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Kansas Troubles (Benni Harper, #3)
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Kansas Troubles (Benni Harper #3)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,031 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
After a whirlwind marriage to San Celina Police Chief Gabe Ortiz, Benni Harper is excited to visit her Kansas hometown. At a rowdy backyard barbecue, she meets Tyler Brown, an aspiring country singer with a promising future--and a fascinating past. Once, Tyler had lived the simple Amish life. Now she's determined to make it on her own selling her exquisite handmade quilts. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 306 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by Berkley (first published May 1996)
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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingA Fatal Grace by Louise PennyOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichMurder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews
Agatha Mystery Award Nominees and Winners
33rd out of 128 books — 76 voters
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
19th out of 139 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,700)
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❂ Jennifer
Sep 21, 2011 ❂ Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommended to ❂ Jennifer by: Melodie
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I think this series just keeps getting better and better. I normally dislike books within a series that "travel" - take place outside the normal setting. This book was an exception. Really, the mystery was just excellent and the character development, the relationship between Benni and Gabe, is outstanding. I'm really looking forward to catching up with this series.
Benni Harper married Gabe Ortiz after a whirlwind romance and now they’re off to Kansas to meet his mother, sisters, and friends from his childhood. Benni’s grandmother Dove, her father and uncle are also driving across country to attend the reception to be held for the newlyweds. Once in Kansas, Benni is uncomfortable. She begins to realize how little she knows about her new husband and how little he wants to share with her. Two of his best friends are dating much younger women, both country we ...more
Feb 10, 2010 Renee rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Harper and Ortiz are not only still together, but take a trip to Kansas to meet Ortiz' family. As if that ordeal weren't enough, Ortiz' high school friends come under suspicion when an aspiring local singer is murdered.

The setting for this book definitely aided character development. That's probably why I liked this book better than Irish Chain. It's likely that I'll read another in the series, but I'm not going to be running to the bookstore to buy it.
Feb 03, 2016 Kieraanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: murder-mystery
This was one of my favorite books in this series. I love the affection between Benni and Gabe and in this one they are newlyweds. Of course I forgot they spend most of the book mad at each other, but the end made up for it. I also like how you get to see a little bit more into Gabe's past in this one, he's so stoic and non-sharing (which Benni points out all the time) that parts of his character remain mysterious for books and books.
Jan 25, 2009 Terry rated it liked it
This book in the Fowler Quilt series is a predictable, easy-read that everyone needs every now and again. Benni Harper, amateur sleuth, travels to Kansas and becomes involved in a murder investigation. As in weekly TV series, the reader scrutinizes clues, formulates hypotheses, modifies conclusions based on unfolding events, etc. The book is an easy, predictable problem-solving adventure for mystery lovers.
Dec 31, 2013 Rita rated it really liked it
Whenever I try to do research on Kansas this book pops up so I finally gave in a got a copy. It was a fun mystery set in the general area where I grew up. The heroine has spunk but also a serious side. It was a fun read. Just what we all need at times.
Oct 22, 2008 Janell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the third book in this series, the characters are now firmly in place. This story lets you see more depth to their personalities. The murder mystery comes a little more close to home and pulls more at your emotions. Well written.
Mar 19, 2014 Sjfstudio rated it really liked it
Shelves: quilting
#3 in the Benni Harper series. Really enjoying reading these books. The predictable murder or two happens early on, and the twists and turns to find the person responsible makes for a wild rid.
Apr 24, 2014 Marilyn rated it really liked it
I like a mystery that has a surprising ending, AND can make me laugh in places!
Jul 26, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it
Benni Harper married Police chief Gabe Ortiz just three months after they started dating. Now they are travelling back to Kansas where Gabe's family lives. Shortly after they arrive, a young budding country singer is found murdered while they are at a party held in their honour. Benni loves to be a amateur sleuth much to the dismay of her new husband. She suspects many different people in the town forgetting Gabe grew up with these people. It was a cute book, love the sarcastic humour ours comme ...more
Sep 11, 2015 Sabine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: special-books
Nach der überraschenden Hochzeit von Benni und Gabe zum Ende des zweiten Teils in Vegas, machen die beiden nun Urlaub in Kansas um die Familie und Freunde von Gabe zu besuchen. Benni ist natürlich entsprechend aufgeregt, da sie weder ihre Schwiegermutter noch ihre beiden Schwägerinnen kennt. Überhaupt weiß sie von ihrem frisch angetrauten Ehemann eigentlich herzlich wenig. Während Benni und Gabe nach Kansas fliegen, machen ihre Großmutter Dove, ihr Vater und ihr Onkel Travis eine Art Roadtrip do ...more
Nov 23, 2012 Andree rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Got this one and the next one from the library almost three weeks ago. They're due Monday. I read this one tonight. Well done me.

