Brass Chains

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Kate Stevens hasn't seen Cole Cutchins in years, but she sure didn't want to see him like this. Cole, a jazz trumpeter and leader of a band on tour, is caught at the end of an ever-tightening noose as the main suspect in the murder of a fellow musician.

Now it's up to Kate to prove him innocent. She and her best friend, Vivi Lawrence, find themselves in the seamy and dangerous world of Fort Worth's nightlife in an all-out attempt to do just that. Kate first met Cole on a trip to New York City before her move from the rocky coast of Maine to the friendly little bedroom community of Sage Hills, Texas. Kate is sure that Cole doesn't have a mean bone in his body.

But that's not how Detective Peter Matthews sees it. Peter and Kate have been on a few dates, and Kate is sure he is letting the emergence of Cole, the competition for her attention, cloud his professional judgment on the case. 

Meanwhile, Kate is asked to design a special crocheted wedding gown for a mysterious, high profile client. Who is this anonymous bride-to-be, and will this job take her to the brink of death? And is this project in some way tied to murder in Fort Worth?

Follow Kate and Vivi as they negotiate a labyrinth of jazz clubs in their desperate attempt to keep Cole onstage rather than in brass chains.

The Characters

Single mother. Accomplished crochet designer. Murder suspect!

At 42 years old, Kate would have never expected to be described as any of these. But sometimes life has a funny way of taking you down the path least expected. The one thing that has remained constant in Kate's life is her amazing ability to turn imagined crochet designs into beautiful creations that others can enjoy.

It's Kate's God-given talent that landed her an amazing book deal featuring her crochet designs ... but will it end up being one huge mistake?

Known as the neighborhood serial killer -- of plants, that is -- Vivi is full of energy and excitement, and is always happy to share one of her mom's delicious home-cooked meals with Kate. While she may be a few years younger than Kate and not quite as skilled at crocheting, Vivi proves to be a tried-and-true friend who is happy to lend a hand in getting to the bottom of Kate's latest dilemma.

One of Fort Worth's finest detectives, Peter's handsome dark blue eyes can sparkle with mischief at times. The epitome of a Western lawman with his tall frame and wide shoulders, Peter is a welcome face as Kate works to clear her name in her book publisher's sudden death. For his part, Peter is captivated by Kate's smile and wants to be more than just a friend.

The owner of Once Upon a Yarn, a needlecraft shop in Fort Worth, Paige is full of life and wisdom. She likes to stock her shop with a mix of traditional and trendy needle arts that are as beautiful as her colorful personality. Delighted to welcome Kate into her cozy crafters' boutique, Paige at times finds herself stepping away from the counter to help Kate with her latest mystery.

A longtime friend of Paige Bryant and her husband, Adam provides Kate with practical advice to guide her career and helps fill the void left by Kate's father who died during her childhood. Adam has known his share of grief as well. Widowed two years ago, Adam learned crochet from his late wife, Julia, during her final illness. The craft provides constant comfort for him.

The old adage says, "like mother, like daughter," and Vanessa has definitely inherited Kate's keen eye for crochet design. But right now Vanessa prefers to wear her mother's designs than create her own. She's more focused on enjoying and exploring life as a freshman at Regency College in Fort Worth with an occasional stopover to see how Mom is settling into her new home in Sage Hills.

With a pleasant smile and laugh lines around his eyes, Roger is Kate's good-natured contact at Creative Inspirations Publishing. Their popular new magazine, Hook and Needle Artistry, featured Kate on the cover with an exclusive story inside the first issue. Now, Kate has a regular column in this well-liked craft magazine.