Read Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon Online


When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jean Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, HaWhen her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jean Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Harlow has to find the killer-with a little help from beyond....

Title : Pleating for Mercy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451234360
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 293 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pleating for Mercy Reviews

  • Brooke
    2019-04-18 16:07

    Great start to new seriesI really enjoyed this book. It was charming without being cutesy. The characters we likeable. The mystery wasn't an obvious one, the culprit was a surprise. It had a slight supernatural bent, but it didn't overwhelm the story. I can't wait to read the next installment.

  • Mary
    2019-04-19 19:11

    Exciting and different!Harlow Jean Cassidy has been living in New York for about ten years when her Great Grandmother Loretta Mae dies and leaves Harlow her home in Bliss, Texas. Harlow grew up in Bliss and left as soon as she could. Now she is back and she is running a dress shop out of her new house! An old school friend stops by and asks her to make the wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses for her upcoming wedding in two weeks!Everything was going great until the Maid of Honor was found dead in Harlow's backyard!The story kept me guessing who dun it until the very last Chapter. It was a very good book and I will be recommending it to family and friends.The mystery is very well written and keeps you interested right up to the final chapter! When the murderer is finally told! I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to all my friends and family!

    2019-03-31 15:48

    A decedent of the infamous Butch Cassidy, Harlow Jane Cassidy and all the other Cassidy women through time possess special "gifts". Harlow is still unsure what her gift actually is when she returns home to Texas from Manhattan. Her great grandmother has passed away and left her farmhouse to Harlow. Harlow worked as a fashioner designer in New York so she decides to open a custom dressmaking boutique on the main level of her new home.One of her first customers is her childhood friend Josie, who is getting married in just two weeks. The store where she had ordered her bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses has gone out of business and she needs Harlow to save the day and create all the dresses as fast as she can. Calamity strikes when the maid of honor is found dead outside of Harlow's shoppe. The bride looks like the prime suspect and she now needs more than a few dresses. She needs her help to find out who killed her friend. It turns out Harlow may be able to do this especially with a little bit of unusual help, a little help from the great beyond. This story really tugged at my heartstrings. I too come from a long line of dressmakers, seamstresses, and people who love to sew. My grandmother was known for her beautiful work, making men's suits and wedding dresses along with every other garment thinkable. My mother made all my clothes until I started making my own and until my accident I created not only clothes for my family but quilts as well. While we may not have possessed any magical powers we found so much joy in what we were able to create.Harlow's gift with fabric is extraordinary, but it is her late great-grandmother that steals the story and will keep you in stitches as she makes her opinions "heard". The other characters are varied and well written. A little bit of romance, loaded with humor and a wonderful mystery made this book a delightful read. You can also feel the author's love and talent of sewing jump of the pages. She definitely has a passion that shines through.This was a fun read and would be enjoyed by all but especially those that love to sew. It would also make a fabulous gift for anyone who sews. If future books follow this pattern some wonderfully constructed mysteries are in our future!!Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Caroline
    2019-03-26 15:53

    I really, really liked this first book in another new series! Can't wait for more. I love the family relationship between the protag, her mom and grandmom. I'm not really a fashionista so I can't really understand some of the clothing descriptions but I love the fact that this woman can envision a style, fabric and fashion, for a dress that will make the wearer feel good as well as look good. Eagerly anticipating the next in the series.

  • ❂ Jennifer
    2019-03-19 11:44

    Really really enjoyed this book. Great story line, never saw the bad guy coming at the end and the characters and setting are fantastic. I really can't wait for the follow up to this one. Now if only Misa Ramirez would write another Lola Cruz mystery....

