Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Murder by Artifact: The Murder Quilt-Barbara Graham

Murder by Artifact: The Murder Quilt
Barbara Graham
Five Star, Nov 2009, $25.95
ISBN 9781594148286

Park County Sheriff Marc Antony Abernathy investigates the apparent stabbing death of unpopular “Queen” Doreen, wife of the Silersville, Tennessee Mayor Calvin Cashdollar. Her corpse was placed under a bloodstained “murder quilt”. He also struggles with letters from places like Cincinnati that contain notes and newspaper accounts of vanishings two decades ago; Tony has no idea why he is receiving them. However to the shock of everyone who attends Queen’s funeral, Doreen arrives with a smile and a so what attitude. The victim is her “twin” half sister.

Meanwhile, Tony's wife Theo, owner of Theo's Quilt Shop, finds skeletal remains behind the house of her best friend. Tony receives a tip from a dying man who swears on his death bed that there is a female serial killer who is on the county tax rolls. As he works a homicide and potentially several other murders, the biggest complaints coming into the Sheriff’s Office are the thefts of garden gnomes.

This is a super Smoky Mountains cozy that uses quilts and Quilters to solve the crimes. The story line is fast-paced from the onset as a bewildered Tony leans one thing leads to another; just not what he expected. Fans will enjoy this entertaining mystery and Theo’s quilt Night on the Mountain while also seeking out the previous case (see Murder by Serpents).

Harriet Klausner