Cozy Comforters in Bright Colors – Bring Solace on Drab Late Winter Days

Can anyone help? Google is failing me this morning.

This photo of a comforter in a local vintage store triggered memories of the comforters that sat on a closet shelf in our home when I was a child. My mother told me my grandmother made them years before, but I can’t recall the construction method she described for sure.

I think they were stuffed with shreds of old rags, but I’m not certain I remember correctly. They had little strings tied in the centers of the squares as in this photo, presumably to hold the layers stably together.

Online searches don’t bring up anything specific to this type of construction.

If anyone know for certain how these old comforters were put together please share your knowledge in the comments section.

However they were made, there have been a lot of days lately when all I wanted to do was curl up under one with a good book, like my latest favorite read, Overkilt, by Kaitlyn Dunnett.

Weekly Wisdom – The Penny Mason Post

Shared stories make our world smaller and life is the real mystery –

Lea Wait, author of the Mainely Needlepoint Mysteries and other great books written for entertainment and the sharing of history

Book Review of Beating About the Bush – An Agatha Raisin Mystery- By M.C. Beaton

Wizz-Wazz, the donkey is the star of this story, and also a suspect in M. C. Beaton’s latest Agatha Raisin series installment, Beating About the Bush. Agatha forms a strange relationship with the animal who resides at the headquarters of a company with which Raisin Investigations has a contract.

Aging detective Agatha and her protégée, young, blonde Toni experience some relationship tension, but artfully work together with  Agatha’s long time friend and policeman Bill Wong, and the investigation company’s other team members to solve the case.

Agatha is in possibly the greatest danger ever, as the case comes together.

Roy Silver, Agatha’s former protégée from her years in public relations, now a talented promotions man himself, arrives in time to assist with Agatha’s PR needs, relative to the murder investigation.

Sir Charles Fraith, with whom Agatha has an off/on relationship, is planning to marry a girl from a family of means, in order to gain cash to keep his estate running. The prospect has Agatha in a tizzy, but she is distracted from the distress by the attentions of Chris, a talented mechanic she meets through the case upon which she is focused.

A topsy-turvy fun and enchanting mystery in classic M.C. Beaton, style.

Are Cozy Mysteries Your Cup of Tea?

There’s no better way to while away a winter day than to settle in with a cup of tea or coffee, as it may be.

Taking ourselves out of our own reality for an hour or an afternoon, makes stress easier to bear.

Kathryn Gerwig’s story, “The Martens and the Murder Attempt” appears in the fun anthology titled A Murder of Crows. It’s a collection of fun crime stories each featuring multiples of a familiar or a unique creature.

No animals come to harm in any of the tales, so its safe for pet and nature lovers.

Never heard of a marten? Get acquainted with these cute northern creatures and enjoy the many other wonderful stories in this excellent title from Darkhouse Books, easily ordered from Amazon.


Weekly Wisdom – The Penny Mason Post

“You should see my corgis at sunset in the snow. It’s their finest hour. About five o’clock they glow like copper. Then they come in and lie in front of the fire like a string of sausages.” 
― Tasha Tudor, The Private World of Tasha Tudor

A Muder of Crows Receives Rave Reviews

Here’s a link to an opinion piece about the recently published anthology, A Murder of Crows, in which Penny Mason Publications associate, Kathryn Gerwig’s story, “The Martens and the Murder Attempt Appears.”

The book would make a great gift for Christmas or a surprise post-Christmas winter present for friends who love animals – and crime stories in which no animals were harmed.

Check out the review and this link to an interview with Sandra Murphy, the book’s editor.

Here’s a link to order the book through its publisher: Darkhouse Books 

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading from Penny Mason Publications!

Book Review of Thread Herrings By Lea Wait

An auction bargain becomes a motive for murder in Thread Herrings of the Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series by mystery maven and Maine historian, Lea Wait. Angie Curtis is still settling into her new life in her home state of Maine, after a decade away.

It’s winter, the time when needlepointers and antique shop owners replenish their wares. Angie’s friend Sarah Byrne invites Angie to attend an auction where she impulsively bids on a unique, but low value, needlepoint piece.

Seeking more information regarding the item’s history, Angie appears on television at the invitation of her friend and fledgling newscaster, Clem Walker. She soon fears for the lives of her friends and herself, as the TV station, and her Mainely Needlepoint business email account receive multiple death threats to herself, Clem, and anyone involved in tracing the history of the item Angie bought at the auction.

Alas, one of her acquaintances becomes a murder victim, proving the reality of the danger from the threats. Will others still be willing to help find the item’s history, and thus, hopefully, the motive for the murder?

Angie must abandon her home for her own safety as she strives to discover the killer’s motivation. A stay at the home of love interest, artist and gallery manager  Patrick West, proves interesting.

A story filled with history, friendship, a hint of romance.  Join Angie as she strives to solve the mystery of the stitchery and the identity of the murderer, amid the beauty of a New England winter.







Book Review of Haunted House Murder – By Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross

Three Maine mystery mavens have put togeather a haunting Halloween anthology.

Love New England, historic homes, tales of crimes and spirits from beyond?

Pick up this book, curl up with coffee, cider, or your beverage of choice, and settle in for a rainy evening; or sprawl upon a leaf strewn lawn and enjoy an Indian summer day of sunshine.

Here is a listing of the well-written and spellbinding stories of hauntings:

Haunted House Murder by Leslie Meier

Death by Haunted House by Lee Hollis

Hallowed Out by Barbara Ross

Weekly Wisdom – The Penny Mason Post

Whiskers in the Dark  by Rita Mae Brown takes the reader on a trip back in time, reminds us of of the ways in which past and present connect on both a personal and big picture basis.

As always in this series, Harry (Mary Minor Haristeen, former postal clerk, farmer, wife of veterinarian Fair Haristeen . . . who lives near Crozet, Virginia) investigates murders, preserves history, interacts with a menagerie of creatures.

Rather than fox hunting, this novel focuses upon the sports of Beagling and Bassetting. (rabbit hunting).

The present day murders are tied up in the military pasts of the victims and action for which they were earlier responsible.

Harry solves the case, but the ending of this one leave us making judgment calls along with Harry.

The concept of justice is sometimes complex.

P.S. There is a happy ending for Ruffy, the little ghost beagle who hangs out with Harry’s pets.

Book Review of How to Knit a Murder A Seaside Knitters’ Society Mystery By Sally Goldenbaum

I did have a difficult time keeping up with character identities in this fast flowing story, but a helpful guide was provided inside the front cover.

I picked up How to Knit a Murder  by Sally Goldenbaum on a day when I was mentally “down” and it delivered what M.C. Beaton mentioned as her reason for writing fiction – “to give someone a good time on a bad day”.

I do my best to make that my motto as I compose my own stories also.

The Cape Ann area is an inspirational place for me, so I immediately loved the setting of this book’s charming fictional village, which holds secrets and conflicts just as do all places of human habitation.

In this entertaining cozy, a group of close friends who share a passion for felines and knitting solve a murder, exonerate and welcome a former resident and schoolmate.

It was a bit unsettling to realize the identity of the murderer, but isn’t it always for those of us who empathize with everyone?

A lovely story which conveys the reminder that the imprint of childhood experiences, especially those involving strong emotions, can stay with us always.

How we deal with these powerful, sometimes terribly upsetting memories is up to us.