Murder on the Quilt is a genealogical murder mystery. After Nick Coy unexpectedly discovers he was adopted, he decides to trace his biological family. An unearthed skeleton proves to be a direct ancestor of Nick’s – and a homicide victim. A quilt depicting the murder, a Civil War era pistol, and a diary provide the solutions to the mystery.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
Murder on the Quilt by Steve Kious was a refreshing murder mystery that I could not put down until I finished it! When Nick finds out that he was adopted, he decides to go a search to find out who he really is and learn more about his biological family. He discovers clues in a buried skeleton, an old diary and story panels on a quilt. I really enjoyed reading this book.
There are times when I would like a dual rating system for reviewing - one for the story and the other for the writing. This is one of those times. The story revolves around Nick Coy, a young man who, whilst sorting out his mother's affairs after her death, discovers that he was adopted as a baby. He wants to know about his biological family and this is where the genealogical part comes in. He heads off east to search out relatives - using local libraries and archives as well as diverting to visit the amazing Family Search collection in Salt Lake City (envious there as I can only access their records on-line). He talks to "old timers" who remember some of the family and others who have already researched local families, including the Coy/Koys and, in the process, uncovers an unmarked grave, a quilt showing a story and a diary of a relative from the 1860-80s. It got a little unrealistic at this stage in that the unmarked grave was divined, by him, to be an ancestor and he arranged for exhumation of the skeleton. If this really is that simple in the USA then I'm amazed. I'm also not convinced about divining a grave (let alone whether the occupant was male or female, come on please) as one can divine water although I know that the latter is true. He does find various distant relatives including an eccentric, anti-social great something aunt who conveniently dies before he gets to talk to her but does leave him a large amount in her will. Her cedarwood chest, which she requested be destroyed after her death, of course is not and from it he recovers a more greats-relatives diary. This naturally solves the riddle of the skeleton, the gun and the quilt. An interesting story though and although rather too neat and twee it gets a three and a half star for showing the various sources of family history research. The writing: the sentences are typically very short and succinct, almost staccato, leading to little flow to the story to my mind. I felt breathless whilst reading them and not through the excitement I'm afraid. I am certainly one for descriptions of people and places feeling that the author should be doing this for me and bringing me into what is after all, their story. This author certainly does that - we have overly excessive detail of the distance and routes and so on for Nick's drive across various States but, disappointingly, 'boring' is all we get for the landscape. Driving from California through Nevada I remember miles and miles of going up a hill, across and down the other side, then across miles and miles of beige dry basin to another hill - mind numbingly dull rather than just boring; the fun was to catch sight of a bush or a deer or a dust devil or to guess which gear you would need for the next hill. ditto his descriptions of some baseball/football matches (I know not nor care not which) which adds nothing to the story. I'm not even sure about his love life either - his on/off girlfriend for sex at home in California let along the new love of his life - it all seems rather contrived and "I'd better put some romance in because it's expected". A 2 star for the writing style - it's not my cup of tea. Thanks to NetGalley and Sunbury Press Inc for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.