Leaving behind memories of her late husband, Benni Harper is making afresh start...Moving to the trendy California town of San Celina, she takes an excitingnew job as director of a folk-art museum. While setting up an exhibit of handmadequilts, she stumbles upon the body of a brutally stabbed artist. Hoping to conduct aninvestigation on her own, she crosses paths with the local police chief, who thinks thisshort and sassy cowgirl should leave detecting to the cops and join him for dinner. Butit's hard to keep a country girl down, and soon Benni uncovers an alarming pattern offamily secrets, small-town lies--and the shocking truth about the night her husband died...
Young, recently widowed Benni Harper, the foolhardy heroine in this predictable debut, leaves her ranch after her husband's accidental death and becomes the curator of the folk-art museum in the coastal California town of San Celina. Benni is frantically trying to assemble a quilt show when she discovers a local potter stabbed to death in the museum studio. Benni's flaky 21-year-old cousin Rita, whom Benni had seen driving away from the museum, disappears and becomes a prime suspect. When Rita calls asking for money, Benni determines not to tell the police, whose new chief, Gabe Ortiz, has warned her not to interfere in the investigation, and decides to clear Rita by finding the real murderer. The day that the quilt show opens, Benni finds a plastic bag filled with money in the attic of the museum but waits to tell Ortiz until after the opening party. When he goes to the attic to investigate, he finds, instead, the body of the museum handyman. Fowler connects all the deaths in her plot, leaving no threads hanging, but Benni's reckless actions and her love-hate relationship with the enigmatic Ortiz yield an unconvincing narrative. Mystery Guild alternate. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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January 01, 1995
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