Murder in a Living History Farm in “Plagued by Quilt”

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Plagued by QuiltKath, an antique fiber specialist, and her TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) friends are helping in a project teaching 19th century quilting styles to high schoolers at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm in Plagued by Quilt by Molly MacRae. On the opening day, Kath meets the teenagers and the new assistant director of the living history farm, Phillip Bell. As the group tours the farm and visits the trash excavation pit,17-year-old Zac, who has exhibited boredom until now when he shows his unique intelligence, notices an anomaly in the ground and discovers the elbow of a body. Wondering if the elbow could belong to a complete skeleton and if the skeleton might belong to the moody ghost whom only Kath can see, Kath calls out, “Geneva!”, a name that excites Phillip because he seems to recognize it himself. Making an appointment to meet Phillip before her quilt lesson the next day, Kath shows up for it, only to find Phillip lying dead, with his throat mangled. So the posse that investigates mysteries together at the Weaver’s Cat assembles to work to get to the bottom of the case, especially when a second body is found buried with the first.

The team gets busy to find the truth and hopefully free Phillip’s ex-wife, Grace, arrested when she suggested that a good place to hide a weapon would be the pond. The deputy, “Clod,” Dunbar decides this is an admission of guilt and pulls her in. So who else could be guilty of the murder? Could the discovery of the bodies have revealed something to Phillip that someone else didn’t want known publicly?

This book really does a good job of interesting us in the details of quilt making. Kath’s creepy cousins, the Spivey twins, have an elaborate quilt they call the Plague Quilt with images of 13 coffins on one side, which seems to coincide with names written in squares of the quilt. The book interested me enough to make me look up quilts and in particular “crazy quilts,” which Kath teaches the students about and which I found really interesting. The mystery was interesting as well, entertaining me as I listened avidly to this book.

I really enjoyed the setting of a living history museum, which is described so vividly. MacRae has a Master’s degree related to museum curatorship, and she really put that degree to use cleverly in this book. I felt that I was at the farm with Kath and the students.

I enjoy the narration of Emily Durante, who brings the books in this series to life. She has a gentle southern accent that helps flavor the book. I especially enjoy her voicing of Geneva, who has wild mood swings and thus different ways of speaking.

I enjoyed Plagued by Quilt and really liked the setting chosen for the mystery. It does a fantastic job of making the story interesting, with lots of fascinating educational material. I give this book five stars.

To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.

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