A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series

A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series

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by Cathy Elliott
     
 

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Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the…  See more details below

Overview

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/10/2014
Antique dealer Thea James becomes first a quilt show director and then an amateur detective in this cozy mystery, newest in the multi-author, 25-book Quilts of Love series. As the first annual quilt show in Larkindale, Calif., draws near, Thea discovers the town matriarch, her friend Mary-Alice, has been injured, and a diamond brooch is missing. When a renowned textile judge doesn’t show and the centerpiece quilt is stolen, Thea starts her own covert investigation. But finding a criminal means questioning friends and longtime neighbors, a task she embraces reluctantly. Her quilt show co-chair dodges responsibilities, her best friend treats her poorly, and someone even threatens her cat. Thea’s sleuthing uncovers an outwardly charming but scheming tourist town rife with all-too-human jealousies. Who would hurt a beloved neighbor and threaten the quilt show outcome—and why? Elliott (Medals in the Attic) touches lightly on matters of faith, focusing more on humor and mystery. Though plots wrap up too conveniently and the hint of romance is never truly explored, fans of inspirational fiction will enjoy the funny, feel-good whodunit. Agent: Janet Kobobel Grant, Books & Such Literary Agency. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426796197
Publisher:
Abingdon Press
Publication date:
01/20/2015
Series:
Quilts of Love
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
144,525
File size:
2 MB

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Read an Excerpt

A Stitch in Crime


By Cathy Elliott

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2015 Cathy Elliott
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-9619-7


CHAPTER 1

Perhaps if she simply avoided eye contact.

Thea James turned her back on the partygoers, paying attention to the dessert buffet instead. The Quilt-Without-Guilt Guild had surpassed their Christmas potluck standard. Among a bounty of petite cakes, cookies, puffs, and bars, Thea found her own offering, a plate of blueberry tartlets. They appeared untouched. Strange. She pulled them to the front of the culinary display.

"Thea! Why are you hiding out in the desserts when I need your help?" The familiar voice of fellow guild member, Heather Ann Brewster, hinted at desperation.

Turning with reluctance, Thea morphed into hospitality mode. "Blueberry tartlet?"

"What?" Heather Ann viewed the diminutive dessert, gave a small shudder, and then had the grace to look apologetic. "Ah ... no, thanks. I haven't browsed the appetizers yet. Anyway, I can't think about food now. I'm too upset."

Thea shoved her reluctance aside. "What seems to be the problem, Heather Ann?" This time.

"You know the publicity banner we had made? The one advertising the quilt show next weekend? The one supposed to be hanging over the entrance to Old Town?"

"Supposed to be hanging over the entrance? I thought they put it up yesterday." Thea calculated the days left until the show opened. Today was Sunday, and tonight's kickoff quilt show soirée started the festivities. The main event was scheduled for next Saturday. Folks needed to be aware of the date so they'd attend en masse.

"City utility workers were supposed to put it up. Oh, and it's beautiful, Thea. In bold letters it says, '1st Annual Blocks on the Walk Quilt Show, Pioneer Park' and the date."

"Good ... very good. So why isn't it hanging up?"

"I had the letters made in red, too. Sort of reminds me of Janny Rice's red-work quilt, you know? Perhaps she'll place with hers. Beautiful embroidery." Heather Ann seemed lost in the vision, green eyes staring at nothing.

"Heather Ann. Focus, hon. You said there was a problem. As the quilt show chairperson, I want to help." Well, that was a lie. Helping was overrated. Thea wanted to eat some desserts. And she wasn't the chairperson. Another fib. Rather, the co-chair, along with Prudy Levasich.

Where was the elusive Prudy, anyway? Probably showing off her twin sister, Trudy, visiting from the East Coast. The co-chair's co-twin. If Prudy stuck around now and then, she could co-solve these problems with Thea.

"You have to do something! The Larkindale City Planning Commission won't let us put up the banner." The desperation returned to Heather Ann's tone, sending her voice to a higher key.

"Why not?"

"It's not up to code. They said the banner needs holes cut in it so the wind will flow through and not blow it down."

"Makes sense. Without the holes, it could act more like a sail," Thea said. "Can't you cut some?"

"I guess." Heather Ann looked uncomfortable. "But I don't know how big to make the holes. Or how many. The banner was expensive. I don't want to ruin it."

