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Delectable Mountains (Benni Harper #12)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,242 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
When the musical director of Benni Harper's church is called away, Benni gets "volunteered" to take over a children's play already in rehearsal. But the production comes to a screeching halt when Benni discovers the body of the church handyman right in front of the altar.

With a growing cast of suspects, and a small girl as the only witness to the crime, Benni must unravel

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Berkley (first published May 2005)
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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
25th out of 139 books — 24 voters
Fool's Puzzle by Earlene FowlerPlagued By Quilt by Molly MacRaeKansas Troubles by Earlene FowlerA Quilt for Christmas by Sandra DallasState Fair by Earlene Fowler
Sunshine & Shadow: Quilt Mysteries
30th out of 47 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,777)
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Apr 13, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
This series has always had references to Benni's deep faith but this novel delves into that faith more than previous books in the series. Dove is asked to take over directing a children's play of "Pilgrim's Progress" for her church and ropes Benni into helping. During rehearsals she finds the dead body of the church's handyman and discovers that a young immigrant girl is the only witness. She probes into the death and becomes involved in the issue of churches harboring illegal immigrants. She al ...more
Mar 06, 2014 George rated it liked it
#12 in the Benni Harper California rancher mystery series set in ranch country in the Coastal Mountains in the Santa Barbara area. A care taker is killed in the local Baptist church and a valuable violin is stolen from the local museum provide the mystery for this novel. As usual, Benni is in the middle of things while also being involved in helping her grandmother put on a play for their church involving children and the tumultuous relationship between her husband and his cousin who is visiting ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Sheryl rated it really liked it
I would put this as one of my favorites of this series. I have really got to know the characters and enjoy the relationships between them. I felt this had a message that none of us know how much time we have here on earth and we need to live accordingly. Also, the only person you can really change is yourself.
Aug 26, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing
Bennie is "volunteered" by Dove to help with a church musical. One day the church's handyman is found murdered on the church's altar. Who did it? Who saw it? Then a valuable violin has been discovered stolen.

To add to the novel, Gabe's troubled cousin shows up for a visit. He and Gabe have a long history that includes some painful times. Gabe is very moody and distraught in much of the novel. (But he and Bennie always make up!) A variety of suspects are rounded up. But Bennie thinks a child is t
Apr 04, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
This is a fine entry in the series, and I loved the aspect of the story dealing with a church children's play based on A Pilgrim's Progress--and it turns out there really is such a thing. There are many good things about character development, faith, and plot in this book, and once again Fowler is right on with Southernisms, Baptist Church culture and hymns, and witty observations. But at one point there is a huge continuity problem: Benni (the protagonist) leaves a busy opening evening at her a ...more
Oct 08, 2011 Kieraanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 29, 2011 Iliotropio rated it it was ok
Benni used to be a rebelious, free-spirited woman in her previous mysteries, but in this one I find that there's too much of religious propaganda. This starts to remind me what is called "christian literature". Also comments like "... my guaranteed citizenship in the most powerful country in the world" don't do justice to the beginnings of this series...
"Why in the world people nitpicked at other people about the personal details in their life that don't harm anyone else was beyond me"
"It'll be
Pamela Mclaren
Jan 19, 2015 Pamela Mclaren rated it liked it
A cozy mystery set on the central coast of California. Benni Harper is the wife of the police chief and seems to know everyone in town. This time, she is asked to help with a children's play at her local church and to host her husband's cousin who has come visiting. But everything is not as it seems. The church handyman is killed and there's trouble brewing between the two cousins and Benni is in the middle of everything. An easy read, fairly simple mystery and an interesting twist late in the t ...more
Feb 10, 2012 Vilo rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
If you have not any read any of this cozy mysteries set in ranch country of California, think about it. Try one--you'll like it. I'm not sure this is the best place to start, but it is the deepest, most fully satisfying of the series. The main character's religious faith has always been important in the series, but this one tackles some big issues in a beautiful, compelling way. The characters are even more complex than usual. I like that the romance is between a husband and wife and that extend ...more
Reggie Billingsworth
Mar 12, 2015 Reggie Billingsworth rated it it was ok
I honestly had forgotten I read this.
Had to thoroughly scan the abstract and then...uh, oh yeah.
Fits in well with the rest of the American quasi-cosies that either fall firmly into the Soap Opera Camp or play the Earnest Card and fall between the two stools of serious social cause and mildly entertaining mystery.
Forgettable obviously.
May 08, 2011 Tana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed the whole Benni Harper series and this one was one of the best. This is a series that definitely needs to be read in order as the author has the characters grow and mature in their relationships in each book. In this installment, Benni gets roped into helping out with the children's musical theater at the church. Meanwhile, Gabe's cousin Luis shows up to visit. Benni is looking forward to meeting Luis as he is one of Gabe's family members that she hasn't met yet in their short mar ...more
May 22, 2014 Sjfstudio rated it really liked it
Shelves: quilting
This is the last book in the series that I have. I believe there are two more, which I hope to get to. I feel that the author is winding down with the series, having explored a lot of topics of interest to her, within the framework of murder, mayhem and quilting/folk art.
Feb 14, 2009 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-mystery
This one is another favorite in this series. It seems the more I read, the deeper they get. I don't want to spoil this for those who haven't read it, since this is the first time I hadn't even considered the murderer as a suspect. A lot of things I expected to happen didn't, and what I never expected to happen did. The themes this time are forgiveness and grace. There's also a bit about churches providing sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Mrs. Fowler is not afraid to let her characters discuss m ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Sandy rated it liked it
Another author I've never read but whose book has been sitting on my shelf for years. It was OK but will not go seeking more.
Oct 06, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
I thought I had read all of this series but I found this one that I missed. A very good mystery but I will warn you that a hostage scene near the end may be disturbing.
Lori Limberger
Nov 07, 2013 Lori Limberger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it
I like this series...this book deals with illegal immigrants and trusting the police and family squabbles and second chances and walking away and all sorts of other human situations........
Nov 04, 2007 Cindy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
Shelves: mysteries
Just finished this entry in the Benni Harper series. Benni's husband Gabe has a visitor - his cousin Luis. And as with every family, the visit brings out both the good and the bad in the family dynamic. Plus Benni is volunteered by her grandma to help with the children's pageant for the church. Everything is going well until Benni discovers the church caretaker shot and bleeding in the sanctuary.

