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While quilter Martha Rose awaits the birth of her granddaughter, a neighborhood girl appears at her door with a mystery that can’t be pinned down…
Martha’s eager to finish the baby quilt she’s making for her new granddaughter, but she scraps those plans when a young girl rings her doorbell begging for help. Poppy Halaby, the foster child of Martha’s neighbor, is an orphan whose parents were murdered by a killer who was never caught. When Poppy’s doting foster mom falls suspiciously ill, Martha is determined to keep the child safe. But she’ll have to unravel more about Poppy’s parents to stitch a broken family back together again—and prevent another crime cut from the same cloth…
Excerpt from Chapter 1
The food arrived, and Poppy tucked into the pancakes after drenching them with maple syrup. I wondered what to do with her during Sonia’s stay in the hospital. Sending her back into the foster system after only a week seemed cruel. And what about the trauma of her parents’ murder? Shouldn’t she be in therapy? And what about school? Did Sonia enroll her yet?
Halfway through our meal, my cell phone rang.
“Mrs. Rose? This is Jeremy Chun, the nurse you spoke to before. Miss Spiegelman regained consciousness a few moments ago and is asking for you. She’s been transferred to room twelve fifty.”
I waited for Poppy to finish eating before rushing back across the street to Tarzana Medical Center and up the elevator to room 1250. The head of Sonia’s bed was slightly raised, and a transparent cannula replaced the mask on her face carrying oxygen into her nose. She smiled when she saw us and opened her arms in an invitation to Poppy.
The girl sauntered over to the bed and stood stiffly.
Sonia lowered her arms and spoke gently. “The doctors want me to stay here for a couple of days
until they can figure out why my medicine didn’t work.” Sonia looked at me and wrinkled her brow. “Can you take care of her in the meantime? I’m trying to avoid getting the social worker involved.”
I knew what Sonia left unsaid. I also hated to think of the girl going back into LA County foster care. “Of course!” I touched the girl’s shoulder. “Poppy, how would you like to stay with me for the next couple of days?”
She eyed me briefly. “I guess.”
Sonia held an invisible phone next to her ear.
“Call me when you get home.”
I didn’t like the frightened look on her face.
About the Author
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.
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