With all this extra time on our hands, reading has been a nice way to spend a morning. This past month and a half, I’ve gathered several new books and devoured them all with quilting as a theme. Two were sent to me by C&T Publishing specifically for this post, and two by their authors. I did not promise good reviews to anyone, but the great thing is they are all recommended. Affiliate links to C&T Publishing and Amazon are provided. You can click on the links to see the publisher’s synopsis of the plot.
Just in Time by Marie Bostwick
Richly developed characterization with a realistic plot line, Just In Time tells a story of three women all in stages of grief but not all because of the same reason. Finding a grief support group not meeting their needs, they form their own. They give each other support as they work through their hardships and find the joy in life again. Quilting comes in as one of the women is making a memory quilt. Ms Bostwick writes in a compelling style, making her books difficult to put down and she is one of my all time favorite writers. A happy and satisfying ending makes this a book to read for these times, when we all want to see that things will turn out OK. Highly recommend!!
After the Storm: The Story of Hannah Applegate Benson Stone by Cary Flanagan
Fans of historical fiction will love this novel. Told in memoir form as a series of remembered events, this is the story of a woman growing up in rural New Hampshire in the late 19th century. It has the joys and heartbreaks of a life of hardship and loss, but also perseverance and strength. Quilting is the central theme in Hannah’s life, as she becomes a skilled seamstress and then a quilt designer at a time when it wasn’t the norm for women to excel in business. It is apparent that the author did significant research, and weaves facts of the time into her writing. The historical aspect of the story enhances the plot and gives an extra dimension. Very well written, and enjoyable to read, I learned some things along the way about the history of quilting. I hope she does a sequel! Recommend.
Tie Died by Carol Dean Jones
Enjoyable cozy mystery with an older protagonist who moves to a retirement community at the insistence of her children. She begins to make friends, and decides to learn some new things by taking classes at the center in computers and quilting. The quilting isn’t a large part of the story, but an old quilt does play a part. When a resident of the community is murdered, Sarah just cannot leave things alone. Add in an alcoholic detective, and things do get interesting. Ms Jones writing style is easy reading and I finished this one in just a couple of mornings. There is a quilt pattern in the back of the book too as a bonus. There are several books now in this series available from C&T Publishing, and I look forward to reading more.
The Rose Quilt by Mark Pasquini
This mystery is written cozy style, but follows the investigation through the eyes of a professional state inspector. Historical fiction fans will be happy with this novel’s time period. It is set in 1923, with some references to events current to the day and to the style of clothing worn in the flapper era. The mystery itself is straightforward without undue red herrings, and is an easy read. It is refreshing to find a mystery that proceeds along in a logical manner, all while we get to know the investigator and his personal challenges.
Threadville Mysteries by Janet Brolin
Dire Threads and Threaded for Trouble
This is a nice cozy mystery series centering on a group of shop owners of needlecrafts and fabrics. Our heroine owns an embroidery shop, selling high end embroidery machines and threads. The descriptions of what her students did actually led me to get out the embroidery unit on my machine and play with it again. Other shop owners have quilting fabric and batting shops, a knitting store and button shop. All together the five stores comprise Threadville, a destination for quilters and needlecrafters that come by busloads. The first book in the series, Dire Threads, introduces us to Willow, the typical amateur that asks too many questions and goes down the wrong path. The second book was unique, in that the murder weapon is a sewing machine. There are five books in this series. These are pretty much standard, formulaic, cozy mystery stories, nothing special, but fun in their emphasis on needle arts.
If you are in the mood for more sewing and quilting fiction, see my posts from National Sewing Month 2016. These posts also contain reviews on books to avoid.
Sewing and Quilting Theme Mysteries
Quilting Fiction – Stories of Life
Sewing Fiction – Magic and Ghosts
More Sewing and Quilting Fiction Stories About Life
And if you’d like to see more reviews on books in more genres, click on my category tab Books and Reading.
What are you reading now?
