Five Star -- An imprint of Thomson Gale
My favorite mysteries are those in
which I can learn something about – well, anything, really.
Clearly I’m not alone, witness the various series that center around
the hobbies or lifestyles of the protagonist: cooking mysteries a la
Davidson, cat mysteries cum Braun, knitting mysteries as unraveled
by Sefton, and the puzzle mysteries as parsed by Hall. There
are several series of quilting mysteries.
Annette Mahon’s St. Rose Quilting Bee is typical of such groups across
the country, women who love to quilt and enjoy the companionship
working on joint projects fosters. Groups that are supportive of
their members and that take a good deal of worth service projects, such
as the Baby Loves Quilt Project in Connecticut. It is
primarily the fictional versions of these groups that are prone to
involve themselves with piecing together more than mere cloth.
This book returns to Maggie Browne and the St. Rose Quilting Bee as
they try to provide comfort and support to one of their members, Candy
Breckner, recuperating from an auto accident at the Palo Verde Care
Center. Then Candy informs the other members that there is
someone helping patients at the center to their deaths. As the
group worries over Candy's health -- mental as well as physical --
Maggie tries to determine whether there is a threat or not, and where
it is coming from.
As this was the first of this series I've read, I was struck by how
well McMahon balances the pace of the quilting activity and the
unraveling of the actual mystery. The suspense builds as the
reader worries alongside Maggie Browne over what might happen next if
her friend is right. As a group, the quilters act as a sounding
board for Maggie as well as a sort of Greek chorus for the reader. As individuals, they are sturdy contributing characters in their own right. Maggie's sleuthing activity leads her through one of the most convincingly convoluted plots I've read, but she is well up to the
task. Younger readers would do well to take note of just how
successful Maggie Browne is at finding answers; age is no barrier when
it comes to deductive powers. Even when it comes to physical
activity; Maggie's body may slow down as she matures, but it doesn't
stop. She knows how to use her strengths most efficiently.
An Ominous Death was a good read, and I'm happy to add it to my growing
collection of mysteries associated with stitching.