Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

This is not your typical cozy quilt novel. This one begins with a vicious attack leaving one woman dead and another badly beaten.

Sophia is a young gymnast who has just been accepted on the Olympic team. She decides to visit her mom before going to the training camp. Two men burst into her mother's home, threatening, demanding. They beat Sophia, stomp her hands, nearly choke her – all trying to get her mother to hand over what they've come to claim. When she still refuses, they kill her and ransack the dwelling, sure Sophia is dead.

But Sophia survives. The novel centers around her recovery and the police trying to find out who the men are and what they want. Sophia's mother had been a young Russian ballet star who had come to America with her mother, Sophia's grandmother. Her rising ballet career had ended when a serviceman caught her eye and she became pregnant. Mother and daughter became estranged and Sophia never knew she had a living grandmother – until she walks into her hospital room.

I liked this novel. I do like murder mysteries and this was an interesting one since it included a quilt as a major part of the plot, holding the key to identifying the killer. There were interesting characters in the novel too. A woman who becomes Sophia's friend is a lip reader contracting with the police department. Sophia's throat was damaged and she cannot speak so the lip reader was brought in to help Sophia communicate with the police and doctors. Julian is the young detective investigating the case and before long romance begins to bloom between him and Sophia.

Sophia's heritage is Russian so we get introduced to a few Russian words and a little of the culture. Since Sophia's mother was in ballet, there were many references to ballets and individual roles. I am not a ballet fan so I did not find that very interesting.

I generally enjoyed the novel. I wish it had been a little longer as the romance aspect went rather quickly. Also, Sophia's future is unresolved at the end and I wondered how she would really handle not being able to be a gymnast any longer. An epilogue would have helped to clean up that loose end.

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.
I'm taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can read other reviews here.

Robin Caroll is the author of 22 novels, many having been finalists for awards. She is a conference director for ACFW. She and her husband have three daughters, two grandsons, and live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Find out more at www.robincaroll.com.

Abingdon Press, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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