A Stitch in Time (A Needlecraft Mystyery #3) by Monica Ferris

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Pages: 260

Publisher: Berkley

Published: July 1, 2000

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads:

When a damaged tapestry is discovered in a small-town church closet, needleworkers join to stitch together the clues which lead to a crafty crime.

My Review:

I’ll admit when I started the first book in the series, Crewel World, I was not sure this series would be for me. My mind was quickly changed and I am a huge fan of this series. In fact, I have been trying to find the books I am missing when I visit used bookstores.

Book 3 takes place during the Christmas season and is not your typical murder mystery. Why? Well, we do not have a murder but an attempted murder on Betsy herself. I loved the fact that it took place at Christmas with LOTS of snow while I have been sweltering in a heatwave with no rain until last night. I actually felt cooler while reading as Monica Ferris does a great job with her descriptions.

If you are leery about the book being too religious since it centers around a religious tapestry found in a church you have no worries. Religion is not a focal point. You do learn about saints and attributes but I found that very interesting. Especially the fact that symbols may represent more than one saint.

A free needlepoint pattern for a snowflake is included at the end of the book.

I don’t give 5 stars too often but A Stitch in Time felt very worthy of the perfect rating.

Town in a Cinnamon Toast (A Candy Holliday #7) by B. B. Haywood

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Pages: 311

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

Published: February 2, 2016

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads:

The much-anticipated wedding of local resident Maggie Tremont and popular baker Herr Georg has stirred up the usually quiet coastal town of Cape Willington. To make sure the wedding of the year goes off without a hitch, the participants gather at a pre-wedding dinner—everyone, that is, except the best man…

Worried, Candy, the maid of honor, goes looking for him, finally tracking him down to the upstairs archive rooms at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum. There’s only one problem: he’s dead, struck over the head with a bottle of champagne, the same exclusive brand that was ordered for the dinner. Before the wedding plans fall flat, Candy rushes to find the murderer, unearthing a conspiracy that could spill over into the whole town…

My Review:

I am sad. Why? Because I know after this book I only have one left in the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series. Candy and her dad, Doc, feel like old friends when I open up the book and start reading. I feel comfortable and content while reading.

In book 7, Candy’s BFF, Maggie, and old boss, Herr Georg are getting married. For long-time readers of the series, this is a happy occasion. Maggie finally deserves some happiness after her rotten ex-husband. Unfortunately, the best man is murdered before the wedding. As we come to learn he had information on a mystery that has run throughout the entire series. We finally learn all the secrets involved in that mystery by the end of the book.

As always, the story is a clean read with no foul language, no sex and no grisly murder scenes that make your tummy roll. Please read the series from the beginning or you will not understand exactly what is going on with the secondary mystery.

Now, if you will excuse me I am going to go ponder if I should read the last book immediately or wait until I need a farm book for my next cozy mystery book bingo on Goodreads and savor the thought that there is one book left for my enjoyment.

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry

favorite

Pages: 364

Publisher: Berkley

Published: June 4, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Amazon:

Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

My Review:

A beautifully written story on a horrible disease. I could not imagine losing bits and pieces of my dad daily. I have a hard enough time dealing with normal memory loss as he ages.

Be prepared to be shocked, happy and then crying so hard the pages in your book become water-logged.

A must-read in 2019 new releases!

Death Threads (A Southern Sewing Circle #2) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (aka Laura Bradford)

death

Pages: 288

Publisher: Berkley

Published: May 5, 2010

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads:
Yankee librarian Tori Sinclair is basking in the warmth of her new circle of friends from South Carolina’s Sweet Briar Ladies Society sewing circle. That is until local author Colby Calhoun reveals an unflattering secret about the town’s historic past-and then disappears, leaving a bloody trail behind him. And when Tori begins to see a pattern of the townsfolk’s age-old Southern pride standing in the way of justice, she knows it’s time to unravel the mystery.

My review:
This series is for fans of anything Southern and book related. You cannot get more perfect than a library set in South Carolina. If you add in the love for Little House (Laura Ingalls Wilder) that Tori has then we have the winning trifecta in my humble opinion.

