Horse and Burglary

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Liz Eckardt, proprietor of the Olde Mansion Inn bed-and-breakfast, couldn't be more excited. She and her friends, the Material Girls, are working on a quilt for Liz's Amish cousin, who's expecting a baby. But the anticipation is quickly tempered when they receive news that Mary Ann's friend, Louise Younger, has lost her bid for life. She's been murdered, and her possessions are being auctioned off. Despite the fierce competition, Liz buys some items for the inn.

When Louise's loser nephew appears on Liz's doorstep, she can't turn him away. But she soon finds out that Gavin has a long listing of past misdeeds in reserve. Nobody's happy he's back in Pleasant Creek, least of all the local Amish bishop and the father of the young woman from whom Gavin bought a promise then stopped payment. When theft and vandalism of Liz's auction purchases occur, she can't help but get involved. She'll stop at nothing when the price of truth is at a premium in her own house.

As if all this frenzy weren't enough, Liz has some other suspicious guests: a trio of troubadours having trouble proving their provenance. A woman with a brother who's definitely not a winner. And a pair of overbearing parents with a son who becomes an absentee. Are any of them low enough to have teamed up with Gavin to commit the crimes at the inn? When the stakes climb higher, Liz has to wonder if any of them are involved in something even more sinister.

Can Liz, the Material Girls, Beans, and Pleasant Creek's mayor, Jackson Cross, bang the gavel on a killer before someone else is going, going, gone? 

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.