Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pleating for Mercy (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #1)” as Want to Read:
Pleating for Mercy (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pleating for Mercy (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #1)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,686 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jean Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Ha
Mass Market Paperback, 293 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Berkley
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pleating for Mercy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pleating for Mercy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great start to new series

I really enjoyed this book. It was charming without being cutesy. The characters we likeable. The mystery wasn't an obvious one, the culprit was a surprise. It had a slight supernatural bent, but it didn't overwhelm the story. I can't wait to read the next installment.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting and different!

Harlow Jean Cassidy has been living in New York for about ten years when her Great Grandmother Loretta Mae dies and leaves Harlow her home in Bliss, Texas. Harlow grew up in Bliss and left as soon as she could.

Now she is back and she is running a dress shop out of her new house! An old school friend stops by and asks her to make the wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses for her upcoming wedding in two weeks!

Everything was going great until the Maid of Honor was found dead
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A decedent of the infamous Butch Cassidy, Harlow Jane Cassidy and all the other Cassidy women through time possess special "gifts". Harlow is still unsure what her gift actually is when she returns home to Texas from Manhattan. Her great grandmother has passed away and left her farmhouse to Harlow. Harlow worked as a fashioner designer in New York so she decides to open a custom dressmaking boutique on the main level of her new home.

One of her first customers is her childhood friend Josie, who i
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this first book in another new series! Can't wait for more. I love the family relationship between the protag, her mom and grandmom. I'm not really a fashionista so I can't really understand some of the clothing descriptions but I love the fact that this woman can envision a style, fabric and fashion, for a dress that will make the wearer feel good as well as look good. Eagerly anticipating the next in the series.
❂ Jennifer
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really really enjoyed this book. Great story line, never saw the bad guy coming at the end and the characters and setting are fantastic. I really can't wait for the follow up to this one. Now if only Misa Ramirez would write another Lola Cruz mystery....
W.s. Gager
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
For years I read romance as a form of escape from life. When stress got in the way, my nose went in a book. I’ve now found that a good cozy mystery can provide the same escapism. Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon is one of the books that I’ve been able to totally immerse myself into. It is the first book in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery and I will look for others.
Main character Harlow Jane Cassidy returns to her small town in Bliss, Texas after her grandmother dies leaving behind a high-
Angela Holland
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What I liked: I liked the "gifts" that Harlow and the females each had and the fact that they were each a different gift. I liked that they "gifts" were not witchcraft to me. I also like Gracie who Harlow is going to teach how to sew and is the daughter of Will - who I think in future books will become the love interest.
What I didn't Liked: I can't think of anything that I did not like about this book
Overall Impression: I enjoyed that this was a fun fast book to read. Harlow was not real sure ab
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Book due out in early August - you can pre order at Amazon. I got my copy early to review.
This book is a real page turner. It's a modern murder mystery incorporating a love of sewing, some magic, ghostly occurances, and romance too. First in a three part series, and I really look forward to the next.
Even if you don't sew, you'll find it a very enjoyable read, and well balanced. There is not a lot of boring detail about sewing at all, but it's a theme in the book that the main character is pass
Susan Webb
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was entertaining. The Cassidy women are funny and it was nice to read about all of them and the history. Meemaw's ghost was an added enjoyment. I am looking forward to more in this series. Harlow's character will be one I will enjoy learning more about
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Char Dauterman
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
My rating leans closer to 3 1/2 stars.

Harlow Cassidy leaves her job in Manhattan to open a dressmaking boutique in Bliss, Texas after her great grandmother passes away and leaves her the property. It doesn't take her long to figure out that her great grandmother may have passed away, but that doesn't mean she is gone. When Harlow's friend Josie wants a gown made for her upcoming wedding, she is excited to get started but then one of the wedding party ends up dead on Harlow's lawn. She sets out t
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, ghost, magic
Pleating For Mercy:
Pleating For mercy puts the cozy in cozy mystery, the plot is simple, as most cozy mysteries are, where this one stands out among it's brothers and sisters, are in the characters.
Harlow is warm, strong, confident, without being overly shallow, or cold to those around her or whiny. She comes across as a real person, you wouldn't mind having a drink with, someone you can and do root for.
Her Mama and Nana, are drawn in ways, that remind you of your own grandparents and parents
Frances Wentworth
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I found it enjoyable to read, but it was a bit too southern themed for my taste. I liked the extensive sewing knowledge and the main character's knowledge of fashion. While I found the story entertaining, it just seemed to lack that certain something that makes me really want to get to know the main character, even though the other characters seemed very well developed. I'm going to give the next few a try to see if it draws me in a bit more.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful! A great cozy mystery with some endearing characters and a touch of magical whimsey. This is one where I will go looking for others in the series. I wish FURBALL were still with us, because she would have enjoyed it. I will be sending this to my sister-in-law, because the women in this book are rumored to be the descendants of Butch Cassidy and she is actually a descendant of the Parkers (Cassidy's real name) and is a seamstress to boot.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Harlow inherits her grandmother's dressmaking business. She learns she has magical gift with fabric and can pull a dress or garmet together and make the item fit and look good on individuals. She gets to know Will who was her grandmother's handyman. First of a really good series and it is fun with magical abilities.
Patti Abernathy
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun new cozy mystery series about a dress designer who returns to her small hometown when her great grandmother dies and leaves her a house on the town square. As a sewer I found what she was able to accomplish in 10 Days pretty amazing but maybe she doesn’t procrastinate as much as I do. Look forward to the rest of the series.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am endlessly amused by how many horrible puns they can come up with to name these cozy mysteries.