  • W.s. Gager
    2019-04-03 18:10

    For years I read romance as a form of escape from life. When stress got in the way, my nose went in a book. I’ve now found that a good cozy mystery can provide the same escapism. Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon is one of the books that I’ve been able to totally immerse myself into. It is the first book in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery and I will look for others. Main character Harlow Jane Cassidy returns to her small town in Bliss, Texas after her grandmother dies leaving behind a high-powered job in the Manhattan fashion world to design dresses. Not only did Harlow inherit her grandmother’s house but a special flair as well for stitching up the perfect dress. She’d better be fast too when a quicky wedding requires a bridal dress and two bridesmaid ones as well. Problems start when a bridesmaid is killed and to keep the income she need’s Harlow must keep the wedding on track and the bride out of jail. What I loved about this book was the use of language that made me laugh and smile. I had a grandmother who was a great seamstress and made a custom blazer for me when I graduated from college. This book made me remember all those times for fittings and advice from my grandmother. A shiver stole through me. The windows in here were definitely closed. I had the sudden feeling that Josie and I weren’t alone in the house, that the check had been picked up and placed on my lap by some ghostly presence.Meemaw.Josie put her hand on mine. “Please, Harlow. I want to marry Nate.”I took her hand and nodded, hoping it was sincerity I felt emanating from her and not desperation. The dress I made for her would have to be beyond perfect. Every seam I stitched would hold together her dreams. Every bead I sewed would bring sparkle back into her life. And every pleat I added would help her fold her grief into manageable pieces.From page 53 I recommend this book for its hints of paranormal that add to the story but doesn’t overwhelm the mystery and murder and the great characters that we can all root for. Melissa Bourbon will be added to my list of must have authors.Disclosure: I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

  • Angela Holland
    2019-04-11 19:07

    What I liked: I liked the "gifts" that Harlow and the females each had and the fact that they were each a different gift. I liked that they "gifts" were not witchcraft to me. I also like Gracie who Harlow is going to teach how to sew and is the daughter of Will - who I think in future books will become the love interest.What I didn't Liked: I can't think of anything that I did not like about this bookOverall Impression: I enjoyed that this was a fun fast book to read. Harlow was not real sure about coming home to Bliss but then the longer she is home she more she is glad she did. Her Meemaw has passed away and left her the family home which Harlow turns into her dressmaking shop. From the beginning Meemaw communicates to Harlow from beyond and it is fun the way Harlow is learning about that. Harlow gets a big job making four dresses for a wedding for a well known family. The night after the whole wedding party plus a few extras show up at the shop one of the bridesmaids ends up dead in Harlow's yard. Before you know it Harlow finds herself involved in trying to solve who killed Nell in her yard. Follow Harlow along her journey to solve the crime and to get to know the townspeople all over again. Oh and don't forget the handsome Will who Meemaw made arrangements with to do handywork around the shop before she passed. I am anxious to see how Will and Harlow's relationship continues to grow which is just what Meemaw would have wanted. I look forward to continuing on with this series. 5 stars.

  • Marye
    2019-04-09 13:49

    Book due out in early August - you can pre order at Amazon. I got my copy early to review. This book is a real page turner. It's a modern murder mystery incorporating a love of sewing, some magic, ghostly occurances, and romance too. First in a three part series, and I really look forward to the next. Even if you don't sew, you'll find it a very enjoyable read, and well balanced. There is not a lot of boring detail about sewing at all, but it's a theme in the book that the main character is passionate about designing and sewing. However, there is much more than just sewing up some dresses in this book.

  • Susan Webb
    2019-03-24 13:53

    This book was entertaining. The Cassidy women are funny and it was nice to read about all of them and the history. Meemaw's ghost was an added enjoyment. I am looking forward to more in this series. Harlow's character will be one I will enjoy learning more about

