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Benni's taking time from her job at the folk-art museum to sponsor a "senior prom" at San Celina's retirement home. During the dance, she's surprised to find herself waltzing with Clay O'Hara, the Colorado cowboy she had a crush on when she was seventeen. She's even more surprised when Clay's uncle and an elderly woman are found dead in one of the residents' rooms. Now Benni's trying to find a link between the two victims--and the common thread that bound them together in death...
Earlene Fowler was raised in La Puente, California, by a Southern mother and a Western father. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Allen, a large number of quilts, and twenty pairs of cowboy boots.
This well-textured sequel to Fool's Puzzle, also named for a traditional quilt pattern, intricately blends social history and modern mystery. Folk art museum curator Benni Harper is involved not only with an upcoming cross-stitch sampler exhibit but also with the Senior Citizen Prom and a local oral history project. Before the dance, she hears of a feud between retired merchant Brady O'Hara and Oralee Reid, the retirement home roommate of Miss Violet, her former teacher. On prom night, Benni discovers the bodies of Brady and Miss Violet. As her new love, temporary police chief Gabe Ortiz, investigates, Benni tries to stay out of his way, but she unravels the threads of the mystery herself while interviewing local Japanese-Americans who were interned during WWII. Fowler's easygoing style, along with down-home Benni's charming personality, makes this a blue-ribbon cozy. (Mar.)