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Spider Web (Benni Harper Series #15)

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Overview

Benni Harper is back in an unforgettable new mystery from national bestselling author Earlene Fowler.

The Memory Festival is a celebration of recollections and loved ones through crafts. But when a local cop is wounded by a mysterious sharpshooter who seems to have a vendetta against the police, Benni fears for her loved ones, especially her police chief husband. Benni is determined to make her hometown safe-before their peaceful street fair ...

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Spider Web

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Overview

Benni Harper is back in an unforgettable new mystery from national bestselling author Earlene Fowler.

The Memory Festival is a celebration of recollections and loved ones through crafts. But when a local cop is wounded by a mysterious sharpshooter who seems to have a vendetta against the police, Benni fears for her loved ones, especially her police chief husband. Benni is determined to make her hometown safe-before their peaceful street fair becomes a day to remember in the worst way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Benni Harper and her second husband, police chief Gabe Ortiz, face two unexpected situations in Fowler's well-paced 15th mystery set in San Celina, Calif. (after 2010's State Fair). First, a sniper takes a shot at a police car parked near the courthouse, shattering the driver's-side window. Fortunately, the vehicle was unoccupied. Second, a strange woman, supposedly scoping out the central California coast for a retirement home, finagles a meeting with Benni, who's discomfited by how much the woman knows about Gabe's past. Meanwhile, Benni has plenty to do in her role as museum curator, rancher, and devoted daughter and niece to elderly and spunky relatives. In addition, she has the forthcoming Memory Festival to organize. While series fans might lament the relative dearth of quilting lore, a roster of mildly eccentric family and friends and a wealth of good humor are sure to please cozy readers. (May)
Library Journal
What brings a cop-hating sniper to Benni Harper's (State Fair) Memory Festival?
Kirkus Reviews

Quilt maven Benni Harper (State Fair,2010, etc.) grapples with public responsibilities and private challenges when a sniper targets San Celina's finest.

Hosting San Celina's inaugural Memory Festival would be tough enough for any cowgirl. Benni has to corral the feisty ladies of the Coffin Star Quilt Guild, write narratives for her step-grandfather Isaac Lyons's oral-history project and coordinate booths for everyone from the local Alzheimer's Association to Blind Harry's Bookstore, run by her best friend Elvia. But when a sniper injures two San Celina police officers, including Elvia's brother Miguel, Benni develops her own memory issues. The shootings set Benni's husband, San Celina Police Chief Gabe Ortiz, into a tailspin of Vietnam-era flashbacks so destructive that he moves into the guestroom for fear of injuring his wife. Benni doesn't know which is worse: the fear of bullets that could rain down destruction at any minute, or the ghosts of the bullets that rained down death 30 years ago in Khe Sanh. As Benni grapples with the violent side of Gabe's history, Lin Snider, a mysterious former nurse who says she wants to retire to California's Central Coast, makes Benni wonder whether she'll ever be free of reminders of the romantic side of her husband's checkered past. Even the steady confidence of Grandma Dove and Aunt Garnet may not be able to keep Benni on an even keel this time.

Fowler pieces together questions of memory and identity so deftly that only purists will bemoan the dearth of clues or detection.

Booklist
 “Benni’s warmhearted openness and her deep faith make her an engaging companion, indeed.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425240984
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Series: Benni Harper Series , #15
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Earlene Fowler

Earlene Fowler was raised in La Puente, California, and now lives in Southern California with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a fun amusing cozy

    In San Celina, California, a sniper fires at the driver's side window of a parked police car near the town courthouse. Nobody was hurt as the vehicle was empty at the time of the shooting. Town police chief Gabe Ortiz leads the inquiry wondering what the motive could be.

    Gabe's wife Benni Harper is busy with her myriad of jobs as a museum curator, rancher and caring for her beloved older relatives while also preparing for the first annual Memory Festival where she and the Coffin Star Quilt Guild will show their Graveyard Quilt for the first time in public. At the same time Benni scrambles with not enough hours in the day, a woman comes to town seeking a retirement home. However, instead she meets with Benni to discuss Gabe.

