Goose in the Pond (Benni Harper Series #4)

Goose in the Pond (Benni Harper Series #4)

4.8 5
by Earlene Fowler
     
 

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Benni Harper—spirited ex-cowgirl, quilter, and folk art expert—finds herself on the trail of killer in this brand-new mystery from Agatha Award-nominee Earlene Fowler...When Benni finds a dead woman lying facedown in the lake, dressed in a Mother Goose costume, her investigation takes her inside the Storyteller's Guild.There she discovers that

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Overview

Benni Harper—spirited ex-cowgirl, quilter, and folk art expert—finds herself on the trail of killer in this brand-new mystery from Agatha Award-nominee Earlene Fowler...When Benni finds a dead woman lying facedown in the lake, dressed in a Mother Goose costume, her investigation takes her inside the Storyteller's Guild.There she discovers that Mother Goose was telling more than fairy tales—she was a gossip columnist who aired the kind of secrets that destroy lives—and inspire revenge...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The small town of San Celina, Calif., provides the backdrop for this unremarkable tale, the latest appearance of Benni Harper (following Kansas Troubles). Benni, curator of the local folk art museum, discovers the body of librarian Nora Cooper floating in a pond just as the town is preparing for a storytelling festival. Despite the warnings of her new husband, macho police chief Gabe Ortiz, Benni can't resist getting involved. Benni juggles the organization of the festival with some unsubtle investigation as she copes with personal challenges posed by the sudden appearances of Gabe's teenage son, Sam, and her own flirtatious cousin, Rita, not to mention daily phone calls from her grandmother. Suspects in this drawn-out tale include Nora's brother, Nick; her almost ex-husband, Roy; and Roy's girlfriend, Grace. A disturbing tip from a local newspaperman suggests that Nora had discovered some unsavory gossip, providing another possible motive for her murder. Benni's amateur detecting leads her into some close calls before the plot drones to a predictable conclusion.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The small town of San Celina, Calif., provides the backdrop for this unremarkable tale, the latest appearance of Benni Harper (following Kansas Troubles). Benni, curator of the local folk art museum, discovers the body of librarian Nora Cooper floating in a pond just as the town is preparing for a storytelling festival. Despite the warnings of her new husband, macho police chief Gabe Ortiz, Benni can't resist getting involved. Benni juggles the organization of the festival with some unsubtle investigation as she copes with personal challenges posed by the sudden appearances of Gabe's teenage son, Sam, and her own flirtatious cousin, Rita, not to mention daily phone calls from her grandmother. Suspects in this drawn-out tale include Nora's brother, Nick; her almost ex-husband, Roy; and Roy's girlfriend, Grace. A disturbing tip from a local newspaperman suggests that Nora had discovered some unsavory gossip, providing another possible motive for her murder. Benni's amateur detecting leads her into some close calls before the plot drones to a predictable conclusion. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
A fourth appearance for Benni Harper (Kansas Troubles, 1996, etc.), curator of the Folk Art Museum in San Celina, California—recently married to the town's Chief of Police Gabe Ortiz—who's now deep in preparations for the museum's first storytelling festival, to be combined with a show of handmade quilts. It's Benni's misfortune to discover the murdered body of Nora Cooper, a storyteller at the local library. Nora's brother Nick is head reference librarian there, under director Jillian Sinclair, a niece of the library's chief benefactor, Constance Sinclair. Nora, meanwhile, was involved in a bitter divorce settlement with soon- to-be-ex-husband Roy, who lives with girlfriend Grace Winter, a stableowner. They're Gabe's prime suspects until it's revealed that Nora was the author of the Tattler, an unsigned scandal-mongering column in the town's newspaper. It seems both library and museum staffs are chock-full of people with nasty secrets Nora was busy unearthing. Gabe works hard to restrain Benni's rampant investigating instincts—with good reason, as it turns out in the out-of-left-field, unsatisfying denouement.

Much time is spent on Gabe and Benni's cluttered domestic life as they play reluctant hosts to Gabe's troubled son Sam, Benni's beloved but trying grandmother Dove and flighty cousin Rita—a setup as overpopulated, artificial, and unconvincing as the murder mystery. Quilters and storytelling enthusiasts may find some joy here; others will find this one heavy on chitchat but low on substance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425162392
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1998
Series:
Benni Harper Series, #4
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
352,403
Product dimensions:
6.74(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.85(d)

What People are saying about this

Susan Rogers Cooper
"Earlene Fowler writes from the heart, and her Benni Harper is a true original."

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