"Very responsible." Thea considered the options. "I have an idea. Call the Larkin Lake Resort. They're always putting banners up for some event. The Fly-Fishing Derby. And the Daisy Pedal Bike Race, right?"

"Oh, you're good." Heather Ann's expression turned eager, like a puppy about to score a treat.

"Whatever size they advise, be sure you use the white space and don't cut into those big red letters you chose. That way people will only see the letters and not notice the holes." Thea gave Heather Ann an encouraging pat on the shoulder. "Sound okay?"

"Sounds great. Thanks so much, Thea. I'm on it." Heather Ann dashed away, blonde ponytail bouncing, presumably to make the call.

Or grab a few appetizers.

Which seemed an even better idea to Thea.

"Well, aren't you just the CEO. Or is that dictator?" Renée Fowler pushed up against Thea in jest, as she used to do when they were teens.

"Oh, stop." Thea grinned at her best friend since fifth grade, recently returned home from a long honeymoon tour of Europe.

She had missed Renée terribly. But something seemed off between them. Had the travels changed Renée? She certainly looked different. More elegant. Her brown hair, cut in Paris, was styled in a fashionable pixie cut. But weren't her large gray eyes filled with disapproval now? Or was the still single Thea a little jealous of her friend's marriage and new life?

Thea studied the crowd. "A wonderful turnout, don't you think? I've been watching for him but have yet to see Dr. Cottle. Did he already check in?"

"How would I know, Thea?" Renée asked. "I may own the Inn, but I don't keep up on what time every guest walks through the door."

Not a hint of a thank-you for recommending Renée and Howie's Heritage House Inn as lodging for their illustrious judge and guest speaker, Dr. Niles Cottle. Typical treatment from Renée since her return to Larkindale.

Thea waved to a friend of Gram's. "Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. And no better place to do it than in Mary-Alice Wentworth's garden. Exquisite, isn't it?"

Glorious roses edged a pavestone patio, which surrounded a sparkling pond, highlighted by the spectacular fountain in the pond's center. Water poured endlessly from an urn held by a graceful granite lady. The effect was more than tranquil. It was hypnotic. Tables with bistro chairs dotted the grounds, and this evening's attendees alternately chatted in groups or relaxed with a cool drink. A number of quilts were displayed near the walkway, staging a quilt show preview and adding a folksy feel. Thea's mother's string quartet played various classical selections with so much enthusiasm the occasional sour note went unnoticed.

Except maybe by Renée, who now winced as if she had stepped on a nail.

Uh-oh. Thea grabbed the dessert plate and shoved it at her friend. "How about a nice blueberry tartlet?"

"Tartlet?" Renée's distasteful look increased. "What's in the filling? And look how thick the crust is, Thea. You must use very cold dough to make a flaky crust."

Crestfallen, Thea placed the plate back on the table. "Tasted good to me."

"They probably are good, for Larkindale. I do like the antique serving plate though," Renée said. "My tastes have refined so much from my exposure to other cultures. Like what I'm wearing, for instance." She smoothed out her simple black dress. "In Europe, everyone wears something elegant like this. Understated, you know? Your dress is much too frilly. Too yesterday."

"Oh." Thea's cheeks burned. Was it no longer okay to like yesterday's fashions best? Her vintage cocktail dress had been a steal from the family's antique store, James & Co. Antique Emporium. Certain the cut was flattering to her figure, Thea also thought the cobalt color and purple tulle overlay brought out the periwinkle blue in her eyes. Both Mum and Gram had agreed.

"But the pouffy skirt is a great illusion. One's not sure if it's so full because of your curves or the dress's design." Renée put a hand on her hip and once-overed her friend. "I could never pull it off. It would just hang on my slender frame. But those strappy sandals are cute. A nice change from your clogs."

Thea was beginning to wonder why she was friends with Renée.

And where was Dr. Cottle?

Thea studied the gathering again but didn't see him. Their hostess, Mary-Alice, was also missing. Perhaps she was inside greeting him this minute.

Leaning toward Thea, Renée said, "Here comes your Cole Mason. So handsome. Did you see him chatting with Mayor Suzanne Stiles for more than a half hour? You better watch out, Miss Thea. Step it up or you'll remain Miss Thea for a long, long time."

