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The Devil's Puzzle by Clare O'Donohue
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The Devil's Puzzle

by Clare O'Donohue

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Showing 3 of 3
Another beautifully written, well thought, and plotted cozy.
I went into this wondering how I was going to stay awake reading about the obviously boring subject of quilting in New England. I was already stifling a yawn when suddenly the skeleton showed up and suddenly no one in the town of Archers Rest was boring anymore.
O’Donohue carefully manipulates the small town folklore with the modern day gossips, and using the cliff-hanger approach leaves us at the end of each chapter with a little tidbit of new information that makes you have to read just one more chapter.
Nell, grand-daughter of the towns quilting shop owner, Eleanor, is the town’s nosy snoop. She gains a little insider information into the curious goings on in town through pillow talk; her boy-friend in the town’s police chief. When the skeleton is discovered in the grandmother’s rose garden she has to fight to defend Eleanor from the rumors that she was the murderer. It turns out that everyone in town is harboring a secret and one-by-one Nell overturns the rock that everyone has hidden that secret under.
When she receives written threats on her own safety, and discovers that someone is secretly following her around town Nell turns up the heat. Not known for her tact, she treads on more than one person’s toes on her way to the undeniable truth. When an attack on the niece of the dead man leaves her unconscious, lying in a pool of blood, the amateur sleuth realizes that the murderer is still alive.
In the fashion of a modern day Jane Marple on steroids, Nell puts together the final piece of the puzzle just in time to stage the quilting display for the town carnival and have the suspect arrested simultaneously.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Another beautifully written, well thought, and plotted cozy.
I went into this wondering how I was going to stay awake reading about the obviously boring subject of quilting in New England. I was already stifling a yawn when suddenly the skeleton showed up and suddenly no one in the town of Archers Rest was boring anymore.
O’Donohue carefully manipulates the small town folklore with the modern day gossips, and using the cliff-hanger approach leaves us at the end of each chapter with a little tidbit of new information that makes you have to read just one more chapter.
Nell, grand-daughter of the towns quilting shop owner, Eleanor, is the town’s nosy snoop. She gains a little insider information into the curious goings on in town through pillow talk; her boy-friend in the town’s police chief. When the skeleton is discovered in the grandmother’s rose garden she has to fight to defend Eleanor from the rumors that she was the murderer. It turns out that everyone in town is harboring a secret and one-by-one Nell overturns the rock that everyone has hidden that secret under.
When she receives written threats on her own safety, and discovers that someone is secretly following her around town Nell turns up the heat. Not known for her tact, she treads on more than one person’s toes on her way to the undeniable truth. When an attack on the niece of the dead man leaves her unconscious, lying in a pool of blood, the amateur sleuth realizes that the murderer is still alive.
In the fashion of a modern day Jane Marple on steroids, Nell puts together the final piece of the puzzle just in time to stage the quilting display for the town carnival and have the suspect arrested simultaneously.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Nell Fitzgerald and Oliver White, her grandmother's "beau" are trying to surprise Eleanor by re-landscaping her flower garden. Their plan is stopped short when, while digging a hole for a rose bush, the gardener finds a skeleton, turning the yard into a crime scene.

Because Eleanor has volunteered Nell to plan a quilt show to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Archers Rest, Nell tells police chief Jesse Dewalt (who just happens to be her significant other) that she'll be too busy to "help" with the case.

But despite Nell's intentions, she's drawn into the investigation, first to discover the identity of the skeleton, and then to catch the person responsible for the incidents of vandalism that are occurring throughout the town. Unlike many amateur detectives, Nell is refreshingly realistic about her "nosiness", although she calls it "collecting information".

The introduction of the skeleton allows both Nell and the reader to learn a great deal about the history of Archers Rest and its populace, including Eleanor Cassidy. And, as always, O'Donohue educates us about the development of the art of quilting.

One small quibble: there are so many characters in the book that a cast list would be helpful. Apart from that, Nell and her friends are a delightful group to spend time with.

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes. ( )
  Marlyn | Oct 20, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452297370, Paperback)

Nell and the crafty Someday Quilters undertake their first cold case in the latest addition to this bewitching series.

After their quilting retreat upstate, the Someday Quilts ladies return to Archers Rest to prepare for the town's big anniversary celebration. But their plans are unexpectedly derailed by the discovery of a human skeleton in Nell's grandmother's backyard-making Eleanor the prime suspect in a murder. But a skeleton isn't the only thing that's long been buried. When a wave of vandalism raises fears that the town's bygone history of witchcraft has been reawakened, secrets are unearthed that could change life in Archers Rest forever. In addition to a thrilling mystery and the warm camaraderie of the ladies, The Devil's Puzzle is full of the quilting lore and techniques that Clare O'Donohue's readers adore.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:55 -0400)

After their quilting retreat upstate, the Someday Quilts ladies return to Archers Rest to prepare for the town's big anniversary celebration. But their plans are unexpectedly derailed by the discovery of a human skeleton in Nell's grandmother's backyard-making Eleanor the prime suspect in a murder. But a skeleton isn't the only thing that's long been buried. When a wave of vandalism raises fears that the town's bygone history of witchcraft has been reawakened, secrets are unearthed that could change life in Archers Rest forever… (more)

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