The Azalea Bones

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Spring knocks on Kate Stevens’s door with the promise of the renewal of life and hope. Kate’s career as a crochet designer and author is on the upswing as she prepares for the publication of her second book, and the blooming azalea garden at the home of Rachel Anthony, a well-known widowed judge and close friend of Kate’s agent, is the perfect photographic backdrop.

The editors and photo crew have the run of Rachel’s home in Sage Hills, Texas, during the photo shoot. Little do Rachel, Kate, and the rest of the crew realize that the pastoral setting is about to take a macabre twist of fate.

When a gardener unearths a tragedy hidden for decades, Kate and her best friend and neighbor, Vivi Lawrence, set out to solve the mystery. 

Who is this apparent victim of violence? How long has he languished unknown beneath the Texas sod? And who is guilty of his murder? The case is turned over to Sam Tennyson, a Texas Ranger who specializes in cold cases. And this case is about as cold as the azalea bones.

Meanwhile the handsome police detective Peter Matthews from nearby Fort Worth is on special assignment and out of the loop. Peter, who would like to become Kate’s romantic interest, warns Kate and Vivi that they should let the Ranger handle the investigation, but Kate wants to help Rachel find closure in the case swirling around her home.

Dead men may indeed tell no tales, but Kate and Vivi are determined to hear the truthful testimony of the azalea bones.

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.