Panic Button by Kylie Logan:The third installation in the series, and I don't have much to say except it was as enjoyable as expected. Also, now I want a button charm string.
Threadbare by Monica Ferris:Also enjoyable, with a good mystery that was neither too predictable nor too implausible. The education in homelessness was laudable, if heavy-handed. What wasn't laudable was an extended advertisement for a sizeable needlecraft store in North Dakota.
State Fair by Earlene Fowler:A recent addition to another cozy, quilty mystery series, set in a farming and ranching community in California. What sets this series apart is the very real kindness Fowler has towards all her characters; in her world, people are bundles of positive traits, serious and not so serious flaws, and contradictory behaviors. She is not afraid to depict complicated characters capable of both good and evil in serious and petty matters, making her stories that much more satisfying.
A Case of Curiosities by Allen Kurzweil:Mostly set in France just before the revolution, about a young artist and inventor fascinated by mechanical works, the book tells his life from the start of his education to the creation of his masterpiece. The structure mirrors both the case of curiosities that is the title -- a box of nine ordinary objects representing key periods of his life -- and the watch which indirectly starts him on his journey. The idea of summing up a life in a collection of objects whose symbolism is only apparent to the collector is neat, and I enjoyed seeing what the significance was of the different objects (the watch structure, on the other hand, I didn't even notice until it was spelled out at the end).