"He's not my Cole Mason, and he can talk to whoever he likes!" Thea almost hissed at her friend as Cole approached them. His roving reporter role tonight was to cover the quilt show kickoff soirée for the Larkindale Lamplight's society pages. Surely he wouldn't report any petty problems from putting on the show. It could result in a definite damper on attendance at the official opening.

Moving past a sullen Renée and closer to Thea, Cole flashed his disarming dimples. Then appearing stunned, he stopped and said. "You look so ... nice! Am I writing about the wrong subject for the Lamplight? How about a full-page spread of you in your dress?"

Renée rolled her eyes.

"No comment," Thea said, laughter in her voice. "What are you planning to cover?" Making her a feature story was not an option. He had to be kidding. Especially if she looked as chunky in her dress as Renée seemed to say. And the camera added what? Thea sucked in her stomach.

Cole's attention had diverted to the treat table. "What do you call this delicious-looking sweet?" He plunked a pink petit four on a faux-china plate. "I don't want to get the name wrong in my article."

Relieved, Thea named each dessert. Cole listed it in his notebook and took still shots with his smartphone. Without embarrassment, he snuck a few more tempting treats.

"And this ...," she swept her hand in front of the tartlets with a flourish, "is what I made. Blueberry tartlets. Care to sample one?"

So far, Renée stood silent. But apparently she'd reached her etiquette limit. "You don't want to eat those, Cole. They're made by our peanut-butter-and-pickle sandwich queen here. Need I say more?"

"Good recommendation. I'll take two." Cole stacked the tarts on the last empty spot on his plate.

The tiny triumph tasted like sugar. But Thea wondered if Renée, with her newly acquired European sensibilities, was right.

"Perhaps I should have used raspberries instead of blueberries," Thea said. "Might have looked more appetizing."

"I doubt it," Renée said. "Probably would have looked like coddled blood."

Coddled blood? Coddle? What was familiar about that word? Then Thea shivered, remembering Dr. Cottle was still a no-show. What if something horrible had happened to him?

She surveyed the party once more. Mary-Alice's favorite nephew appeared to have captivated a small audience, his hands in motion, probably spouting his expertise on the family quilt, "Larkin's Treasure." The string quartet sawed with vigor. Thea spotted Prudy hard at work, gabbing with the guests. Or was it Trudy? Thea's Aunt Elena, along with a few others, admired a magnificent Grandmother's Garden quilt displayed on the walkway.

But no Dr. Cottle.

Cole's voice cut through her concerns. "You know, these look so good, I think I'll take another one in case we run out before I've had my fill." He balanced another tartlet atop the others and winked at Thea.

Renée blew out a sigh. "You are quite the risk-taker, Mr. Mason." She waved a dismissal and strolled toward the mayor, probably for a little update on her conversation with Cole.

That's it. That's all I can take. I'm leaving before one more person says boo to me.

Cole's hand briefly touched the middle of Thea's back, stopping her flight, his dark eyes inquisitive. "Are you quite sure she's your best friend?"

No. She wasn't sure anymore. But what could she say? Thea groped for a reason for her friend's bad behavior. In the search, she found an emptiness she couldn't name.

"Renée's ... not been herself since she got back from Europe."

"A lingering case of jet lag. That's probably it," Cole said.

Thea looked up, grateful for his kindness.

"So where's the famous Dr. Cottle?" Cole asked, changing the subject. "I've heard he can read the stitches on a fastball from the nosebleed section at Yankee Stadium."

"So they say. He's a major leaguer on quilts and quilting in our state," Thea said. "In fact, I should go see if there's been any word of him. Folks came tonight to hear his talk about the Wentworth legacy quilt."

"You go then. I'll pacify myself with a blueberry tartlet." Cole stuffed a whole one in his mouth and started chewing, pleasure written all over his face.

Did he like it or was he trying to cheer her up?

Maybe she didn't want to know.

Thea excused herself and strode purposefully toward the house. No eye contact. No eye contact. No eye contact. She managed to slip through the French doors, muting her mother's Mozart, and putting a wall between herself and the problems outside.

She closed her eyes. See no evil.

Beyond the glass door, a distant voice called out, "Has anyone seen Thea?"

She clicked the door closed.

Hear no evil.

CHAPTER 2

Wandering through the great room and past the kitchen, Thea didn't see Dr. Cottle or Mary-Alice. In fact, she didn't see anyone.

