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Goose in the Pond (A Benni Harper Mystery #4)
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Goose in the Pond (Benni Harper #4)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,558 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Benni Harper--spirited ex-cowgirl, quilter, and folk art expert--finds herself on the trail of killer in this brand-new mystery from Agatha Award-nominee Earlene Fowler... When Benni finds a dead woman lying facedown in the lake, dressed in a Mother Goose costume, her investigation takes her inside the Storyteller's Guild. There she discovers that Mother Goose was telling ...more
Published by Turtleback Books (first published May 1997)
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This book was like a breath of fresh mystery air for me. I decided to take a break in the series I was reading to mix up my reading with this book. I am so happy I did! Goose In The Pond is an amazing book, with such great characters. I just loved Benni, her police chief hubby Gabe, and all the family members and friends of theirs. Benni may get into trouble without even trying, but her heart is in the right spot; all she wants to do is help her small town, her friends, and her husband by being ...more
This is a Benni Harper mystery and is a good Southern read. Even though the action is in California, Benni and her relatives are from Arkansas and have sweet memories, regional traits and so many characteristics that are familiar to those who grew up in the South.
Benni is newly married, director of a folk art museum and is organizing a Storytelling Festival when she finds one of her storytellers dead. Gabe, her husband, orders her, as usual, to stay out of the investigation but people come to B
About one-third of the way through Goose in the Pond, protagonist Benni (Albenia Louise) Harper, curator of the local folk art museum in a fictional Central Coastal California town, thinks about the way small communities of intense interest form “little universes around a common interest” and describes artistic conclaves (though she could as easily been talking about anime conventions, game conventions, or comic/media celebrations) as “mini-societies closed to most people.” (pp. 77-78) From ther ...more
I feel sorry for this poor police chief who can't seem to break a case; soon he's going to be out of a job!
I generally liked this one. I liked the balance to it. Generally, I thought the balance between Benni and Gabe was better. I liked how their relationship was portrayed for the most part in this one. Dove and Garnet's biblical verse feud was fun. Sam was realistic. Rita was less annoying than I was expecting. I generally liked the family dynamic, and I like the idea of a storytelling festival. That was charming.

However, the ending? (view spoiler)
In this fourth outing, Benni Harper and her police chief husband, Gabe Ortiz, have returned home to San Celina, California from visiting his family in Kansas. They are hoping to have some peace when Benni discovers a dead body and an investigation begins. This series has some developing story arcs that would make it harder to pick it up in the middle. Their new and developing marriage relationship, his difficult past as a marine in Vietnam and twenty years of work in the LAPD, his troubled relat ...more
Emily Crow
What I liked: Fowler is a good enough writer to keep me engaged in a rather silly plot, and she really brought her protagonist, Benni, and her family to life. I really got into the saga of her stepson, Sam, whether he would resolve his differences with his father; her niece, the flirtatious Rita; and her grandmother and great-aunt, feuding with each other by means of Bible verses. As a family saga, this novel was fairly enjoyable.

