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Broken Dishes (Benni Harper, #11)
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Broken Dishes (Benni Harper #11)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,399 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Benni's friend and her husband have opened a dude ranch that's about to go belly-up. So Benni helps out, tempting vacationers with a Western extravagnza. Soon, she's cooking and quilting with a slew of tenderfoots. But the fun truns sour when a dog finds a human bone on the property and Benni uncovers the remains of a man murdered outlawstyle.
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Berkley (first published 2004)
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The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Persian Pickle Club by Sandra DallasThe Runaway Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
Quilt on the Cover
12th out of 139 books — 23 voters
Plagued By Quilt by Molly MacRaeQuilt or Innocence by Elizabeth Spann CraigKnot What It Seams by Elizabeth Spann CraigQuilt Trip by Elizabeth Spann CraigMurder, Plain and Simple by Isabella Alan
Sunshine & Shadow: Quilt Mysteries
39th out of 43 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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I became interested in this cozy mystery series because the titles are all based on quilt blocks which are featured on the covers and their history is explained in opening comments. But quilting is really incidental in this series, which I've come to appreciate for its emphasis on relationships and faith. Benni is always displaying quilts at the museum or finding quilts which have some connection to the investigation, but other than chatting it up with the quilters in the artists' co-op at her m ...more
I think I liked this book better the second time around. The mystery is pretty tame with no immediate danger to anyone (well aside from the fire I guess) and we get to see Hud again which was nice. I liked seeing him and Gabe butt heads at the dinner table. I really liked the ending when Benni imagines what could have happened had she met Hud first... This is also the first book after their marriage where Benni and Gabe don't do all...for the entire book. In fact I think there are only ...more
One of my favorite books is Sarah's Quilt. and this book reminded me in many ways of the charm and joy and trials of that book. Fowler is a very good writer, and I think this is my first or second read of hers. She has adorable character development, and I found myself liking all the people I read about. A good author does a good job of writing in the bad guys too, as there are a couple of them too. They are doing their best to keep the Broken Dish Ranch afloat, and come across some "skeletons" ...more
Nick Duretta
I've read several of Fowler's books about Benni Harper, a feisty heroine who lives in the San Luis Obispo-double town of Santa Celina in California. These are cozy mysteries, and sometimes I'm in the mood for one and sometimes I'm not. This either caught me at the wrong time or just didn't win me over. One of the characters refers to Benni as a Nancy Drew-type, and that sums up this book pretty well. It has a very Nancy Drew flavor. Benni and her friends pitch in to help a couple save their hors ...more
#11 in the Benni Harper California rancher mystery series set in ranch country in the Coastal Mountains in the Santa Barbara area. Benni is helping a neighbor and friend open her ranch as a dude ranch when a number of things start going wrong: human bones are found on the ranch showing signs of a murder some 20-30 years ago starting an investigation by the county sheriff and then a number of bad events start happening causing further problems for the owner and Benni. Who do the bones belong to a ...more
Book Flap Synopsis: When Benni Harper's friend passes away, he leaves his Broken DIS ranch to his daughter Shawna and her husband. Instead of raising cattle, the couple decides to turn it into a dude ranch. And while their intentions maybe good, business is not. Leave it to Benni and her family to come to the rescue. Her plan? To tempt vacationers with a quilting and western extravaganza. It works. And soon, Benni and her family are cooking,quilting and horseback riding with a whole slew of west ...more
I love this series, but there are quite a few editorial problems or choices that should have been corrected, from misplaced commas and modifiers to ungrammatical speech (usually) or other text that makes me wonder if the author or her editor thought, "This isn't standard English, but it's the way people talk." I'm not referring to colloquialisms or the like, but to actual errors, like noun-verb disagreements and dangling participles. Whether some people talk this way or not, it just doesn't work ...more
I like the Benni Harper series of book with a quilting theme. In this installment, Benni is helping her friend Shawna get her new dude ranch up and running. Shawna and her husband, Johnny, have taken over the ranch after the death of Shawna's father. To get the place running, Benni has scheduled a quilting symposium with a nationally-famous quilter, Victory Simpson, as one of the highlighted speakers. Word soon arrives that a travel columnist is among the guests but no one knows who she or he is ...more
Years ago, I read the first book in the Benni Harper Mystery series by Earlene Fowler. I remember thinking it was a good book and could be an entertaining series to read but there are so many other books that I never got back to the books. Seeing that this book was number 11 in the Benni Harper series, I’m pretty sure it was in a care package from my Grandma. It had been on my bookshelves for a while and when needing something quick to read, I thought this just might be the book that would fit t ...more
Francis Saint
This story is interesting when it finally comes out, but it develops VERY slowly. Some of the characters are enjoyable, but it feels like the author is working hard to try to paint a picture of "western ranch" life. The effort seems forced, which distracts from the more enjoyable character and plot development.
Amateur sleuth Benni Harper is at it again in this 11th installment in her cozy mystery series. Benni comes to the aid of her friends, Shawna and Johnny Abbott, who are trying to save their financially-troubled guest ranch from the auction block. With the help of Benni and her family and friends, the Abbotts plan a quilt retreat to draw guests to the ranch. While Benni is taking a group of guests on a trail ride, one of the ranch dogs recovers a human bone from an unmarked grave that has been di ...more
I recently "read" this book again, by listening to it on CD as I was traveling. I really like all of the Benni Harper series. Yes, they are on the "lighter" side, as mysteries go, but I find that the author often delves deeper into human relationships, religion, and the meaning of life than a lot of other mystery writers do.

