Cover Image: Patchwork Quilt Murder

Patchwork Quilt Murder

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Reporter Lucy Stone is looking forward to covering the grand opening of a state-of-the-art community center in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and not just because the building’s central air provides a welcome relief from the blistering heatwave outside. Lucy believes that the services the new taxpayer-funded facility offers will do a lot to benefit their town, though not everyone she interviews at the opening party feels the same way. Worse, some are questioning the way the funds have been allocated. These doubters aren’t afraid to bend Lucy’s ear about it, even calling her after the opening to air their pet theories:

[W]hy was Natalie so convinced that Tinker’s Cove was a pit of corruption? Did she simply have a suspicious nature, or was she really on to something? And perhaps [Lucy] shouldn’t have ended the call so abruptly. It was her job to listen, and maybe Natalie was handing her the scoop of the century. Well, in the larger scheme of things, corruption in a small Maine town was hardly an earthshaking revelation and was unlikely to be of interest to anyone who didn’t happen to live in Tinker’s Cove. But, Lucy decided, as she parked in her usual spot in front of the <i>Courier</i> office, it would certainly interest the town’s citizens.

Lucy is a conscientious journalist, but she’s also a little worried about her job, as budget cuts keep making inroads at her newspaper. Hitting the sweet spot of small town reporting – and therefore keeping herself gainfully employed – means covering everything of local interest, whether good or bad. Both seem to be personified in the new community center’s director, Darleen Busby-Pratt, who would ordinarily be the poster child for local girl made good. Having built her go-getting career elsewhere, Darleen wanted to be able to come home and look after her aging mother, and was happy to find a job that would allow her to move back without taking a huge pay cut. Rumor has it that her salary as director outstrips every other of the town’s public employees’. Darleen is pretty candid about this when Lucy interviews her on the topic, citing her education and professional background as the reason for her generous pay and benefits.

While Lucy would tend to agree that people should be paid what they’re worth, she is a little discomfited by Darleen’s high-handed attitude to some of her employees, and particularly to Tim Stillings. The son of Lucy’s boss Ted and friend Pam, Tim has only recently come home himself after attempting suicide. Quitting his job as junior curator in a bigger city, he’s since taken on the role of janitor at the community center, a massive step down for him professionally. While no one in Tinker’s Cove looks down on honest work, Lucy is a little concerned that Tim’s fragile mental state and low self-esteem are combining to let Darleen treat him in a manner that’s borderline abusive.

Understandably, Tim’s mother has been fretting over ways to help him feel better about himself. Inspired by a historic quilt displayed at the community center’s grand opening, Pam considers making him a quilt from his old clothes and other meaningful fabrics, and broaches the idea to Lucy:

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Lucy. “Maybe you could even involve him somehow?”

Pam’s eyebrows shot up. “Sewing?”

“Probably not,” admitted Lucy. “But in designing it, arranging the bits and pieces. A little trip down memory lane might bolster his sense of identity, boost his self-esteem, and get him to open up a bit.”

Pam reached out and took her hand. “Lucy, I think you’re on to something. A quilt is more than a quilt. It’s a statement of self-expression.”

“And comfort, even love. Like that Civil War era quilt. A way of saying, you’re important, you matter, I’m thinking of you.”

Will Pam’s efforts all be for naught, though, when both Tim and Darleen suddenly go missing? As stray body parts start appearing around town, Lucy and the Stillings can’t help but fear that the very worst has happened. Tinker’s Cove is in for even more shocks when the body parts are finally identified, and the search for a killer intensifies.

This was a surprisingly heavy installment of the long–running Lucy Stone mystery series. Frankly, I loved it. Leslie Meier handles the many serious subjects she brings up here with sensitivity and aplomb, stitching together her topics as expertly as any master quilter. Elegantly plotted with deft twist upon twist, Patchwork Quilt Murder is tied with Irish Parade Murder for my favorite book of hers so far. Both take quietly sensible approaches to current events and controversies, with this thirtieth installment tackling climate change, mental health and rising unemployment, among other important issues. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the twenty-ninth book in the series, so heartily welcome Ms Stone’s return to form with this terrific latest entry.

