32 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Carole H. reviewed Fool's Puzzle (Benni Harper, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 5
Easy reading, if a bit predictable,interesting characters, an engaging heroine. My grandmothers were both quilters, and I enjoyed the info on the patterns. This is the second Benni Harper Mystery I've read, and am looking forward to finding the others in the series.
First in the Benni Harper series. We meet Benni approximately 9 months after her husband, Jack, died. She is the "curator" of the local folk art museum that also offers rooms for artists to work. One evening, she finds a dead body and when the police arrive, she meets the interim police chief, Gabriel Ortiz. He is a handsome man but irritating to her. The sparks continue to fly and Benni continues to find dead bodies and poke her nose where it doesn't belong. It nearly gets her killed. Great mystery and a bit of romance too.
Thirty-four-year-old widow Benni Harper takes a job as curator of the San Celina folk art museum, only to find herself embroiled in the murder of an artist and small-town intrigues that shed new light on her own late husband's death.
1st volume of the Benni Harper mystery series. I was hooked after reading this one. The relationships of the characters just get richer as the series moves along.
I'm pasting in a well written review from Amazon that I agree with:
Strong Characters make for a Remarkable Debut, March 29, 2002
Reviewer: Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Benni Harper is trying to put her life back together. It's been nine months since her husband died. Recently, she's moved into the town of San Celina and taken a job at the local artist co-op running the folk art museum, a job she's perfect for. But then she finds one of the artists stabbed in the woodshop. Since her cousin was seen fleeing the scene, she gets involved trying to find out what happened. The stakes are raised when a second body is found. Still trying to figure out her relationship with the temporary police chief, she plunges on, learning secrets she didn't want to know. But can she find the killer before the killer makes her the next target?
What struck me most about this book was the characters. Benni and police chief Gabe Ortiz jump off the page as fully realized characters. I feel like I've known them for several books instead of just one. Even the supporting characters are well developed. The mystery itself is good, with some unexpected twists. The writing style feels like that of a polished professional. It's hard to believe this is a first novel.
This is the first in the Benni Harper series, and I look forward to reading the others. If you enjoy a well-written mystery with fresh, three dimensional characters, this is the book for you.
The very first book in the quilt themed Benni Harper series. This is one of the better cozy series and Benni and her romance with the new town police chief draw you in as well as the small town murders. Benni is a character you can really relate to and care about.
Meet Benni Harper, a spirited ex-cowgirl, quilter and folk-art expert. She's got an eye for murderous designs and a talent for piecing together the most complex and cold blooded crimes. Leaving behind memories of her late husband, Benni's making a fresh start. Moving to the trendy town of San Celina, she takes an exciting new job as director of a folk-art museum. While setting up an exhibit of handmade quilts, she stumbles upon the body of a brutally stabbed artist and hopes to conduct an investigation on her own. She crosses paths with the local police chief, who thinks he short and sassy cowgirl should leave detecting to the cops and join him for dinner. But it's hard to keep a country girl down, and soon Benni uncovers an alarming pattern of family secrets, small town lies and the shocking truth about the night her husband died.
This one was a page turner. It didn't have much to do with quilts; but it did keep me interested. The characters were strong and well developed. This book is the first in the series. It's the first I've read and Mrs. Fowler's first book.
I loved this book !! it is the first in the series and i got it when it came out, for a quick read. i was traveling with my job and in a motel alone, so time to fill. I was hooked, could not put it down! Trapped in the story! The sorrow from her husband's death was so real, and her family was so familar, esp. the granmother! benni has real reactions to the crazy places she finds her self in. only bad thing is the books come out so far apart!
From the back cover:
Leaving behind memories of her late husband, Bennie's making a fresh start....Moving to the trendy California town of San Celina, she takes an exciting new job as director of a folk-art museum. While setting up an exhibit of handmade quilts, she stumbles upon a body of a brutally stabbed artist - and hopes to conduct an investigation on her own. She crosses paths with the local police chief, who thinks this short and sassy cowgirl should leave detecting to the cops, and join him for dinner. But it's hard to keep a country girl down, and soon Bennie uncovers an alarming pattern of family secrets, small-town lies - and the shocking truth about the night her husband died.