Read Barbara Graham - Quilted 03 - Murder by Music Online

Authors: Barbara Graham

Tags: #Mystery: Thriller - Sheriff - Smoky Mountains

Barbara Graham - Quilted 03 - Murder by Music

Barbara Graham - Quilted 03 - Murder by Music
Number III of
Quilted Mysteries
Barbara Graham
Five Star (2011)
Tags:
Mystery: Thriller - Sheriff - Smoky Mountains
Mystery: Thriller - Sheriff - Smoky Mountainsttt
Autumn brings cooler temperatures to the Smoky Mountains. The weather may be cooling down in tiny Park County, Tennessee, but crime is heating up. Weevil Beasley, the county's loan shark, dies and the body count begins. Sheriff Tony Abernathy is soon up to the top of his bald head in murder and mayhem.
Tony's wife, Theo, is in the thick of it. Not even the members of her quilting group are immune when she leads them on a thread-filled retreat up at The Lodge. Arriving early for one of the upcoming weddings, a member of their group is murdered.
While dealing with cranky quilters, distraught hotel keepers and unfinished projects, Theo has to keep track of gossip for her husband and barely has time to hand out the pattern for her new mystery quilt.
M
URDER BY
M
USIC

THE WEDDING QUILT

B
ARBARA
G
RAHAM

FIVE STAR
A part of Gale, Cengage Learning

Copyright © 2011 by Barbara Graham.

Five Star Publishing, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination, or, if real, used fictitiously.

No part of this work covered by the copyright herein may be reproduced, transmitted, stored, or used in any form or by any means graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, scanning, digitizing, taping, Web distribution, information networks, or information storage and retrieval systems, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

The publisher bears no responsibility for the quality of information provided through author or third-party Web sites and does not have any control over, nor assume any responsibility for, information contained in these sites. Providing these sites should not be construed as an endorsement or approval by the publisher of these organizations or of the positions they may take on various issues.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA

Graham, Barbara, 1948−
      Murder by music: the wedding quilt, a quilted mystery / Barbara Graham. — 1st ed.
         p. cm.

 ISBN-13: 978-1-4328-2544-7 (hardcover)
    ISBN-10: 1-4328-2544-5 (hardcover)

 eISBN-13: 978-1-4328-2735-9 eISBN-10: 1-4328-2735-9
    1. Sheriffs—Fiction. 2. Quilting—Fiction. 3. Tennessee—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3607.R336M86 2011

813'.6—dc23
2011024995

First Edition. First Printing: October 2011.

Published in conjunction with the Author.

This title is available as an e-book.

ISBN-13: 978-1-4328-2735-9 ISBN-10: 1-4328-2735-9

Printed in the United States of America
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 15 14 13 12 11

For Denny

Acknowledgements

With grateful thanks to my confused but accepting friends and family. I know it can't be easy dealing with my failure to keep up with the real world.

Thanks again to Michelle Quick, who doesn't like to do mystery quilts, thereby becoming the best possible tester. (If there's a problem, it's all her fault.)

To companion dogs without equal—Max and Grace insist I not spend all my time with imaginary friends. We are often together at the lakes checking for ducks, herons, swans, swallows, pelicans, and their favorite—other people with dogs.

Last, but certainly not least, my editor Alice Duncan, who makes sense of my stories.

BIG AS A MOUNTAIN MYSTERY QUILT
F
IRST SET OF CLUES

This quilt is a large wall hanging or oversized lap quilt. Use flannel on the back and snuggle in for the winter season. Approximately 60″ by 70″.

All fabric requirements are generous and based on standard width fabric of approximately 40″ of usable fabric. The instructions assume familiarity with basic quilt construction and sewing an accurate 1/4″ seam. After cutting it out, be sure to save your scraps—just in case.

Fabric requirements:

Fabric #1—the main fabric, 2 2/3 yards of a non-directional print with light or dark background and motifs including at least three additional colors.

Fabric #2—2 yards of a strong medium matching one of the colors in the motifs.

Fabric #3—1 1/8 yards of a medium matching another color from motifs.

Fabric #4—1/2 yard of contrasting medium—may be darker or lighter than the others.

Cutting instructions:
As you cut, be sure to label pieces by color number and size cut.

From
Fabric #1
—Cut 6 strips 6 1/4″ by WOF (width of fabric), subcut into 36 squares 6 1/4″.

Cut 5 strips 4″ by WOF and subcut into 48 squares 4″.

Cut 3 strips 4 3/8″ by WOF and subcut into 24 squares 4 3/8″.

Cut 7 strips 2 3/8″ by WOF.

Cut 4 squares 4 1/2″ from the remainder.

From
Fabric #2
—Cut 4 strips 4 1/2″ by LOF (length of fabric).

From remaining piece cut 8 strips 2 3/8 by WOF (approximately 22″).

Cut 2 strips 4 3/8″ WOF and subcut into 8 squares 4 3/8″.

Cut 8 squares 4″ from remainder.

From
Fabric #3
—Cut 5 strips 2 3/8″ by WOF.

Cut 8 strips 2 1/2″ by WOF.

Cut 8 squares 4″ from remainder.