I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. I do find myself wanting to punch Gabe in the face with fairly regular frequency. Benni is just a stubborn, but I guess her stubbornness makes more sense to me. And I've never liked being patronized or talked down to, which is what it sounds like when Gabe tells her to mind her own business. Not that I agree with all of her choices, or
Emily Cullen
Newlyweds museum curator Benni Harper and San Celina, California Police Chief Gabe Ortiz go home to Kansas so that Benni can meet Gabe's family. When a promising country singer is found dead, frustrated Gabe is out of his jurisdiction but that doesn't stop Benni from asking questions. This is a great cozy mystery series. I enjoy the imperfect marriage between Benni and Gabe and thought this mystery to be a very good one with a lot of suspects to choose from!
Jeff Dickison
May 06, 2015 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it
A good entry in the Benni Harper series. In this one she travels to Kansas to meet her in-laws and Gabe's friends. It seems to me that this cozy series is a little more adult than most cozies and I appreciate that. The murder mystery is well done. Gabe comes across as a non-sharing butthead in this one and Benni seems quite immature, but that served to make it a little more real for me. There are a lot of people like that in the real world. Recommended.
Feb 07, 2013 Sue rated it liked it
The fun thing about cozy mysteries is the characters and settings and then there's mystery on top of that. Series have to develop story lines for the characters and that's what I enjoy about this series. The Benni-Gabe romance has been interesting, although Benni was a little annoying in this one before she came to some realizations about her life and how she should treat Gabe. This one moves them to Kansas for a vacation to meet the Ortiz family, so there are old friends and Gabe's stomping gro ...more
Sep 29, 2010 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Definitely an improving series. This episode follows detective Ortiz back to his family home in Kansas. It may be the change of setting but there was very little tedious recapping of Benni Harper's past, job, and friends to skim over. What was included from previous stories was worked into the story line instead of reading like an intrusive synopsis. Even the comments about the Kansas quilt pattern were integral to the plot and characters.

Gabe remains reticent about sharing a difficult history e
Jun 01, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
Benni and Gabe travel to Kansas to meet his family. At a welcoming party an young singer who has high hopes, is murdered. Benni and Gabe help the locals find the one responsible. Could it be one of Gabe's lifelong friends? A quilt that Tyler made is the clue to solving the case.
Pam Bales
Jan 22, 2016 Pam Bales rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, cozy
The third in the Benni Harper quilting series, this is great for those who enjoy a cozy. It takes place in California , but for this episode Gabe and Benni are in Derby, Kansas, Gabe's home town. Strong female sleuth, California, strong family ties. This is an awesome series.
Lori Limberger
Dec 26, 2013 Lori Limberger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2007 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mysteries
I really like the Benni Harper series. She's independent, strong, and happily married. That's a nice combination. We also have a lot in common, since I was born in Texas and live in the West right now.

This book finds Benni and her husband Gabe on a trip to meet his family. Benni's husband is the silent type, and she soon discovers that she doesn't know as much about him as she'd like to. There's a murder (of course) and Benni can't help getting involved (also of course). Benni is having trouble
Barbara ★
First of all I must say that this is the first book I've read by Earlene Fowler and the first I've read in this series. Maybe if I started with the first book, I might have actually enjoyed this book but I found that I had zero interest in the story and even less interest (if that's possible) in the main characters. The story jumps in too quickly without giving any background on the hero and heroine. You meet the Amish victim for a total of about 5 minutes and I just didn't care who killed her o ...more
Feb 13, 2012 Beth rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
In a way, it seems unfair to rate Kansas Troubles, because I didn't finish the book. The fact that the book couldn't hold my interest, though, seems to justify a low rating.

My enjoyment level may have been lessened because my introduction to the series began with Book 3, since my library doesn't own the first two books. That caveat aside, Kansas Troubles suffers from a few things: the book seems to be a patchwork (pun unintentional) of mediocre writing and awkwardly-constructed personalities. T
Paula Eeds
May 28, 2014 Paula Eeds rated it it was amazing
I wait every year for Earlene's next book and get it for my birthday in April.
Amy Bond
Jan 26, 2016 Amy Bond rated it it was amazing
I have loved this whole series - fun!
Oct 06, 2015 Abigail rated it really liked it
Love a good, sassy heroine.
Mar 30, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it
I didn't realize how much I had missed Benni Harper! I'm not really into the whole Western Cattle rancher thing, but it works in this book. The main character has a great personality and the plot is always fresh.
Chere J
May 04, 2016 Chere J rated it really liked it
Great job keeping the reader guessing until the very end.
John Senner
Aug 08, 2010 John Senner rated it liked it
I picked this solely for its title, which turns out to be the name of a quilt pattern. Mystery in small town Kansas with lots of references to Derby, Pretty Prairie, Wichita, and a thinly disguised Yoder Kansas.
I have no doubt that the author visited the places mentioned. Descriptions are dead on.

California folk-art expert meets her new husband's family and solves the murder of an Amish girl by knowing her quilts. Remarkable.
Mar 22, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Better than the last in the series. Benni and Ortiz have impetuously married (apparently they don't believe in premarital sex or they would have just knocked boots) and are now wondering if love is enough to overcome stubborness and the problems in their relationship. And one of Ortiz's childhood amigos might be a killer. Count on Benni to get herself in mortal danger at least once (that is getting tired) and to solve the mystery.
Kitty Tomlinson
Nov 27, 2011 Kitty Tomlinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
After a whirlwind marriage to police chief Gabe Ortiz, quilter and amateur sleuth Benni Harper joins her husband on a trip to his Kansas hometown, only to become caught up in the investigation into the murder of quilter, aspiring country singer, and former Amish wife Tyler Brown.
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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)
  • 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)
  • Broken Dishes (Benni Harper, #11)

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