Saturday, August 4, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Knot My Sister's Keeper by Mary Marks




Knot My Sister’s Keeper
By Mary Marks
A Quilting Mystery #6
Kensington, 2018


Summary

In tracing her ancestry, quilter Martha Rose discovers a ritzy half-sister, a stash of family secrets, and a decades-old mystery that only she can unravel . . .

Martha Rose is shocked to find she has a half-sister, especially one so different from her. Giselle Cole is wealthy, widowed, and lives a glamorous life in West Los Angeles. At least her grandmother was a quilter! But Giselle can’t answer Martha’s many questions about their father—he disappeared when she was only a child and the few clues left behind indicate he may have been murdered. So Martha and Giselle team up on an investigation that weaves them through the streets of L.A., their father’s hidden love affairs, and into some mysterious unfinished Cole family business . . .

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My thoughts

Knot My Sister’s Keeper is not only the best book in this series, but one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve ever read. The writing is tight and moves at a steady pace, there’s a richness and complexity to the narrative, and most importantly, the storyline has an emotional appeal. This is a clean story overall, with no profanity or explicit scenes, but some couples do live together. Although sixth in the series, this book works well as a standalone.

The series regulars have small parts this time and the spotlight is on Martha Rose here. The discovery of her father’s identity, possibly a cold-case murder, and the existence of a half-sister who was a child when her father disappeared drive the narrative. The sister, Giselle, seemingly couldn’t be more different from Martha, and she’s one of those outspoken people with no filter. Her opinions, misconceptions and prejudices drive Martha crazy, but let me just say that Martha can hold her own. Giselle grew on me as I got to know her when she and Martha teamed up to investigate.

Another theme that I really loved was Martha’s Jewish heritage. In previous books, not much was revealed except that she was Jewish, but here we see faith elements played out in Martha’s life through Jewish dietary restrictions, customs, rituals, and Sabbath celebration. This added depth to Martha’s character as I got to know her better.

Knot My Sister’s Keeper is an outstanding story, one of my very favorite cozy mysteries. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program.

Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

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