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24 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEST Mystery series around !
I love the Benni Harper Mysteries they grab you and make you feel like you actually know the families and leave you wanting and waiting for more !!
Published on April 16 2004 by K. Geiger

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This would be fun except for the main character
The best part of this book is that it's titled in honor of my favorite quilting pattern. This is a competent mystery of an amateur detective in a specialized field (quilting). There are two things that ruin the book for me.
The first is that the heroine is such a fool. I expect amateur detectives to display a modicum of sense and know when to call the police, but...
Published on May 16 2002 by Elizabeth A. Root


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5.0 out of 5 stars BEST Mystery series around !, April 16 2004
By 
K. Geiger "geiger1971" (Cromwell, IN United States) - See all my reviews
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I love the Benni Harper Mysteries they grab you and make you feel like you actually know the families and leave you wanting and waiting for more !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!, Nov. 26 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
The characters are so rich and down to earth! This is a MUST read. Even if you are NOT into Quilting :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, Feb. 18 2003
By 
Grannie (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
I was surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I was annoyed with Benni for doing stupid things, disappointed at the lack of quilting references, and occasionally frustrated with the writing. However, the most important quality in my enjoyment of a book is caring about the characters - and I quickly cared a lot about Benni and her family and friends. Also, the setting in central California was fresh and different. I look forward to reading more!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Slow Start, Feb. 17 2003
By 
Kevin Nelson "kevinandann2" (Orleans, Ontario) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
At first I thought the idea of a mystery based upon a type of quilt pattern to be interesting. Then, as I started to read the book, I was a little disappointed. The book takes quite a while to get going. I think this is because the author was trying to lay the foundation for a series, which proved to be the case. Once she did this the book really got going and proved to be a good read. If you like the amateur detective in a small town motif, this would be a good choice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hang in there!, Aug. 3 2002
This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
OK, so the title of my review doesn't make you think this book is going to be any good. It was hard to rate. Up front I have to warn you: The plot is contrived; The dialogue gets on your nerves; and The writing is clumsy. BUT . . .
Hang in there, read this one, then sit back and enjoy the ride!!! In all honesty it was very difficult to get through this first book in the Benni Harper series. Despite all the negative things I mentioned, I got through the book and started the second (Irish Chain) and immediately picked up the third (Kansas Troubles)and have just finished the fourth (Goose In the Pond) after a marathon, all-night reading session. There was something about the budding relationship of Benni Harper and Gabe Ortiz that made me continue reading, and I'm glad I did. The writing gets better, the mysteries get better and the romance gets hotter and stronger. Right now I can hardly wait to start on the next book and I won't/can't stop until I catch up to the 9th book and current installment, Steps to the Alter. I'm not even thinking about what I will do when I finish that one and need to wait months for the next one!
I'd strongly urge you to give this series a chance. You don't have to be a quilter to enjoy the books, but the author's use of quilt patterns is really clever. Anyway, hang in there, the adventures of Benni and Gabe get better and remember it had to start somewhere!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quilts, Mystery and Romance, June 30 2002
By 
Judith Miller (Bluemont, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
This story crosses several different paths. There's the quilting interest, because the main character, Benni Harper is the curator of a small folk-art museum in California. In fact, the story starts with Benni getting ready to have a quilt show. The mystery comes in when Benni discovers the body of a local artist in the museum. Finally, a little romance is provided by the attractive detective who's investigating the murder. He's Police Chief Gabe Ortiz and seems to have more than a little interest in the curator. We also meet Benni's grandmother who adds the humorous touch to the story.
Earlene Fowler has made her characters into real personalities and provides us with a fun and enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This would be fun except for the main character, May 16 2002
By 
Elizabeth A. Root (Laurel, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
The best part of this book is that it's titled in honor of my favorite quilting pattern. This is a competent mystery of an amateur detective in a specialized field (quilting). There are two things that ruin the book for me.
The first is that the heroine is such a fool. I expect amateur detectives to display a modicum of sense and know when to call the police, but she keeps doing obviously dangerous things. If someone told her that there was an axe murderer in the basement, she'd probably go down unarmed and alone to check. There just doesn't seem to be any compelling reason for her to become so involved.
The second is that Fowler's idea of plotting includes lots of pointless bickering between the two main characters. I don't think it's romantic or amusing and I don't like reading it any more than I enjoy listening to it in real life. I use the same strategy in both cases: I go elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Characters make for a Remarkable Debut, March 29 2002
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
Benni Harper is trying to put her life back together. It's been nine months since her husband died. Recently, she's moved into the town of San Celina and taken a job at the local artist co-op running the folk art museum, a job she's perfect for. But then she finds one of the artists stabbed in the woodshop. Since her cousin was seen fleeing the scene, she gets involved trying to find out what happened. The stakes are raised when a second body is found. Still trying to figure out her relationship with the temporary police chief, she plunges on, learning secrets she didn't want to know. But can she find the killer before the killer makes her the next target?
What struck me most about this book was the characters. Benni and police chief Gabe Ortiz jump off the page as fully realized characters. I feel like I've known them for several books instead of just one. Even the supporting characters are well developed. The mystery itself is good, with some unexpected twists. The writing style feels like that of a polished professional. It's hard to believe this is a first novel.
This is the first in the Benni Harper series, and I look forward to reading the others. If you enjoy a well-written mystery with fresh, three dimensional characters, this is the book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fool's Puzzle, Feb. 27 2002
By 
Georgie-Anne Holder "Aine" (NB Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
Highly enjoyable read. Recently widowed Benni Harper is a likeble character working as curator in a folk art museum. When murder hits too close for comfort, Benni starts digging for information, even against the wishes of the handsome police chief, Gabe Ortiz. Benni's grandmother Dove, will leave you laughing as she keeps a sharp eye on Benni while meddling in her life. Earlene Fowler's writing is down to earth and a pleasure to read. This book leaves you wanting to follow the lives and careers of it's characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable reading!, Oct. 25 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Fool's Puzzle (Mass Market Paperback)
A great read. The mystery is well-paced and the characters are likable. The tension between the main characters is well played, and best of all, Benni's quirky grandmother is a hoot. I look forward to the next one!
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Fool's Puzzle
Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 14 2002)
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