18 thoughts on “Fiction with a Quilting Theme”
Thanks so much Carole for the book reviews. My favorite genre is historical fiction and I am always searching for a good book to read. Happy Thursday!
Thanks for some new titles to look for. I read The Rose Quilt. As a debut novel, I wonder if the author will continue with another quilt themed book? Maybe the sleuth can solve craft mysteries. Surely potters & sculptors & weavers need solutions to crimes in their fields too.
I have read two of your previous (non-quilt) recommendations – The Shell Seekers and Winter Solstice. Since I enjoyed both, I’ll try some of these quilt related reads. I have read three books in Betty Hechtman’s Yarn Retreat Series and liked them. They’re typical cozy mysteries – light, funny entertainment.
Thanks. I have ordered Just in Time for my cousin who recently had her son leave from a rare form of cancer.I was stumped as to what to do for her I hope this ‘fills the bill’.
Thanks for the recommendations Carole. I have read a couple of Marie Bostwick books and enjoyed them, but I haven’t read this one. Nor have I read the others. Looking forward to getting my hands on a couple of them.
Currently half way through a mystery called Dead Harvest by Andrew Leatham . It is about a truck which is stopped for a routine traffic violation, but the police find an ornate coffin on board with what appears to be an ancient mummy. It is a gripping tale and I am enjoying it.
Thanks for your reviews. I had a quilt bee this week and shared the collection of Marie Bostwick books that I have and that CD set you sent to me. I just put Dire Threads on hold at the library, where they are finally doing checkouts via curbside pick up. Looking forward to a good relaxing book to read. I am just starting A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy (audiobook). I ended up returning Whitethorn Woods early because it was driving me nuts. The BEST thing I have read (listened to as an audiobook) in a long time was “A Fall of Marigolds”, by Susan Meissner.
Thanks for the recommendations! All sound good. I am pretty captivated right now with Jacqueline Winnspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. Maybe half way through lisltening to the audiobooks. So interesting and getting a lot of sewing done!
Always look forward to your book reviews. As always I will be buying one or two. Thank you
Just finishing up your recommendation “A Week in Winter” – taking too long but somehow I am busier now than I was without the containment issues. My nieces and nephews are still getting married – just not the hoopla they were counting on and they still get a quilt from me. Also had a Christening, live streaming. 5 people in the church – 112 people watching – so nice for the baby and family to have such an intimate service. Thanks for the new recs on the books, ordering them now.
I love your book reviews though I don’t know HOW you find the time to read along with everything else you do.
Loved A Week in Winter, then 2 more of Maeve Binchy books. just finished Tie Dyed & have started Running Stitches..good choices!
I really like the title of Tie Died, very punny. I have some non fiction bird books I am reading, and am currently looking for something on Kindle Unliminted. I wonder if any of these are on there.
Thanks so much for these book reviews Carole. I’ve bought After the Storm on my kindle and will look forward to reading it between sewing quilt blocks.
I just finished reading, “Inspired” by Rachel Held Evans. I am now reading, “White Fragility.”
A great set of (older) quilting mysteries is from Terri Thayer – the first is “A Wild Goose Chase” (2008).
What a nice list! I will be looking for any of these! My current read is “The Secret Orphan,” which I’ve only just started so no clue what it is about except that Rose, now an octogenarian is recalling how she ended up adopted by Elenor and Jackson and living in Canada. She was born in England, and was a small girl when World War 2 started. I’ll let you know!
I love cozies, murder mysteries, thrillers, bios, etc. Just finished 2 by Krista Larson in her series: Girl Most Likely and Girl Can’t Help it. If you like thrillers, these are good ones. Right now I’m ready Black Ice, a very different book, mostly male characters meeting regularly at the local café for their morning coffee. Interesting characters–very different from my usual, but finding it very good so far, just getting into this one. Thanks for all the recommendations, Carole. A couple of them have intrigued me enough to check them out for Kindle reading. :o) Hugs, m
I have some quilting themed novels on my wish list. On reading your reviews, I must start them. Surprisingly I haven’t been reading as much as I thought I would these past months.
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