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Patchwork Quilt Murder by Leslie Meier is another small town Maine, reporter mystery. It starts off simply enough with her friend Pat’s son, Tim, home after attempting suicide, and a manager hired for the new community center. The community center was beautiful and fulfilled lots of needs but of course there were plenty of people who were against it and its new director: a hometown girl named Darleen Busby-Pratt, who was the highest paid city employee and was taking a paid vacation just a couple weeks after she started. Seemed she prepaid for it before she got the job and didn’t want to waste the money. At about that same Tim disappeared and random body parts started showing up around town. The, Darleen didn’t return from vacation. Lucy did a little snooping and found she’d never even checked in to her hotel. It didn’t take a mental giant to put two and two together. She discovered from Darleen’s cousin, Cassie that Darleen had told some lies to get the job. Tim was still missing. Lucy ramped up her questioning.

It was a tough time for Lucy who was a small-town girl. Their dog died. They’d had her for many years and they missed her. She was worried about her friend, Pat. Ted, who granted, was Tim’s father, was acting weird around the office. Was he about to shut it down? Lucy cared deeply for her community, even for those people who had nothing better to do than cause trouble. It was the sixteenth anniversary of the death of a young woman who had been murdered. Bad things seemed to be adding up. It is a good picture of small town life and a small town newspaper. The mystery was a good one even if the murdered person kind of deserved it. Lucy’s stories are getting more edgy: a function of the world getting smaller? I recommend it. Lucy is a feel-good sleuth, as always. Thanks Leslie Meier!

I was invited to read Patchwork Quilt Murder by Kensingston Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #KensingtonPublishing #LeslieMeier #PatchworkQuiltMurder

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This was a very twisty, winding case with a bizarre outcome, meaning bizarre for happening in a cozy mystery. But with Lucy on the case as a writer, no criminal’s ever gonna get away, especially when she teams up with the police for an epic sting operation. That was my favorite part! I definitely hadn’t guessed who the killer was, but they were definitely getting sent away for a long time. Lucy, you go, girl! The side story about Pam and Ted’s son was heartbreaking in some ways but did have a happy conclusion.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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I'd call Leslie Meier the queen of cozy, but I wouldn't want to cause hard feeelings with all the other great authors. So let's just say, if Leslie Meier writes it, I'm going to read and enjoy every word. If you love cozy mysteries, you need to read Meier's books.

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Patchwork Quilt Murder is book #30 in the Lucy Stone Mystery series by Leslie Meier.

I can’t believe this is book 30. A controversial community center open and new director doesn’t take long to show her true colors. This story also hits on current topics like global warming and mental health. It was an interesting mystery that kept me guessing. You don’t have to read the series in order, but if you do, you see how the characters develop over time.

Thank you to the author, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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A new community center has opened in Tinker Cove, Maine with a new highly paid director Darlene Busby-Pratt A lot of controversy surrounds her and the community center. Lucy tries to investigate the town budget and other mundane tasks that Ted gives her. Ted and Pam's son Tim goes missing. Then body parts start to be discovered around town. Lucy starts to investigate.

I enjoyed following the clues and researching with Lucy. I enjoyed the mystery and getting to know the inhabitants of Tinker Cove.

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Patchwork Quilt Murder is the thirtieth book in the Lucy Stone cozy mystery series. Once again we join Lucy Stone, the reporter for the local Tinker’s Cove paper, and she’s on another case. The new local community center is the main topic of discussion in town, some people all for it and others against it. The director of the community center, Darleen, is causing as much uproar as the community center itself. When she turns up murdered, there are no shortage of suspects. As Lucy looks into the case, she uncovers more than just a murderer.

I have read this whole series and have always had mixed feelings about it. I’ve grown to like most of the characters and the Tinker’s Cove setting, but all of the political issues and controversial topics that are addressed in these mysteries have always annoyed me. They were easy to ignore in the earlier books, but at least in this book, I feel like every other page is pushing a different topic. Be it climate change, global warming, gun rights, environmental concerns, the use of air conditioning, or mental health, there is a plug for all of these in this book. I know these are all important topics and that’s not the part that bothers me, it’s the fact that, for me anyway, the amount they are talked about completely takes away from the mystery and story. Anyway, I’m done ranting about that. For most of this book I swore I was going to give this one or two stars instead of three, but I did enjoy the ending and how everything finally wrapped up so I guess I left this book on a good note. I’m committed to this series at this point and will keep reading any new books, at least at this point, but these newer books in the series have changed a lot from when we first met Lucy.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.