I am not a person who views sewing as relaxing. I am more in the ranks of our dear sweet Leona who along with her twin sister is a hoot. You will find yourself chuckling quite frequently while reading. The idea of the handsewn library book bags for nursing home residents has really touched my heart. My mom is currently in a long term rehabilitation to get her leg strength back and seeing the nursing home part of the rehab center is so sad. I wish more public libraries had the capability to make sure nursing home residents had access to books.

A part of me wants to gobble this series up as quickly as I can read but the smart part of me is telling myself to slow down since there are only 12 books in this wonderful series and I have already read two. I am limiting myself to one book a month in this series.

Sew Deadly (Southern Sewing Circle #1) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

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Pages: 290 (eBook)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: August 4, 2009

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tori has moved from Chicago, IL (the North) to Sweet Briar, SC (the South) and it hasn’t been easy. The vernacular is different, the previous librarian, Dixie, does not like her, and most of all she is the number one murder suspect. Can Tori overcome all these difficulties and make a home and friends in Sweet Briar?

An entertaining read, especially if you are a fan of sewing. This book made me constantly think of my Mamaw who loves to sew and create beautiful work. I wish I enjoyed sewing, Tori made it seem like the perfect relaxation technique.

I am already a fan of Tori and her library. I lost track of how many times I wanted to jump into the book and straight into the Children’s room and grab a copy of Little House on the Prairie and lose myself for hours.

I was a tad disappointed on the cozy mystery murder aspect of the book. Several times I thought I had missed pages as it jumped in and out of the murder mystery with little or no details I am used to reading in cozy mysteries. The big reveal of the murderer never really happened. No big scene between Tori and her murderer. Now, we do need to realize this was a very early work of the author. Her current mystery series (An Amish Mystery series) is one of the best out there. If you haven’t already guessed the author’s other known name is Laura Bradford.

I have already marked this as a series I am continuing and finishing in 2019. I cannot wait to see what Tori does with the library. Who knows, maybe I will take up a sewing project will reading this series.

Framed in Lace (A Needlecraft Mystery #2) by Monica Ferris

framed

Pages: 260 (Paperback)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: October 1, 1999

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Betsy is still healing from the murder of her sister, Margot. Her new friend in Excelsor, MN, Jill has asked Betsy to accompany her to the raising of a ferry sunk in 1948. Upon the raising of the ferry, the divers find a skeleton who is believed to be a missing young woman who was believed to be having an affair with one of the Monday Bunches wives. Can Betsy solve the mystery as she did before?

This is the second book in the Needlecraft Mystery series and the second book I have read. It is not my typical cozy mystery style as I prefer culinary or book themed cozies but this series has grabbed my interest and I find myself wanting to return again and again. Betsy, the amateur sleuth, is a little older than your average sleuth which I think adds to the story. She has more life experiences to pull from to help her solve the mystery. She is not all bogged down with finding love and having a family. She is focusing on creating a new life in Minnesota and healing from a recent nasty divorce (from a pig, her words) and the death of her only sister.

I appreciate the knowledge the author has on needleworking and lace making. It shows through beautifully in this story. It made me feel much closer to my Mamaw who does the needlepointing and cross stitching. I remember the hours she would put in to each and every piece she created.

The killer was a little easier to figure out in this book versus the first one but the reasoning why was not as apparent to me until close to the end. Maybe I was just so wrapped up in the beauty of the items being created.

This is a nineteen book series that I am very interested in continuing.

Town in a Sweet Pickle (Candy Holliday #6) by B. B. Haywood

pickle

Pages: 338 (Paperback)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: February 3, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In book six, Candy Holliday finds herself questioning the balance between working as interim editor of the newspaper and working the blueberry farm with her dad. Candy and her arch nemesis and co-worker Wanda have organized an event for the local amateur cooks to show off their talent. They were even able to snag a popular cookbook author to be a guest judge. As Wanda goes around helping collect the goodies for the event she finds herself on the wrong end of a tasting. As she recovers, Candy is left to handle the event on her own. Things turn worse when a local favorite drops dead at the event consuming a pickle. Is someone targeting the event or all of Cape Willington?