  • Jae
    2019-03-25 16:43

    After Harlow's great-grandmother passes away, Harlow leaves New York and returns to Bliss, TX, to live in the house her Meemaw left her. There, she hopes to launch her own dressmaking business. Harlow's first customer is her childhood friend, Josie, who asks Harlow to make the gowns for her wedding party on short notice. Harlow is up for the task, but when the maid of honor is murdered, Josie begs Harlow to help prove that it wasn't her fiance who killed Nell. Harlow knows she's no detective, but the Cassidy women all have special gifts, and she isn't above tapping into some of that magic to help her friend. In the meantime, Harlow begins to sense a presence in the house, and she is convinced it is the spirit of her Meemaw. Her suspicions seem to be confirmed, especially when a handsome handyman shows up, claiming that he bartered with Harlow's great-grandmother to do odd jobs around the house in exchange for Harlow teaching his daughter how to sew. Seems that Meemaw may be matchmaking from beyond the grave, and her special talent was that she always got what she wanted.I'm on the fence about this one. Harlow was likable enough, but she didn't investigate so much as eavesdrop, snoop, and stumble into clues. Frankly, I found Meemaw's interference to be aggravating, and my annoyance levels spiked when Harlow got all the tingly feels around Will. Guh, really? What really aggravated me was that the reader had no way of figuring out the murderer. Hell, even Harlow didn't figure it out until she literally stumbled into the person and got a confession, which, of course, led to mortal peril for her. Also, the victim was strangled. Let's face it, strangulation is a crime that men commit. Women do not typically have the strength to strangle someone, and certainly not a woman who is portrayed as waifish and wispy. Furthermore, if the Cassidy women are all descended from the legendary Butch Cassidy, why are their last names still "Cassidy"? Did all of them bear children out of wedlock?! Just...huh? Another thing that bugged me is that it's supposed to be a big secret that the Cassidy women are all talented, yet everyone seemed to know about it. Wha...?Characters weren't fleshed out, plot meandered, and my attention often wandered. I may try one more book in this series, and if it doesn't improve, I won't be reading any more.

  • Char Dauterman
    2019-04-18 13:56

    My rating leans closer to 3 1/2 stars.Harlow Cassidy leaves her job in Manhattan to open a dressmaking boutique in Bliss, Texas after her great grandmother passes away and leaves her the property. It doesn't take her long to figure out that her great grandmother may have passed away, but that doesn't mean she is gone. When Harlow's friend Josie wants a gown made for her upcoming wedding, she is excited to get started but then one of the wedding party ends up dead on Harlow's lawn. She sets out to find the killer and gets a little help from the great beyond.This first in series was cute and charming with likable characters. I admit I don't know much of anything when it comes to designing clothes so some of the references to that were a bit lost on me, but it still held my interest and even surprised me at the end. I really thought I had figured out the killer and I wasn't completely wrong, but I wasn't completely right either. I really enjoyed the writing style and the fact that even though there is an obvious love interest in the story, it didn't overtake the plot. It also has some paranormal/supernatural elements added in but not so much that it comes off as unrealistic or goofy. So if you like a little bit of magic in your cozies along with a cute little town and some fun characters, this one fits the bill.

  • Bookgeek
    2019-04-05 14:09

    Pleating For Mercy: Pleating For mercy puts the cozy in cozy mystery, the plot is simple, as most cozy mysteries are, where this one stands out among it's brothers and sisters, are in the characters. Harlow is warm, strong, confident, without being overly shallow, or cold to those around her or whiny. She comes across as a real person, you wouldn't mind having a drink with, someone you can and do root for. Her Mama and Nana, are drawn in ways, that remind you of your own grandparents and parents with their little quirks. Will Flores and his daughter Gracie, while not completely known, are engaging and seem to mesh into Harlow's life with ease, the attraction between Will and Harlow, seemed natural, not forced or stressful. Overall it's a 3 to 4 story book, that offers both an easy read and a real escape.

  • Frances Wentworth
    2019-03-25 19:55

    I found it enjoyable to read, but it was a bit too southern themed for my taste. I liked the extensive sewing knowledge and the main character's knowledge of fashion. While I found the story entertaining, it just seemed to lack that certain something that makes me really want to get to know the main character, even though the other characters seemed very well developed. I'm going to give the next few a try to see if it draws me in a bit more.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-15 12:09

    Delightful! A great cozy mystery with some endearing characters and a touch of magical whimsey. This is one where I will go looking for others in the series. I wish FURBALL were still with us, because she would have enjoyed it. I will be sending this to my sister-in-law, because the women in this book are rumored to be the descendants of Butch Cassidy and she is actually a descendant of the Parkers (Cassidy's real name) and is a seamstress to boot.