Stepping into Mary-Alice's sitting room, she found herself blessedly alone. Thea stared out the window, willing Dr. Cottle to come, wondering if something sinister had befallen the famed quilt expert. Get a grip, Thea.

Thea pressed her nose against the leaded windowpane, searching for any sign of him among the passersby. Various vehicles drove past the Wentworth Mansion, but she didn't see a man wearing those trademark sphere-shaped spectacles.

Thea sensed someone behind her and whirled around. As she did so, she stumbled against an elderly woman, who fell backward into a potted ficus tree.

"Mary-Alice!" Thea lunged and grabbed a bony elbow, rescuing the woman from a close encounter with some potting soil. Thea slipped her arm around Mary-Alice Wentworth in a supportive gesture. "Sorry, I didn't hear you come in."

"I'm the one who should apologize, interrupting your quiet time." Mary-Alice shook out her skirt. She appeared unflustered, in spite of the episode.

Thea brushed a brown leaf from Mary-Alice's soft, gray curls and straightened the elder's necklace with its attached silver key. Thea was soothing herself as much as her friend.

"I was hoping for a glimpse of Dr. Cottle," Thea said. "We can't start the festivities without him."

"Too late, my dear." Mary-Alice's eyes hinted at mischief. "I think we already have!"

"I guess it's true. In fact, our celebration seems like a success." But Thea didn't believe her own words. How could it be anything but a disappointment if the guest of honor didn't appear?

"You've done a wonderful job arranging it," Mary-Alice said.

"Thanks. But I'm only a co-chair." Thea hoped she sounded suitably humble. "Prudy, my quilt show co-partner, deserves some of the credit, no doubt."

"Oh, no doubt." Mary-Alice gave an impish wink. She sat on an elegant Queen Anne chair and opened a drawer in the matching desk. "Now, where did I put that letter?"

"What letter?"

"The one from Dr. Cottle." Mary-Alice riffled through the drawer's contents, then opened and explored another.

Ah, yes. The late Dr. Cottle. Thea caught herself as if the thought might become true in more ways than one. How silly.

To divert herself, she watched Mary-Alice's feverish search, then turned back to the window, flooded by an uneasy feeling. Thea squinted to scrutinize the passing population again. Not a single Cottle. No one even Cottle-like. She gave a dejected sigh.

"It's not here. I must have left it upstairs in the bedroom." Mary-Alice's voice disrupted Thea's thoughts, bringing her back to the lost letter.

"Do you want me to help you look?" Thea noted the open drawers and mussed desktop.

"Bless you, my dear. But you have better things to do than help a forgetful old woman find her missing mail."

"Pish-posh, as Mum would say. I'd be happy to help." Thea leaned over and squeezed the elder's hand, which wrinkled like crepe paper.

Mary-Alice surveyed the room. "I was so sure it was here." She lifted the blotter on the desktop and checked underneath.

"What's in the letter?"

"Something about the quilt, 'Larkin's Treasure.' New information about the old mystery of great riches attached to it. And so interesting, too. But ... oh, my." Mary-Alice looked up, disheartened. "I'm afraid I've forgotten what it said."

Made by a granddaughter of Larkin McLeod, the beloved wife of town founder Hastings McLeod, "Larkin's Treasure" was considered one of the finest examples of late nineteenth-century textiles. Plus, legend allowed the old crazy quilt contained a secret about great riches.

Mary-Alice, a direct descendant of the McLeod line, had tired of guarding the old family heirloom from thievery and donated it to the State Quilt & Textile Museum. However, for the weekend's festivities, arrangements had been made to loan "Larkin's Treasure" back. It was now safely locked inside a display case in Larkindale's own Hastings McLeod Museum—the only key clipped to the chain around Mary-Alice's neck.

"I'm sure we'll find the letter soon." Thea started toward the sofa and tripped on the corner of a thick throw rug, stubbing her sandaled toe. A sharp pain shot through her foot, and she bit her lip to keep the tears at bay. She waited a moment for Mary-Alice to stop ransacking the room and offer a word of comfort. But the woman foraged on.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott. Copyright © 2015 Cathy Elliott. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Author and speaker Cathy Elliott nourishes her night-owl habit by creating cozy mysteries and more on her trusty laptop in Anderson, California. Like the protagonist in her new mystery, Cathy is an avid quilter. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antique treasures.

