20 October 2011

Just finished reading...

The Devil's Puzzle by Clare O'Donohue.*

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.

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