Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stitches In Time by Barbara Michaels

Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

When an antique bridal quilt appears under mysterious circumstances at the vintage clothing shop where Rachel Grant works, she is fascinated. She has never been able to resist handmade textiles from the past, for she believes that through the ages, women wove protective magic into their fabrics in order to mark the important events of their lives: birth, marriage, and death.
But there is more than good in the quilt's magic power. Day by day Rachel sees and feels the power growing, as she senses the quilt influencing her thoughts and actions. Much as Rachel's logical mind longs to deny the supernatural, the aura of evil coming from the quilt is terrifyingly real, and it seems to carry a sinister legacy into the lives of the people Rachel loves.

This was a little different than the 3 previous Barbara Michaels' books that I have read.  Where the supernatural is sometimes hinted at, this was the first one I read that featured it as a main plot element to the story.  It still takes a secondary role to that of the mystery itself and the interpersonal relationships of the characters, but it's still rather important to the story.  It's actually what drives those relationships.  What I enjoyed about it though was the way it was treated.  It wasn't scary in the horror movie, in your face way that seems to be all the rage right now.  Instead it was more of the underlying tone of the book, very Gothic in feel and it was a treat to read. 

What I'm enjoying about Barbara Michaels' books is the exact opposite of why I like so many other mystery writers, including Agatha Christie.  Where most mysteries keep me interested by telling a finely crafted tale of murder or other crime, peppered with great characters (normally a fantastic detective), and a driving plot that keeps the story moving, her books are different.  Michaels tells a story using a hint of the unknown, highlighting the characters and the way they relate to each other.  The mystery itself is more of the vehicle used to tell their story.  It was never an approach I apprecited before stubling upon her books.  I'll be looking forward to my next one.

Challenges: A-Z, M&S


bermudaonion said...

I sometimes enjoy a hint of supernatural. I'm not sure I'd like it as the focus of a plot. I'll have to think about this one.

Jill Buck said...

I haven't read one of her books in years but I recall really liking this one. I had a few favorites but I have forgotten the titles. I read them all one summer, I remember coming home from the pool and reading on my bed when I was in high school. Glad you are enjoying these mysteries!

Staci said...

Thanks for reviewing this one. I'm not familiar with this author but your review makes me think I would enjoy her books.