Harlow Cassidy is the protagonist of this new cosy series.
She's a fashion designer and a descendant of Butch Cassidy.
Since the death of her great-grandmother, she has left her
life in Manhattan and moved back to her hometown of Bliss,
Texas. In Bliss, the women of the Cassidy family are
infamous for their various talents - Harlow's great-grandma
could get whatever she wanted, her grandmother is a
goat-whisperer and her mom has an extremely green thumb.
What the townsfolk of Bliss don't know is that this is all
because Butch Cassidy once made a wish that his descendants
would live a charmed life. Unfortunately, Harlow fears the
charm may have stopped at her generation.
Harlow is still settling in to her new life in Bliss when
she gets her first client, Josie. Josie is a childhood
friend who is getting married and needs not only her gown
designed and made, but those of her bridesmaids, as the
local bridal gown company has gone out of business. But a
few days later, Josie's boss Nell is mysteriously murdered
right outside of Harlow's store, and Josie quickly becomes a
suspect. When this happens, Josie turns to Harlow for help
and asks her to look into things and help her get off the
hook and off the suspect list.
At first, there's a dearth of suspects and motives, until a
sequence of events leads Harlow to find a plethora of both.
But who actually did it? And will Harlow's sleuthing
interfere with her day job? And are all those mysteriously
sounds in Harlow's house (formerly her great-grandmother's
house) really just pipes and floorboards acting up, or are
they something a bit more meaningful?
This book was a fun read, and the historical tie-in with
Butch Cassidy was a kick, as well. As the daughter of a
sewing teacher, I found the dressmaking tips at the end of
the book to be completely true and helpful, and I found
Harlow's character to be compelling and relatable as a
down-to-earth designer and seamstress. The one thing that I
didn't understand was why Josie would turn to Harlow and ask
her to investigate. While they had a relationship as
children and teenagers, it isn't as if Harlow had been known
as someone involved in investigations or had a parent in the
police force -- even if she was a naturally nosy person,
this would have made more sense to me.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I will look forward to the
next book in the series.
When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jean Cassidy
leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves
back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking
boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she
inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Her
old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding,
but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Harlow has to find the
killer-with a little help from beyond.