Earlene Fowler’s quilter’s series consists of about a dozen novels that feature Benni Harper and Police Chief Gabe Ortiz. Each book in the series is named for a quilt pattern. The first novel, Fool’s Puzzle was published in 1995. I read it then so it has been awhile. Below is feedback on that book:
From Publishers Weekly
Young, recently widowed Benni Harper, the foolhardy heroine in this predictable debut, leaves her ranch after her husband’s accidental death and becomes the curator of the folk-art museum in the coastal California town of San Celina. Benni is frantically trying to assemble a quilt show when she discovers a local potter stabbed to death in the museum studio. Benni’s flaky 21-year-old cousin Rita, whom Benni had seen driving away from the museum, disappears and becomes a prime suspect. When Rita calls asking for money, Benni determines not to tell the police, whose new chief, Gabe Ortiz, has warned her not to interfere in the investigation, and decides to clear Rita by finding the real murderer. The day that the quilt show opens, Benni finds a plastic bag filled with money in the attic of the museum but waits to tell Ortiz until after the opening party. When he goes to the attic to investigate, he finds, instead, the body of the museum handyman. Fowler connects all the deaths in her plot, leaving no threads hanging, but Benni’s reckless actions and her love-hate relationship with the enigmatic Ortiz yield an unconvincing narrative.
This review describes the book as predictable; maybe that is so but I know that I loved this series and read every single entry. Today, Goose in the Pond is an e-book bargain. While it is best to read the series in order, this could be your chance to start your Earlene Fowler collection. I would especially recommend this series to readers who like Susan Wittig Albert’s Pecan Springs novels.