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A Fitting End
A Magical Dressmaking Mystery # 2
Melissa Bourbon

Feb 2012/ 978-0-451-23614-2

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

In this second installment of the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, protagonist Harlow Jane Cassidy is as busy as a sewing bee. Harlow had recently been commissioned to make a pageant gown for the granddaughter of socialite and Senator's wife, Mrs. Zinnia James. The annual Margaret Lea Pageant and Ball presents sixteen year old debutante's to society in the little town of Bliss, Texas.

As if Harlow isn't kept busy enough with her Buttons & Bows dressmaking business, she also has to contend with the ghostly antics of her great-grandmother, and those of her eccentric mother and grandmother who remain among the living. With precious little time left before the ball, Harlow also finds herself enmeshed in a murder mystery when the local Golf Pro is stabbed to death with her very own dressmaker's sheers. Is she seriously a suspect? When Mrs. James is arrested, Harlow temporarily puts her needle and thimble aside to stitch the clues together and find the real killer. Will she do so in time to prevent another murder? Will the ball go on without a hitch?

Having had the opportunity to review the first book in the series, Pleating for Mercy, I was excited to read this sequel. The furthering of relationships between the main characters, and the further exploration of the Cassidy women's family charms (including great-grandmother MeeMaw the ghost), did not disappoint me. The new characters and the set up of the murder intrigued me enough to keep reading well into the night because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I had my suspicions about who the murderer was, and I'm pleased to say I was dead wrong. The twist at the end was like the cherry on top of a swirly delicious ice cream on a hot day.

The magic, the mystery, the small town cozy feel, and the nicely balanced mix of characters of all ages make this book a read that promises to entertain those of various generations. It would be a wonderful selection for a mother/daughter book group, a sewing group who likes to read as well, and for those will just plain love the cozy mystery genre.

Reviews of other titles in this series

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

Reviewed 2012
© 2012