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Home » Book Review » Designed for Haunting–is someone stalking a Kindergarten teacher?

Designed for Haunting–is someone stalking a Kindergarten teacher?

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Designed for Haunting

by Sybil Johnson

Designed for HauntingI just finished Designed for Haunting by Sybil Johnson, and the first thing that came to my mind was “Well, I enjoyed that!” It isn’t particularly humorous and doesn’t need to be. It isn’t paranormal despite its title. It is a good, basic cozy mystery with a plot that evolves nicely with twists and turns, interesting characters, and a background of Halloween and tole painting.

Like the author, main character Rory works in the tech industry but also loves tole painting. Her friend Zelena notifies her through an automated digital service that she is being stalked and is perhaps dead. Rory determines that Zelena is indeed missing.  There are many complications from Halloween pranks to serious crimes. Zelena’s disappearance sets in motion a lot of amateur sleuthing by Rory and her friend Liz. Meanwhile, both ladies are participating with their painting chapter in hosting a local Halloween Holiday Boutique in support of a charity. All of the loose ends are tied up nicely at the end, but there are plenty of characters with unclear motivations along the way to keep you guessing. Enjoy!

I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #4 in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone

Publication:   October 9, 2018—Henery Press

Memorable Lines:

“Who was it?” “Some old lady.” As far as the teenager was concerned that could mean anyone from thirty to ninety.


  1. I didn’t request this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      As you know, I avoid paranormal books, but recently I have read a few with the word “spirit” or “haunt” in them because the summaries did not really indicate anything of a paranormal nature. I felt like one of them pulled the rug out from under me and was prepared for this one to do the same. Thankfully it was true to its summary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy says:

    My mom used to tole paint when she lived in New Hampshire. It was charming.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. carhicks says:

    I have read the first three books in this series and enjoyed them all. I can see why you might worry based on the title, but as none of the others have had paranormal, it doesn’t surprise me it was just for the title. Nice review Linda, I will have to get to this one. I am not an overly crafty person (I like to sew) but these cozies with crafts in them also make me think I should start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I have been interested in various crafts from time to time, but nothing has made it all the way to retirement. I too think I might like to revive a craft. Reviewing is creative in an academic way, but I feel the urge to do something with my hands!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been looking through some older reviews for new cozies to read— this series looks so charming! Great review.


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