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Benni Harper Books In Order

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Publication Order of Benni Harper Books

Fool's Puzzle (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irish Chain (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kansas Troubles (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Goose in the Pond (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dove in the Window (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mariner's Compass (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seven Sisters (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arkansas Traveler (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Steps to the Altar (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunshine and Shadow (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Broken Dishes (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Delectable Mountains (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tumbling Blocks (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
State Fair (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spider Web (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Benni Harper Collections

Benni Harper's Quilt Album (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Benni Harper series is a series of cozy mystery books written by one of the highly successful novelists from America named Earlene Fowler. This series is comprised of a total of 15 books which were released between 1994 and 2011. Author Fowler has described the main protagonist in each of the books of the series in the role of Benni Harper. She is depicted as living in a fictional town called San Celina, located in California, the United States. Harper is described as working as a professional curator in a museum of folk arts. Overall, the mystery series shows the major theme as quilting. The other characters who make recurring appearances in the series other than Benni Harper include the police chief named Gabe Ortiz, Haper’s friend Elvia, her grandmother named Dove, cousin Emory, and Aunt Garnet. Author Earlene Fowler began writing the series in the year 1994 and subsequently published the debut novel of the series at around the same time. The book was titled as ‘Fool’s Puzzle’. The character of Benni Harper makes its appearance right from the first book of the series.

The book series is still in continuation as author Earlene Fowler is working on the story of the next book in the series. In the debut novel, it is shown that Benni Harper leaves behind the loving memories of her dead husband and goes on to make a new start in her life. She moves to a trendy town in California called as San Celina and takes up a job as the director of a museum specializing in folk art. Her main job is to look for the art pieces in the museum and help to set up the quilts at the time of exhibitions. The first murder that she gets involved in is when she stumbles upon the dead body of an artist who has brutally stabbed to death. The body of the artist is discovered during one of the art exhibitions in her museum. Deciding to do the investigation in her own way, Benni Harper has differences with Gabe Ortiz, the local police chief. He finds Harper as a sassy and short cowgirl and believes that she should leave the job of detecting to the police and go on a date with him. But, Harper does not appear someone who would easily back down. She goes on to uncover a number of small town lies, family secrets, and reason behind the artist’s death. During the course of the investigation, Benni Harper also comes to know the truth behind her husband’s death.

One of the initial novels released in the Benni Harper series is titled as ‘Steps to the Altar’. The book was published in the year 2002 by the Berkley publishers. At the start of this novel, Benni Harper is once again introduced as a quilter, spirited former cowgirl, and folk art expert, who appears to be staking out a corner in the contemporary world of the American West. She gets involved in attempting to search for the clues related to an unsolved murder, and at the same time struggle with a crisis situation to her lonely heart. Harper becomes very much busy as she gets the job of planning 2 weddings at the same time. Her best friend named Elva as well as Grandma Dove have both decided to get married. At the time of such tight schedules, Benni Harper does not wish to get the load of extra work at the museum. But, contrary to her expectation, she is asked to catalog some old trunk content by the society of local history and she does not have any other option than agreeing to do it. When Harper seems the trunks, she comes to know that they belong to an alleged murderer named Maple Sulivan. There was a rumor spread in the 1940’s that Maple had killed her husband, ran away with his friend, and was never seen again. Now, Benni Harper realizes how difficult a marriage can become, especially when she hears that the beautiful ex-girlfriend of her husband has come back, posing as a threat. All of a sudden, Benni finds herself showing sympathy at Maple’s situation and even agrees to take up her case for investigation. However, the case has much more in it that cannot be seen through the naked eye. Also, there are more than a few people involved in the case, which Benni Harper has to find out if she wants to unravel the truth about the Maple Sullivan case.

The next book released in the Benni Harper series is titled as ‘Sunshine and Shadow’. It was also released by the Berkley publishers in 2003. The opening scene of this book shows that one of the favorite mystery authors of Benni Harper, named Emma Baldwin, is about to visit the San Celina town. She is believed to be visiting for the purpose of reconnecting with the people of the town whom she had left years ago. Benni requests Emma to come to her folk-art museum and display the crazy quilt that inspired her to write her first book. And when Emma Baldwin agrees to do so, Harper’s thrill and excitement know no bounds. The time appears to be perfect and even more exciting for Benni Harper as it flashes makes her remember some of the bittersweet memories of her initial husband. The current husband of Harper, police chief Ortiz, is also expecting an old friend to arrive in town. His friend named Luke is an old buddy from the time of the LAPD, who now works as a private investigator.

Luke is believed to have arrived in San Celina for carrying out a mysterious assignment that no one knows except him. But, he is found dead just after his arrival in the town. As a result, the visit of Benni Harper with her favorite mystery author gets overshadowed by a real mystery. Soon, she begins to get strange calls as well as anonymous letters warning her that she will become the next target if she does not stop investigating the murder of Luke. Due to this, the case becomes even more interesting and important for her. In the meantime, the grandmother faces her own problems. She is about to get divorced by her newly married husband due to the increasing problems between them. This problem also falls on Benni’s shoulders to sort out. She is asked to talk some sense to the pair and convince them not to get divorced. Due to the convergence all these problems at once, Benni Harper’s life becomes extremely chaotic. Also, she seems to be under a lot of shadow than in the sunshine.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Benni Harper

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