    The latest Harper whodunit (see State Fair) is a fun amusing cozy due to the antics of the lead couple's eccentric family and friends. The sniper mystery is cleverly set up with readers, Benni and Gabe wondering about the motive; while the female stranger in town adds quite a wallop to the mix. This is a strong entry as even the most powerful people sometimes need help.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2012

    Not clear to me why a paperback would be $7.99 and the nook vers

    Not clear to me why a paperback would be $7.99 and the nook version would be $12.99, so I will not buy it. Too bad, I like her books. Will pick up at the library.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Another Good Benni Harper Mystery

    Benni Harper, curator of San Celina's folk art museum, is busy coordinating the first ever Memory Festival, a celebration of memories of loved ones through quilts, crafts, scrapbooks, photographs, oral history and other tributes. The fair promises to be a wonderful event but is soon overshadowed when a local policeman is wounded, the target of a sniper who has a vendetta against cops.

    Benni is concerned for her police-chief husband, Gabe, who may also be a target and is showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder through violent nightmares about his time in Vietnam. As if this isn't enough, a mysterious woman moves to San Celina who shows more than a passing interest in Gabe, leading Benni to wonder if this is yet another woman from his past.

    The Benni Harper series is my favorite in the amateur female sleuth genre. Fowler has a way of telling the story that makes the characters seem real and I like how she brings out Benni's faith in God without this being Christian fiction. By that I mean it is simply a natural part of who the character is without being a primary focus of the story.

    With the theme of celebrating the memories of loved ones, Fowler did a good job of letting the reader share Benni's feelings as the character remembered when her mother died and writes, "Losing your mother when you are young changes you; the ground beneath your feet is never quite firm enough. You never completely trust happiness again." And in this description as Benni recalls the death of her first husband, Jack: "His death was no longer a painful throb but more of a soft pinch to my heart. Though you never believe it in those first horrific moments of loss, life does keep moving forward."

    Spider Web was a good story and kept my interest throughout. I usually have an idea who the culprit is before the end but this time I was kept guessing. I also didn't anticipate the part the mysterious woman would play in this and future stories. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Great Book

    Just started it, but I already love it. I have enjoyed all The Benni Harper books.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Don't Miss This Newest One!

    How an author keeps coming up with good story lines is amazing to me. Earlene Fowler does just this in her latest Benni Harper mystery. Family and friends continue to surround Benni with love and support as she is suspect of the "new woman" in town and worries about Gabe and the police sniper. The story comes together beautifully and does not disappoint. Enjoy!

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    Don't Delay! Read Today! :).

    You simply cannot go wrong reading anything written by Earlene Fowler! It doesn't matter if it's the Benni Harper mystery series or her main fiction books like Love Mercy and The Saddlemaker's Wife. Earlene writes in a clear voice. You know exactly what is going on in the book without wondering if you missed something! The mystery is still present though in her books! You really don't know "who did it" until almost the end! Earlene is one of those rare authors these days that does NOT write smut, extreme violence, or blood and gore. Once you start reading a Benni book or other Fowler book, you will be clamoring for more!!!! I have read all of Earlene's books. They are all awesome.! You cannot go wrong!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

    fabulous writing, multilayered story

    To call this book a "cozy" is a gross understatement - it goes far beyond that. Earlene Fowler achieves an amazing feat in her 15th book in the Benni Harper series - she shows continued growth as a writer, just as her characters continue to live, love, and learn in new ways. The mystery in this installment is quite secondary to the wonderfully developed characters, and there's a plot twist that sows seeds for future harvests in books yet to come. Long live our San Celina friends!

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Thanks again...for my good time with my old friends

    l enjoyed the renewing of friendships; the time spent with Benni and family. Please keep them coming.

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