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Friday, January 4, 2013

Threadbare by Monica Ferris

⇧ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for the full issue ⇧
Sandra Murphy

Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Betsy, Goddy and the rest of the crew from Crewel World are back in a post-holiday adventure. The bodies of two homeless women have been found outdoors with no apparent signs that lead to cause of death, and don’t appear to have any connection to each other—except each of them have a relative who is a customer of Crewel World.
In searching for motive, “who benefits?” can lead to clues to solve the murder. In the case of the homeless women, the police aren’t positive it is murder. And benefit? Their worldly possessions fit into shopping bags but maybe they saw something they shouldn’t have and are a danger to the killer.

Between inventory, post-holiday sales and displaying spring needlework kits so customers can work ahead of season, Betsy finds the time to make a new friend, Annie, a homeless woman who has offered to help in the investigation. Annie’s ability to fit in at the shelters, knowledge of life on the streets and curiosity, help move Betsy’s investigation further along.

Image source: Penguin Publishing

Annie is a delightful addition to the cast of characters and I hope a permanent one. After all, Betsy always needs more help in the shop, especially when she’s out tracking down clues.

The characters are nice, believable and the new book is like visiting old friends. I wish there had been more about needlework—that seems to have fallen off. There is a brief description and pattern for Hardanger at the back of the book.

Repetitive phrases take me out of the story, as do descriptions of things that don’t matter—the two note bell at the front door that signals a customer’s come in, the bell on the counter at the vet’s office (“one of those dome-shaped bells with a little button on top was on the counter”), Godwin’s referral to Betsy’s investigation as sleuthing (has anybody sleuthed since Nancy Drew?), and a several page description of everyone helping with inventory slowed the story for me. I would have rather seen the word count used to tell more story or more about needlework.

The series is a good one and to date, there are sixteen titles to choose from.

To enter to win a copy of Threadbare, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Threadbare”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 12, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Purchase Threadbare & you help support an indie bookstore & KRL:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster.

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