laura’s new business.  When Victoria is murdered, the rude detective zeros in on Tyrone who argued with Victoria the day she died.  Laura is dragged into helping Tyrone when his grandmother insists that Laura is the one to save her grandson.  There are multiple suspects who wanted to harm the critical Victoria.  Laura questions numerous people in her search for the killer.  One person stood out to me as the killer, but others may not find it as apparent. Staging is Murder contains good writing with a steady pace.  I liked that there was humor interjected into the story.  Inky, Laura’s rescue cat, is such a sweetie and a comfort to Laura.  I like the staging tips at the beginning of each chapter plus I learned interesting information about staging homes to sell from Laura.  Staging is Murder is a pleasant start to A Laura Bishop Mystery series.  Staging is Murder has a friendly protagonist, a charming town, witty commentary, good friends, a frisky feline, a client who has gone to meet her maker, and one cunning killer.
On a Summer Tide (Three Sisters Island #1)

Staging is Murder is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.  There is a giveaway to go with the tour.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Please take the time to visit the other stops on the tour for reviews, character interviews, spotlights, a guest post, author interviews, and character guest posts.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by today.  Tomorrow I am going to share my review of On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  The first novel in Three Sisters Island series.  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

Part One

April 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 26 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

April 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 27 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 29 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

Part Two

May 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

May 6 – Laura's Interests – SPOTLIGHT

May 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 8 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 9 – Carole's Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Teresa Trent Author Site – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

May 11 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 12 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

May 13 – That's What She's Reading - CHARACTER GUEST POST


  1. Yay I have been wanting to read this book. Should I be lucky enough to win I would love a Kindle. Thank you for the chance.

  2. Thank you for your review on "Staging is Murder" by Grace Topping and for being part of the book tour. Sounds like a fabulous book and I'd love the opportunity to read it. Definitely on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. We have a house we are trying to sell right now. Sounds like this book would be more fun than our experience!