These reviews were posted over at Dollycas’s Thoughts November 16, 2010.
A Division of Penguin Publishing
In this first book of the series we are introduced to Nell Fitzgerald as she receives a beautiful quilt handmade by her grandmother and The Friday Night Quilting Circle to celebrate her engagement and her upcoming wedding. Her grandmother owns a quilting shop, Someday Quilts, in Archer’s Rest on the Hudson River. Nell was overjoyed to receive the gorgeous quilt with the Lover’s Knot pattern, but her joy quickly turned to despair as her fiancee, Ryan, told her he just wasn’t ready to get married. It becomes a true Lovers NOT!
A heartbroken Nell takes her belongings that were mostly already packed to move to her new apartment with Ryan and leaves New York behind and heads to her grandmother and Archer’s Rest for comfort, time and space to figure out what to do now that her life has been turned upside down. She is welcomed with open arms by her grandmother and all the ladies in the quilting group.
While Nell is trying to sort out her life, her grandmother takes a terrible fall and Nell decides to stay until she recuperates. She has also talked her grandmother into expanding Someday Quilts into a vacant building right next door and knows she must be her grandmother’s eyes and ears on the project so it is completed quickly and to her grandmother’s exact specifications. Things are going fine until the handyman hired to complete the project is found dead in the store. Guess who arrived in town just around the time of the murder? Nell’s ex-fiancee and he becomes the prime suspect. Nell and the ladies of the quilting circle are drawn right into the investigation and try to piece together the clues to “help” the sheriff pin down the killer seamlessly.
In the next book in the series, Nell has decided to stay in Archer’s Rest, help out at Someday Quilts and follow her dream of becoming an artist. Nell signs up for classes at the nearby college and hopes to take a drawing class being offered by a renown artist. The class is full but the artist has become smitten with Nell’s grandmother, Eleanor, and tells her to just show up for the class.
Nell finds herself attracted to the local sheriff, Jesse, but he stands her up on their very first date. As she heads home, blaming herself for always picking the wrong man, she finds out the sheriff had a good reason for standing her up. The body of young woman has been found near the river. Jesse begs her to stay out of the investigation, but when a second body turns up, a woman from her drawing class, and clues seem to lead to the man who is becoming closer and closer to her grandmother, Nell can’t help herself from following a sort of “drunkard’s path” of clues in the investigation and the other circle members are along for the ride.
In this installment the ladies are off to the Patchwork Bed & Breakfast to support one of the quilting circle members who has been asked to lead a week long retreat featuring “journal quilts” and Eleanor has been asked to help set up a quilting shop at the B&B. When they arrive they are shocked that the B&B is nowhere near ready to open, the owners know nothing about quilting and the students taking part in the retreat are all local and none of them really wants to learn about quilting at all . There is something very un-seamly about the whole thing. Nell becomes very suspicious and recruits some of the quilting circle members who stayed home to run the store to do a little investigating. Things start to unravel even more when a body is found in the woods and fingers are being pointed at one of the quilting circle members as the murderer. Neal leads the quest to clear her friend’s name and is shocked that the local law enforcement actually listens to her theories. As more and more secrets and evidence are revealed the story evolves into a real crazy quilt of ideas, but leads to a “double cross”.
I love reading series books one right after the other, the authors and characters grow and evolve right before your eyes. This author knows quilting, she worked on the HGTV show, Simply Quilts, for four seasons, eventually becoming the Supervising Producer. But after reading these books I have learned that she is also quite a storyteller.
You can tell just by reading the author’s words she is a true quilter that understands the tactile life of finding the perfect fabrics for the perfect quilt. She also knows how to piece together a good mystery. Stitch those things together, add a hint of romance and humor and you have a cozy mystery.
Her words not only drew me into the mysteries but into the Someday Quilts shop. It was almost like I was going through the aisles, feeling, touching the fabrics. Stacking the fabrics, standing back viewing how they would compliment and contrast with each other. I used to spend hours searching for just the right fabric choice, calculating the yardage and choosing the right pattern. These books not only entertained me with their mysteries but brought back some truly wonderful memories.
I think if I could change one thing in my life it would be to follow my bliss after high school and have worked on my crafts and maybe opened a craft store instead of studying and working in the accounting field, minus the murder, of course.
I have to thank Mary at Plume for sending me this wonderful series for review and I hope there will be many more adventures forthcoming in the Someday Quilts Mystery Series!!
For more about Clare O’Donohue, check out http://www.clareodonohue.com/.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Plume Books, a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”