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Posted March 6, 2014
Barbara Cameron in her new book, “Scraps Of Evidence” Book Fourteen in the Quilts of Love Series published by Abingdon Press brings us into the life of Tess Villanova.
From the back cover: Could a quilt really hold the secrets of a serial killer?
Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild.
Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?
Ms. Cameron has given us a very interesting story that is a stand-alone in the Quilts of Love Series. A serial killer, a quilt, spousal abuse and romance are all ingredients in this page turning thriller. Tessa and Logan are newly teamed and just getting to know each other. However they are thrust into this investigation that the killer does not want them to complete. I think this is one mystery that will keep you guessing. And there is also the mystery of the quilt. Did I mention there is also a romance? Tessa and Logan are really great characters that we fall in love with and feel as though they are friends that we do not want to leave when the book is finished.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group for this review. 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.”
Posted March 3, 2014
I have to say I loved the romance and attraction that was between Tess and Logan, the sparks there were very interesting. And while the story was a suspense, it fell a bit flat at the end. To readers of suspense, the killer was fairly evident early in the story, but I was disappointed that there wasn't much explanation at the ending of why the killer did what he did. Barbara Cameron is a talented writer, and while this story wasn't my favorite of her books, it will not deter me from reading her again. 3 stars
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Posted February 27, 2014
St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, is the setting for Cameron’s addition to the Quilts of Love series. The author does a commendable job of blending insight into the city’s historical heritage along with a contemporary mystery. Tess has just made police detective and is partnered with Logan McMillan, a seasoned officer who has been recruited from Chicago. The pair expect some leisurely duty time, allowing Tess to acquaint Logan with the city and its people. Instead, a murder within days of Logan’s arrival has everyone afraid that a serial killer hides among the centuries old streets and alleys. To Tess finding the killer is a personal quest since her childhood friend may have been the killer’s first victim over a decade previously. As the two search for clues to solve the new murder, they pull out the cold case and begin to search for similarities.
Throughout her despair over her friend’s unsolved murder and the subsequent decision to pursue a career in law enforcement, Tess has always found comfort and release in the time she spends at her aunt’s quilt shop. Now in the midst of her biggest case, Tess finds that her aunt may also need rescuing from hidden abuse; As the two face the truth Aunt Susan has long denied, they also question the origins of a bag of quilt scraps stored away in the shop for years. I would rank this novel about 3.5; Cameron created admirable main characters in Logan and Tess. Tess’s love of quilting and Logan’s rescue of a wounded cat give us both a flavor for life in St. Augustine and this couple’s solid caring natures. Being a former English teacher myself, I especially liked the caring way Tess responds to the “nuisance” calls made by her former English teacher, now an elderly woman with early dementia. I did get bored with the repeated lunches and dinners throughout the book, probably placed there to help establish time sequences and also develop the romance between Logan and Tess. Unfortunately, to me, they seemed artificial and made the pursuit of the murderer almost a forgotten item. That said, I think fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy a trip to St. Augustine to meet Tess and Logan. Those who pride themselves on solving the mystery may not find much of a challenge. I was provided a copy of this book by LitFuse for my honest opinion.
Posted February 25, 2014
I really enjoy the books in this series. It is nice how they show that quilters as women who also have tough and challenging jobs. Tess has just made detective and has been paired with a veteran detective from Chicago. Logan has moved to sunny Florida to attempt to start living again after the death of his best friend from cancer. The two try to avoid their attraction to each other in a desire to stay professional, but it is there nonetheless.
I liked the mystery aspect, though I have to admit that I figured out very early on who the murderer was. Even being ninety percent sure I had the killer figured out, I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story. The evidence the duo gathers and digs up about the connected murders and the spark that draws them together.
I feel like some of this book must have been edited out, perhaps to fit within page constraints, and some of the evidence and ideas were not fully followed through on. Tess gets sick after a picnic one day from what seems like some sort of drug or poison and she worries about the Tupperware it was in and returning it to the owner and then it is just forgotten. I think if it had been returned some clues would have been raised about how the food was tainted. The first victim in St. Augustine is Tess's best friend Sam. On the night of their prom Sam and Tess first start out with dates who are twin brothers with the last name Johnson, but then two chapters later Sam's date is Wendell Hendricksons, her high school boyfriend. They know the possible killer who was in one woman's home was scratched by a cat, but no one acts suspusious when one of the characters has scratches on his hand.