From
Fabric #4
—Cut 2 strips 4 3/8″ by WOF. Subcut into 16 squares 4 3/8″.

Cut 3 strips 2 3/8″ by WOF.

C
HAPTER
O
NE

Theo Abernathy tried to massage some of the tightness out of her aching back without Tony noticing. Her husband was worried, which was sweet. She appreciated his concern, but she needed a break and she'd get it in three days. The quilting retreat had been planned longer than she'd been pregnant.

She watched as Tony frowned, pulling his forehead wrinkles down to his eyebrows. After a moment, he grinned. His bald scalp smoothed and his bright blue eyes twinkled. “Couldn't you have your quilting retreat in town for a change instead of going up to The Lodge?”

“No.”

“That's it? No? What happened to discussion and negotiation?” Tony pointed to their wedding picture. “Wasn't it in the vows?”

“No.” Theo shook her head. The expression of mock outrage on Tony's face gave her the giggles, and she collapsed onto the bed laughing. “We
are
discussing it. You won the driving prize. You get to drive me up the mountain on Friday, lug my suitcase inside, along with my project bags and boxes, and vanish. I promise to sit with my feet up and do hand appliqué or hand quilting and let the hotel staff wait on me.”

Tony tried frowning again, but Theo ignored him.

“You and the boys can watch football and eat junk food all weekend. I talked to Edith, and she said for you to call her any time, and she will run right over and stay with the boys.” Theo knew part of Tony's reluctance had to do with having his mom and aunt up at the retreat with her. As the sheriff of Park County, Tennessee, he could be called out at any time, day or night. If their next door neighbor wasn't a sweetheart who offered to stay with their two little boys, whenever needed, Theo wouldn't be going away. “I'll be home in time for Jamie's birthday celebration. I've already arranged for Blossom to deliver the cake. She's going to decorate it to look like a baseball field.”

“Okay, okay, you win.” Tony joined her on the bed. “Just to prove I'm not a sore loser, roll over and I'll massage your back.”

“Now that sounds divine.” Theo rolled as well as she could, given the already enormous size of her belly. Twins. She patted the small bulge near her ribcage and the foot digging into her side moved. A sigh escaped her as Tony's big hands eased some of the soreness out of her back. “While I'm up there, I promise to call you only if someone gets killed.”

Tony twisted around until he could look into her face. “Are you expecting homicide?”

“No. I'm being silly. Quilters are too obsessed with fabric and chocolate to indulge in much violence. No one wants to risk getting blood on the fabric. Sometimes there's the threat of fabric thievery.” She poked his shoulder with one finger until he sat up. “Our guest teacher isn't a quilter though, maybe she'll be a problem.”

“What's this about a guest teacher? I thought your group was all about doing your own thing.”

“We are.” Theo eased off the bed. “But Scarlet LaFleur is a world renowned expert in Armenian embroidery. She is coming into town early for the wedding of Celeste and Patrick. Coming to the quilt retreat was her idea.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Early,” Tony muttered. “Why so early?”

“I have no idea.” Theo shook her head. “Or why she wants to hang out with a bunch of quilters. We're usually a lot louder and messier than embroiderers. Kind of like magpies versus robins. Embroiderers tend to keep their threads in good order and never trail scraps all over the place.”

“At least, no dead bodies. Please, promise me. Especially not on Saturday.” Tony shuddered in mock fear. “All those spooks and goblins.”

Theo stared at her husband for a moment, wondering what she had missed. He looked almost desperate. Then it came to her. “Saturday's not Halloween.” She had to laugh. “It's a week from Saturday. I'll be back long before then. And even if it was, the boys have their costumes all planned and the candy is hidden in the kitchen. There are three bags in the bottom cabinet, behind the flour.”

“One bag's empty.”

“You didn't!” Theo stared. Her husband looked as guilty as either of their sons would have if caught in a similar situation. “Did you share with the boys?”

Tony's response was interrupted by the ringing of his cell phone, so he just shook his head. “Yes?” He listened to the caller's message and said, “On my way.”

To Theo he said, “Call me if Gretchen can't take you to the shop.” And, after giving her a quick kiss, he trotted down the stairs.

Tony opened the front door, stopped and swore softly. Thick, gray fog concealed everything below the top step. Somewhere under it should be a newspaper and three more steps. He explored each step with his foot until he located the newspaper, which he dropped just inside the front door. Cautiously, he continued down the rest of the steps and onto the sidewalk. His wariness was rewarded when he discovered a skateboard in his path. Tony tossed it into the yard.

Parked at the curb was his white Blazer with its green trim and insignia. The official Park County Sheriff's vehicle, complete with enough lights on the roof to cover the whole thing. Stopping in front of the Blazer, he whacked the hood with the palm of his hand twice, waited a couple of seconds and whacked it again. A pair of calico cats dropped to the street and shot up onto the grass. As soon as they were a safe distance from him, the smaller one turned and hissed at him, showing a lot of teeth and attitude. Ignoring the cats, Tony climbed into the car, rolled down his window and listened. It was quiet enough to hear the gurgles of the tiny creek running through the park and along the side of his house. He could almost hear the leaves falling.

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