  • Sherrie
    2019-03-22 15:54

    Harlow inherits her grandmother's dressmaking business. She learns she has magical gift with fabric and can pull a dress or garmet together and make the item fit and look good on individuals. She gets to know Will who was her grandmother's handyman. First of a really good series and it is fun with magical abilities.

  • Patti Abernathy
    2019-04-05 19:48

    Fun new cozy mystery series about a dress designer who returns to her small hometown when her great grandmother dies and leaves her a house on the town square. As a sewer I found what she was able to accomplish in 10 Days pretty amazing but maybe she doesn’t procrastinate as much as I do. Look forward to the rest of the series.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-05 17:12

    I am endlessly amused by how many horrible puns they can come up with to name these cozy mysteries.This one was a little longer than I am used to but it didn't drag at all and checked all the boxes for an enjoyable, fairly easy and fun read.

  • Brooke Baker
    2019-04-10 16:44

    I'm a sucker for a quirky cozy mystery with a delightful pun as the title, and this delivered. I didn't quite mesh with the characters but it wasn't so off-putting that I'm not willing to read the next in the series to see if they become more fleshed out.

  • Karen Holman
    2019-03-27 17:50

    This book has a creative cast of characters, set in Texas, and the ending calls for more tales to solve. copy right 2011

  • Amanda A
    2019-03-31 16:48

    3.5 stars

  • Pianogirl1126
    2019-03-27 20:06

    fun new series to start.

  • Robin McComas
    2019-03-19 16:09

    I loved this first book in the series and will definitely continue with the next book. The characters were fun and it kept me guessing until the end.

  • Monica
    2019-04-13 15:54

    Fun story with some magical elements. Lots of interesting characters. Good mystery.

  • Julie
    2019-03-26 20:10


  • Di
    2019-04-13 15:50

    God pace, interesting characters. Definitely makes me want to check out the next one in the series.

  • Nancy
    2019-04-03 14:57

    About magic and dead intervention not really my type of book. I liked the sewing and mystery aspect but could not get past the first chapter.

  • Morgan
    2019-03-25 14:45

    So this was quite an interesting cozy mystery. The reason it gets four stars is because the story flowed well enough and didn't drag on like other cozy mysteries where the main character/narrator gets side-tracked and has to explain how their hobby/interest works in fine detail. This one had balance and you learned a thing or two about sewing while remaining on track with the mystery.I enjoyed this book and Harlow. Her magical abilities are taken in suspiciously by others at times, but her town kind of learns to go with it since they help them in a lot of cases. The Texas culture and views are shown pretty realistically, but I found myself laughing at it rather than growing pissed at it. Zinnia James, the wife of a Republican senator, got me a little mad at her stating about out-of-wedlock children, but then I realized she was pointing out how the crappy political game works when it comes to good appearances with a prejudice society. She comes off snooty at first, but is pretty sharp. There was that character complexity.The only thing that bothered me about the story was how the conversations were cut off at many times. I understand the author isn't going to spill the secrets right away in the book, but I felt slightly jarred at times. My curiosity was about Harlow's own past experiences. She comes back after she inherits her great-grandmother's house and understands the Cassidy's family history. Aside from finding her own abilities and former job in New York, there isn't much. I guess we'll find out a little more in the series.Despite the Kincaid family's reputation for being greedy tycoons, they managed to sprout a few good seeds. Kind of like Hitler's nephew serving for America and some of Donald Trump's family members despising his ugly existence. It's funnier when they stand up against them and are ready to knock them down from their building throne.

