Let’s be real. If we’re talking about a day in my life, Martha Rose, we’re usually talking about sewing quilts. And if the day is Tuesday, we’re talking about stitching quilts with my best friends Lucy Mondello (tall redhead, who always dresses with a theme) and Birdie Watson (former hippie with a long white braid who recently had her driver’s license confiscated).
At fifty five years old, I’m the youngest of the group. I am also the only one who is no longer married, although I’m not always single. My hair style hasn’t changed since the seventies except my shoulder-length curls are now salt and pepper. I’d describe myself as having a typical Jewish figure; I’m pleasantly plump with a large bosom and womanly curves. Okay, I wear size sixteen jeans, but I’m working on it.
My only family is a daughter, Quincy, who lives in Boston, and my eighty five year old uncle who lives in nearby West Los Angeles. I frequently spend Friday evening Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, with Uncle Isaac. He and my grandmother (may she rest in peace) raised me and even though I’ve been on my own for years, he still worries about me. It’s a nice feeling.
My friends and I live in Encino, California, a suburb located in the San Fernando Valley. One unforgettable Tuesday morning we headed to nearby Woodland Hills to sew with a seriously talented quilt artist. Claire Terry was only in her forties, but when friends get together to quilt, age doesn’t matter. The younger ones bring new experiences to the circle, the older ones bring wisdom and great stories. It’s all good.
Anyway, Lucy drove us in her vintage black Cadillac, the kind with the shark fins in back. Her husband Ray is a successful auto mechanic who restores old cars. Birdie sat in front and I settled in back, sinking into the new cream colored leather seats. (Have you ever noticed how leather doesn’t stick to your clothes like the synthetic cloth they usually use in cars? It also doesn’t retain heat like vinyl does. I’m really sensitive to the properties of different materials because of my quilting.)
When we got to Claire’s house we discovered her dead body. Then we had to stay and give a statement to the police. I have to admit that I got all flustered because the detective working the case, Arlo Beavers. was really good looking. And he wasn’t wearing a ring. And he was the right age. And he had a white mustache. I have a thing for neat facial hair in men.
That night I called my daughter Quincy to tell her about discovering Claire’s body. By that time my fibromyalgia kicked in and I was in a lot of pain. I get flare-ups of fibro and migraine headaches when I’m stressed out. When that happens I take medication and rest. At least I try to rest. But finding a corpse really stressed me out.
As it turns out, discovering Claire’s body was only the beginning. A couple days later her quilt, Birdie’s quilt and my Civil War Reproduction bed sized quilt were stolen from the big show, right in front of several witnesses. And guess which detective was involved in investigating the theft of the quilts since one of them was Claire Terry’s?
Now I no longer have any quilty days or nights. I feel compelled to discover who killed Claire. So if we’re talking about a day in my life, we’re talking about solving a murder and finding our quilts. (And thinking about that hunky detective.)
This is the 4th stop on the Forget Me Knot Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, click HERE
You can read more about Martha in Forget Me Knot, the first book in the new “Quilting” mystery series, published by Kensington. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
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Meet the author
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, writer Mary Marks earned a BA in Anthropology from UCLA and an MA in Public Administration from the American Jewish University.
Marks became an award winning quilter after her retirement from UCLA administration. Writing about her quilts led her in a new creative direction, writing cozy mysteries. Forget Me Knot is the first book in her quilting mystery series set in the San Fernando Valley.
Marks is also a reviewer of cozy mysteries for the New York Journal of Books online.
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