How well do we know the people closest to us? Do we ever truly reveal our deepest self to anyone here on earth? These are just a couple of questions the main character, Benni
Still enjoying this series. The pattern and structure of each book is pretty familiar, but still holding my interest.
Benni Harper #11. Benni's dad had a good neighbor who turned his ranch into a guest ranch. After his death, Benni and neighbors have stepped up to help his daughter make it a success. The inaugural session includes a quilt camp and photography class by her step-granddad. When a long buried skelaton is unearthed, Benni goes to work to solve the mystery. Typical Fowler good time - not always believable but usually with great humor, subplots and escapades. Clean.

5.8.15 Picked this up in audio to ha
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
Well, I suppose it has to happen at least once in every series, but at least in this series, it took 10 books before I found one I didn't think was excellent. The plot was good, but I guess I just didn't like that Benni was without her usual cast of friends and family (they were there, but all much more in the background than usual). I didn't feel the empathy I'm sure the author was aiming for in the plight of the ranch owners, and I just didn't click with the story overall. It happens. But I wo ...more
When the blurbs indicate that a book is both a western and a mystery, I get prepared for a rather mediocre story and characters, but I was happily surprised with the books in this series that I've read. The characters were interesting and well drawn out, and the plots were intriguing as well as amusing. Also, just because the stories take place in the west with ranches and deserts nearby, that doesn't mean it is a western, which generally contains a whole bunch of stereotypical cowboy, black hat ...more
Kresti Lyddon
This is a very cute series.
enjoyed it
Good reading!!!!
Lori Limberger
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A fun look at a guest ranch trying to survive its first two week grand opening. Mishaps keep happening and then some bones are found...and thus the mystery. Actually I would have enjoyed a bit more mystery and a little less flirting from the local sheriff but it was a good book.
It was okay. I thought the plot dragged on and the story just didn't seem real. There was plenty of opportunity to run three or four story lines but instead the author went with just one. I didn't connect with the characters. Oh well, it was an easy read.
Aug 20, 2007 September rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Benni Harper fans, folks who like Westerns &/or mysteries
I am a huge Benni Harper fan. I love these books, and this one was no exception. Throughout the book, as the story was woven, I kept thinking I knew exactly who did what, only to find out I was off base. A quick but enjoyable read.
Kitty Tomlinson
While visiting a friend's Western dude ranch, Benni Harper stumbles upon the remains of a long-dead murder victim buried in a shallow grave and embarks on an investigation to reveal the truth behind the terrible crime.
Sari Lynn
Another fun cozy mystery about cowgirl quilter Benni Harper. I love seeing characters from past books and getting to know new friends and family members. Earlene Fowler spins an interesting tale.
Nice story. Interesting and unexpected. She's too much of a hero a times, but it's mixed with a lot of interesting information about ranch life and quilting.
Not my favorite of the series but still enjoyed it. There just wasn't much character development and it took too long to get to the mystery or solve anything.
Not my favorite Earlene Fowler...this one didn't seem to resolve the mysteries brought up in the book and the end was too easy.
Becky Galambos
One of the best books in the series. Dove's pet goose, socrates, is a riot! Rereading through series in April 2013, November 2.
11th in the Benni Harper "lady detective" mystery series. Nice leisurely pace. A little old fashioned by still enjoyable.
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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)
  • Goose in the Pond (Benni Harper, #4)
  • 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)

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