Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gone But Knot Forgotten (Quilting Mysteries)

Author:  Mary Marks
Genre:  Mystery

Four Stars

Paperback; ebook
ISBN #:  9780758292094
Kensington Publishing
288 Pages
$7.99; $5.38 Kindle
August 25, 2015

Sorting through the estate of a wealthy recluse may sound like a fascinating task, but when the skeletons in the closets turn out to be real, Martha and her quilting pals wish they'd stuck to basting and batting...

Martha Rose is stunned when she hears that her best friend from high school has passed away.  Her shock doubles when she learns that Harriet Oliver made her the executor of her estate.  But when investigators determine that Harriet was murdered, Martha recruits her fellow quilters to help find the culprit.  She's mastered the art of piecing together blocks to create intricate quilts, but piecing together her friend's murder will prove far more challenging...               


Martha Rose is in her 50s, loves quilting with her best friends Lucy and Birdie, and likes her life just as it is.  Unfortunately, it's about to change.  One day she gets a telephone call from an attorney who tells her that her high school friend Harriet Oliver has died, and she's been made executor of Harriet's will.  Completely taken by surprise, she is also saddened to learn that Harriet died alone and unloved; both her child and her husband dead before her.  So alone that her body wasn't discovered for ten months.

Now Martha's back is up.  How could someone like Harriet not be discovered for almost a year?  She was wealthy, she must have had some contact with the outside world.  So Martha does the only thing she can - try and figure out why Harriet was left in her home so long, dead in a closet, but who would want her dead.  And the more she digs, the more she finds; and none of it pleasant.

Martha is also seeing a biker named Yossi, aka Crusher.  Crusher is head over ears about Martha and wants to marry her, but she's keeping him at arms' length.  Why?  Because her ex-husband and ex-boyfriend both cheated on her, so she doesn't think she can trust any man.  The more he tries to move in, the more she pushes him away.

As executor of the estate, Martha discovers that there are missing items - all related to the Declaration of Independence.  What she doesn't know is where they are.  She is determined to find their whereabouts, with the help of her two friends.  After hiring a couple of Crusher's cohorts to guard the estate day and night, she and Lucy and Birdie spend their days searching for the missing items.  But it appears that others know of them, and someone has been in the house before her, Martha is sure of it - someone who was probably looking for the same things.  The more she digs into Harriet's death - now classified as murder - the closer she's bringing herself into danger.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book.  The characters are three-dimensional, and the plot was very good.   But there were a couple of things that bothered me.  For one, she has an atrocious diet.  In the real world, anyone who ate what Martha does would be diabetic and have really bad skin.  Eating that much fat and sugar is only asking for a heart attack or worse.  We also never find out what her source of income is.  Yes, she's paid a stipend as executor of Harriet's estate, but she doesn't have a job, yet has a house and seems to be fine financially.  For those who haven't read the previous books in the series, Forget Me Knot and Knot in My Backyard, it would be nice to know (minor detail, but I'm big on details).

But the biggest negative was her reaction to another character, after finding out something about them that she viewed as lying.  I didn't see it as lying; it was something that needed to be done and they didn't have any choice in, but she wouldn't forgive it, which, by the end of the book made her appear inflexible and hard.  She just wasn't willing to accept that it was necessary, and made it All About Her.  Her reaction seemed almost irrational and was a letdown for me.  I wasn't happy with the outcome of the situation, and all of it seeming to be her fault.  Still, I felt the book was written well and I enjoyed it.  Recommended.


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