I mainly picked this up as I am an avid quilter and was curious to see how that translated over into a murder mystery book. I've not read any of the previous in the series but it was enjoyable and I definitely will be looking to add more to my list!

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If you have ever visited Tinker's Cove, you will have met Lucy Stone, part time reporter and part time detective. After 30 books to the series, I still love finding out who done it with Lucy. We have watched her family grow and leave and change throughout the installments. In an unusual heat wave for Maine, a new community center opens under controversial conditions. Many think it is a great addition but there are those who are angry that the cost far exceeded the budget. Meanwhile the new director negotiated a great deal. She is the highest paid employee with the best benefit package. When she and another employee go missing, Lucy must try to find answers. Is all as it seems? Somewhere between rumors and a 300 year old quilt, Lucy must decipher truths from lies. I love visiting Tinker's Cove and catching up with not only Lucy's family and friends but following her to find the culprit. I received a copy through Netgalley. A review was not required.

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Tinker’s Cove has a brand-new community center. There is a lot of excitement and resentment about the new hire. The new hire has a salary larger than any other town employee. And she seems to have the qualifications. Lucy’s editor’s son is working as a janitor in the center. He had a break down and after treatment is home and taking the job he can get. When the head of the community center goes missing along with some of her mother’s prized antiques, Lucy is truly puzzled. Then her editor’s son goes missing. There’s a lot going on in this mystery. And Lucy is up to the job. I enjoyed this book.

I’ve been reading the Lucy Stone books since the beginning and it’s always a joy to read another episode.

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I’ve read the Lucy Stone series from the beginning; it’s always been one of my favorites. I love Tinker’s Cove and the eclectic citizens. With that said, I almost gave this book a three star rating. There were several stories that detracted from the main storyline. I read cozies to escape reality; Meier has a habit of getting on her soapbox about social issues. Environmental issues are one of her favorites and I can tolerate it because she ties it into the story. This time it was only loosely tied in.

With all that said, what did I like? I enjoyed catching up with the Stone family kids. The main storyline was really good, if a bit macabre. Mental issues were a large part of the book and Meier did a nice job. Lucy’s friends played a big role, as did members of the town. I look forward to reading the next book!

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for the ARC.

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It's good to be back in Tinker's Cove where Lucy Stone solves murders and confronts topical issues. This is a long running cozy series where the mystery might not feel as original as it could be (admittedly, cozies are really trope-y) but the characters are wonderful. Each one can be read as a standalone but I suspect most cozy readers have dipped into the series at least once. This time out, there's a murder, a dismembered body, and a disappearance, all centered around a new communist center. And a quilt. And it's sensitive toward mental health issues. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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4.5 Stars

It has been quite a while since I've read any of the Lucy Stone Mysteries. I don't know why she dropped off my radar, but after reading this book, I will have to do some heavy re-reading! I truly enjoyed this cozy mystery!

As I said, it has been a while, so I was amazed by how contemporary this book was and how twisty-turny the mystery was. The only reason I gave this book less than five stars was that I felt some of the minor issues didn't reach a full conclusion or were just swept under the carpet. It was nothing major and nothing that took me out of the story.

I believe that if you choose to start with this book, you will have no issues with not reading the preceding 29 books. I had no problems, and it's been years since I read my first Lucy book!

*ARC provided by the publisher Kensington Cozies/Kensington Books, the author Leslie Meier, and NetGalley.

#PatchworkQuiltMurder #NetGalley#KensingtonCozies#LeslieMeier

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The new community center in Tinker’s Cove is getting mixed reviews. Some see it as a place for groups of all ages and interests to meet, while others see it as a waste of taxpayer dollars. The director of the center has big plans, but demands a salary that makes her one of the wealthiest residents of Tinker’s Cove. When a troubled young man disappears, followed by the disappearance of the director, and then dismembered remains are found, Lucy puts her investigative skills to work to figure out what is going on and who is responsible.

Unbelievably, in a time when many series hang around for only a handful of books, this is the 30th book in this series. I really liked the early books, but the last handful have been hit and miss for me. Fortunately, I liked this one better than the previous book in the series, as Lucy was much less annoying this time around. I understand that she misses her kids and is uncertain about her job, but speaking from experience on both counts, you can’t let those concerns take over your life or you’ll miss out on a lot of other great opportunities.

