Pleating for Mercy (Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series #1)

( 23 )

Overview

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Harlow has to find the killer-with a little help from beyond.

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Pleating for Mercy (Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series #1)

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Overview

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Harlow has to find the killer-with a little help from beyond.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Consider this premise: all the women in the Texas family descended from Butch Cassidy have a "magic" touch. One of these women, the lovely and unmarried Harlow, who's a fashion designer/seamstress, comes back to the small town of Bliss and hangs up her shingle. One afternoon she's sketching dress designs for an upcoming wedding, and by that evening, a bridesmaid turns up strangled in Harlow's garden. Trouble ensues. Harlow ponders the usual evil trio—revenge, greed, and jealousy—and finds herself in a heap of trouble. There's something in her shop the killer wants, and Harlow's going to need some magic to stay alive. VERDICT This series debut by Bourbon (who also writes the "Lola Cruz" series under the name Misa Ramirez) has a clever premise, lots of interesting trade secrets, snappy dialog, and the requisite quirky and loveable family. It's very Texas, and Wendy Lyn Watson fans should enjoy. A fun read with plenty of potential.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451234360
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Series: Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 201,464
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2012

    I loved this book. I think I read it in one sitting. The chara

    I loved this book. I think I read it in one sitting. The characters are engaging and remind me of some of my quirky family members. The story line was realy interesting. It kept me reading late into the night to see what was going to happen. I loved that Harlow Cassidy was a deccendent of Butch Cassidy. The light magical element that existed in the story was a nice break from some of the heavier handed magical stories that have become so popular lately..

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    good plot, fun characters

    I found the story and the characters interesting and look forward to the next in the series.

    The book is a fairly quick read, and it's not full of technical jargon, so it's a great book for someone who has small pockets of reading time (like commuting).

    These are probably not for hard core murder mystery fans, more in the Agatha Christie genre.

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    this is the first in a series about a dress designer with specia

    this is the first in a series about a dress designer with special a special gift, that has passed down for only the women in the cassidy family. they are decended from butch cassidy, and it was his wish on a fountain that gave their gifts to them. her meemaw is a ghostly presence in her house. meemaw has also planned cassidy's life for her from the beyond. murder, romance, humor make a great read. with all the twists and turns, this story was very interesting. can't wait for volume two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Enjoyed very much, great characters, nice book to curl up with and read the afternoon away!!

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Great start to new series!

    Texas is full mysteries and magic. For Bliss' newly returned designer, her shop is more then making clothes. Its finding her Cassidy "charm" and finding a murderer.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    LOVED IT!!!!!

    A decedent of the infamous Butch Cassidy, Harlow Jane Cassidy and all the other Cassidy women through time possess special "gifts". Harlow is still unsure what her gift actually is when she returns home to Texas from Manhattan. Her great grandmother has passed away and left her farmhouse to Harlow. Harlow worked as a fashioner designer in New York so she decides to open a custom dressmaking boutique on the main level of her new home.

    One of her first customers is her childhood friend Josie, who is getting married in just two weeks. The store where she had ordered her bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses has gone out of business and she needs Harlow to save the day and create all the dresses as fast as she can.

    Calamity strikes when the maid of honor is found dead outside of Harlow's shoppe. The bride looks like the prime suspect and she now needs more than a few dresses. She needs her help to find out who killed her friend. It turns out Harlow may be able to do this especially with a little bit of unusual help, a little help from the great beyond.


    This story really tugged at my heartstrings. I too come from a long line of dressmakers, seamstresses, and people who love to sew. My grandmother was known for her beautiful work, making men's suits and wedding dresses along with every other garment thinkable. My mother made all my clothes until I started making my own and until my accident I created not only clothes for my family but quilts as well. While we may not have possessed any magical powers we found so much joy in what we were able to create.

    Harlow's gift with fabric is extraordinary, but it is her late great-grandmother that steals the story and will keep you in stitches as she makes her opinions "heard". The other characters are varied and well written. A little bit of romance, loaded with humor and a wonderful mystery made this book a delightful read. You can also feel the author's love and talent of sewing jump of the pages. She definitely has a passion that shines through.

    This was a fun read and would be enjoyed by all but especially those that love to sew. It would also make a fabulous gift for anyone who sews. If future books follow this pattern some wonderfully constructed mysteries are in our future!!



    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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."

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This opening act in the new paranormal amateur sleuth A Dressmaker's Mystery is enchanting

    According to the Cassidy family legend, Butch Cassidy made a wish in an Argentine fountain tossing a gold coin into it. He wished for good things for his descendants and his offspring have been blessed with a magic charm especially Meemaw Harlow's great grandmother who gets everything she wishes for; her grandmother is a goat whisperer and her mother has the touch with flowers and greenery.

    When Meemaw dies, Harlow Jean Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and returns to her hometown of Bliss, Texas where she opens up Buttons and Bows a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited at birth. Her first customer is Josie who is marrying Nate Kincaid son of the town's leading family who made a fortune in oil. Josie hires Harlow to design dresses for her and her bridesmaid. Tragedy strikes when one of the bridesmaids' Nell is murdered in Harlow's yard after she hears the woman and another person yelling. Meemaw has come back home to Harlow although she cannot see her but makes it plain she wants her great granddaughter to investigate the homicide without placing herself in danger. Harlow sleuths and learns secrets that, with the help of her late relative. she begins to put together the portrait of a killer.

    This opening act in the new paranormal amateur sleuth A Dressmaker's Mystery is enchanting as the magic of the Cassidy women is a two edged sword of both a blessing and a curse. Sub-genre fans will adore Harlow who believes the magic passed her by until her relative's spirit helps her discover the gift. The support cast is made up of normal people making it difficult to determine who amongst them the killer is and what the motive is as Pleating for Mercy is a spirited whodunit.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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