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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Devil's Puzzle - a review

Another beautifully written, well thought, and plotted cozy.
I went into this wondering how I was going to stay awake reading about the obviously boring subject of quilting in New England. I was already stifling a yawn when suddenly the skeleton showed up and suddenly no one in the town of Archers Rest was boring anymore.
O'Donohue carefully manipulates the small town folklore with the modern day gossips, and using the cliff-hanger approach leaves us at the end of each chapter with a little tidbit of new information that makes you have to read just one more chapter.
Nell, grand-daughter of the towns quilting shop owner, Eleanor, is the town's nosy snoop. She gains a little insider information into the curious goings on in town through pillow talk; her boy-friend in the town's police chief. When the skeleton is discovered in the grandmother's rose garden she has to fight to defend Eleanor from the rumors that she was the murderer. It turns out that everyone in town is harboring a secret and one-by-one Nell overturns the rock that everyone has hidden that secret under.
When she receives written threats on her own safety, and discovers that someone is secretly following her around town Nell turns up the heat. Not known for her tact, she treads on more than one person's toes on her way to the undeniable truth. When an attack on the niece of the dead man leaves her unconscious, lying in a pool of blood, the amateur sleuth realizes that the murderer is still alive.
In the fashion of a modern day Jane Marple on steroids, Nell puts together the final piece of the puzzle just in time to stage the quilting display for the town carnival and have the suspect arrested simultaneously.

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