Earlene Fowler Books

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Earlene Fowler is an American author that writes mystery novels. Fowler was born in 1954 in California to a sheet metal machinist and a secretary. She is best known for the ‘Benni Harper’ series of novels. The books follow Benni Harper, a museum curator. The stories emphasize the protagonist’s interest in quilting, which is why the individual books use quilt block patterns in their titles.

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Order of Benni Harper Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Fool's Puzzle 1994 Description / Buy
2 Irish Chain 1995 Description / Buy
3 Kansas Troubles 1996 Description / Buy
4 Goose in the Pond 1997 Description / Buy
5 Dove in the Window 1998 Description / Buy
6 Mariner's Compass 1999 Description / Buy
7 Seven Sisters 2000 Description / Buy
8 Arkansas Traveler 2001 Description / Buy
9 Steps to the Altar 2002 Description / Buy
10 Sunshine and Shadow 2003 Description / Buy
11 Broken Dishes 2004 Description / Buy
12 Delectable Mountains 2005 Description / Buy
13 Tumbling Blocks 2007 Description / Buy
14 State Fair 2010 Description / Buy
15 Spider Web 2011 Description / Buy

Order of Benni Harper Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Benni Harper's Quilt Album (Short Story) 2004 Description / Buy

Order of Love Mercy Johnson Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Love Mercy 2009 Description / Buy

Order of Ruby McGavin Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Saddlemaker's Wife 2006 Description / Buy
2 The Road to Cardinal Valley 2012 Description / Buy

Earlene Fowler Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Murder on Route 66 1998 Description / Buy
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Fowler was 27 years old when she decided that she wanted to write fiction. The author started by doing her research. Besides reading every book on creative writing that she could find in the library, the author also attended numerous writing classes at a number of Southern California Community Colleges.

She also pursued creative writing at Citrus College (Glendora, California). When she finally sat down to pen her stories, the people that knew Fowler expected her to write mysteries. They knew that mysteries constituted a large part of the books she read.

And yet, the mystery genre was the furthest thing from the author’s mind. At the time, rather than writing full-length novels, she was more interested in creating short stories. Most of her projects were character-oriented.

She remembers experimenting with short mystery stories but she couldn’t make them work. The genre wasn’t the problem. Because she was still refining her craft, Earlene Fowler found that she could not tell plot-oriented stories.

Short character-oriented stories were much easier for the author. The notion of writing a proper novel was too daunting for her because it meant sticking with the same characters for a very long time. She was certain that the process would become either exhausting or boring.

Short stories were thrilling because they did not require so much dedication. But part of her also realized that novels were far more satisfying than short stories. Yes, the journey was much longer. But if you had a solid foundation and a decent plot, the characters would become important aspects of your life and they would stay with you for a long time.

Even though she was more comfortable writing short stories, Fowler had every intention of writing a full-length novel at some point. When that time came, the author relied on the influence of her grandmothers to create the mystery novels for which many people know her.

Fowler’s mother, mother-in-law, and grandmothers lived on farms. That was where the author was raised. The women loved to quilt and Fowler inherited the hobby from them, which is why quilting features so prominently in her books.

Her father is responsible for the western influences in the author’s stories. A native of Colorado, Fowler’s father and his parents (migrant workers) spent a lot of time in the West. Fowler, who has strong memories of the south, tries to blend her Western and Southern influences to produce tales with a wide appeal.

Earlene Fowler Awards

Fowler won the Agatha Award in 1999. She has received numerous Agatha Award nominations.

Best Earlene Fowler Books

The author was influenced by writers like Bobbie Ann Mason, Eudora Welty, and James Lee Burke. Fowler’s best books include:

Fool’s Puzzle: Benni Harper was hoping to start over. That meant leaving her late husband’s memories behind and taking a job at a museum in San Celina. Benni was working on an exhibit when she found the remains of an artist.

Someone had stabbed him. Benni was determined to investigate. But the local police chief did not want her anywhere near his case. She was just a sassy cowgirl that had no business investigating the crime. However, Benni had no intention of backing down, not when she had just unearthed a series of family secrets.

Irish Chain: Benni was a teenager when her crush on Clay O’Hara took root. She did not expect to find herself waltzing in his arms. But that is exactly what happened when Benni decided to lend her talents to San Celina’s senior prom. What should have been a pleasant night ended terribly when Clay’s uncle died.

The other victim, also discovered in one of the resident’s rooms of a retirement home, was an elderly woman. Fortunately for Clay, Benni wasn’t just another folk-art expert. She had a knack for solving complex crimes, and she was determined to get to the bottom of the murder.

When Does The Next Earlene Fowler book come out?

Earlene Fowler doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Road to Cardinal Valley and was released on December, 31st 2012. It is the newest book in the Ruby McGavin Series.


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