When award-winning quilt instructor Susanne Hendrick is invited to lead a quilting retreat, the other members of the Someday Quilts club of Archer’s Rest, New York decide to lend a hand. The tight-knit group meets every Friday night, and the members think this will be the perfect get-a-way as well as a way to support Susanne. All but one of the ladies, that is.
George and Rita Olnhausen, the new owners of the Patchwork Bed and Breakfast are hosting the retreat. Both played a painful role in the life of quilter Bernie Avallone when they attended high school together. Although she still feels betrayed by her former boyfriend and her ex-best friend, Bernie reluctantly goes along with the rest of the group.
Besides Susanne and Bernie, several other members of the group attending the retreat include feisty Nell Fitzgerald, a twenty-six-year-old artist and amateur sleuth; Eleanor, Nell’s beloved grandmother and owner of the Someday Quilts shop; Carrie, the owner of the local coffee shop; and Natalie, Susanne’s daughter.
To their surprise, the Patchwork is in shocking disarray and the only other attendees at the retreat are a strange rag-tag group of locals who look like they were dragged in off the street and would much rather be somewhere else. As everyone tries to set their collective concerns aside, the group welcomes the opportunity to learn about journal quilts.
When the B&B host, George Olnhausan is found dead in the woods from a shot gun blast, and with a double cross patterned quilt laying over his body, the local sheriff places Bernie at the top of the suspect list. Although Bernie was the last to see him alive and it is her quilt, Nell is determined to prove the sheriff has the wrong person.
With the help of other members of the quilting group, and Jesse Dewalt, Archer’s Rest chief of police and Nell’s boyfriend, Nell searches for the real killer. Unfortunately, she soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a rifle.
The Someday Quilters mystery series written by Clare O’Donohue is quickly proving to be a favorite of quilters and mystery readers around the world. The freelance television writer and producer, and avid quilter, proves that writing about what you know is great advice for budding novelists. The Double Cross is her third novel in the new series. Clare’s growing fan base will be thankful to know the author is hard at work on a fourth installment.
Although there are a number of new characters to sort through in this story, O’Donohue deftly leads the reader through the twists and turns that make up this intriguing mystery. There are a number of surprises along the way, and the real murderer isn’t revealed until close to the end after several red herrings tantalize armchair detectives. Avid quilters will enjoy the additional tips shared during the retreat sessions.
The Double Cross concludes with an unexpected but satisfying ending, and the promise of further intrigue and opportunity to spend time with Nell, Jesse, and the eclectic quilters of Archer’s Rest.
A special thank you goes to the Penguin Group for providing a complimentary copy of The Double Cross, A Someday Quilts Mystery for review. If you are interested in purchasing any of the books this series, they are available at Amazon.com.