What I didn't like: as a mystery, this Goose wasn't fully cooked.
Lori Limberger
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed the book, but wasn't sharp enough to suspect the real killer before it was too late. There were enough complex relationships to keep me interested in the series, so I will probably read others if I come across them. Fowler sets her stories in my area, so it's fun to try and figure out the places she's talking about when she renames them. San Celina is San Luis Obispo, our county seat. In my opinion, this is not equal to the books in the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas, b ...more
#4 in the Benni Harper series did not disappoint. Great characters, lots of suspects and an apprehension in the end.
Goose in the Pond 01312009 by Earlene Fowler
Kind of yuck. Not bad but not good.
This book, the fourth in the series, is less about the mystery than about trying to develop the relationship between Benni (the woman who can't help tripping over dead people and then solving the murders - usually while being threatened with bodily harm) and her husband, Gabe (the police chief). I have the same problems with this book as with earlier ones in the series, and I didn't think that the mystery with this book was very good, but the third book was better than the second, so maybe the f ...more
Enjoy the humor and the mystery
Sara Bartlett
I would have given four stars but for the ending. I like Fowlers characters, her descriptions of the community, and her main characters Benni and Gabe. The plots are good, good action, good character development, very entertaining. But this book just seemed like Fowler had to think of something to solve the whole mess at the end and couldn't think of a good reason why the victim died, so she just put it all together as a big mess to finish the book. I was disappointed.
This was pretty good addition to the Benni Harper series. Not one of my favorites, but decent. The bad guys seemed a little forced, but I liked the view into Benni and Gabe's relationship and the introduction to Sam, Gabe's son. I will definitely keep reading this series. It still makes me want to learn to quilt. And go live in San Luis Obispo, which series' setting of San Celina is based on.
I don't usually read a series because I get bored with the writing style or characters. But, this series is the exception. The books are fun to read, each mystery is unique and I enjoy learning about the arts group is doing. Each book brings new insights into the characters and I enjoy following their stories.
Fun to find a book I'd missed in the Benni Harper series! Interesting to note that since I've"read" about three of them on cd (after having read the print edition), my brain "hears" the characters much better. Still can't wrap my head around Benni being blond. To me, she's a dark-haired brunette!
This book was still pretty good. I really like to read about the relationship between Benni and Gabe more then the murder part. These are well written enough that I am still guessing who the murderer is right up until the end, which is pretty good considering this is the second time I've read them.
Becky Galambos
This book is one of those that a seemingly unimportant character literally holds the key to the whole case. And it is rather ironic that the one thing Gabe asks Benni to do as he thinks it is unimportant, leads to her almost getting killed.

Reread April 2013, Nov 2014
This book is the 4th installment in the fun Benni Harper series. I enjoy the lighthearted banter that goes on between the series characters. Dove, especially, adds a humorous dimension to the serious subject matter. I look forward to the next book.
Kitty Tomlinson
Benni Harper, the sleuth whose crime-solving talents are as colorful and complex as the patchwork she loves, faces her most perplexing case yet as she tries to find out who killed the library storyteller, who was found facedown in the lake.
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
Another good story in this series - haven't found one I don't like yet. A bit 'angst-y' but I think the author does a good job of balancing that, so it doesn't weigh you down. I'm looking forward to continuing with the series.
Catherine Woodman
This continues to go well. The writing is not at a high caliber but it is pleasant. I like the quilt references, and Benni Harper is good--sometimes I find her a little annoying but she is largely a good character
Jeff Dickison
I generally like Earlene Fowler books, but this one wasn't quite up to par. Too much gossip and soap opera situations for my taste. I also didn't think the mystery in this one was as good as past books.
Mary Rohrbeck
I like this author and this series in particular. It was awhile back when I read this so i can not give specific examples of what I liked and didn't like.
Steven Espinosa
Another Bennie Harper mystery. Personally, I wish the author could put these books out a bit faster. I just hate waiting from one book to the next.
Set in California. Rancher widow works at art gallery/studio. New husband is a cop. Very brief references to quilting. OK, but ordinary whodunnit.
another good benni harper mystery. will probably try to pick up my other book before going on to the next benni harper adventure.
Boy this one surprised me in the end. I had no idea it was going that way. This is a great and quick read and I enjoy the series.
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Earlene Fowler was raised in La Puente, California, by a Southern mother and a Western father. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Allen, a purple pickup truck, and many pairs of cowboy boots. She is currently working on the next Benni Harper mystery.

* Benni Harper Mysteries
* Love Mercy Johnson Mystery
More about Earlene Fowler...

Other Books in the Series

Benni Harper (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Fool's Puzzle (Benni Harper, #1)
  • Irish Chain (Benni Harper, #2)
  • Kansas Troubles (Benni Harper, #3)
  • Dove in the Window (Benni Harper, #5)
  • Mariner's Compass (Benni Harper, #6)
  • Seven Sisters (Benni Harper, #7)
  • Arkansas Traveler (Benni Harper, #8)
  • Steps to the Altar (Benni Harper, #9)
  • Sunshine and Shadow (Benni Harper, #10)
  • Broken Dishes (Benni Harper, #11)
Fool's Puzzle (Benni Harper, #1) Kansas Troubles (Benni Harper, #3) Irish Chain (Benni Harper, #2) Sunshine and Shadow (Benni Harper, #10) Mariner's Compass (Benni Harper, #6)

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