I enjoyed this one. There were a few anachronisms, but that didn't really bug me until after I was fi
Feb 20, 2014 Kathi rated it it was amazing
Loved how she used an old art of "Tramp Art " in the book - planning to research more about it
Dec 10, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
I'll review later.....when I have a chance to digest it all.

I agree with most other reviewers that this is so far the best of all the prior wonderful stories. I agree that it is best to read these books in order, so you watch as the characters develop and grow. I enjoy most of the story a great deal. I try not to be too picky when it comes to small details. I always wonder how small a town San Celina really is. So many murders in such a short period of time. Oh well, it's her story and she can
Elizabeth Clark
At one point Benni, as narrator, mentioned that she had raised Scout from a puppy. That doesn't match the earlier book when she got the dog from her deceased uncle.
Aug 13, 2011 Amelia-Irene rated it really liked it
Bennie & Dove are called in to help with a church play for the 5 - 12 year olds, as a replacement for the regular choir director (the play mentioned in the book is a real play - based on Pilgrim's Progress - if you know that book) and into the busy schedule, Gabe's cousin Luiz comes to visit unexpectedly. Then Bennie discovers the church's handiman murdered in front of the church altar. A violin worth millions is stolen, and the family who donated it is extremely angry. This book moves at a ...more
Connie Mollo
Slow moving mystery. Not what I expected.
Jul 07, 2014 Bskinner rated it really liked it
A good, solid cozy. There are good strong story lines that hold your attention. The element of faith is realistic and refreshing.
Apr 10, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it. On to the next book by her.
Feb 23, 2008 Ragan rated it liked it
This book starts right in the middle of a series, but it was the first one I have read since I was able to get it on audio. I enjoyed this book a lot. The characters are interesting and realistic. I particularly enjoyed that the main character runs a Folk Art Museum, which I think is just so cool. The relationship the main character has with her husband is very complex and true to life. The books are all named after quilt patterns. If you like the Hannah Swenson and Amelia Peabody novels you wil ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Susan rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, abandoned
Just not that into this tale of sisters and mothers with life crises.
Jun 03, 2014 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Really like this series!!
Kresti Lyddon
May 15, 2014 Kresti Lyddon rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable story! I hop my library has the whole series!!
Feb 13, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
Pretty good story. Maybe too many 'cozy mystery' scenes.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #163 - Delectable Mountains 1 1 Oct 06, 2014 07:53AM  
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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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“I was six years old when my mother died. For a long time afterward, the sweet and earthy magnolia scent of her would permeate my dreams. No matter what I was dreaming about, good or frightening, my mother's smell would waft through my nighttime adventures, infusing them with her unseen presence, reassuring me even through their darkest moments. I never told anyone about this. I felt that, somehow, my mother had found a way to communicate with me from heaven even though I knew from the down-to-earth practicality of my Baptist Sunday School lessons that it was likely impossible. Still, I have heard it said more than once that with God, nothing is impossible. Is it so hard to imagine that He, in His infinite compassion, might have, for a moment in time, comforted a scared little girl with her mother's familiar scent?” 1 likes
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