I’ve decided to clean up my livejournal blog and move all things bookish over here! And what better way to start than a review I wrote a few weeks ago and forgot to share outside of Goodreads and Amazon! 😉 So here’s my first review to this blog!
Death in rural Wisconsin is only the beginning to new chaos in Robertsville. What do a stolen piece of revolutionary agricultural equipment, a long-buried skeleton in the yard, and an old quilt with secrets have in common? Hart and Judy Wingate, who met in The Gold Standard, are back to solve the mystery of The Map Quilt. Hart’s new battery design could forever change the farm implement industry. But after the death of Hart’s most confrontational colleague in a fire that destroys Hart’s workshop, the battery is missing.
Throw in a guest speaker invited to Judy’s elementary classroom who insists she owns the land under Hart’s chief competitor’s corporate headquarters, and a police chief who’s making eyes at Hart’s widowed mother, it’s no wonder Hart is under a ton of pressure to make sure his adventurous pregnant wife stays safe while trying to preserve his company and his reputation.
In The Map Quilt by Lisa J. Lickell, Hart and Judy Wingate find themselves in the middle of a mystery when a colleague dies in a fire and their revolutionary product goes missing. At the same time, Judy befriends a woman on a quest to recover her land, lost when her ancestors fled slavery persecution. As the Wingate’s work to find the lost product, they discover the two mysteries are more closely connected than they ever suspected.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have not read the first in the series and, although the story occasionally referred back to the first, it never made me feel lost or that I was missing something. That being said, I had a hard time realizing they were in their late twenties – perhaps because it wasn’t mentioned until the 4th chapter. And also because Hart’s name just felt older to me. I can’t help but wonder if it would have been easier if I had read the first book when they had their romance.
The subject of the underground railroad and map quilts was fascinating and I felt like I learned a lot about that time period. The mystery itself was tense and exciting, I was definitely hooked and needed to know what had happened. About halfway through the book, things had gotten so suspenseful that I gave up even pretending I was going to bed before I finished. 😉
I should mention, though, that this isn’t a mystery like a Nancy Drew or some such where the characters are actively poking around and investigating. They do that a little but a lot of the mystery is revealed through the course of events rather than detective work.
It’s definitely a Christian book and those overly sensitive to such things might dislike the Christian overtures. But as a Christian accustomed to the heavy-handed preaching common in many books, I felt Lisa Lickell handled the topic extremely well. The characters faith was naturally incorporated into their lives without making it feel forced or overdone – very realistically portrayed rather than preached.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. I’m definitely going to have to read the first in the series so I can see how Hart and Judy get together now that I have come to enjoy their characters so much.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.