- Author: Earlene Fowler
Book online «Fool's Puzzle Earlene Fowler (microsoft ebook reader TXT) 📖». Author Earlene Fowler
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joins the ranks of today’s most celebrated
mystery authors with her outstanding debut of
the Benni Harper mystery series!
“Fool’s Puzzle is a ripping read. It’s smart, vigorous, and
more than funny: Within its humor is wrenching
insight ... Not a word is out of place, not a haunting picture
missed ... A new voice to delight hungry mystery readers.”
—Noreen Ayres, author of A World the Color of Salt
“[Fowler] made me laugh out loud on one page and
brought tears to my eyes the next. Benni Harper and her
extended family... live and breathe and occupy a real slice
of California that I haven’t seen before in the mystery field.
An exquisite sense of place ... I can’t wait to read more.”
—Margaret Maron, Edgar® Award-winning author of
“I thoroughly enjoyed Fool’s Puzzle ... Fowler’s
characters are terrific ... A super job.”
—Eve K. Sandstrom, author of The Devil Down Home
A Benni Harper Mystery
by Earlene Fowler
“Fool’s Puzzle,” also known as “Drunkard’s Path,”
“Falling Timbers,” and “Country Husband,” is a popular
traditional quilt pattern made with two contrasting
colors. It is easily cut, but very confusing to set together.
The overall pattern is not apparent from a single block
but must be viewed as a whole.
Don’t miss Earlene Fowler’s next Benni Harper
mystery, Seven Sisters, available from
Berkley Prime Crime.
Berkley Prime Crime Books by Earlene Fowler
THE SADDLEMAKER’S WIFE
The Benni Harper Mysteries
GOOSE IN THE POND
DOVE IN THE WINDOW
STEPS TO THE ALTAR
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright © 1994 by Earlene Fowler.
The Edgar® name is a registered service mark of the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.
Quilt designs by Pepper Cory.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
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a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014
eISBN : 978-1-101-50023-1
Berkley Prime Crime
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The Berkley Prime Crime design is a trademark belongng to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
For my husband, Allen—
Without a doubt, I’d choose you again
For Mary Edith, sister, friend and
“partner in crime” since
the day I was born
As with most endeavors there are always people to thank.
First, I’d like to thank God for grace and blessings I did nothing to deserve.
I’d also like to thank my parents, family and friends for their support, the Fountain Valley Police Department, the staffs at the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach Public Libraries, Steve Bradley for expert gun advice, Darwin Sainz for sharing his knowledge on cattle, my agent, Deborah Schneider, for her hard work and for taking a chance on a new writer, my editor, Laurie Bernstein, for her expert advice and for never failing to make me feel like a million bucks and to Ann Lee, poet and friend, for her unwavering faith in my ability.
And finally, to Jo-Ann Mapson, writer, critic, friend and cowgirl extraordinaire. If there was a silver belt buckle awarded for teaching, you’d be wearing it.
A popular traditional quilt pattern best made with two contrasting colors. It is easily cut, but very confusing to set together. The overall pattern is not apparent from a single block but must be viewed as a whole. Also known as “Drunkard’s Path,” “Falling Timbers,” and “Country Husband.”
MY DAY DIDN’T start with murder, although the thought crossed my mind.
“Save me,” the voice on the phone whispered.
I jerked the instrument underneath the down comforter. Perfect temperature control was shattered, causing me to growl at my caller. “Go away.”
“You’re my last chance.” It was a harsh, old voice, as ratchety as a Las Vegas Wheel of Fortune.
I laughed in derision. “Tough luck.” It was cruel perhaps, but not without justification. I’d been burned by this voice before.
“I won’t be held responsible for what I do!”
There was, I noted with satisfaction, a hint of panic.
“You know you’ll pay if you try anything rash,” I cautioned. “I wouldn’t mess