USA Today bestselling author Mary Daheim knows how to spin a mystery with a tight plot and captivatingly eccentric characters. And her vivid Pacific Northwest setting-a character in itself-has garnered her a plethora of devoted fans. Now her resourceful and resolute journalist Emma Lord is back with a new mystery to solve-and an even tougher deadline to meet.
Quilters will especially enjoy Daheim's 17th cozy (after 2004's Alpine Pursuit) to feature Emma Lord, publisher of the Alpine Advocate, the weekly newspaper of rural Alpine, Wash. When Genevieve Bayard, who grew up in Alpine, returns for a visit after a long absence, Annie Jeanne Dupr , the gentle, heavy-handed organist at St. Mildred's, decides to hold a welcome-back party for Gen and the other members of their old quilting group. Gen's sudden death at the party (from eating poisoned cheesecake, an autopsy later reveals) upsets everyone, but Emma's House & Home editor, Vida Runkel, who was absent at the time of the murder, is unusually disturbed and starts to behave strangely. Break-ins, a stranger in the local motel, burned quilt patterns, an anonymous letter, suspicious medications and another death compound the mystery. Daheim sympathetically portrays the small mountain town and its denizens, particularly Emma and her brother, Ben, a priest who's serving as St. Mildred's interim rector. Readers will also be enticed by the food and drink the characters often turn to for comfort. Agent, Maureen Moran. (Apr. 26) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 25, 2005
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Excerpt from The Alpine Quilt by Mary Daheim
It was never hard to infuriate The Alpine Advocate readers. Even my mildest editorials could earn me such epithets as pinko, nazi, or psycho slut. But this time I'd gone too far. Without writing a single word, I'd managed to offend one of our business associates.
Buddy Bayard's photo studio had done our darkroom work for years. Unfortunately, technology had caught up with him. After Buddy cussed me out over the phone and damned progress as well, my ears were still ringing.
Sitting at my desk, I looked up at my reporter, Scott Chamoud. I warned you, I said, he'd be furious.
Scott's dark eyes sable, I called them, the kind a woman could feel caressing her like the richest of furs looked sad. Maybe, he lamented, I should never have suggested that we update our photography process. But Kip MacDuff thought it was a terrific idea, and said he could handle it. Kip's a real wizard when it comes to high-tech stuff, and you said there was enough in the budget . . .
I waved a hand at him. Stop fussing. It didn't make sense to keep farming the work out. It slowed us down. In the long run, we'll save money. And we can run more color. It isn't as if Buddy can't make a living without us.
Ha! The shout came from Vida Runkel, my House & Home editor, who had just tromped up beside Scott. Buddy and Roseanna overcharge anyway. Do you have any idea what it cost for Roger to have his graduation picture taken there last month?
If I'd been Buddy, I'd have paid Vida's grandson to go out of town for his photo session. Seattle, New York, London, Bombay anywhere to put some serious distance between the obnoxious teenager and Alpine.
Buddy will simmer down, I declared, though in recent years his once-amiable disposition had soured a bit. Today's November first, All Saints' Day. I'm going to seven o'clock evening Mass. He and Roseanna may be there, too. I'll see if I can get Ben to soothe them.