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Stamped Out (A Stamping Sisters Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2008

2.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Packed full of family drama and small-town charm, Thayer's enjoyable mystery series debut outshines most other crafting cozies. After her marriage crumbles and her interior decoration career deteriorates, April Buchert returns to her hometown of Aldenville, Pa., in search of a new beginning. She's helping her father, Ed, on an extensive restoration project when a skull tumbles from the rubble of an old building. Ed was in charge of the building's construction and demolition; a cop with a grudge now thinks he's a killer, and April must clear his name. The only bright spot in April's new life is the Stamping Sisters, a group of fellow craftswomen who support her when she feels like everything's coming apart. Twists and turns keep the story fresh and compulsively readable, and the characters feel like family by the time the last page is turned. Thayer and the Stamping Sisters are worth keeping an eye on. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Stamping Sisters Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425223299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425223291
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,497,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
the reviewers who gave this less than 3 stars...and for the very same reasons..I, too, am glad to have found it at my library (that makes it easier to put down, barely able to get to the end) because I found I really didn't CARE about any of the characters on any level.

As a retired crafter, I find myself leaning towards these crafty-mystery titles more often these days. This one is among a few others that have disappointed me. Halfway thru and I had to say there wasn't much of anything interesting between the pages, the people were basically unlikeable (and I tried hard to find a redeeming soul amongst the lot). At that point, I also realized there wasn't much of a mystery going on either. April, as the main character, left tons to be desired...and why did the author name her April so that her dad could call her Apy??? UGH!

Also, the plot of April leaving her husband for stealing and ruining her business reputation is ringing familiar bells in my head from another book I read awhile ago (cannot recall the title), so I felt the unoriginality immediately.

I had thoughts of also reading this author's other series (quilting), but have definitely changed my mind...No more, free or not...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Unable to continue her married life in San Francisco, April Buchert returns to her roots in Aldenville, Pennsylvania. She is done with her husband Ken who turned out to be a crook and decides that a change for scenery would do get good, even if it means dealing with her divorced parents, Bonnie and Ed, who love to meddle with her personal and professional life. Coming back home turns out to be more of a necessity as she is in desperate need to work again, earn money and to clear her head from her heartache. Instead of helping her dad, the owner of a construction company, with simple tasks she gets tangled up with restoring an original mural and eventually discovers a skull in a small Castle by her new job, which had to be demolished. Everyone looks at her father for answers since he was in charge of constructing it over fifteen years ago, expecting an explanation of the missing body and a skull with a hole in its side, clearly not an accident. With her father taken into police custody by an overly eager officer Yost, who seems to have a real hunger to bring her family down to its knees, April decides to try to solve the mystery of the skull and of a haunting night from her youth that might have something to do with it.

With the support of her childhood friend Deana, and the Stamping Sisters club - a small group of local women who have been friends and craft project fanatics, April takes on the task of sleuthing as once again she's getting familiar with the town she grew up in and which she left in a hurry after finishing school. Things have changed and so have people, someone who's pretending to be a friend has killed a man and left him in her father's construction.
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By A Customer on September 3, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
April Buchert left Aldersville, Pennsylvania as soon as she could to escape the constant scorn of the townsfolk caused by her father coming out of the closet to move in with his lover; which destroyed her mother. She moved to San Francisco where she married Ken and expected happily ever after; that ended when she realized her spouse stole from their clients and their business.

Her father asks April to work at his business Retro Reproduction; she accepts his offer because she needs the money as Ken the thief left her in debt. They are hired to restore Mirabella a home belonging to snobby high strung Mrs. Harcourt, who treats the lover, father and daughter like indentured servants. To April's chagrin her male partners accept it because they too need cash. Mrs. Harcourt orders them to demolish the Castle guesthouse. When they dynamite the facility, they are shocked to find a skull in the fireplace. Forensics proves it to be one of the workers who everyone thought he just left when he stopped coming to work, a common practice amongst laborers. Local cop Henry York, who hates the Buchert family, arrests April's dad. Though she has never done anything like this before, April vows to restore the family name by finding the real killer.

This first Stamping Sisters mystery is a great amateur sleuth tale is a fresh tale mostly due to April's parents and her dad's lover as they bring uniqueness to the extended family connotation. The protagonist is a likable, loyal yet flawed person who wants to do better and be more tolerant. April is attracted to Mitch, the nephew of her dad's odious client, and he to her; but since Ken she is relationship phobic and technically still married to the thieving louse. However, before working through her myriad of conflicting feelings, rescuing her father comes first; the only problem is no one has a motive, the cop could not care less whether he caught the killer, and the real culprit is watching.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
April Buchert returns to Aldenville, Pennsylvania after her marriage fails and her career is ruined. April is a restoration expert who creates intricate rubber stamp patterns on walls and she will be working alongside her father retoring the town's famous Winchester mansion. This seems like the perfect way to make a fresh start. Alas, it all goes horribly awry once a skull is discovered in the rubble following the demolition of an abandoned guesthouse and April's father becomes an immediate suspect.

I didn't enjoy this story although I did read it through to the end to see if it improved. The disappointing thing is that there were a number of good elements but they weren't developed in a coherent way. I found that I didn't care for any of the characters and neither the `mystery' nor the crafting was enough to carry the story forward.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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