For the past two weeks, blogger have been reviewing Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron. Check my early posting for a listing of those bloggers. Today, I am among the group that will review this latest installment in the Quilts of Love series, each written by a different Christian author. First, some information provided by Litfuse and the publishers, then my review.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY LITFUSE
About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.
About the book: Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he's been trying to get to know her better and he'd like to be seeing her during those couple nights a week she spends with her quilting guild.
Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home and she acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan seems to be communicating a message to them about Tess's uncle. There's a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?
About the Author: Barbara Cameron is the CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 24 books including the new Stitches in Times series for Abingdon Press. Barbara has written fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers. She sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and is the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara's first two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).
St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, is the setting for Cameron’s addition to the Quilts of Love series. The author does a commendable job of blending insight into the city’s historical heritage along with a contemporary mystery. Tess has just made police detective and is partnered with Logan McMillan, a seasoned officer who has been recruited from Chicago. The pair expect some leisurely duty time, allowing Tess to acquaint Logan with the city and its people. Instead, a murder within days of Logan’s arrival has everyone afraid that a serial killer hides among the centuries old streets and alleys. To Tess finding the killer is a personal quest since her childhood friend may have been the killer’s first victim over a decade previously. As the two search for clues to solve the new murder, they pull out the cold case and begin to search for similarities.
Throughout her despair over her friend’s unsolved murder and the subsequent decision to pursue a career in law enforcement, Tess has always found comfort and release in the time she spends at her aunt’s quilt shop. Now in the midst of her biggest case, Tess finds that her aunt may also need rescuing from hidden abuse; As the two face the truth Aunt Susan has long denied, they also question the origins of a bag of quilt scraps stored away in the shop for years. I would rank this novel about 3.5; Cameron created admirable main characters in Logan and Tess. Tess’s love of quilting and Logan’s rescue of a wounded cat give us both a flavor for life in St. Augustine and this couple’s solid caring natures. Being a former English teacher myself, I especially liked the caring way Tess responds to the “nuisance” calls made by her former English teacher, now an elderly woman with early dementia. I did get bored with the repeated lunches and dinners throughout the book, probably placed there to help establish time sequences and also develop the romance between Logan and Tess. Unfortunately, to me, they seemed artificial and made the pursuit of the murderer almost a forgotten item. That said, I think fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy a trip to St. Augustine to meet Tess and Logan. Those who pride themselves on solving the mystery may not find much of a challenge. I was provided a copy of this book by LitFuse for my honest opinion.