Elizabeth Craig's Southern Quilting Mystery series continues with her latest offering, Quilt Trip. It is the third mystery in the series and has the feel of an old fashioned whodunit, complete with a group of unsuspecting quilters gathered in a mansion, terrible weather and a killer in their midst. Craig's use of humor and adventure add to the mix, making this a very enjoyable cozy for mystery lovers and quilter's alike!
My grandmother's were avid quilter's. I tried my hand at it when I was younger, but it wasn't the niche for me. I am a cross stitcher at heart, but I love those memories of watching them pick the fabrics and colors, of the many happy hours they spent around the quilting hoop, laughing and enjoying the peace and tranquility that quilting brought to their lives. I miss them very much. I am very thankful for some of the wonderful quilts they created though, to remember them by.
This book reminded me of a good old fashioned mystery. Akin to the game Clue, where you have all of the suspects contained in one place, unable to get away, until someone solves the crime. I liked that Agatha Christiesque kind of mystery. In my opinion Agatha was the forerunner of the cozy sub-genre with her Miss Marple series and I enjoyed the nod to her writing style that Craig uses here. I found myself pondering... Was it Miss White in the kitchen with the candlestick? a few times and I liked that part as well.
Beatrice and Meadow have heard about an eccentric ladies wish to create a foundation that would supply quilting scholarships. Muriel has invited several quilting guilds to her home in order to choose which guild will administer the foundation. Unfortunately, the Village Quilter's were not asked to join the group, but they decide to crash the party. The weather turns gruesome and everyone must stay for the night. When Muriel is found dead in the morning... the mystery is on! I thought Craig came up with a creative idea for her third book in the series and I could see something like this taking place, which gave it a ring of truth that readers will enjoy.
Beatrice is once again a very methodical investigator. She asks all the right questions and puts two and two together in a somewhat clinical sort of way. It is Meadow who brings a bit of the unpredictable into the equation. She is more free spirited and asks those questions that others might not think of, together they make a great team of amateur sleuths. I think Craig paired them well and adds an element of humor in their relationship and how they view the world.
Though Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum were not among the suspects, there were plenty to choose from and enough motives to keep even the most avid mystery reader scratching their heads. This one was a hard one to put my finger on, but in the end my guess was correct. The clues logically pointed to a certain character as the main suspect, but things are certainly not what they appear in most mysteries and this one is no exception. Craig keeps the reader off balance by adding in clues that aren't necessarily a part of the mystery at hand. It was interesting to see how it all came together in the end.
The quilting aspect of the book was definitely in the forefront, and Craig brings a bit of nostalgia to readers who enjoy the craft of quilting. I enjoyed all of the references to different styles of quilting and specific quilt patterns. There was something for both quilters and mystery enthusiasts in this book and I thought Craig did a great job of balancing the overall theme of quilting with the underlying aspect of the mystery. A good addition to the series to be sure!