Book Reviews: DEADLY PATTERNS by Melissa Bourbon

Series: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #3
Publisher: Signet
Released: October 2, 2012
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★¾

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…

DEADLY PATTERNS is another fun installment in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. Christmas is coming to the small town of Bliss, Texas, and with it the Winter Wonderland festival. Dressmaker Harlow Jane Cassidy has been put in charge of the fashion show, which is being held in the newly renovated Denison Mansion. Preparations for the event are rolling along until the man hired to play Santa winds up dead, the victim of foul play.

After some investigating, Harlow finds out that this particular Santa was on several people’s naughty list, and perhaps he wanted in the old Denison House for a reason other than spreading holiday cheer. With a little encouragement from her deceased great-grandmother’s ghost, Harlow sets out to solve the Santa murder mystery and have the fashion show set to go on time.

This is one of my favorite new cozy mystery series, so I can’t miss a book. I love visiting Bliss, Texas, and Harlow is a very interesting and likable main character. In addition to the mystery, the story also delves deeper into the Cassidy family tree. It did get confusing remembering who was related to whom and how, all the way back to Butch Cassidy himself, but luckily there’s a family tree chart at the back of the book.

I would probably recommend reading the prior two books in the series first, just because Harlow has a complex family history and it would help to know the backstory. Fans of cozy mysteries with a little romance and a little magic are sure to be pleased.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.