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Deadly Patterns: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (A Dressmaker's Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2012
The Secret Healer
In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen can't resist her gift for healing, even if it puts her life in danger. Learn More
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—Wendy Lyn Watson, author of the Mystery à la Mode series
“Melissa Bourbon's new series will keep you on pins and needles.”
—Mary Kennedy, author of The Talk Radio Mysteries
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Top Customer Reviews
Life back in Bliss, Texas is going well for Harlow Jane Cassidy and her dressmaking shop is going well, too. Preparation are well underway for the Holiday fashion show that will be held at a beautiful mansion that is currently being restored. When the recently divorced Dan Lee Chrisson goes to inspect the railing around the widow's walk and doesn't return in a few minutes, Harlow and some other members of the planning committee go see where he might be. When they get there they find that the railing has broke and Chrisson has fallen to his death. Harlow, in the chaos that happened upon finding the body, also falls, but is save by a tent that has been erected in the back. So with numerous bumps and bruises she sets out to finish several outfits for the show and a new Santa's suit for Will.
But, naturally, her mind keeps going back to the death of Chrisson. Everyone knew that the railing was weak, so was it an accident or murder? There are several possible suspects. The ex-wife, Raylene, who feared that Chrisson would try to get custody of their child or maybe Hattie, Raylene's sister, for divorcing her sister. The house has a colorful past, what with Bonnie and Clyde having stayed there after a robbery in town. Possibly something valuable had been hidden in the house and the murderer thought that Chrisson might have found it.
I always try to read a series in order, but somehow I missed #2. The author causally mention things that had occurred in that book and would have help me to understand better, those parts.
This is a delightful series, with a fun and interesting cast of characters and just a little bit of woo-woo, too. And a little romance too.
Looking forward to book #4.
This gives a reviewer a problem...how to make the reader (of the review) understand the excitement yet not give a darn thing away in telling. So, I will give you the points from the back of the book with my embellishments.
Harlow Jane Cassidy, Butch Cassidy's descendant has been put in charge of the Winter Wonderland Fashion show by Mrs. James (yup, that James family.) Mrs. James and Mrs. Abernathy want to delegate and they seem to think Harlow Jane is the one to go to. The community has restored and renovated the old Dennison House. The house, itself, is filled with infamous folklore of the past, with having Bonnie and Clyde staying there and being won in a poker game.
During the final walk-through of the house as the ladies start the decorating for the show, Mr. Dan Lee Chrissom goes up to the widow's walk for a safety check and falls. The railing is broken off! That sounds normal doesn't it? Well, that scene had me gasping and saying aloud "Oh, My Gosh." You have to read it to find out why.
Was the fall innocent,an accident or was it planned? And, who was supposed to fall? And, here is the magic question, just why?
There is treasure, genealogy, craft making, Santa Claus, and Romance in this compact mystery. The Cassidy gift expands, as does the family.
So, here is the truth, I love this series. I can barely wait until "Custom-Fit" comes out in July 2013. Grab a copy and catch up with the 'Hole in the Wall' gang in 2012! This book was an early Christmas gift to me.
In this novel, Harlow's helping set up the opening to a historical mansion right before Christmas (accompanied by a fashion show that will, of course, include gowns she designed). Things go awry when the volunteer Santa falls to his death from the widow's walk at the top of the house -- and it appears that it was no accident. Once again, our heroine finds herself in the position of having to sift through the evidence AND deal with the magical elements in her life AND get the dresses finished on time.
In Deadly Patterns, we get to know the recurring characters a bit more, which I very much enjoy. Most of them are pretty cool folks with their own story arcs, and of course there's Harlow's slow-moving romance to watch. The author worked to include a little more actual sewing advice in this book, too. I also really like that -- unlike most cozy mysteries -- someone actually looks askance at Harlow, early on, pointing out that she's been in town for a year and somehow just-so-happens to be involved with three deaths; isn't that a bit odd? I appreciate that moment of verisimilitude.
Somehow, though, this particular mystery, including the people who turn out NOT to be guilty, feels just a little far-fetched. (I won't be more explicit as I don't you to have to worry about spoilers.) I could tuck in my Willingness To Suspend Disbelief enough to stay in the story, but it kept slipping out like an unruly sweater. So I was just a little bit disappointed... but not enough to ever consider quitting reading the book.
If you liked the earlier books, I expect you'll like this, too. It just might not end up on the top of your Must Read Now list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Deadly Patterns is light mystery reading for a quiet weekend. Because the author Melissa Bourbon knows fabric and sewing this adds to the fun of the book. Read morePublished 23 months ago by sophiab
I mystery was very good. I originally purchased this mystery because it was based on a dress designer an since I sew as well I thought it would be nice to read something I am... Read morePublished on May 5, 2014 by Sherri
There's nothing like coming home, and reading Melissa Bourbon's Magical Dressmaking Mystery series feels exactly like coming home. Read morePublished on April 21, 2014 by Jenna Czaplewski at The Girl with Book Lungs
Good characters, well-written, relaxing and cohesive. Enjoyable from beginning to end. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.Published on April 11, 2014 by Elaine R.
I've read all the Dressmaker Mysteries. They are funny, make you feel, can't put down brooks. I recommend reading them all!Published on March 18, 2014 by gidget389
This is the first book i read from this author melissa bourbon and she did a lot of research and thought into writingthis storyPublished on March 6, 2014 by gn
I love the characters. I feel that when I'm reading this series of books I am there walking around the town and in the house were the characters live. Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Melissa T.