Title: A Veiled Deception
Author: Annette Blair
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Amateur Sleuth, #1 Vintage Magic mystery
Source: Paperback Swap
First Line: My father would never have asked me to take a leave of absence from my job in New York City if he could have handled my sister's wedding and the "Jezebel" plotting to preempt it without me.
Madeira (Maddie) Cutler takes a leave of absence from her design job in a New York fashion house to go home to Connecticut to help with her younger sister's wedding. Sherry is looking forward to having Maddie design a spectacular wedding dress just for her, but at dinner they learn that the groom's mother has an heirloom dress and veil that she fully expects to be used. Not only that but a former girlfriend is draped all over the husband-to-be.
When the Jezebel later turns up dead, Sherry is the prime suspect, and Maddie isn't about to let something like that spoil her sister's wedding. What she knows that most other folks don't is that she's going to have a little extra help: Maddie not only can see the occasional ghost, she can touch fabrics and see things associated with the clothing's past.
This is a light, fun read-- perfect for curling up on a cold winter afternoon. I loved Maddie's fashion- and fabric-inspired way of cursing ("son of a stitch", "wooly knobby knits", etc.). It shows a lot more education and imagination than the usual profanities. I also loved the bits that dealt with design and vintage clothing.
The mystery was a bit weak; the killer seemed very obvious to me, but all the characters clucked and scratched everywhere in the barnyard but inside the hen house. Me? I was enjoying myself and more than content to watch them cluck and fuss. When I need something light and fun, I know that I'll be able to turn to this series for a pleasurable read.