Mist on the Moors

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Sofia Parker’s love of art has always been a driving force in her life. How appropriate it is when she discovers that the eighth block of the priceless heirloom quilt she inherited from her grandmother leads her back to nineteenth-century England and Beatrice Kimble, one of the first female art appraisers in history.

Beatrice, on a special assignment from London’s National Gallery, is on her way to evaluate the collection of Lord Blackwell in the Yorkshire moors. But highwaymen try to cut the journey short when they attack the carriage carrying Beatrice and her colleague.

How does Beatrice fit into my family’s history? Sofia wonders. And how did she escape the bandits seeking to stop her before she could negotiate the purchase of a treasure from the reclusive lord of Blackwell Castle?

But Sofia’s search for answers of old must take a backseat to a present-day mystery. A wealthy widow, Catherine Stanley, has generously donated a jewelry collection for an auction in support of a local hospital, and Sofia is catering the affair. But the impenetrable estate is first hit by a New England blizzard and then by thieves who make away with the cache of diamonds, rubies, and pearls.

Sofia and the other Pinot Painters, Julie Butler and Marla Dixon, delve into a long list of clues and suspects in hopes of salvaging the benefit. 

Will Sofia and her friends be able to solve this baffling case while still working to unravel the latest secret of the quilt? They will have to dodge dangers galore in their pursuit of criminals as elusive as England’s mists on the moors.

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?