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Pleating for Mercy
A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #1
Melissa Bourbon

August 2011/ ISBN 978-0-451-23436-0
Mystery / Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Author Melissa Bourbon, who also writes as Misa Ramirez, has begun a new cozy mystery series with Pleating for Mercy. The main character, Harlow Jane Cassidy, has returned home to Bliss, Texas, following the death of her beloved great-grandmother, Meemaw. Meemaw has willed her house to Harlow, and Harlow sets up her own dressmaking shop.

Things are looking up when Harlow is commissioned to design a wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses for her old grade school friend, Josie. Unfortunately, one of Josie’s bridesmaids, Nell, is strangled to death on Harlow’s property. Josie is afraid she’s a suspect, but also knows she is innocent. As she tries to uncover the identity of the killer, her Meemaw’s spirit enlivens things by making her presence known. How will Harlow find the murderer when it feels like she’s looking for a needle in a haystack?

I really liked this book for the influence of the Cassidy legend that all of the women were charmed, and that most of the featured characters are strong women. The mystery is believable and I even grew to believe in Meemaw’s ghost popping up quite often. Bourbon’s writing style is such that readers are comfortable even while reading about murder and ghosts. If you love a tale of magical mystery set in a small town where it’s hard to keep things a secret, you’ll enjoy this book a lot. I can hardly wait for the next installment. The book is a blissful read, is suitable for ages preteen, and up, and would make a nice back to school gift for a student or a teacher-but don’t forget to buy an extra copy for yourself! You’ll want to read this series from the beginning. Book two, A Fitting End -,” should be released fairly soon.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Pleating for Mercy #1
A Fitting End #2
Deadly Patterns #3

Reviewed 2011
© 2011