cover image Kansas Troubles

Kansas Troubles

Earlene Fowler / Author Berkley Publishing Group $19.95 (0p) I

Newly married California museum curator Benni Harper travels to Kansas to meet her in-laws in this third of Fowler's quilt-pattern series (after Irish Chain). Police chief Gabe Ortiz, her husband, assures her that everyone in his small hometown will love her, but Benni, whose father, eccentric Aunt Dove and Uncle Arnie are driving from California to be with them, isn't so sure. At a party given by Gabe's sister, she introduces herself to Tyler Brown, whose quilt on the sister's living room wall she admires. Tyler, who says she left her Amish family a year ago to pursue a singing career, is visibly upset and says she's being harassed. Later that evening, Tyler's body is found, her head bashed in, leaving Gabe's childhood friends suspects in the murder. With the help of her sister-in-law, Benni attempts to identify the killer and, in the process, learns more about the pasts of her husband and his friends than she's sure she wants to know. Complicating matters further and adding comic relief to this grim tale are periodic calls from her family as they work their way across the country. (May)