The residents of Bliss, Texas, are preparing for the annual
Winter Wonderland festival, which will take place in the
town's most historic mansion. Designing the wardrobe for
the festival's fashion show would normally make dressmaker
Harlow Jane Cassidy (descendant of Butch Cassidy) very
happy, but the weather forecasts aren't favourable and the
renovations on the mansions aren't yet completed!
Harlow is designing and sewing as quickly as she can,
feeling as confident as she possibly can, but things take a
bad turn when a local townsperson falls off the mansion's
widow's balcony and dies. At first glimpse, Dan Lee
Chrisson's fall looks like a tragic accident with bad timing
- he was going through a bad divorce. But as the police
begin to dig deeper into the case, it becomes obvious that
the balcony rail was intentionally loosened and Dan's death
was no mistake.
Harlow had the misfortune of discovering Dan's body, which
means she's once again involved in a crime. Harlow decides
she must find out who is responsible for killing the man who
was to play Santa Claus at the festival. Other than Dan's
divorce, though, no one can think of any reason that anyone
would want Dan dead. When Harlow goes digging, though, she
discovers some shocking revelations. How those secrets
figure into Dan's death, though, may take even more
sleuthing. But finding the time to do that while still
finishing the fashion show clothes and starting over with a
new Santa suit will be a tall order! Will Harlow be able to
find the culprit and still send out a fully-clothed fashion
As usual, Melissa Bourbon delivers a fun mystery full of
intrigue and suspense. Harlow remains a fun character who
is trying to navigate living in the modern world while being
part of the "charmed" family who desperately tries to hide
their "special skills." Harlow's flirtatious relationship
with Will continues in DEADLY PATTERNS, as does her struggle to
decide whether to tell Will about the family's charms.
I've read all of the books in the series, but because the
Cassidy family history is pretty confusing, DEADLY PATTERNS
prove difficult for readers who haven't read this series
from the beginning. Harlow's great-grandmother continues to
haunt her house (which doubles as the dressmaking shop), and
it's a bit tedious that mysterious things happen that Harlow
always has to cover for - sewing machines mysteriously
moving on their own, wind chimes trilling when there's no
wind, or random noises in the house.
Bliss, Texas, continues to be a fun place to visit inhabited
by quirky, lively characters, and I'm looking forward to the
Bliss, Texas, is gearing up for its annual Winter
Wonderland festival, but when a mysterious Scrooge ends the
merriment with murder, it’ll take more than a ghost from
Christmas past to set things right.
Designing a holiday fashion show set in the town’s most
prominent historic mansion seems like a job tailor made for
dressmaker Harlow Jane Cassidy. But with the mansion’s
restoration still in progress and threatening weather on the
horizon, she’s feeling on pins and needles more than
reveling in holiday cheer.
Having volunteered to play Santa in this year’s festival,
Dan Lee Chrisson was ready to move on after his
divorce—until Bliss became his final resting place.
Discovering his body puts Harlow at the scene of the crime.
She’ll need plenty of help from friends and even her late
great-grandmother’s spirited sleuthing if she’s to have a
ghost of a chance of catching a killer who’s just jumped to
the top of the naughty list…