  • Book of Secrets ☘
    2019-04-06 12:11

    Rating: 4.5/5Harlow's great-great-great grandfather was the infamous Butch Cassidy, and since his time, all of the Cassidy women have been blessed with a magical ability. When Harlow inherits her great grandmother's farmhouse, she gives up her career as a fashion designer in New York City and moves home to Bliss, Texas. Though not certain what her "special gift" is yet, Harlow knows that she has an amazing talent for dressmaking.Harlow turns the first floor of her farmhouse into a custom dressmaking boutique. Her first customer is soon-to-be bride Josie, a childhood friend marrying into the town's oldest and richest families. Designing dresses for the wedding party would be a huge boost for her business, but the dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Josie's boss is found murdered in Harlow's front yard. With a little ghostly assistance from her dearly departed great grandmother, Harlow sets out to find the killer and save Josie's wedding.PLEATING FOR MERCY is a fantastic first book in a new cozy mystery series by Melissa Bourbon. I was quickly absorbed in the book and did not want to put it down! It was a nice blend of mystery, a little romance (more Will, please!), and the supernatural, but the mystery itself took center stage. The plot was fast-paced with many twists along the way. The cast of characters was large, but each character was memorable. I loved the dialogue between them, especially the Southernisms. Though I'm not into it myself, I found the descriptions of sewing and dress design very interesting, and they were woven nicely into the story. This book will be especially appealing to those who are handy with the needle and thread. Highly recommended!I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Erin
    2019-03-23 19:09

    Harlow Cassidy has recently returned to Bliss, Texas, after years of working in NYC as a fashion designer. She's set up a custom dressmaking shop in the house her recently deceased great-grandmother left her, and she's eager to get her new business off the ground. However, having a client's bridesmaid murdered in her garden isn't helping, so Harlow is quite motivated to figure out who the real killer is and clear her name.This is the first installment of a fun cozy mystery series with elements of magic and ghosts. The Cassidy women have all been gifted with various talents thanks to a wish made by their long-dead many-times-great grandfather, Butch Cassidy. (Yes, that Butch Cassidy.) Death doesn't necessarily put an end to these talented women, either, as Harlow comes to realize.I read this book about the same time I read the first in another magical mystery series, Secondhand Spirits, by Julia Blackwell. Both are enjoyable, but overall, this one feels more like a cozy, despite surface similarities of magical backgrounds, affinity for knowing what clothes someone should wear, trying to get fledgling businesses off the ground, and potential non-magical love interests. It's a bit lighter in tone. One thing that left me puzzled, though: How in the world did Miriam and the sheriff know to barge into the bathroom there at the end when Harlow was being attacked by the killer? That made no sense. Did I miss something?For readers' advisors: story doorway is primary, character & setting secondary. No sex or graphic violence, but I think there might have been a couple of mild swear words? I forget--it's been a couple months since I finished it. (I'm just really behind with reviews.)

  • Nancy
    2019-03-30 12:55

    This is a sweet little mystery set in a small town near Dallas/Fort Worth. I enjoyed the Texas element (naturally) and I thought the characters were likable. Harlow's dressmaking shop, Buttons and Bows, sounds like a warm, cozy place to hang out. All in all, I liked this book, but there were some things that really bugged me, too...(view spoiler)[There seemed to me to be some inconsistency in details as well as important details that were left out. For example, why do all of the Cassidy women, who pass the Cassidy charm/magic to their daughters, have Cassidy as their last name? Did they not take their husbands' last names? Did they all decide to not give their children their fathers' last names? It's clear that they were all married at one point (or are still currently married), but this detail was never explained. In a society where children are typically given their father's last name (especially when the parents are married), this is a really confusing thing. But maybe I'm the only person who thought about it or was bugged by it.Also, it was never made explicity clear who was the father of Nell's baby; was it Keith or Derek? Harlow thinks at first that it's Derek, and then she thinks it's Keith, and that maybe Keith had Derek arrange for his fiancee to kill Nell, but it's never clear. We do find out who the murderer is, but I finished the book not quite sure who the father was.Lastly, there was a lot of brand name-dropping. Spanx, Burberry, Gucchi...I realize that this is supposed to be a fashion-related mystery, but parts of it really read like a paid advertisement, particularly for Spanx.(hide spoiler)]Faults aside, I still liked the book and will read the next one in the series if my local library ever decides to get it.