By: Elizabeth Craig
Publication Date: February 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 19, 2013
Meadow Downey was in a serious snit over what Beatrice Coleman simply referred to as a "membership snag." There was a lull in membership and even Piper, Beatrice's daughter, didn't see fit to show up at all the meetings. Jo Paxton, who didn't see fit to deliver the mail on time, or even at the right house, was going to be the perfect recruit according to Meadow. Jo, who was probably leaving the Cut-Ups because of her less that stellar social skills, was a "quilt show judge." For all they knew, she was probably being tossed out on her sweet Southern derrière for being a pain in everyone else's. Unfortunately, it looked like the Village Quilters guild was going to be stuck with Jo.
"You might want to consider that pattern combination," Jo snidely exclaimed to Karen Taylor, "It's tacky." Dappled Hill's Patchwork Cottage was a veritable soap opera when Opal Woosley burst into tears at the mere sight of the woman. Miss Sissy was the only person on the planet who seemed to like Jo and Meadow was just going to have to eat crow. A lot of it. Beatrice couldn't resist showing up at the Patchwork to see what kind of "a mess the Village Quilters had gotten into," but also learned that Mayor Booth Grayson was planning on levying unnecessary taxes on the quilters.
Jo lambasted Grayson at the town meeting claiming, "I happen to know things about you that aren't so squeaky clean." The quilt show would go on in spite of the turmoil. Meadow was some miffed when her Looney Tunes ring tone blared during the show. Ramsey, her husband and chief of police, was calling. Jo had "driven her car right off the side of a mountain." Beatrice somehow knew she had been murdered. The mystery deepened when she went to "feel for a pulse--a pulse that wasn't there," on the neck of another quilter. Was there a serial killer on the loose? Would she be able to unravel the mystery and sew it up before the Village Quilters guild lost any more members?
Dappled Hills is alive with the sound of murder when someone starts bumping off the quilters. This is a series that really has what it takes to be a long-lasting one. Beatrice is the voice of sanity amidst a cast of crazy and quirky characters. Police Chief Downey, who adores Thoreau, is yet another voice of reason, in spite of his life of "marital bliss" with Meadow. The pacing is perfect, the characters well-rounded, and the marvelous touch of humor makes the Village Quilters group one I'll be looking forward to visiting with every now and then. Meadow claims that "Beatrice is a frustrated detective," but she's definitely one to watch out for!
Quill says: If you love a light, humorous cozy mystery sprinkled with crazy quilt characters, you'll love this series!