The Devil’s Puzzle by Clare O’Donohue is the fourth book in the “Someday Quilts” mystery series. Publisher: Plume (Penguin), September 2011
Nell and the Someday quilters undertake their first cold case in a series that continues to bewitch.
After their quilting retreat upstate, the Someday Quilts ladies return to Archers Rest to prepare for the town’s big anniversary celebration. But their plans are unexpectedly derailed by the discovery of a human skeleton in Nell’s grandmother’s backyard. When a menacing wave of shattered windows, defaced graves, and threats to prominent citizens follows, fears fly that the town’s bygone history of witchcraft has been reawakened. Shockingly, Nell’s grandmother becomes the prime suspect, and the ladies must solve the mystery and clear her good name–even if it means putting Nell’s own life in danger.
When a dead body is found in Eleanor’s backyard, Nell, our amateur sleuth, is on the case where secrets buried deep are about to be exposed. Concerns for her grandmother have Nell looking for clues to the identity of the body and the reason for his death. When vandalism hits the town, Nell wonders if these acts are connected and will leave no stones unturned until a killer is caught. What a great and enjoyable read! This well-crafted mystery was a delight to read. The storyline kept me intrigued as it came to an exciting and surprising finish. The mystery plays a large part in this book, but it’s the relationships and camaraderie among the residents that keeps me coming back. I love Nell because she is such a strong protagonist who is not afraid to be direct in her quest. With an endearing cast, great dialogue and the sense of small-town community, this is the best book yet in this character-driven and charming series. Especially nice is I’m a minor character in the book.