A Killing Notion (Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series #5) [NOOK Book]


Harlow Jane Cassidy is swamped with homecoming couture requests. If only she didn’t have to help solve a murder, she might get the gowns off the dress forms....

Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting ...
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A Killing Notion (Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series #5)

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Harlow Jane Cassidy is swamped with homecoming couture requests. If only she didn’t have to help solve a murder, she might get the gowns off the dress forms....

Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting clients know about her secret charm. When she has a chance to create homecoming dresses with a local charity and handmade mums for several high school girls—including Gracie, whose father, Will, has mended Harlow’s heart—she is ready to use her magical talents for a great cause.

But when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder, Harlow knows things won’t be back on course until she helps Gracie clear the football player’s name. If Harlow can’t patch up this mess before the big game, her business and her love life might be permanently benched.


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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Talented Harlow Cassidy, descendent of Butch, helps clear a high school football player who's falsely accused of murder in this lightly paranormal Texas cozy. The series stands at five (after A Custom-Fit Crime); sewing tips and recipes included.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101602744
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Series: Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series , #5
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 15,376
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name, Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in northern California to write full-time amid horses and longhorns in north Texas. She is the author of the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series (A Custom-Fit Crime, Deadly Patterns, A Fitting End).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I feel privileged that I was asked to read an advanced copy of t

    I feel privileged that I was asked to read an advanced copy of this book is the fifth book in the series Magical Dressmaking Mystery. The Cassidy ladies have secrets that must be kept from the people of Bliss Texas, now don't get me wrong, it's not terrible secrets just small ones the townsfolk wouldn't understand.
    It's homecoming week in Bliss and Harlow has been designing and sewing dresses for the young ladies in town. Gracie the daughter of Harlow's beau Will has decided to make her own dress. But will there be any reason to finish it when Gracie's date is accused of murder?
    Once again Harlow and her friends are playing amateur sleuth. Will they be able to figure this one out, especially when men keep dying?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2014

    Homecoming is fast approaching in Bliss, Texas, and Harlow Jane

    Homecoming is fast approaching in Bliss, Texas, and Harlow Jane Cassidy, the owner of Buttons & Bows dress shop, is up to her elbows in ribbon and fabric for the traditional mums and dresses. To the dismay of her boyfriend, Will, her stepfather sheriff, and his deputy son, she’s also knee-deep in a murder investigation. A local businessman has been killed and his football-player son, Shane, is the main suspect. The problem is that Shane is dating Will’s daughter, Gracie, and she’s related to Harlow (this is small-town Texas, y’all). So Harlow wants to help Will and Gracie by clearing Shane’s name before the big game. Can Harlow solve the mystery before Homecoming weekend? Or will her upcoming romantic getaway to the Texas Hill Country with Will be sidelined?
    Readers will be enchanted by A KILLING NOTION. The Cassidy women and their individual charms are pure magic on the page. And the small town of Bliss is as quaint as the chiffon rosettes on Gracie’s Homecoming dress. The best part of this delightful book is that Melissa Bourbon actually crafts the mystery like a seamstress, skillfully sewing together the many pieces of the puzzle much like the pattern of a dress.

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  • Posted April 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Worth the read

    Reviewed by Gemini
    for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

    This was a very interesting cozy mystery for me. So far, every one that I have read has been different except for the fact that they all seem to have a common thread regarding the main character. The main character always has a quirk that can be very annoying to the reader. In this one, the heroine sees ghosts and always pictures people in an outfit that she designed.

    A Killing Notion is about a murder in a small Texas town called Bliss. Harlow Cassidy is a dressmaker and sleuth. Since she solved a murder before, Harlow is asked to solve another one. In this case, the victim is the father of her young friend’s boyfriend. And the boyfriend, Shane is accused of killing his father. It turns out that there is a lot to be found out about the father. The mystery is so deep that I can’t tell you a single part of it as it would give everything away. Needless to say, the search for the truth takes several twists and turns. You will be guessing until the very end.

    Although the book started out slow and makes several references to dressmaking and various Texas traditions that you may not understand, it was actually rather good. Being from Texas myself, I was able to follow along easily but did get distracted at times. In the end, it was well worth the read.

    Source: Publisher

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  • Posted April 25, 2014

    Excellent Book and series!

    Following this series has been enjoyable for me, my parents and sister. We cannot wait until each new book comes out! Please keep them coming, Melissa Bourbon.

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  • Posted April 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In this book we follow Texan Harlow Jane Cassidy as she is helpi

    In this book we follow Texan Harlow Jane Cassidy as she is helping teenage girls get ready for homecoming.  When quickly in the book Gracie Harlow's boyfriend's daughter's boyfriend ends up loosing his dad then getting accused of his death.  Did Shane really kill his father?  And is there more to Chris Montgomery than meets the eye?

