DEATH BY COMMITTEE
An Abby McCree Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Number of Pages: 304 pages
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
When Abby McCree suddenly inherits her favorite relative’s property in small town Snowberry Creek, Washington, she soon realizes that the ramshackle home comes with strings attached—one of which is tied to a dead body! After a rough divorce, Abby McCree only wants to stitch up her life and move on. But other loose ends appear after her elderly Aunt Sybil passes away, leaving Abby to tend to a rundown estate, complete with a slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree and a sexy tenant who growls more than the dog. As Abby gets drawn into a tight-knit quilting guild, she makes a twisted discovery—Aunt Sybil’s only known rival is buried in her backyard! Despite what local detectives say, Abby refuses to accept that her beloved aunt had anything to do with the murder. While navigating a busy social calendar and rediscovering the art of quilting, she launches an investigation of her own to clear Aunt Sybil’s name and catch the true culprit. The incriminating clues roll in, yet Abby can’t help but wonder—can she survive her new responsibilities in Snowberry Creek and still manage to patch together a killer’s deadly pattern without becoming the next victim?
MAKING CONNECTIONS ONE STITCH AT A TIME
As often happens at the beginning of a new series, DEATH BY COMMITTEE starts shortly after a major occurrence in the main character’s life that has forced her out of her familiar world. In the case of Abby McCree, the amateur sleuth in my new cozy mystery, that change was a contentious divorce that resulted in her losing her husband, her career, and her home.
As the story opens, she has recently moved from her urban home near Seattle to Snowberry Creek, a small town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. She’s no longer living in an upscale condo. Instead, she’s moved into the three-story Victorian home she recently inherited from her Aunt Sybil.
Left to her own devices, Abby might have simply holed up in her new, but most likely temporary, home to lick her wounds and reassess her life’s goals before moving on. Since hiding out in the attic while she sorted through all the stuff her aunt had squirreled away over the decades would make for pretty boring reading, I had to come up with something that would force Abby to hit the floor running in her new home.
Luckily for me, she didn’t just inherit the house. Abby also inherited her aunt’s mastiff-mix Zeke, the handsome tenant who lives in the mother-in-law house in the backyard, and her aunt’s many friends. It was that last group who immediately stepped in to get Abby involved in her new town. They did it by informing her that Abby’s late aunt would’ve expected her to finish out Sybil’s term of office as president of their quilting guild.
While they have no way to prove that claim, it doesn’t really matter. Abby is stuck and she knows it. I personally think it was their clever way of helping Abby build a strong connection between her own past and her future in Snowberry Creek. After all, as a young girl, Abby had spent a lot of happy hours in the town whenever she visited with her aunt. The two of them had even spent a summer piecing a quilt top together.
I suppose there could have been any number of ways to draw Abby out of her shell, but quilting just felt right. After all, women through history have always bonded while wielding a needle and thread. Besides, out of everything Abby inherited from her aunt, she treasures Sybil’s quilts the most. Well, those and Zeke, but you know what I mean. Abby misses her aunt and spending time with Sybil’s friends is a great way to honor her beloved aunt’s memory.
That is something that Abby and I have in common. While I’m not a talented seamstress myself, I love quilts of all kinds. And like Abby, the ones I own are some of my most treasured possessions. I have a Double Baby Wedding Ring quilt that my grandmother made for my mom as a wedding gift, so it’s been in the family for three generations now. I also have a gorgeous quilt that my aunt made that I keep on display on a quilt rack in my bedroom. Three friends have also given me quilts they made for me. I think of those wonderful ladies every time I use them.
So, do you have special ways of connecting with the women in your community? I do so through my neighborhood book club, but also through my local writers’ groups. Please share your own experiences! Who knows, you might even give Abby new ideas on how to set down roots in Snowberry Creek.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Best of luck!
Many thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and Alexis Morgan! It was a pleasure hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!