That said, it was an enjoyable read that had me turning pages to see how the two were going to find the serial killer. It also had me thinking of the TV show Dexter because it is also set in Florida and had serial killers.
Posted February 10, 2014
A Quilt & A Serial Killer!
Scraps of Evidence is quite a surprise for those of us who are avid readers of Barbara Cameron's Amish fiction! Tess is a native of St. Augustine, Florida. She has recently been promoted to detective, and her new partner is a big city guy from Chicago. As Tess gives Logan a tour of the locale to acquaint him with the areas of the city where crime has been a problem, he enjoys her company as well as the tour. One of their current roles as detectives involves investigating leads and information regarding a serial killer. The killer's first victim was Tess's childhood best friend, her body discovered in the park near a lighthouse in the area. As the partners are becoming more acquainted another murder takes place with remarkable parallels to the murder of Tess's friend. Will Tess and Logan discover any clues to the loss of Tess's best friend through the investigation of this most recent murder? As a way to relieve tension Tess begins a new quilt based on the lighthouse, so much a part of her life. Will the quilt reveal any clues that point to the killer?
Barbara Cameron has created a fast paced plot in this cozy mystery. It's obvious that she has done her homework. Her attention to detail reveals accuracy pertaining to crime solving techniques, as well as a beautiful and pictorial description of St. Augustine. I have never been there, but through Barbara's eyes and descriptive technique, I feel as if I have visited the oldest city in the United States. As this book began to propel I didn't want to put it down. I think that the author has proven herself worthy of writing a good mystery as well as excellent Amish fiction. I enjoyed this installment in the Quilts of Love series, and recommend it to those who love a cozy mystery blended with a dash of romance.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Wynn-Wynn Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Posted January 27, 2014
I like the character of Tess; she's the kind of woman we all admire. Tess has lived in the small Florida town of St. Augustine all of her life, and so she knows most everyone. And like most small towns, everyone knows Tess. Tess just made detective on the local police, and Logan has just moved from Chicago and hired as her new partner. They click quickly. Could romance be far behind?
It was fun reading about St. Augustine. I've visited the city before, and it brought back some sweet memories. I enjoy learning about places, and the author did a good job of showing the reader this famous city.
This is not a simplistic romance. The storyline is about a serial killer, and when another body is discovered, Tess and Logan are assigned the case.
The back cover of the novel contains some storyline errors, but I think if the reader ignores the cover and simply opens the book, she will enjoy this story. I sure did.
Discussion Questions included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my copy.
Posted January 26, 2014
This is a hard review to write because I have such mixed feelings about this book. I immediately got wrapped up in this story. I loved the set-up of Tess and Logan being new partners on the police force and having an attraction for one another. And the mystery of the serial killer was interesting as well. I was itching to know who the killer was and see how they were going to solve this case that started so many years before! Every time I had to set the book aside (you know ... for real life things like work!), I wanted to get back to it ... and quickly!
However, three-fourths of the way through the book, everything changed drastically. The plot in the last fourth seemed completely disconnected from the rest of the book, and the writing style totally changed. I almost felt like the last 60 pages were written by someone else. It didn't make any sense at all. There was also a huge shift in focus and Tess's aunt and her quilt became major factors in the book—when the aunt was a mere mention early on, and the quilt was completely absent. It was just confusing.
My other issue was that the copy on the back of the book didn't match with the story. At. All. I don't want to be rude, but it seemed like the back cover was written by someone who had not actually read the book. (Note: The "about the book" section above was taken from the publisher's website, which matches up more closely to the plot than the back cover.) Also, Tess's aunt is named Aunt KATHY, not Aunt Susan (as listed on the publisher's website and the copy on the book).
Had the first two-thirds to three-fourths of the book not been so intriguing, I would probably have given this book 1 or 2 stars. However, the story started off really strong, earning it an extra star. But the end was a disappointment. [3 stars]
(NOTE: While I did receive an advance copy of this book, it was the finished product and not an uncorrected proof.)