    Helping Harlow investigate the murder is Harlow's dead grandmother who leads her to clues to solving the murder.  This book dealt with a lot families and the children of those families and how they deal when things go wrong and kids find out.

    I enjoyed journeying to the truth in this story of who had the most to gain by Chris's death.  What you find out will really give a whole new angle for cozy mysteries I have never read one like this with such a twist that you wonder how these secrets stayed quiet for so long.  I loved how Gracie and Harlow really connected in this book with making homecoming dress and accessories used.  It was great! 

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Enjoyable Cozy set in Small Texas Town I received a complimenta

    Enjoyable Cozy set in Small Texas Town

    I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

    A magically gifted dressmaker, a small Texas town and a mysterious murder all take center stage in A Killing Notion, the fifth book in Melissa Bourbon’s Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. Quirky characters, an interesting mystery and a light touch of romance kept me turning the pages to discover what would happen next. While the sixth book in the series, I was able to read and enjoy this book without having read any of the previous installments.

    Trying to pump up business at Buttons & Bows, her dressmaking business, designer Harlow Cassidy is in the middle of creating homecoming gowns and handmade “mums”. Using her “magical” talents, Harlow has created a beautiful gown for Gracie, her boyfriend Will’s teenaged daughter, when a tragic “accident” claims the life of Gracie’s boyfriend’s dad. Only the “accident” wasn’t really an accident and when Shane, Gracie’s boyfriend, is accused of killing his father, Harlow finds herself pulled into a murder investigation.

    Ms. Bourbon does a good job developing Harlow’s character from the first page. We learn about Harlow’s design background, and her brief experiences as a designer in New York, and what brought her back home to Bliss, Texas, the small town where her family has made their home. We learn about the “magical” abilities passed onto each woman in the “Cassidy” family and where their magic originated. We also learn that Harlow, and the ghost of her great grandmother, almost always seem to find themselves pulled into solving nearby mysteries.

    The secondary characters, from Harlow’s boyfriend Will, the city architect, to his teenaged daughter Gracie, are well developed and add depth to Harlow’s character and color to the story. We also meet several of Gracie’s friends, other young women Harlow is designing dresses and mums for and of course the family of the man that was murdered. Giving us several different, and conflicting clues, Ms. Bourbon’s mystery plot takes several interesting twists and turns.

    Will Harlow be able to prove Shane’s innocence in time for him to take Gracie to the prom? Or will Shane go down for the murder and take Harlow’s relationship with Will and Gracie with him? You’ll have to read A Killing Notion to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Bourbon’s work.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    Title: A Killing Notion - A Magical Dressmaking Mystery Book 5 A

    Title: A Killing Notion - A Magical Dressmaking Mystery Book 5
    Author: Melissa Bourbon
    Publisher: Penguin Group
    Published: 4-1-2014
    ISBN: 9780451417206
    E-Book ASIN: B00F9EZBXS
    Pages: 312
    Genre: Mystery
    Tags: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
    Sensual Level: Mild
    Overall Rating: Very Good
    Reviewed For: NetGalley

    Harlow Jane Cassidy is the owner/operator of Buttons and Bows, a dressmaking shop located in Bliss Texas. Unlike most dressmakers tho Harlow has a little something extra that she puts to good use when she participates in the local charity, Helping Hands, to provide prom dresses to those who would be unable to afford them normally. Harlow uses her magic charms to enable her to make just the right dress for the recipients so that their true wishes come true. When Shane Montgomery, the boyfriend of Gracie Flores, the daughter or Harlow's boyfriend Will, is accused of his father's death Harlow steps up to find out who the real killer is when Gracie and Shane's mother Reba asks her to. Now all she needs to do is figure out who sabotaged Christopher Montgomery and why? Why did the killer frame Shane? When Harlow gets to close will she become the next victim to the killer's violence?

    You can not help but love this series. It moves at a quick pace and is filled with characters that are well developed and full of charm and the kind of quirky personality traits that make you wish you knew them in real life. After all how many of us can say that they know someone who's grandmother is a ghost? I would not mind meeting Harlow's Meemaw. Melissa Bourbon will keep you guessing as to the identity of the killer till the very end. If you haven't read any of Ms. Bourbon's Magical Dressmaking series before you will soon be scouring for more soon. Make room for a new name on you favorite author's list because you will soon be adding Melissa Bourbon's name to the top of it.

    A Killing Notion is a stand alone read, but like most series you can better understand the character's relationships and their motivations if you read the series starting with book one, Pleating For Mercy and reading them in order. Find out how Harlow came to be in Bliss and more about how she came to possess her special talent. So much to learn about the characters and so much mystery to enjoy.

