Mystery novels written as part of a series let the reader enjoy the same principal characters in a new adventure. If the sleuth is Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Harry Bosch, or Kinsey Millhone, we know each book will be fun in the same way the last one was, even as the plot serves up new puzzles to solve.
So the cover of the next book in the series has to tell the reader this book is the same, only different. I suggested to my designer, Zach McGinnis, that we do this by using the same layout for Dark Exhibit as we used for Dark Mural and changing the details.
In both covers we are looking at a work of art from Nicole's point of view, but this time it's an exhibit of pictures on a wall, rather than a mural. The fonts are the same, but Zach made the letters bright orange instead of white. Zach also gets credit for dressing Nicole in a short-sleeved dress, rather than a sweater and skirt, and showing her hair pulled forward over her shoulder, rather than hanging down her back.
I already have an idea what the cover of Dark Picasso will look like when it's ready for publication.