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A Killing Notion

(A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  591 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Harlow Jane Cassidy is swamped with homecoming couture requests. If only she didn’t have to help solve a murder, she might get the gowns off the dress forms....  
Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting clients know about her secret charm. When she has a chance to create homecoming dresses with a local charity a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by NAL
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  591 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Natalia  R
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite cozy mystery series!I'm really sad that Melissa Bourbon has not continued on with it! ...more
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
It’s homecoming time in Bliss, Texas and the girls are working on their mums. Like everything in Texas these mums are big!! Harlow Jane Cassidy, owner of Buttons & Bows, is not only helping with the mums, she is making several homecoming dresses. Gracie has decided to make her own dress. Then when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder Harlow realizes Gracie is going need much more than help with her dress. Harlow needs to patch together the clues and clear the boys name before the who ...more
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's homecoming time in Texas, and the only way to go is to go big or go home. Harlow Cassidy and her custom dress shop, Buttons & Bows, are in the thick of the preparations. Not only is she designing and completing two dresses for two under-privileged girls, but Harlow's also making mums for several of Bliss High School's gals - including Gracie, the daughter of Harlow's beau, Will Flores. But at the crucial time - just days before the big dance - Gracie gets shocking news: her date's father ha ...more
Paula Ratcliffe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I feel privileged that I was asked to read an advanced copy of this book is the fifth book in the series Magical Dressmaking Mystery. The Cassidy ladies have secrets that must be kept from the people of Bliss Texas, now don't get me wrong, it's not terrible secrets just small ones the townsfolk wouldn't understand.
It's homecoming week in Bliss and Harlow has been designing and sewing dresses for the young ladies in town. Gracie the daughter of Harlow's beau Will has decided to make her own dress
Molly Trusty
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVE this series!! Melissa Bourbon does an amazing job of bringing you into the book. I often find myself being swept away in the pages and staying up way to late just to finish it! She brings not only the characters but the town to life. I can picture myself sitting on the porch of Button and Bows, rocking and waiting to see what trouble meemaw causes. This book does not disappoint. It takes you on a "who done it?" ride that keeps you guessing. With homecoming fast approaching, Har ...more
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was probably the best book that I have read so far this year!! It grabbed my attention and kept it the whole way through. Melissa Bourbon's words flowed so well, making this a very easy and fast read. I loved the small, hometown feel of the book. And I also loved that it was set during Homecoming time in Bliss, which brought back memories. This book had many, many twists and turns that kept me guessing till the very end. I would think I had it figured out, and there would be an twist that m ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
As always, this is by far one of my favorite series. If I could take a vacation there, I would go to Bliss and have Harlow make me a dress. I had my suspicions early on of the murderer, but didn't really make the full connection until a bit later and loved the story line. Love the characters, Will is still Benjamin Bratt in my mind. I wish Melissa could write a little faster because I don't like waiting for the next book to come out! ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book, like most of the cozy mysteries I reach for in my "cleaning palate" moments of reading are usually full of the same tropes that I appreciate in the genre. And I give a lot of latitude because it's pure entertainment to read charming cozy mysteries. I've enjoyed the other books in the series, despite the kind of silly premise, but this one just lacked in most of the other things that I enjoyed. I really couldn't wait to finish it though I could have stopped midway as I could see the en ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Harlow is increasing her dressmaking business by making dresses for upcoming Homecoming Dance. Gracie is part of the group and her boyfriend and dare to the Homecoming becomes a suspect in his dad's death brings everyone down. So Harlow works on the side to find out who did it. She uncovers 2 different families but the same dad and at the very end she figures out who did it and needs to be on her guard so another person is not hurt. ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. It's homecoming season in Bliss which means lots of dresswork for Harlow...and, of course, murder. Too many authors try to belittle or over-simplify young characters, and I didn't feel that this was the case for the majority of the book. There was some moments that seemed too cutesy, but on the most part, it felt like an honest depiction of excited high-schoolers. I also liked how Gavin and Harlow's teamwork is beginning to come together more. ...more
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this mystery. Harlow, the main character, has magical powers that bring a person she designs an item for their true desires. But what if the person’s desire was for revenge. Harlow has to face this possibility when a man who turned out to have two wives and fathered children to both wives is murdered.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
Shelves: cozy-mystery
3.5 stars but I'll round up because I love this series.

Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good mystery but left me wondering on a couple of things about Sue and why she left and put her mother through pain.
Debi Emerson
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Kept me guessing till the very end! Always good in a mystery!
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I had a feeling that's whodunit! ...more
Did not finish; didn't hold my interest at all. ...more
Sandra Holladay
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
A fun read, but too repetitive, and too much filler. I figured out both ‘mystery’ aspects (not going to include a spoiler) well before Harlow did, which is not something I usually do.
Patti Abernathy
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
More predictable than her others. I figured the plot line out early on and only had to wait till the end in one detail.
Lyn Soulia-Smith
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a good series. The clues are good and can lead you into different directions. Think you have the culprit, guess again. Good book.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Love, love, love this series! The books have settled into a nice groove. Enjoy the easy relationship between Harlow and the other characters. Makes me want to live in Bliss, TX myself!
Debbie Lester
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Bourbon returns readers to Bliss, Texas with her fifth installment in the Magical Dressmakers Mystery series, A Killing Notion. This book will steal the heart of readers who are pulling for the relationship between Harlow and Will to grow into lasting love. Harlow is out to help Will's daughter Gracie prove the innocence of her boyfriend who has been accused of killing his father. Readers are treated to a mystery set against the back drop of the homecoming dance, a ghostly member of the ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: joanne

Brought to you by OBS reviewer JoAnne

Harlow Jane Cassidy is a descendant of Butch Cassidy – but, as the author should know, Butch Cassidy was an alias, and his real name was Robert Leroy Parker, so any descendants he would have would also have the surname of Parker. this would be tantamount to the Sundance Kid’s descendants having the last name of “Kid”. (Just because he decided to adopt the name Cassidy doesn’t mean it was his legal name, nor would it be
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley as a part of a book tour.

A magically gifted dressmaker, a small Texas town and a mysterious murder all take center stage in A Killing Notion, the fifth book in Melissa Bourbon’s Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. Quirky characters, an interesting mystery and a light touch of romance kept me turning the pages to discover what would happen next. While the sixth book in the series, I was able to read and enjoy this book without h
DelAnne Frazee
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: A Killing Notion - A Magical Dressmaking Mystery Book 5
Author: Melissa Bourbon
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: 4-1-2014
ISBN: 9780451417206
Pages: 312
Genre: Mystery
Tags: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Sensual Level: Mild
Overall Rating: Very Good
Reviewed For: NetGalley
Reviewer: DelAnne

Harlow Jane Cassidy is the owner/operator of Buttons and Bows, a dressmaking shop located in Bliss Texas. Unlike most dressmakers tho Harlow has a little something extra that she puts to g
Carol Beyner
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There is something a little magical about Melissa Bourbon’s newest book “A Killing Notion” and it’s not just Harlow’s great grandmother’s ghost. As Harlow is busy creating gorgeous custom coutures and personalized mums for homecoming, someone in town has a taken revenge on the local Auto Repair Shop co-owner in the form of murder.

This hits too close to home for Harlow as the co-owner’s son, Shane, receives the news about his father’s death while visiting Buttons and Bows with his girlfriend, Ha
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review from Backchatting Books

Harlow Cassidy, magical dressmaker extraordinaire, finds herself caught up in yet another mystery when Gracie's boyfriend, Shane, is accused of patricide. Both Gracie and Shane's mother insist that he is innocent and beg Harlow to investigate. When another man goes missing, Harlow suspects the two events are connected.

Harlow spreads herself fairly thin as she is constantly looking for ways to keep her business afloat and help those in need. It is an effective plot
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it


What a fun murder mystery. This is book #5 of A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. But only one I have read yet. Now I want to go and read the first 4 books of the series sometimes. Harlow Jane Cassidy has charms. Her whole family has different charms.
Harlow's clothes she makes for people make their dreams come true. Harlow even has a ghost who is still a matchmaker.

Harlow is busy getting ready for Homecoming. She is making a couple of dresses and lots of Mums for it. I had never hea
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon

I hate to say it, but this one bored me a little. It's the only book in the series, to date, that I can live without.

I figured out the mystery, both of them and was a little stymied as to the identity of the killer until about 15 pages until the end, had that going for it.

Also, there was a lot of redundancy in this one and word or two mispelled, nothing that a good editor couldn't catch, but it brought me out the of the moment a few times.

I wanted more of Gracie too. I mean, if the plot,
Chatting About
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Harlow Jane Cassidy comes from a long line of women gifted with 'charms'. Magic. Harlow's charm is that she can design custom clothing for a wearer, and when that person wears the clothes, it helps them realize their wishes and dreams, and leads them to future accomplishments.

It's homecoming time in Bliss, TX, where Harlow moved to open her custom dressmaking shop, Buttons and Bows. Harlow's sweet nature shines through in her dedication toward helping teenage girls, some of whom are less fortuna
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Melissa Bourbon is the national bestselling author of nineteen mystery books, including the brand new collaborative Book Magic mysteries, the Lola Cruz Mysteries, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, and the Bread Shop Mysteries, written as Winnie Archer. She is a former middle school English teacher who gave up the classroom in order to live in her imagination full time. Melissa, a California na ...more

Other books in the series

A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (6 books)
  • Pleating for Mercy (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #1)
  • A Fitting End (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #2)
  • Deadly Patterns (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #3)
  • A Custom-Fit Crime (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #4)
  • A Seamless Murder (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #6)

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