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A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Running_Writer More than 1 year ago
People with more characters than this old brain could keep straight, Cathy Elliott crafted an extremely funny (or should I say puny) cozy mystery. An heirloom quilt is destroyed. A diamond brooch goes missing. All the work of a cozy. However, Elliot is laugh-out-loud funny. Her wit is unique. She doesn't rely on the cliche or the scatological Her style made me want to read and read and read, and made me remember the reason I love reading so much. I was happy to see she had more books and I will continue to follow this author. Fabulous find..
Xmiler1 More than 1 year ago
In this well-constructed cozy mystery, Cathy Elliott brings back Thea James, the heroine of A Vase of Mistaken Identity, but knowledge of that novel is not needed to enjoy this one. Thea has accepted the position as co-chair of her town's first "Annual Quilt Show." But at the potluck supper days before the main event, things are not going smoothly. Prudy Levasich, her co-chair, is conspicuous by absence, and their honored guest and to-be judge of the quilt contest does not show up. Then an elderly lady, one of the chief sponsors of the quilt show, receives a blow on the head and is hospitalized. Due to concussion, she can't remember if someone hit her or if she just fell. And her expensive jeweled brooch is missing. And on the following evening, the famous quilt "Larkin's Treasure," borrowed for the exhibition at the quilt show, is stolen out of its glass case in the local museum. At the request of her friend in the hospital, Thea takes on the added role of detective to find out what is behind the difficulties. From there, the novel recounts Thea's adventures and misadventures, leading up to an unexpected and satisfying climax at the quilt show. Throughout the narration, though, it is Cathy Elliott's love of language and wordplay that provide much of the reader's enjoyment. Every page or two contains an inimitable sentence such as the understated "The string quartet sawed with vigor." And the character Thea is herself an expert punster (punstress?). The result is a thoroughly delightful novel that will keep its readers smiling on every page.
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
A Stitch In Crime, By: Cathy Elliott (Quilt of Love Series) This is a suspense and mystery type book. I so love the quilt theme of all the Quilts of Love Series. A story that will be keeping you guessing until the very end of the book. It held my interest. It is a fairly quick read. The story flows relatively smooth. It had a couple of characters in there that i wanted to smack at times. There was the character that you thought was so sweet. I am looking forward to the next book in the quilts of love series.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Cathy Elliott in her new book, “A Stitch In Crime” Book Twenty-Five in the Quilts of Love Series published by Abingdon Press brings us into the life of Thea James. From the back cover: Assault, larceny, anonymous threats. Who knew quilt shows could be this dangerous? Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results. All Thea James wanted to do was expand her antique business. It never occurred to her that the quilt show would turn out to be so dangerous. I have news for you it never occurred to me either. This book is packed solid with mystery. The assault on Thea’s friend and the stolen brooch as well as the stolen quilt which may be very valuable. But it does not stop there as Thea cannot seem to find anybody to help and they seem to be acting in a mysterious manner. There is even a threat on her cat. Get ready for a mystery that will keep you guessing until Ms. Elliott reveals all to you at the end. Then you give out a satisfied “AAh”. This is a truly enjoyable read and I look forward to more from this very talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
AMadisonMom More than 1 year ago
I've read a few of the Quilts of Love stories now. I have to admit I didn't really like this one. I found it dull and kept waiting for something to happen to spark my interest. On reading a couple of other reviews I saw it referred to as possible a "cozy mystery". I hadn't really heard of that before so I googled and found "A cozy is a mystery which includes a bloodless crime and generally contains very little violence, sex, or coarse language. By the end of the story, the criminal is punished and order is restored to the community." So, yeah... I'd say this fits the "cozy mystery" family... and I'm not a cozy mystery fan. If you ARE a cozy mystery lover... ignore my review. :) They're just not for me. The biggest thing for me... the character development just wasn't fully there. The story was there... but the follow through was lacking. I never really found a reason to love Thea. Was there supposed to be a love interest with Cole? Why WAS Odette around? I guess I kept wondering if certain things were part of a mystery... or if certain people were just highly irritating. I just never really felt drawn into the story or characters. Actually... my favorite part of the book was probably a scene where Thea makes an effort to chat with her elderly neighbors. Her giving in and showing interest in them and chatting with the husband, and him talking about how he and his wife met, was probably the most interesting conversation in the book. Oh! And when there was (almost) a little bit of excitement with Thea's cat (for a minute).
Griperang72 More than 1 year ago