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    4 STARS What a fun murder mystery. This is book #5 of A Magi

    4 STARS

    What a fun murder mystery. This is book #5 of A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. But only one I have read yet. Now I want to go and read the first 4 books of the series sometimes. Harlow Jane Cassidy has charms. Her whole family has different charms.
    Harlow's clothes she makes for people make their dreams come true. Harlow even has a ghost who is still a matchmaker.

    Harlow is busy getting ready for Homecoming. She is making a couple of dresses and lots of Mums for it. I had never heard of tradition of mums for proms there in Texas. They are big and lots of ribbons and trinkets on them. Can be 30lbs and ribbons can go length of dress.

    Harlow owns Buttons & Bows dressmaking. She is engaged to Will. She has helped solve murders before. Now she is asked to help again.

    Will's daughter Grace boyfriend Shane has been accused for murdering his father. Harlow does not believe he is guilty.

    Some of the secrets I guessed at before they were revealed in the book. Others I had no clues about.

    The characters are likeable. They are well developed and seem real.

    A Killing Notion does stand on its own. But I do think it would be better if you have read the other books in the series. At least that is what I am guessing. I want to know more about there pasts that have been revealed in previous books. Like how Harlow's grandmother set her up with Will while she was a ghost.

    The pace was good, A little heavy on the clothes descriptions that some might not like.

    I was given this ebook to read and in return agreed to give honest review and be part of its blog tour.

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Melissa Bourbon returns readers to Bliss, Texas with her fifth i

    Melissa Bourbon returns readers to Bliss, Texas with her fifth installment in the Magical Dressmakers Mystery series, A Killing Notion. This book will steal the heart of readers who are pulling for the relationship between Harlow and Will to grow into lasting love. Harlow is out to help Will's daughter Gracie prove the innocence of her boyfriend who has been accused of killing his father. Readers are treated to a mystery set against the back drop of the homecoming dance, a ghostly member of the family and plenty of bodies to go around. A great new book from a trusted author.

    What I liked:

    Melissa Bourbon struck on a really creative idea when she decided to make her main character in the Magical Dressmaking series, a descendant of the infamous outlaw, Butch Cassidy. In Harlow, Bourbon gives readers a lead character who is thoughtful, inquisitive and gifted. Thanks to Butch's lucky coin thrown into a fountain, Harlow is able to sew garments that have the 'wishes' of her customers in mind. Using a few touches of the paranormal, like the special gifts and of course the ghost of meemaw, Bourbon gives this series a light touch that draws the reader in.

    In this installment of the series, it's homecoming in Bliss and all of the girls are going to turn out in beautiful dresses. It's a good time for Buttons and Bows with lots of special dresses being made and mums for the dance. Harlow is doing good as well. Her relationship with Will is flourishing and she adores his daughter Gracie, which is exactly what gets her right in the middle of another murder investigation. I liked the way Bourbon gave Harlow a vested interest in finding this killer. This one hit close to home for her since the sheriff's number one suspect was Gracie's boyfriend. I loved all of the descriptions of the dresses and how homecoming was celebrated as well. All great touches in book that centers around sewing as one of it's themes. A great idea.

    Meemaw was back as usual and I always love her input into Harlow's cases. The paranormal aspects of this series are always one of the highlights. When I first starting reading the series, I thought Bourbon should have focused on one area of the paranormal and not two, but Meemaw has grown on me and I always find her perspective on things interesting. She sometimes provides comic relief and sometimes just the clarity that Harlow needs to follow her instincts. So, I think the author knew what she was doing with this one, even if I didn't.

    What I didn't like:

    I found the fact that Shane was blamed for his own father's death a little disconcerting. It definitely worked into the plot of the story and I can see why Bourbon chose to do it that way. I also know that, that kind of thing happens, but I don't often like to think that way. I still loved the mystery and how it all turned out in the end. Just a little quirk of my own.

    Bottom Line:

    This is a great addition to this series. A Killing Notion is probably one of my favorites so far. I loved all of the homecoming hoopla and thought it showcased Harlow's abilities as a seamstress and well has her gift for solving mysteries.

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  • Posted April 5, 2014

    There is something a little magical about Melissa Bourbon¿s newe

    There is something a little magical about Melissa Bourbon’s newest book “A Killing Notion” and it’s not just Harlow’s great grandmother’s ghost. As Harlow is busy creating gorgeous custom coutures and personalized mums for homecoming, someone in town has a taken revenge on the local Auto Repair Shop co-owner in the form of murder.

    This hits too close to home for Harlow as the co-owner’s son, Shane, receives the news about his father’s death while visiting Buttons and Bows with his girlfriend, Harlow’s apprentice extraordinaire Gracie. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local sheriff has made Shane the #1 suspect.

