The Devil's Puzzle (Someday Quilts Series #4)

The Devil's Puzzle (Someday Quilts Series #4)

by Clare O'Donohue


$13.37 $14.00 Save 5% Current price is $13.37, Original price is $14. You Save 5%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, March 25

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452297371
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Series: Someday Quilts Series , #4
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

CLARE O’DONOHUE is a freelance television writer/producer. She produced television’s most popular quilting show, Simply Quilts, on HGTV, and she is currently producing and writing for a variety of television crime shows, including Forensic Files. This is her first novel.

Reading Group Guide


It has been a busy summer for Archers Rest's unofficial sleuth Nell Fitzgerald. Along with the town's upcoming anniversary celebration, for which she is organizing the quilt show, she and her grandmother Eleanor's beau Oliver have planned a surprise renovation of Eleanor's backyard in preparation for his marriage proposal. In fact, apart from the occasional prodding that she marry the town's sheriff Jesse, things are going according to plan for Nell.

However, the renovation uncovers a thirty-year-old skeleton that dashes any hope of a proposal, incites immediate controversy in the town, and leads Nell and Jesse on an investigation that casts even the most highly respected members of the community, even Nell's own grandmother, as suspects involved in cold-blooded murder decades in the making.

The Devil's Puzzle is a book about finding the truth in the details, about doggedly pursuing the facts despite the odds. It is about being true to oneself and one's community, regardless of how it paints us in the public eye. It is a book about trust, honest, and forgiveness.



Clare O'Donohue is a freelance television writer and producer. In addition to the someday Quilts series, she is the author of Missing Persons.


  • Who is Nell Fitzgerald? What is your impression of her at the start of the book? How would you describe her relationship to the residents of Archers Rest and how does that relationship help or hinder her role as honorary detective?
  • When the skeleton is uncovered, it sparks a lot of curiosity and controversy throughout the community. What does the discovery mean for Nell? What is your take on Glad's reaction to the discovery? What is your opinion of the mayor's plan to exploit the skeleton to promote Archers Rest?
  • During a quilt club meeting, Bernie opines that, "if the majority of quilters were men, quilting would be taken more seriously as the art form it is, instead of treated as a quaint old tradition." What do you think of this notion? Where does quilting fit into the world of art? What role does quilting play in the Archers Rest community?
  • While discussing marriage, Eleanor says, "someone once said to me that a woman can live her whole life without a man and be complete, but a man needs a woman." What is your opinion of this sentiment? How do you see this idea reflected in the relationship between Nell and Jesse? Between Eleanor and Oliver?
  • It is discovered much later in the book that part of the killer's plan was to implicate others in the community. Who were your early suspects, and why? Which clues did you find most compelling?
  • A lot of the tension in The Devil's Puzzle centers on a community's presumptions about its citizens. How are Glad, Eleanor, Ed, Mary Shipman, and the mayor seen in the community? How does town gossip inform each of their lives? How does that gossip complicate Nell's investigation?
  • Nell and the members of the quilt club share a passion for quilting. In fact, Nell observes that, "it's amazing what you can tell about a person by their quilts." What is your opinion of this idea? How much of oneself can and should be expressed in her art? What connection do you see between Nell's passion for quilts and her passion for sleuthing?
  • Eleanor admits to being ashamed of marrying Winston for financial security. What was your reaction to the revelation of this marriage? How did it inform your view of Eleanor, if at all?
  • Family plays an important role in The Devil's Puzzle. How would describe the relationship between Nell and Eleanor? Between Mary and Glad? What qualities in those relationships do you see reflected in Molly's determination to solve the disappearance of her great uncle Winston?
  • Before the murderer is revealed, Nell collects more information about each of the suspects, and many secrets are revealed. Whose story most surprised you? Whose story did you find most relatable? Were there any characters about whom your opinion changed by the end of the book?
  • Ultimately, the mayor's crime could be considered a crime of passion. What is your opinion of the mayor's story? How do you see his actions throughout the book and what does it say to you about the mayor's character?
  • What future do you see for Nell Fitzgerald? How has her relationship with her grandmother changed? How has her relationship with Jesse changed? How has her place in the community changed?
  • Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See All Customer Reviews

    Devil's Puzzle 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
    Dollycas More than 1 year ago
    There is a lot going on in Archer's Rest. First, Nell and Oliver are planning a huge surprise for Eleanor. They are going to replant the beautiful rose garden in her backyard and bring it back to the way it was before Grace, the previous owner died. But the surprise turns out to be on them as while digging up the garden they discover the skeleton of a human body. The mystery is started as Nell and her Chief of Police boyfriend, Jesse, start to gather clues to determine who the deceased was and how he came to be buried in rose garden. Archer's Rest is also planing a a big anniversary celebration for the town. There will be a parade, a carnival, a quilt show, and fireworks to mark the 350th year since John Archer had founded the town that bears his name. Add to that, someone is vandalizing everything from the school to the cemetery, and the rumors are flying around town about ghosts and witches. As the clues and many secrets are revealed the job of sewing them all together may be too much for Jesse even with Nell's help. Thankfully they have many friends willing to assist them in solving this mystery. My Thoughts Visits to Archer's Rest are like a trip to visit friends. Friends that understand perfectly my overwhelming fabric stash and my vast collection of quilting books and magazines. My favorite passage from this book, "We are all joined by needle and thread, by the usefulness and beauty of a quilt, and by the friendships that form because of it." I love the way Clare writes, she describes the scene, makes her characters shine, threads together a complex plot with so many suspects, and keeps it all tight and real. This time there were so many pieces I didn't know how they were all going to come together but she sews everything up with missing a stitch. This is the perfect story to cozy up with as the weather turns cooler. Sit back and enjoy as Archer's Rest works together to not only pull off a fine festival but uncovers the real "devil" behind this mystery puzzle. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume, A Division of Penguin Publishing. 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."
    DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
    This well-crafted mystery was a delight to read. The storyline kept me intrigued as it came to an exciting and surprising finish. The mystery plays a large part in this book, but it's the relationships and camaraderie among the residents that keeps me coming back. With an endearing cast, great dialogue and the sense of small-town community, this is the best book yet in this character-driven and charming series.
    mysteryloverNY More than 1 year ago
    Great addition to the series! Loved it.
    Marlyn on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    Nell Fitzgerald and Oliver White, her grandmother's "beau" are trying to surprise Eleanor by re-landscaping her flower garden. Their plan is stopped short when, while digging a hole for a rose bush, the gardener finds a skeleton, turning the yard into a crime scene.Because Eleanor has volunteered Nell to plan a quilt show to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Archers Rest, Nell tells police chief Jesse Dewalt (who just happens to be her significant other) that she'll be too busy to "help" with the case.But despite Nell's intentions, she's drawn into the investigation, first to discover the identity of the skeleton, and then to catch the person responsible for the incidents of vandalism that are occurring throughout the town. Unlike many amateur detectives, Nell is refreshingly realistic about her "nosiness", although she calls it "collecting information".The introduction of the skeleton allows both Nell and the reader to learn a great deal about the history of Archers Rest and its populace, including Eleanor Cassidy. And, as always, O'Donohue educates us about the development of the art of quilting.One small quibble: there are so many characters in the book that a cast list would be helpful. Apart from that, Nell and her friends are a delightful group to spend time with.*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If you like fast moving stories with a lot of what seems like old friends you will love all of the Clare O'Donohue books . Can't wit for the next one.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago