Deadly Angel

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A Union soldier is shot and then held as a suspected deserter during the Civil War. A wife, desperate to reach her husband and prove that he's not guilty of wartime treason, leaves her two young children in the care of a friend to take a position as a nurse in the nation's capital. There her life will cross paths with an American literary icon.

But how do these events, 150 years in the past, tie in with Sofia Parker in modern days Cabot Falls, Vermont? Perhaps the priceless heirloom quilt bequeathed to her by her grandmother, holds the link.

But even as Sofia attempts to track down the tie-in to the historic period in our nation's history, she finds herself coincidentally helping with a reenactment of the St. Albans Raid, site of the northernmost battle of the war. But the festive affair turns sinister when Sofia's son, Matthew, goes missing and is apparently abducted. 

Back in 1862, young Phoebe Ashford also has a deadly mystery to solve. Her husband, George, is hovering at the brink of death. Even if he recovers, the evidence says George is guilty of desertion under fire. Unless Phoebe can find evidence to the contrary, he will face a firing squad as soon as he can leave the makeshift hospital.

Sofia has little time to contemplate the plight of the Ashfords as she and her husband frantically search for Matthew, but the clues to his disappearance are few. Despite the grim odds, she must push forward in hope and faith that she will find her youngest child before it is too late.

The Characters

Sofia Parker is a stay-at-home mom with four children. She loves to paint and she really enjoys baking confectionery masterpieces on the side. One day she hopes to combine these two talents into a business of her own. But she lacks confidence, often feeling overshadowed by her two older sisters and father -- all three hold advanced degrees in the sciences.

But as Sofia loses herself in researching the compelling stories of her ancestors -- other female guardians of the same heirloom quilt -- she begins to feel a connection with her roots ... and is filled with a whole new confidence in her personal identity and creative potential.

Jim Parker, Sofia's husband, is 42, tall, lean and has thick blond hair and blue eyes. He is a math teacher at Cabot Falls High School. He is also a kind man who loves his family and is supportive of Sofia's desire to use her creative talents and open her own business.

Elena is Sofia's late grandmother. Because Sofia's mother died when she was little, Elena was very much the maternal figure in the lives of her grandchildren. Elena surprised everyone by bequeathing the priceless heirloom trunk and quilt to Sofia. But Nonna never did anything without a reason. What old secrets did she hope Sofia would uncover?

Caterina Vasari, 17, and her mother, Vedette, are seamstresses known for their fine smocking, embroidery and beadwork. Caterina is also an aspiring artist. They live together in a house on the village square of Ponte San Vincenti just outside of Florence.

Caterina tries to bear the brunt of the intricate stitching work because her mother has advanced rheumatism. They need both of their incomes to survive, and they especially need the income from the two gowns they have been commissioned to create for Lisabetta, the daughter of the esteemed Donati family.

Caterina is secretly in love with an apprentice winemaker at the Donati's family vineyard and hopes one day to marry him.

Caterina is a direct ancestor of Sofia.

Lisabetta is 16, well-bred, strikingly gorgeous ... and miserable, because her father is forcing her to marry a repulsive nobleman. Her true love is the handsome Gianni Medici ... and Lisabetta wishes she had the courage to defy her Father.

Bertrando is Lisabetta's fiance. He's cruel, foul and more than twice her age. But he is also wealthy. Lisabetta's father is selling her into this marriage solely to shore up the family's dwindling finances.

Handsome and young, Gianni is the secret true love of Lisabetta Donati. He says he will do anything to be with her ... but does that include murder?