I have read quite a few in this series because I like that they are all centered around quilts. The mystery that was a part of this story was fun to read about and made the story interesting Although this book did not move as fast as most of my mysteries I have read it did keep me guessing until the end as to who bonked Mary-Alice. I would have liked to get to know the characters a little bit more as well. This book also carried the Christian theme though out the entire story. All in all I thought this was a nice book. Even though this is a part of a series they are all stand alone books, the common theme is the quilts. If you are looking for a nice mystery with no dead bodies with a Christian themed back story then this book is for you. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 If you like a novel that has a cozy mystery (no dead bodies, no violence (well, except maybe for a clunk on the head), the kind of mystery  that makes you smile while it's solved, I've got the book for you.Cathy Elliott, has written a delightful mystery with a missing broach, that clunk on the head I mentioned, and a quilt show (including a very valuable family heirloom quilt...which is part of the mystery, of course.) Oh, and I almost forgot, it's got the perfect title: A Stitch in Crime! This is a delightful cozy mystery.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
The latest novel in the Quilts of Love Series, introduces us to Cathy Elliot in A Stitch in Crime. For fans of crime and mystery this one will sure to be a hit for you. This is the 25th book in the series, and doesn't need to be read in any order to enjoy any of the books. Each talented author lends their talent to creating a story utilizing a quilt as their backdrop. In A Stitch in Crime, Thea James has been named co-chair for the Larkindale's first quilt show. Hoping it will be a success, she is a bit stressed when things begin to unravel the night of the preview for some of the towns invited guests in Mary Alice Wentworth's garden. First, she is critiqued for her fashion style by Renee Fowler, newly married and co-owner of the Heritage Inn where all the guests have found lodging. Then she critiques her contribution to the dessert buffet saying that the crust is poorly constructed in her Blueberry Tartlets and she should have used another fruit instead if she wanted to impress those in attendance. As Thea masters dodge those comments with holding her tongue and smiling, she ventures off in search of Dr. Cottle who is expected as a guest judge and well-known in his expertise in quilts. No matter where she looks he doesn't seem to be anywhere. When she goes in search of Mary Alice, she almost frightens the woman to death when she comes up behind Thea unannounced. Mary Alice is frustrated while looking for a letter she has misplaced and Thea offers to help. It's when Mary Alice goes upstairs to see if she misplaced it there while getting dressed that a scream is heard. When Thea arrives she finds that Mary Alice is unconscious on the floor and a strange women is standing over her. They will learn that Mary Alice's diamond brooch worth $25,000 is now missing. Is it really or has it simply been misplaced as well? I received A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliot compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This novel reminded me of an Angela Lansbury episode of Murder She Wrote. The elements are all there from the strange woman no one knows who found Mary Alice, to the overly anxious relative Louisa Wentworth Carver who seems to be more interested in the diamond brooch than Mary Alice's condition. The cast of characters is what you would expect in a crime novel to keep the reader from figuring out who did it too soon! While this wasn't one of my favorites, it is bound to appeal to mystery fans who love this genre. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There is a group discussion guide at the conclusion of this novel as well as a sneak peek into the next novel in the Quilts of Love Series Beyond the Storm.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
When we first meet Thea, I felt so sorry for her, her lifetime friend seems to be turning on her and treating her terribly, she is also terribly busy being a co-chairman of the local quilt show extravaganza. With the extravaganza comes a lot of unexpected excitement and unexpected calamities, and hidden dangers. What could possibly be going on here that would cause an older woman to be attacked? Diamonds to be stolen, now what does that have to do with a quilt show? Then stolen quilts? What? We meet some unsavory characters that you at first feel sorry for, and then you are really going to be guess as to who or whom would be responsible for all of these crimes. Even the local quilt shop has problems! This story will keep you on your toes, and you’ll have a hard time guessing who is responsible for all that is happening. You will also wonder whom Thea can turn to when even her cat is threatened. Ugh! Surprises galore here, and you won’t be able to put this one down until you know everything! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Abingdon, and was not required to give a positive review.