Our State Magazine, February 2009
reviewed by Elizabeth Langfahl
Boone author Maggie Bishop brings back carpenter, photographer, and unabashed “SCI” wannabe Jemma Chase in the second of her Appalachian Adventure Mystery series. In “Perfect for Framing,” Jemma finds herself entangled in a web of neighborhood intrigue after she accepts a custom cabinet-making job in an up-and-coming mountain development, Hickory Hills. At the same time, energetic Jemma is in pursuit of a job with the sheriff’s department, where the man she is “keeping company” with, Detective Tucker, is employed.
While installing cabinetry in the home of a local resident, Jemma learns that power-hungry, rich, and attractive Property Owners Association President Petula Windsor has made many enemies in Hickory Hills and beyond. Petula hires Jemma to build cabinetry for her guesthouse. Neighborhood intrigue escalates when Jemma discovers Petula’s body in the burning guesthouse.
Although Detective Tucker is understandably reluctant to include Jemma in the murder investigation, Jemma’s natural instincts and knowledge of Petula’s foes and friends prove to be invaluable, even as Tucker finds his own life threatened. Together, Tucker and Jemma begin to discern the true nature of Petula’s many relationships and discover the identity of her killer. In a surprising twist, Jemma also discovers what is really worth pursuing in her own life.
“Perfect for Framing” is a fun, fast-paced read with lots of local flavor. Although the mystery surrounding Petula’s demise will keep you quickly turning pages, what’s ultimately most satisfying is keeping company with the characters of Jemma and Tucker in this mountain adventure.
Causes Maggie Bishop Supports