Grave Inheritance

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It's a scorching hot summer in Pleasant Creek, Indiana, but the temperature isn't the only thing that's boiling. Everyone's on edge, including Liz Eckardt and her quilting group, the Material Girls. So when charming Anglophile Cyrus Whittington arrives in an antique car to stay at Liz's bed-and-breakfast, it's like a breath of cool, fresh air. Liz feels an immediate connection with the elderly eccentric. Like her, he came to Pleasant Creek searching for long-lost Amish relatives. She sets out to help him find his family. 

But Cyrus seems to have brought more than a love of glass and china along with him. A rash of break-ins at nearby Amish farms coincides with his appearance. And when Cyrus shows Liz his precious heirloom tea service and declares he's looking for a matching set among the Amish to confirm his heritage, Liz can't help but wonder if he's hiding something. Is her new friend guilty of the crimes? When she begins receiving threatening phone calls, and even a smashed teacup in the mail, she's steaming mad -- and ready to investigate.

That's not the only trouble brewing at the Olde Mansion Inn. Stirring the pot are a mysterious stranger seen skulking around the grounds, and two female guests who, ostensibly vying for Cyrus's attention, may have agendas of their own. Add in one appliance salesman who comes and goes just as the criminal acts are happening, and Liz's world will be anything but cozy until she finds the perpetrator.

It will take the combined skills of Liz, the Material Girls, Mayor Jackson Cross, and of course the English bulldog Beans to serve up a cuppa justice before any more lives are fractured. Will it be tea -- or jail -- for two?

The Characters

Liz always loved and admired her mother, Abigail. She was an amazing, hard-working woman and role model. It is no surprise Liz inherited Abigail's determination and strong work ethic, earning Liz a successful career as one of Boston's most prominent attorneys. But even so, at 40 and with Abigail's recent death, Liz is running on empty.

When she inherits an old diary from Abigail's childhood after her mother's passing, Liz is stunned to read about the life Abigail had growing up in an Amish community. She'd never mentioned any of it to Liz. Ever. Why would her mother keep such a big secret?

Determined to find out what caused Abigail to abandon her Amish life at the age of seventeen, Liz leaves Boston and moves to her mother's hometown of Pleasant Creek, Ind. While she settles into the quaint and friendly community as the new owner of the Olde Mansion Inn, Liz is careful to keep her connection to the Amish a secret ... at least for now.

Will Liz's journey bring her the answers she longs for about her mysterious heritage ... or send her straight into harm's way?

Liz didn't realize when she bought the inn that she was also "inheriting" the resident lazy-yet-lovable English bulldog, Beans. She doesn't have the heart to give him away, so she adopts him into her new life. Although he spends most of his time sleeping by the front door, Beans still manages to get mixed up in the mysteries of Pleasant Creek.

Known for her delicious home-baked apple pies and impressive quilting skills, Mary Ann is one of Pleasant Creek's most loved citizens. She is also the proud co-owner of Sew Welcome, the fabric shop located on the first floor of the Olde Mansion Inn. Having lived in Pleasant Creek all her life, can Mary Ann help Liz learn more about their Amish neighbors and track down the true identity of her mysterious family?

An accomplished and sometimes wildly creative quilter, Sadie co-owns Sew Welcome with Mary Ann. Shrewd, and salty-tongued, 70-year-old Sadie says exactly what she thinks, which sometimes lands her in hot water. Sadie takes a liking to Liz right away, often treating Liz like one of her own children. With a bit of a reputation for being a busybody, Sadie always seems to know everything going on in Pleasant Creek. It's nearly impossible to keep a secret around her, but Liz must be careful not to reveal her real reason for coming to Pleasant Creek until the time is right.

Jackson is the handsome mayor of Pleasant Creek who also owns Cross Furniture Co., a local business that employs many of the Amish men in the area to help handcraft high-end wood furniture. Jackson is well-liked in the community and stays very involved in everything that goes on in town. From the moment they meet, he is attracted to Liz, but senses there is more to her than meets the eye.