Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: Threads of Deceit by Mae Fox & Jan Fields

The first in a new mystery series—for quilters and mystery lovers alike!

Former antiquities bounty hunter, Julie Ellis, is on the run, trying to stay one stiletto step ahead of her past. She accepts a position as manager of the Quilt Haus Inn in Missouri wine country, thinking it the perfect place to keep a low profile and start a new, less-dangerous career. It is—until Daniel Franklin walks through the door and asks for a room. Daniel claims he’s come to Straussberg in search of a famous sunken ship that he believes is buried in a nearby farm field. Julie finds the handsome historian’s story odd at best, but when a dead body is discovered at the proposed dig site, it becomes clear somebody else believes the theory and doesn’t want the ship or its secrets exposed. Who in the town would possibly care about the old shipwreck? As frightening things start to happen at the inn—all seemingly connected to the hunt for the missing ship—Julie and her quilting friends must unearth the truth before someone else is buried.




Getting antiquities back to their rightful places and/or owners sounds like a wonderful, difference-making job, until you realize that some of the people who have those antiquities, however they came into possession of the relics, are not ready to give them up.  And they will do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. to keep their 'pretty shinies' to themselves.

Julie Ellis was once such 'antiquities bounty hunter' and is in hiding in Missouri wine country, having taken a job as the manager of an inn that serves quilters.  Some of those quilters are territorial, as in, "They're not quilters.  They shouldn't stay here."   So, Julie has a spot of trouble adjusting to her new, 'quieter' life.  And, let's face it, stiletto-heeled shoes are probably about as out of place in small-town Missouri as I would be ... oh, most any place stiletto heels are 'de rigeur'.

Into this quilting frenzy walks Daniel.  Men who quilt are...rare.  And Daniel is not one of them, but he has an impressive knowledge about the different quilting patterns.  Sticking out as he does in this situation, Daniel becomes target (aka prime suspect) when his partner in the dig is found dead, and a number of the inn's guests start making a stink about him staying there.  I thought it was very gallant of him to offer to leave (before it was even asked).  And I'm not entirely sure Julie would have caved on that account.

You might ask how a ship got wrecked in the middle of a farm.  I did.  Several characters did.  Besides the spreading of quilting lore and wine country goodness, Threads of Deceit, explains this little gem as well.  I love it when education is entertaining as well.

I am so glad to hear that this is the start of a new series.  This is my first read by Ms. Fox and Ms. Fields.  And I am looking forward to any and all new installments of the Vineyard Quilt Mysteries.  The #2 "Pattern of Betrayal" book is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2015, and is already available for pre-order!



Since my first magazine publication in the 1980s, I have been steadily writing for money in some form. Today I have over twenty books in print and still more in the pipeline - books for children and adults. I've also written for magazines, educational publishers and even a toy company!

Writing is the only thing I've ever done really well that didn't eventually become more like work than fun.

Although I grew up in the South, I have lived in New England since 1998, when I married the kindest, most wonderful man I had ever met, and he proceeded to haul me all the way to Connecticut. He keeps my life, my computer, and my focus in good order. Together we have one brilliant daughter who has spent 15 years teaching me how little I really did know about parenting (and after I wrote all those parenting articles, tsk tsk tsk). Every day my family shows me again the value of laughing, and taking time for other things besides work. I hope they always will.

These days, I teach as an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature and serve as their webmaster. I jump back and forth between being a teacher and a learner every day and I think that is the best thing anyone can be. I want to learn something new every day, and find someone I can help with that knowledge, as well. 


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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

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