Lisa Lickel’s The Map Quilt is part of her Buried Treasure series and is the sequel to The Gold Standard. The book is set in Wisconsin farming territory in the vicinity of the small town of Robertsville. A variety of small town locals, friends and family members add color to the storyline, making their appearance along with their rural ways and idiosyncrasies.
Husband and wife Hart and Judy Wingate are expecting their first child. Hart is an inventor and is close to launching a new experimental battery which could revolutionize the farming industry. But before this can happen, the barn which serves as his workspace burns and Hart’s rival if found dead in the ruins. Of course, this provides fodder for Judy, who is intrigued by mysteries, to become involved and try to get to the bottom of things. Her husband is determined to protect her and their unborn child and keep them out of danger.
At the center of the story is a vintage map quilt belonging to the Wingates which has been handed down from generation to generation and since their property is rumored to have been a part of the under ground rail road and map quilts are thought to have been one way for those in the underground railroad to communicate and direct operations, the situation is ripe for even more mystery and discoveries. When a guest speaker to Judy’s classroom claims she is the rightful owner of the land on which Hart’s competitor’s headquarters sits and yet another, older body surfaces, the plot is taken to the next level.
Lickel does a superb job building layers of mystery and the history of the underground railroad she incorporates is educational and interesting. The book is a wholesome and enjoyable. If you like cozy mysteries, you’ll want to be sure and check this one out.