This one was a little longer than I am used to but it didn't drag at all and checked all the boxes for an enjoyable, fairly easy and fun read.
Brooke Baker
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for a quirky cozy mystery with a delightful pun as the title, and this delivered. I didn't quite mesh with the characters but it wasn't so off-putting that I'm not willing to read the next in the series to see if they become more fleshed out.
Karen Holman
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has a creative cast of characters, set in Texas, and the ending calls for more tales to solve. copy right 2011
Amanda A
3.5 stars
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fun new series to start.
Robin McComas
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this first book in the series and will definitely continue with the next book. The characters were fun and it kept me guessing until the end.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun story with some magical elements. Lots of interesting characters. Good mystery.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
God pace, interesting characters. Definitely makes me want to check out the next one in the series.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
About magic and dead intervention not really my type of book. I liked the sewing and mystery aspect but could not get past the first chapter.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
So this was quite an interesting cozy mystery. The reason it gets four stars is because the story flowed well enough and didn't drag on like other cozy mysteries where the main character/narrator gets side-tracked and has to explain how their hobby/interest works in fine detail. This one had balance and you learned a thing or two about sewing while remaining on track with the mystery.

I enjoyed this book and Harlow. Her magical abilities are taken in suspiciously by others at times, but her town
Book of Secrets ☘
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5/5

Harlow's great-great-great grandfather was the infamous Butch Cassidy, and since his time, all of the Cassidy women have been blessed with a magical ability. When Harlow inherits her great grandmother's farmhouse, she gives up her career as a fashion designer in New York City and moves home to Bliss, Texas. Though not certain what her "special gift" is yet, Harlow knows that she has an amazing talent for dressmaking.

Harlow turns the first floor of her farmhouse into a custom dressma
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
Harlow Cassidy has recently returned to Bliss, Texas, after years of working in NYC as a fashion designer. She's set up a custom dressmaking shop in the house her recently deceased great-grandmother left her, and she's eager to get her new business off the ground. However, having a client's bridesmaid murdered in her garden isn't helping, so Harlow is quite motivated to figure out who the real killer is and clear her name.

This is the first installment of a fun cozy mystery series with elements o
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a sweet little mystery set in a small town near Dallas/Fort Worth. I enjoyed the Texas element (naturally) and I thought the characters were likable. Harlow's dressmaking shop, Buttons and Bows, sounds like a warm, cozy place to hang out. All in all, I liked this book, but there were some things that really bugged me, too...

(view spoiler)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Dire Threads (Threadville Mystery, #1)
  • Tempest in the Tea Leaves (A Fortune Teller Mystery, #1)
  • Ink Flamingos (Tattoo Shop Mystery, #4)
  • Skirting The Grave (A Vintage Magic Mystery, #4)
  • Harrowing Hats (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #4)
  • A Sheetcake Named Desire (A Piece of Cake Mystery, #1)
  • The Quick and the Thread (An Embroidery Mystery, #1)
  • Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder, #1)
  • Liver Let Die (A Clueless Cook Mystery, #1)
  • Die Buying (A Mall Cop Mystery, #1)
  • Tressed to Kill (Southern Beauty Shop, #1)
  • Button Holed (Button Box Mystery, #1)
  • I Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A La Mode, #1)
  • Murder Buys a T-shirt (A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery #1)
  • If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Gram’s Country Cooking School Mystery, #1)
  • Delicious and Suspicious (A Memphis BBQ Mystery #1)
  • Sew Deadly (A Southern Sewing Circle, #1)
  • Quickstep to Murder (A Ballroom Dance Mystery #1)
Librarian note: Melissa Bourbon is also known as Misa Ramirez and Melissa Bourbon Ramirez.
More about Melissa Bourbon...

Other Books in the Series

A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (6 books)
  • 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 Killing Notion (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #5)
  • A Seamless Murder (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #6)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Lost and Found (Rock Harbor Search and Rescue #2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Light Before Day
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Hold Still (Jocelyn Rush, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Still Waters (Sandhamn, #1)
    $4.99 $2.00
  • Into the Light (The Light, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Burning Man (Gideon and Sirius, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Disturbed
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Cold Black Earth
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Drowned Girls (Angie Pallorino, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Guardians of the Night (Gideon and Sirius, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond, #13)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Beyond Belief (Emily Castles Mysteries)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Reason to Live (A Marty Singer Mystery Book 1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Memory Child
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Finding Emma (Finding Emma Series Book 1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Lucky Ones
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Red Gold (Night Soldiers, #5)
    $12.99 $1.99
  • A Small Indiscretion
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Allegedly
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Octopussy and the Living Daylights (James Bond, #14)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dragon Bones (Red Princess, #3)
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Flee (Codename: Chandler #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Snow Garden
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Hallowed Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney #5)
    $7.99 $0.99
  • While the Savage Sleeps
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Technologists
    $12.99 $1.99
  • A Density of Souls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Plea of Insanity
    $5.99 $0.99
  • Away from the Dark (The Light, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Missing, Presumed (DS Manon, #1)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Terms of Use
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Husband
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Emma's Secret
    $4.99 $1.99
  • She's Not There
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Heart Collector
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Cold Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #3)
    $6.49 $2.00
“Darlin’, there are no mistakes in sewing. Only opportunities for design.” Those” 0 likes
“Squeaky clean before you get into office, that’s the golden rule. After you’re elected, you can do whatever you want. People are more reluctant to admit they were wrong once they’ve voted someone into office. They’re more willing to forgive, shall we say, indiscretions.” Mrs.” 0 likes
More quotes…