A Patchwork of Clues
Queen Bees Quilt Shop Book 1
June 4, 2019
Available in: Hardcover, e-Book
Small-town quilters look for a killer’s pattern in this delightful new series by the national bestselling author of the Seaside Knitters mysteries . . .
On her morning jog, Portia Paltrow comes upon the dead body of antiques store owner and college professor Owen Hill, sprawled across the back doorstep of Selma Parker’s fabric and quilt shop on Elderberry Road. The site of their Saturday morning quilting bee just became a crime scene. Violent crime is rare in the charming village of Crestwood, Kansas, and rumors are soon circulating of a burglary gone wrong. But who would rob a quilt shop? No, Owen Hill has been murdered.
Selma and her assistant manager Susan are understandably at loose ends over the crime. So while the tightly knit covey of quilters—who range from a new mother to a wise octogenarian—work together on a Crystal Pattern quilt for Selma’s store’s anniversary, they also get busy stitching together a patchwork of clues. But they’d better work fast—before a crafty killer bolts . . .
Life.....It’s been a meandering, interesting journey that began in Manitowoc, WI, a town on the shores of Lake Michigan. There my father built ships, my mother stayed home, and my sisters, brother and I lived an easy small-town life. After high school, I moved to St. Louis (college); then Bloomington, IN (graduate school); and several other places along the way. Jobs included working in public television—with Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood just down the hall; teaching Latin, creative writing, and philosophy; and very early along that journey, living in St. Louis as a Catholic nun. A checkered past, of sorts.
After marrying a nice Jewish man whom I met in graduate school (my mother always said she had named me Sarah for a reason), a job brought us to a small town (Prairie Village), attached to a big city (Kansas City) and the home we still live in.
And it was here that my writing life took root.
The seeds to writing a novel—or rather ‘finishing’ a novel—were planted in a sandbox in a park, not far from our Prairie Village home. It was there I met another newcomer to the area, Adrienne Staff, a woman who would become a life-long friend. While our children played together in the sand that day, I learned that not only was Adrienne as hungry for friendship as I was, but both of us loved to read and write and had drawers filled with unfinished novels. In no time at all we decided that perhaps the key to finishing a novel (at least, in our case) was to write a booktogether. A match made in heaven—a nice Jewish girl from New York and an ex-nun—certainly a pair with diverse experiences to spare! We’d hold one another to the task and we would complete a book and rid ourselves of the awful unfinished novel curse.
And so we did. Soon after finishing our first book, we found our wonderful agent, Andrea, and went on to publish a dozen or more novels together.
Years later friendship again played a huge role in my publishing life—this time in the person of Nancy Pickard, who invited me to help her with a mystery she was working on. Nancy turned a blind eye to the fact that I had never written a mystery—and together we sat and drank coffee and talked and wrote and rewrote, examined red herrings and twists and turns, and talked some more. And we finished the mystery.
After that, I was hooked! Now not only did I love to read mysteries, I loved to write them, too. How fortunate I was to have learned from a pro—and then to have lucked into my first mystery series, The Queen Bees Quilters mysteries.
A couple of years and three mysteries later, my life took another marvelous turn: my first grandchild! And along with baby Luke was born a new mystery series, The Seaside Knitters mysteries. (Grandchildren....knitting....it was meant to be.) Luke’s parents live in a charming seaside town on Cape Ann, just north of Boston. A perfect place for a mystery series. And a perfect place for the series’ author to visit OFTEN—to research plots, check out life on the dock, eat lobster—and to watch Luke, his now five-year-old sister Ruby, and his brand new brother Dax grow and thrive.
And more grandchildren followed right here in Kansas City. All together there are now six amazing little people who fill our lives and hearts and keep me writing mysteries.
It’s a good life.