I received a free copy of this book from Abingdon Press through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Posted January 22, 2014
Scraps of Evidence Quilts of Love Series by Barbara Cameron
Logan McMillan is the lead detective on the St. Augustine police force.
Tess Villanova is now just on that squad after having worked her way up the ranks. Her aunt Kathy is married to Gordon-the head guy.
The story follows a homicide and it leads to the clues from 4 other cases that have similar things involved.
The aunt Kathy has a quilt shop where Tess sometimes helps out with. Her uncle Gordon sometimes leaves her wondering why they even married as they don't really much much in common.
Loved the story of how they had met with just scraps of material, also love the descriptions of all the places they eat and the scenery and things to do along the way when they are not working.
Tess hopes to also find out who did murder her best friend Samantha when she was just a teen and she has to open up and talk freely with Logan about things that set off a memory of the night.
She is just now, 3 years later, found her way back to church and God.
Lots of mysteries and investigations to get to the truth... Again her aunt has been hospitalized and she figures out what's going on with that..
They know God does have a plan for each of them..
I received this book from Net Galley via Abingdon Press in exchange for my honest review.
Posted January 22, 2014
Scraps of Evidence was a good story. I did figure out pretty early who the murder was but it kept my interest in the story. I like the easy relationship Tess and Logan fall into. As they become partners and more. I also liked how both cared about the people around them. Everyone seemed to know Tess and she knew them. (I am personally lousy at names)
This is a fast clean read. Lots of drama, history of the area, lots or relationships between characters.
Tess is a strong smart woman who cares about people and wants to help. Tess became a cop after her best friend in high school was murdered the night of prom. Her Uncle is a policeman and helped her learn to be a detective. Tess shot got a promotion to Detective. Her new partner is from Chicago.
Logan has been a cop for years. He just closed a big case in Chicago that drew attention to him even down in Florida. He was asked here to join their force. He needed a change. He likes Tess off right away. He enjoys her showing him around.
Their first week get a murder that they have seen before. In fact he looks to be the same one that killed Sam Tess's friend all those years ago.
Warning this book might make you hungry. They talk a lot about food and where to eat.
I was given this ebook to read and in exchanged asked to give honest review from Netgalley and Abingdon Press
Publisher: Abingdon Press (January 21, 2014) 240 pages ISBN-13: 978-1426752780
Posted January 21, 2014
Just what does a beautiful sewn blue quilt have to do with the latest serial murders running rampant in Florida? Just another mystery waiting to be discovered by best-selling author Barbara Cameron in her latest novel Scraps of Evidence that joins the Quilts of Love Series as book 14. The readers of this novel are bound to a true treat if you have read any of Barbara Cameron's novels. There is always an element of mystery and suspense to keep you reading long past it's time to head for bed because of your compelling urge to know who did it.
Join Detective Tess Villanova as she teams up with her new partner who just happens to be amazingly good-looking as well as single, Detective Logan McMillian from Chicago. Now they must work together when the latest case reopens the serial murder case when Tess lost her best friend as the first murder victim. Working hard to try and find the killer, when the latest body turns up, Logan gives the case a whole new perspective and a fresh set of eyes.
Like most colleagues that work together and spend so much time together, you get to know someone in ways you never would if you had met in a bar, and this gives Tess and Logan time to unwind and compare notes over lunches and dinners working their case. What they find is that they have more in common than simply being partners working together and the more time they spend with one another the more things begin to heat up and not just in the romance department.
I received Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. The best thing about any of the novels you find in the Quilts of Love series is why they do have a common thread running through them, you can pick up any of them and read them. They are not linked in any way other than having a quilt at the central theme. I've been a huge fan of Barbara Cameron's novels and was thrilled to read and review this one. I love the romantic tension that builds up between Logan and Tess and you just hope by the time you get to the end, they both come around to realize love is in the air. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. Included in this novel at the conclusion are some excellent discussion questions just perfect for book clubs as well as sneak peek into the next book in the series A Sky Without Stars.