Thursday, February 09, 2012

Review: Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon

First line: Rumors about the Cassidy women and their magic had long swirled through Bliss, Texas, like a gathering tornado.

From the back cover: All the Cassidy women possess special gifts. Harlow Jane Cassidy's is creating beautiful dresses. But she's about to discover secrets in her own family and another gift - one that can reach beyond the grave...

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But soon after opening a custom dressmaking boutique in the old farmhouse she inherited, Harlow begins to feel an inexplicable presence...

One of her first clients is her childhood friend Josie, who needs a gown for her upcoming wedding. But when Josie's boss turns up dead, it starts to look as if the bride-to-be may be wearing handcuffs instead of a veil. Suddenly, Josie needs a lot more from Harlow than the perfect dress. Can Harlow find the real killer - with a little help from beyond?

My thoughts: This is the first in Melissa Bourbon's A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series and I found it to be a fun, quick read in what is quickly becoming one of my favorite genres, the cozy mystery.

According to the Cassidy family legend, Butch Cassidy made a wish in an Argentine fountain. He wished for good things for his descendants and his offspring have been blessed with a magic charm - Harlow's great grandmother got everything she wished for; her grandmother is a goat whisperer; and her mother has the touch with flowers and greenery. Harlow thought the gift passed over her until she realizes, with the help of her great-grandmother's spirit, what it is. 

After inheriting her great grandmother's house, Harlow quits her job in NYC as a fashion designer and returns to Texas. She decides to put a large selection of buttons and bow and material to good use and opens a dress-making boutique in the old farmhouse. Her first client is a childhood friend who wants her to design a wedding dress - a great gig for just opening up - until a dead body shows up later that same evening on Harlow's property.

This was a great mystery that had me guessing throughout most of the book. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the direction took another turn and I was surprised when the killer was presented. I also enjoyed the story of the dressmaker and while this is not a skill I possess, I love reading about clothes and how they are created/designed. I am definitely drawn to books that involve vintage clothing/the creation of clothing, etc - and when the cover caught my eye at the bookstore, I knew I had to read this. I only wish we were given a photo of the dress Harlow created for her friend or at least a snap shot of her new boutique. I look forward to reading more about Harlow and her shop, along with whatever other mysteries she finds herself involved in.

(I purchased this book.)

Books in this series:
  1. Pleating for Mercy
  2. A Fitting End


  1. This has been on my wish list since one of my Goodreads friends raved about it. I'm glad you liked it as well!

  2. @Mary (Bookfan) I'm hoping to pick up the second one soon!


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