    As Harlow’s hot boyfriend, Will Flores is a little reluctant about her getting involved in yet another murder case, Harlow can’t say “No” to Gracie. She is determined to solve this mystery before Homecoming so Gracie and Shane can attend the dance.

    With Will by her side, Harlow uncovers the terrible secret that has destroyed both families of the Auto Repair Shop partners. With the murder of one partner and the mysterious disappearance of the other, Harlow untangles the clues and sews up the solution for the local sheriff.

    A Magical Dressmaking Mystery books is fun and cleaver series. Melissa Bourbon has captivated me again as I read the latest in the series “A Killing Notion”. Her talent as a writer has made me want to go out a buy as sewing machine and create the beautiful gowns that she magical creates with her words.

    I do have to thank my husband for his patience and loving support for my addiction to cozy mystery novels. Not ever girl is allowed to snuggle in for the night with Bourbon and startle her roommate with a “AH! I knew it!” as the book unfolds before her. Thank you Melissa Bourbon for the hours of enjoyment I experienced as I worked my way through the twists and turns of yet another great novel in this series. ***** 5 Stars *****

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It¿s homecoming time in Bliss, Texas and the girls are working o

    It’s homecoming time in Bliss, Texas and the girls are working on their mums. Like everything in Texas these mums are big!! Harlow Jane Cassidy, owner of Buttons & Bows, is not only helping with the mums, she is making several homecoming dresses. Gracie has decided to make her own dress. Then when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder Harlow realizes Gracie is going need much more than help with her dress. Harlow needs to patch together the clues and clear the boys name before the whole homecoming celebration is ruined.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    First things first I had to do a little investigating into the Texas size mums, we don’t have anything like it to my knowledge here in Wisconsin. I found some pictures of them on The Style Sisters blog. Why these girls would want to cover up these beautiful dresses or wear this kind of thing around their neck all day is beyond me but it seems to be quite the tradition.

    Now Melissa has crafted quite a mystery while her characters were crafting their mums. Gracie has grown up so fast and this story really zones in on her character. Her boyfriend is not only struggling with his father’s death, he is also the cops prime suspect.

    This story has a very interesting twist that I started to put together just a bit ahead of Harlow and then another huge twist at the end that took me completely by surprise.

    This is one of my favorite series as I too come from a background full of seamstresses and before my accident sewing and crafting were the way I spent all of my free time. I love all the characters and the way all their charms work. MeeMaw continues to make her presence known and she just tickles my heart.

    As soon as I finish a Melissa Bourbon story I always want more. These are characters I truly hate to leave behind as I wait for my next trip to Bliss. This is a wonderful series, start at the beginning and sit back and curl up with some great cozy mysteries.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    A Killing Notion is the fifth book in the A Magical Dressmaking

    A Killing Notion is the fifth book in the A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series.

    It's homecoming time for the high school students in Bliss, TX and Harlow and her beau's daughter are busy making mums for the girls and their dates. In addition, Harlow is also making dresses for Danica and Leslie, young ladies who are part of Helping Hands. An organization that helps girls without parents. At one of gatherings Gracie's boyfriend, Shane Montgomery gets a phone call telling him that his father, Chris, has died in an automobile crash. The police soon determine that the steering had been tampered with and Shane becomes a prime suspect. Both Gracie and Shane's mom, Reba, ask for Harlow's help in finding the guilty party. If Harlow can get answers to why Chris's business partner, Eddy Blake, cell phone was at Chris's house and just where Eddy Blake is, she know she will be able name the killer.

    Most all of the characters from the early books are back to lend a helping hand to Harlow. And of course Meemaw is there to watch over Harlow, too.

    Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    Harlow's life is complete. She has her dressmaking, her family c

    Harlow's life is complete. She has her dressmaking, her family complete with a ghost and her romantic relationship with Will. She has it all. Including a murder to solve. Gracie, Will's daughter, has asked her to prove her boyfriend didn't kill his father. It's lucky that she is charmed. Thanks to Butch Cassidy, an ancestor who threw a coin in a fountain and got his wish. Can she find who did it? I loved Killing Notion! Melissa Bourbon has written an entertaining and solid story. This cozy has surprising twists that keep you guessing. I didn't know who did the deed until the very end. The author brings her characters to life. I felt that I knew Harlow and the people of Bliss. I was effortlessly drawn into their story. Harlow is a compassionate and caring woman. I loved her tender romance with Will. It felt so right. The secondary characters added so much to A Killing Notion especially Meemaw, her ghostly grandmother. I loved that touch of magic. This is an excellent cozy. It's one of my Keepers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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