Home Renovations Can Be Murder


November 14, 2021

Nearly everyone who has done a home renovation has a tale of woe. It seems nothing can ever go smoothly or finish on time. Hiccups occur along the way that obstruct progress. Meanwhile, homeowners suffer the inconvenience of their bathroom or kitchen being out of order.

Home Remodels Can Be Murder

We had our bathrooms and kitchen done in our old house where we lived for forty years. I remember the disruption to our lives and the aggravation of dealing with a job manager who had poor communication skills. He would fail to respond to calls or texts, plus he would tell us someone was coming to do the work when nobody showed up. We stayed home for days waiting for plumbers, electricians, tile people, etc. My blood boiled and my helpless rage surged. Things were a mess. How would our house ever be put back together again?

Here’s where the seeds of my latest story were born. I could murder off the foreman in a book. Certainly, he deserved to be fired at the very least, but my solution would be more permanent. I began reading about renovation scams to fuel the story. When a critique partner suggested copper thefts as another angle, I was off to the races! Except this time, it was hairstylist Marla Vail’s mother, Anita, who had the remodeling woes.

When our jobs were done, we were highly satisfied with the results. It could have been an easier process, but things turned out all right. Not so for Marla, whose investigation is about to begin in STYLED FOR MURDER, a Bad Hair Day cozy mystery.

Read an Excerpt

Hours later during a break at the salon, Marla headed into the back storeroom to grab a cup of coffee and to do more research on the case. She’d decided to reach out to the company’s customers via social media. For this purpose, she signed into her neighborhood app. A quick search found someone who had asked for recommendations on bathroom remodels. 

This request had garnered a number of responses including several mentions of Amaze Design Center. She sent off a series of private messages to the commentators of those posts. 

By the end of the workday on Friday, she had a load of replies. People were descriptive in their tales of woe. 

“The company cuts corners by sending unlicensed workers to do their electrical work. I almost had a fire in my kitchen due to improper wiring behind our oven.” 

“This company doesn’t provide the products they promise. I’d ordered sliding glass doors for my shower. The installers came and put on a fixed door instead. When I said it was wrong, the foreman tried to convince me this type of door was the popular choice. I insisted they change it to the ones specified in the blueprints.”

“The mirror guys were awful. They didn’t remove the label. We have a smear now because we had to scrub it off.” 

These all happened to us. Have you done any renovations in your place? What did you like or dislike about the process? Were you happy with the results?

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STYLED FOR MURDER by Nancy J. Cohen
A Bad Hair Day Mystery

When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects, but Marla is more concerned about her stepfather’s connection to the victim. Can she flush out the clues and nail the killer before he strikes again? Recipes Included!

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• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  6 Comments

6 thoughts on “Home Renovations Can Be Murder

  1. Sorry you had to go through a stressful situation with the manager- but it’s great that you were able to turn that negativity into a book which sounds really good!

    My household had a bad experience with a roofer, so I’m one of the people who can relate to that sort of situation. On the bright side, the second roofer who fixed our problem was amazing!

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