Book Review: PLEATING FOR MERCY By Melissa Bourbon

Series: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #1
Publisher: Signet
Released: August 2, 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane 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.


Harlow’s great-great-great grandfather was the infamous Butch Cassidy, and since his time, all of the Cassidy women have been blessed with a magical ability. When Harlow inherits her great grandmother’s farmhouse, she gives up her career as a fashion designer in New York City and moves home to Bliss, Texas. Though not certain what her “special gift” is yet, Harlow knows that she has an amazing talent for dressmaking.

Harlow turns the first floor of her farmhouse into a custom dressmaking boutique. Her first customer is soon-to-be bride Josie, a childhood friend marrying into the town’s oldest and richest families. Designing dresses for the wedding party would be a huge boost for her business, but the dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Josie’s boss is found murdered in Harlow’s front yard. With a little ghostly assistance from her dearly departed great grandmother, Harlow sets out to find the killer and save Josie’s wedding.

PLEATING FOR MERCY is a fantastic first book in a new cozy mystery series by Melissa Bourbon. I was quickly absorbed in the book and did not want to put it down! It was a nice blend of mystery, a little romance (more Will, please!), and the supernatural, but the mystery itself took center stage. The plot was fast-paced with many twists along the way. The cast of characters was large, but each character was memorable. I loved the dialogue between them, especially the Southernisms. Though I’m not into it myself, I found the descriptions of sewing and dress design very interesting, and they were woven nicely into the story. This book will be especially appealing to those who are handy with the needle and thread. Highly recommended!

Rating: 4Β½ Stars

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