Monday, November 19, 2012

Material Witness, by Vannetta Chapman

Overview (from Goodreads): Tragedy strikes on the opening night of the Fall Crafters Fair when a woman is killed in the parking lot of Daisy's Quilt Shop, and the only material witness is one of Melinda Byer's boys. The investigation takes a more bizarre turn when detective Shane Black becomes convinced the killer was actually after Callie. This time it's a madman loose in the largest crowd of the year, and he's looking for something or someone. If they can't figure out what, one of Deborah and Callie's close circle of friends may be next. Masked identities, antique quilts with hidden messages, an Amish boy whose handicap makes him stronger, one brave dog, and a possible hidden treasure ... this time it's nonstop action, danger, and a dash of romance.

Review: An excellent, excellent ending to an almost flawless series. Vanetta Chapman, so very skilfully and masterfully, weaves intriguing hidden messages and a beautiful romance into a great mystery. Every detail fits perfectly in the plot, advancing the story, the drama and our interest in the characters. Nothing is out of place, everything is important to the story and every character has a mission to accomplish.

We once again see Callie interacting with her three Amish friends: Deborah, whom I love in a I-want-to-be-like-her kind of way (yeah, I'm a Deborah groupie), Esther, and Melinda. The depth their friendship has reached, the way their friendship has grown, progressed and mature is simply lovely. They are friends who love, support and look out for each other with fierce love and determination, and that is a rare thing even in a work of fiction. But we also get to see Callie falling in love with a man who really loves her and is not afraid to show it. I loved that. I'm a sucker for a good, sweet, clean romance.

Now, this time around, we get to know Deborah's and Melinda's children, too. Usually when writing kids, authors tend to write them as either too precocious or too bland and immature for their age. Not here. The children are written age appropriately, and we get to see how their mind works, how they plot and plan and how they take action in their strong-willed way. I loved the children's point of view, and how innocent and, at the same time, take charge they are.

The character development is one of the best I have seen/read in a long time. The way Mrs. Chapman uses descriptions and details to reveal the characters' personalities and traits is clever and makes everything fit together. Nothing is superfluous. The story flows, the pace never breaks, and every word, detail, dialogue and description serves a purpose.

The mystery, the drama, the suspense and the romance held my attention, kept my interest and had me turning the pages quickly and steadily. Intriguing, beautiful and sweet with a great ending that did not disappoint and gave me closure. Mrs. Chapman did such a great job that, even when things didn't necessarily turn out as I hoped, it still made me smile, completely satisfied.


5 out of 5 stars


  1. Thank you so much for the review, Merce. I'm glad you enjoyed Callie's story!

  2. I loved it! "A Promise for Miriam" is next.