A Matter of Wife or Death

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No friend is dearer to Shannon McClain than Coleen Douglas. Shannon and Coleen have been through thick and thin together, both in their native Scotland and in Oregon, where Coleen has visited Shannon in her new Apple Grove home. But now, on the eve of the wedding of Coleen’s daughter, Shannon is thrown into a murder mystery and the evidence points straight to Coleen as the culprit.

Shannon and her friends from Purls of Hope, the knitting circle of amateur sleuths who have helped Shannon solve several murders in the states, have traveled to a beautiful castle in Scotland for the wedding. Little did they know that the wedding planner at the facility heard her last wedding bell toll just before their arrival.

Now the police clearly suspect Coleen, who had a violent argument with the wedding planner mere hours before her death, as the murderer. Shannon and the Purls must get to the bottom of the mess in time to save Coleen from jail and her daughter’s wedding from ruin. But will Shannon’s investigation lead her into the path of danger again? 

Led by a tenacious detective, Inspector Watson, the Scottish authorities intently follow each lead, but even Shannon must admit that Coleen is the most likely candidate. Much to her dismay, Watson orders Coleen to not leave the island the castle is situated upon until the investigation is complete.

Shannon usually relies upon Michael Stone to pull her out of sticky situations. But this time Michael, a security expert and an ex-cop, is back in Oregon, thousands of miles away when Shannon and Coleen find themselves in trouble. And trouble lurks in every hidden staircase and alcove in the centuries-old castle. 

Will the gothic clues lead them to the real killer? Or will one of them become the next victim?

The Characters

Shannon is an avid beader -- running her own custom jewelry business. She thrives on expressing her talents through her one-of-a-kind creations. She is headstrong and can be stubborn at times. But she's best known for her sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others, and for her beautiful smile. Widowed at only 37, she draws strength and inspiration from her two teenage children, but worries about their future. She knows she needs to move on with her life ... but she never expected anything like this mysterious inheritance!

A striking and personable 42-year-old, Michael is 6 feet 2 inches, with straight black hair and striking blue eyes. He owns an elite security consulting firm with many long-reaching connections to nearly all levels of industry and politics. He is strongly attracted to Shannon from the moment he meets her, but unwilling to reveal his secrets, which raises a barrier between them. Death has followed people he's loved, having lost his wife as a result of his dangerous career -- and he is unwilling to trust his heart again. This will change with Shannon, though he tries to hold her at a distance for a long time.

Morgan is the manager of the craft market and quite the expert at card making and stamping. She is most unhappy to have Shannon on the scene as her new boss but she hides it well. What dark secret lurks behind her friendly façade?

Alec has his father's calm, thoughtful nature. He is a good son and very supportive of his mother's quest to learn the truth about her past. When he's not out with his friends, or studying for his classes, he enjoys fishing, something his father taught him to do years earlier.

Lara has inherited her mother's flashpoint temper. But she also inherited her mother's creative talents and is an expert crocheter. Lara possesses a rare talent for noticing things others miss -- seen as well as unseen. This makes her a great asset to her mother throughout the series as Shannon is drawn into the mysteries of Apple Grove.

Deborah was Shannon's grandmother's cook and confidant for more than 30 years. She becomes a comforting presence in Shannon's life, helping her adjust to life in America. Deborah is thrilled that Shannon has inherited the crafts mall. An avid quilter herself, she and Shannon find much to talk about.