Retired museum curator Beatrice Coleman moves from her busy and noisy home in Atlanta to the quiet, serene town of Dappled Hills, North Carolina. Not only will she get to spend time lying in her hammock, reading a book and sipping from a mint julep, but she’ll be living closer to her daughter, Piper. Everything seems perfect. Or does it?
Beatrice is quick to learn that Dappled Hills is anything but quiet. She’s immediately dragged into the Village Quilters guild and put to work. The problem is, she has no idea how to do quilting and no great desire to learn. It’s only adding to her stress level while she’s supposed to be relaxing.
When a prominent member of the quilting guild turns up dead, Beatrice becomes more and more suspicious about her new home town. There’s no shortage of suspects, starting with every member of the quilting guild. In an effort to keep all her new found friends happy, Beatrice does some undercover work on her own as she tries to sniff out a killer.
This is a cozy mystery at its best. I loved getting to know all the wonderful and zany citizens of Dappled Hills. And, yes, there's even a hint of romance in the air. It’s a one-sitting read that sucks you in from page one. It’s the first of a new series and I’m so glad to get in on the ground floor. It’s a must read for all fans of the genre. This is what cozies are all about!
No doubt it gets 5 kitties from me along with my Socrates Great Book Alert!
FTC Disclosure: The publisher, Obsidian Mystery, provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
For reading challenge:
2012 Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge
I would like to welcome author Elizabeth Craig to Socrates’ Cozy Café and Socrates’ Book Review Blog. Elizabeth is the author of a brand new cozy mystery series “A Southern Quilting Mystery”, with the first book “Quilt or Innocence” recently released. Her other series, “The Memphis Barbeque Mysteries”, is written as Riley Adams.
Welcome to our blogs, Elizabeth. Let the questioning begin…
1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Like a lot of writers, I knew really early. I know I was thinking about it in second grade, but I was absolutely convinced it was the path for me in fourth. I really don’t think I had a lot of choice! I’m sort of a one-trick pony when it comes to talents…but I do think it’s a neat trick.
2. How did it feel when you first found out you would be published and what was your first published work?
My first published work with a large publisher was Pretty is as Pretty Dies. I was thrilled! I’d been sending out query letters and manuscript partials for years and I was so happy that the story was going to get into readers’ hands.
3. How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
A couple of times, the ideas just come to me. I get lots of little ideas all the time—usually when I’m driving around town doing errands. The big ideas used to come to me pretty frequently, too…but now I have to work at them more. I sit down and brainstorm. I also look over some of the feedback from my readers on previous books—I like to see what they liked and make sure I provide more of it.
4. Do you have a favorite series or book from your books?
I always love hearing the answer to that question from other writers and it’s disappointing when they’re coy about it! So I’ll answer. J From the Myrtle Clover series, I think I’m partial to Pretty is as Pretty Dies. For the Memphis Barbeque series, I enjoyed writing Finger Lickin’ Dead the most—I just laughed all through that book. So far I’ve written two books for the Southern Quilting series and I like both of them almost equally well, but I’ll say Quilt or Innocence has a slight edge because I was getting to know the characters and that’s fun for the writer.
5. Who is your greatest writing influence?
Mystery writer M.C. Beaton is the writer who has influenced me the most…in particular her Hamish Macbeth series.
6. Do you write any other genres?
Currently, I’m only writing mysteries, although I’d love to branch out some day.
7. What types of books do you read? Do you have any favorites?
I’m a mystery reader, actually—I love many different kinds of mysteries from psychological thrillers to noir. My favorites to read are police procedurals, since they’re a little different from what I write (and I’d rather not read cozy mysteries while I’m writing them.) Deborah Crombie is one of my favorites and I’ve always loved Elizabeth George, too. But I read a little of everything—from poetry to literary fiction to fantasy to romance.
8. Your newest series is based on quilting. Do you quilt?
I’ve tried, y’all—and I’m hopeless. I think that’s why I must have written Beatrice as someone who is trying to learn and frustrated at her own progress! I have huge admiration for the art of quilting and I’ve had quilters in my family…and lovely heirloom quilts. But no, the talent or patience or both just isn’t there. Shame on me.
9. Is Dappled Hills, North Carolina a real place? Is it based on any specific place?
Dappled Hills is a fictional town. But observant North Carolina residents might notice an amazing similarity between Dappled Hills and Blowing Rock, North Carolina (aside, of course, from the omnipresent murders!)
10. Can we get a sneak peek on your upcoming books?
Absolutely! The next book in the Southern Quilting mysteries will be Knot as it Seams, which comes out next year. The Dappled Hills mail carrier (and quilt show judge) comes to an untimely demise while on her mail route. Beatrice investigates—with the help of her neighbor, Meadow, of course! And I’m currently working on the fourth Memphis Barbeque book, which will also release next year…and it involves a murder of an unscrupulous contractor at the famous Memphis in May festival. Unfortunately, Lulu’s friend Cherry had a huge argument with the victim right before his death…and Lulu wants to help clear her name. Although Cherry is rather fond of her new “bad girl” persona!
Thank you so much for visiting with us, Elizabeth.
Yvonne, it was my pleasure! Thanks so much for hosting me today.
Now, it's time for you to win your very own copy of this book! Thanks to Obsidian for providing this paperback book for a giveaway.
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