The mystery here was good, and it took a while to determine that there was indeed a murder to solve. The discovery of dismembered body parts made that obvious! Once the victim was identified, several suspects came to mind, but the actual solution was something I would never have considered. The motive was warped, to say the least, and mind-boggling, but given the culprit, it actually made a weird kind of sense.

I look forward to checking out the next book in this series, if only to see where things go from here.

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The Lucy Stone series by Leslie Meier is among my favorite cozy mystery series. I've read all the novels and short stories in this series and this one, Patchwork Quilt Murder, is among the very best in this long-running (30 books) series.

I love how Lucy Stone, a small town Maine reporter, uses her work in tracking down stories to help her track down the culprit. The author uses current social issues well in her books. There's also a focus on quilting and antiques in this book.

As much as I enjoyed the plot, in a Lucy Stone mystery, it's the characters that make the book. As a reader, I care about these characters. I'm attached to these characters.

Though it's a long-running series, it still feels fresh to me and I'm hoping there are many more Lucy Stone mysteries to come.

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This is my first Lucy Stone read and I was attracted to it because I'm a quilter. Though there really is little to do with a quilt in the story, I enjoyed this book, particularly the cozy setting. I guess I'd call it a cozy, but it is perhaps a bit more complex than the usual cozy and tackles a few issues and has some unexpected twists and turns, some of which defy belief, but hey, it's a novel, so I guess that is fine. It kept my interest and though I got less of a sense of character than place, I'd probably read another of her books in this series.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. I'm sure it will find many readers.

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Patchwork Quilt Murder by Leslie Meier has Lucy Stone covering the opening of the new and controversial community center. We get to see how Lucy, Bill, and their family are doing. Lucy and Bill are now empty nesters. A tragedy does strike the Stone household that will touch a chord with many people. The whodunit has Lucy on the trail of chop happy killer. The mystery does not begin until we are a third of a way through the book. The body is not identified until a little past the halfway point. Lucy asks some questions, but more of her time is devoted to another puzzle. Ted and his wife are acting oddly. Lucy has a feeling it has to do with their son who has returned to town and happens to be working at the new community center. In Patchwork Quilt Murder, the author gets on her soapbox about climate control and mental health as well as the services that should be available to those suffering from mental health disorders. These issues overshadowed the rest of the story. While both issues are important and need addressing, I do not feel a cozy mystery is the right venue. While Patchwork Quilt Murder is the thirtieth A Lucy Stone Mystery, it can be read as a standalone. I have been reading the series since the beginning and I admit that I liked the earlier books better than the last half a dozen or so. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Civil War era quilts. It was interesting learning the history behind them. Patchwork Quilt Murder is the latest A Lucy Stone Mystery with community center coverage, an inflated income, parts popping up, distressing news, rampant rumors, upset parents, and an antique quilt.

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I hadn't read a Lucy Stone mystery in years, so I thought I'dread this one and see where the series characters were and if the stories had improved. Well, it's still not on my list of series to follow. I find Lucy a bit cold, and her children, now grown, are not particularly close nor do they show much grief when the family dog dies, although initially neither does Lucy, although she finally does admit to missing Libby. The mystery centers on the disappearance of the unusually highly paid director of the new community center. The number one suspects appears to be Lucy's friend's son, who suffered a nervous breakdown and has returned home after hospitalization to complete his recovery. Although there are some fictional small towns I'd love to live in, I'll pass by Tinker's Cove, even if it is in Maine.

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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this book. I have not read any of Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone series before and really enjoyed this one. I’m going to look up the first in this series. I enjoyed getting to know Lucy Stone and her town. She is a reporter that loves her community and wants to report on all its happenings. The town has a new community center and people are questioning its value. Then body parts start showing up in different places and now has the town on edge. Lucy is doing her best to find out who the body parts belong to and who the killer might be. Turned into a very good mystery.

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The story is intriguing and has potential but the execution falls short. The quilt theme, although present is not woven throughout the story. The plot leans heavily on suggesting a character with mental illness has committed the crime. As a cozy, this one is a bit more graphic due to the use of found parts, so it loses the light hearted cozy theme and feels a bit too strong on the side of murder.
Great for fans of Leslie Meier series and will definitely circulate, but this newest installment was not for me!

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