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Monday, January 19, 2015 A Stitch in Crime, a Quilts of Love novel by Cathy Elliott, © 2015 A long looked forward to week seems to being coming apart at the seams. The city planning board doesn't approve the banner for the opening gathering promoting the quilt show the next weekend, the main speaker doesn't show, and the hostess has an accident necessitating an overnight at the hospital. Could anything else worse happen? Yes, it could. A missing piece of jewelry, and family squabbles, while guests are sequestered to answer questions from the police and detectives called in to follow up the disappearance of the heirloom. The Wentworth Mansion "A Legacy of Quilts" Soirée Possibly, with the aim of the local newspaper reporter covering the Quilt-Without-Guilt Guild event, turned crime scene, it could be the best publicity they could imagine. Asked by Mrs. Wentworth to look further into the happenings at her home, co-chairing a quilt show becomes a greater task to accomplish than Thea James could have envisioned. Owner of an antique store, Thea may just be the one to make the discoveries with her expertise. If she can only figure out what has happened to cause the rift in her friendship with long-time friend, Renée Fowler. Join this cozy mystery, awaiting the unveiling of Mary-Alice Wentworth's heritage quilt, "Larkin's Treasure" and visits by Thea's sweet cat-panion, Betty. ***Thank you to Cathy Elliott and Abingdon Press for this copy of A Stitch in Crime for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so pleased with Cathy Elliott's new mystery novel A Stitch in Crime.  I have often wondered why people use the word "cozy" in reference to certain mystery novels. After reading this one, I understand why. There is something inherently cozy about this book- the way it wraps itself around you with its rich description, humorous word play, and characters that are not only relatable, but often provide a sense of inspiration to the art of living a spirit filled life. Our main character Thea is faced with a responsibility much larger than herself when her Co-Chair position of the Larkindale quilt show gives her much more than she bargains for. It is a race against time as the events of the extravagant show begin to unravel one at a time. An attack on the beloved owner of Larkin's Treasure(a quilt rumored to hold secret riches) and the disappearance of a valuable brooch are just the beginning of what this novel delivers. I would recommend reading this novel anywhere: anywhere you would like to be whisked away to garden parties that would make the crowd at Downton Abbey long for an invite, anywhere you would like to feel inspired by Thea's dear friend Mary Alice (who shows grace and mercy and the love of God in spite of dire circumstances) and anywhere you would like to laugh out loud at Thea's inner dialogue ("snarkfest", "prayer-slap", and "brooch-chucker" being among my favorites). 
AngieArndt More than 1 year ago
This was a cute little cozy mystery is full of twists and turns with a cast of crazy characters. I loved the way the author sprinkled clues throughout the story and that she kept me guessing until the end. I think my favorite part was the way the main character (Thea) grew throughout her adventure. I laughed at Thea’s antics at the beginning of the book, but I was proud that Thea was more self-assured at the end. If you enjoy books that give you a little escape along with the puzzle of a who-done-it, you’ll love A Stitch in Crime. My thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my fair and impartial review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far it is very good. I'm only about a third into the book but really like it.
Cindy21CE More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful read that I recommend to anyone who loves cozy mysteries. How can you lose with intriguing characters, beautiful quilts, antiques, and a who-dunnit that keeps you guessing? Cathy Elliott is a master at characterization and weaves a compelling mystery you can't put down. I'm looking forward to more of her books in the future. Curl up with your favorite quilt, a hot cup of tea, and get ready for an adventure. *Disclosure* I received A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott compliments of Abingdon Press and the author for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much in the way of romance, but an interesting mystery.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
Stitch in Crime - Cathy Elliott – Quilts of Love series 5 stars ***** out of five Small town politics. Throw in a group of avid quilters, mostly older women because they are the ones who not only make time for it, but also thrive on it, and voila! You have a suspense story. Actually it is not all that easy. And though every town has its quilters, and it's politics, not every town has its suspense stories. I have been loving the Quits of Love Stories. I have not read all 25 of them, but would like to. I am not organized enough to take on the role of Thea as the planner for the Quilt Show Extravaganza. I admired how she thought on her feet to solve the problems she encountered, and if I had half of that, it might not stress me out that I have trouble saying No. Small problems do not make suspense, but when you have them every time you turn around, they escalate. I would find it difficult to show unconditional love in some of the instances, but Cathy crafts an amazing story, with twists and turns that Caught me off guard. I will be looking for the characters to show up in her next book, because some of them are just too good to fade into the woodwork (or quilts)! Thank you to Amy Lathrop at Litfuse Publicity Group, Abingdon Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and enjoy this book. I was given a free book in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.