The beautiful Smoky Mountains provide the background for a series of ugly murders.
Theo Abernathy is a quilt-store owner married to Tony, Sheriff of Park County, Tenn. Heavily pregnant with twins, she’s looking forward to a quilting retreat at The Lodge, a nearby hotel with stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere. But her plans are derailed when she spots the body of haughty embroidery expert Scarlet LaFleur, a member of the area’s famous floral-named family. Scarlet did not plunge to her death over a temporary railing, as Theo first assumed, but was strangled with a mandolin wire. Tony’s already had his hands full with the death of the local loan shark, petty theft and the rifle-wielding crazies who’ve been shooting up road signs. His problems only increase with the murder of famous singer Elf, who came to town for her son’s wedding, by the same means as her sister Scarlet. Confined to a wheelchair until she delivers her twins, Theo still keeps busy making wedding quilts, listening to local gossip for tidbits to help Tony and pondering who could be killing off members of the Flower family.
Once more Graham (Murder by Artifact, 2009, etc.) offers a cluttered mystery whose best features are Tony, Theo and the obligatory instructions for a mystery quilt.