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Delectable Mountains by Earlene Fowler

Delectable Mountains

by Earlene Fowler

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After multiple recommends to use an Earlene Fowler title for our libraries' Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we finally used one of her titles -- Delectable Mountains -- for one of our group discussions. I enjoyed this one quite a bit -- it's a middle-of-the-road mixture of cozy and police procedural, and falls right in the middle of the long-running series featuring Benni Harper, and set in a small California community. The characters are all well-defined, even if the mystery itself is a bit predictable. Benni doesn't stand out as a busy-body, as many "amateur sleuths" do -- her involvement in the mystery seems reasonable, and I found myself liking her as a character very much. I recommend this series to anyone who's a fan of such authors as Carolyn G. Hart -- strong sense of place, and character-driven storyline. Enjoy!

Originally reviewed for my local library's website: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec12-02.htm ( )
  cannellfan | Nov 18, 2012 |
Benni Harper series - always fun to read. ( )
  brsquilt | Oct 12, 2009 |
A cute mystery series involving quilts.
  donnaquilts | May 16, 2009 |
Benni Harper, wife of police Chief Gabe Ortiz in San Celina finds herself helping her granma Dove direct the children of the Chruch in presenting a musical play based on Pilgrim's Progress. As the children learn their lines, and progress toward the Delectable mountains in the play, the church custodian is murdered during one of the rehearsals. A small girl is the only witness (or is she?), Gabe's long-lost cousin Luis suddenly appears in town, an old beau starts getting too cozy, a priceless violin is stolen from the Catholic mission in town, and Benni, (smart girl our Benni) begins to think there may be one too many coincidences in all of this. This is the first of this series I've read, but the plotting, setting, and characters certainly have me going back to search for earlier ones. ( )
  tututhefirst | Apr 18, 2009 |
The musical director at Benni's church has had to leave suddenly to help her pregnant daughter, and Dove, being her audacious self, has rushed in to volunteer both herself and Benni to take over the direction of the children's musical for Thanksgiving. That's just about all Benni needs because her plate is full enough, but she knows she can't say no to her grandmother. But she knows she's bitten off more than she can chew when she discovers the broken body of the church custodian in front of the altar after play practice one afternoon. To add to the uproar, her husband Gabe's cousin turns up on their doorstep for an impromptu visit. Benni is delighted to finally get to meet this man who could almost be Gabe's twin and who knows all the secrets of Gabe's youth. Then, a priceless antique violin disappears from the Catholic Mission and the clues suggest that the Baptist custodian had something to do with the theft. When Benni realizes that a timid little girl might be the only witness to the murder, she knows she will have to move fast to help solve both the theft and the murder before the culprit discovers that a tiny girl with big brown eyes knows the whole truth.

This series just keeps getting better and better. Fowler has managed to create characters that draw you right in to their lives and make you care about what happens to them. Her characters stay true to who they are and there are no surprises to be found here, but each book adds another layer to the complexity of each and every one of the main characters. For me, a cozy series is all about the setting and the characters, and Fowler makes me care a great deal about Benni and Gabe, Dove and Isaac, Elvia and Emory. I had thought that these books would eventually start to feel a bit old, that the oddity of a quilt museum curator who keeps stumbling across bodies would start to get a bit wearing, but the stories are each fresh enough and realistic enough to feel plausible. I think this is one of my favorite mystery series. ( )
1 vote madamejeanie | Jan 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425206521, Mass Market Paperback)

When the musical director of Benni’s church is called away, Benni’s gramma Dove eagerly volunteers the both of them to take over the children’s play. But the production comes to a screeching halt when Benni discovers the broken body of the church handyman in front of the altar. Then comes the unexpected appearance of her husband’s cousin, and the disappearance of a valuable antique violin from the Mission Santa Celine. With a growing cast of suspects and a little girl as the only witness to the crime, Benni must unravel a plot of theft and murder before it’s curtains for her…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When the musical director of Benni's church is abruptly called away, Benni's Gramma Dove eagerly volunteers the both of them to take over a children's play already in rehearsal. Benni reluctantly agrees to take the reins, even though the thought of shepherding twenty-eight fidgety children through a crescendo of costumes, sets, and forgotten lines is not her idea of a grand old time." "But the production comes to a screeching halt when Benni discovers the badly beaten body of the church handyman right in front of the altar. Making matters worse is the unexpected appearance of her husband's ne'er-do-well cousin, as well as the disappearance of a valuable antique violin from the Santa Celine mission. With a growing cast of suspects, and a little girl as the only witness to the brutal crime, Benni must unravel a plot of theft and murder before it's curtains for her."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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