I continue to enjoy this series the more I read it. Candy is so down to earth that you cannot help but like her. Her love for her dad and the farm is a beautiful addition to the story. Family plays a great role in cozies and this series highlights that wonderfully. The blueberry farm has very little role in this book and I did miss it.

I was saddened by the death of a particular character. I won’t mention who but if you have kept up with the series you will be saddened as well. There is a funeral in this book that will have you laughing and wondering do such things really happen?

Several recipes are included at the end of the book and I cannot wait to bake the Harvest Cookies for my hubby.

Geared for the Grave (A Cycle Path Mystery #1) by Duffy Brown

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Pages: 288 (Paperback)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: December 2, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Welcome to Mackinac Island, the land of a slower lifestyle with no cars allowed and bicycles are the way to get around. Evie has volunteered to help her boss in Chicago by coming to Mackinac Island and assist Rudy, her boss’ father, in his bicycle shop. Rudy has broken leg and it is the height of the summer season. Evie walks in to the shop and witnesses an argument between Rudy and Bunny, a wealthy resident who would love for his shop to be shut down. Unfortunately during a delivery Evie finds Bunny as dead as road kill on the side of a Chicago highway. Can Evie solve the murder before having to call her boss to come get her father out of the slammer?

Oh my goodness, I have never laughed so much and so hard reading a book before. It seemed like I was constantly stopping and reading a snippet to my hubby. Evie is a pure delight. The entire book was a delight. You have a Detroit cop volunteering his time on the island, a Chicago girl who is used to creature comforts, and the mob. Can a cozy can any better? I enjoyed it so much I have already ordered the second book and am on pins and needles for it to get here.

My one complaint: there are only TWO books in the series so far. I haven’t researched yet but I really hope the author continues the series.

 

Poisoned Pages (Booktown Mystery #12) by Lorna Barrett

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Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: July 10, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One of the best cozy mystery series out there. Lorna Barrett has written another 5 star Booktown Mystery.

In book twelve of the Booktown Mysteries, Tricia has finally moved back in her apartment over her bookstore after a terrible fire gutted the apartment. During her housewarming party, where she fixed all the delicious nibbles (a feat for Tricia), a guest dies from a poisoned stuff mushroom. Unfortunately Tricia finds herself trying to prove it was not her cooking that killed the guest. As Tricia tries to solve the mystery of the dead guest she also finds herself running for the president position at the Chamber of Commerce and putting the trial of the murder of her ex-husband to rest. Will Tricia find herself successful on all three accounts or be the next murder in Stoneham, NH?

This is my favorite cozy mystery series and I have a lot of them I love. Every summer I find myself barely able to contain my excitement for my annual visit with Tricia and friends. In Poisoned Pages, we start with Tricia listening to the sentencing of her ex-husband’s killer. The opening pages of this is heartbreaking. I found myself tearing up and wanted to comfort Tricia. I cannot imagine the emotions Tricia has had over this time. I hope the killer does truly rot in jail. I am not going to name the killer just in case you have not read this series or are not up to date.

To say I was shocked at who the perpetrator was in Poisoned Pages is putting it mildly. I would have never believed this person would turn out to be such a jerk and so evil. Well played Ms. Barrett, well played.

You can read these as a stand alone but I would NOT recommend it. You would lose the element of surprise in each beautifully crafted mystery.

For fans of cozy mysteries, mysteries and suspense this series should definitely be on your radar. It is time to be thinking of Christmas shopping and if I was you I would be asking Santa for this entire series under my tree.

Murder on Bank Street (A Gaslight Mystery # 10) by Victoria Thompson

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Pages: 324 (paperback)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: June 3, 2008

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Four years ago Sarah lost her husband, Dr. Brandt, to a unnamed father who thought the doctor had taken advantage of his mentally sick daughter. Sarah’s friend, Dectective Malloy has decided to solve the unsolved murder for the woman he has come to love. Will the discovery cause more harm than good?

This was my first visit into the world of Sarah Brandt and I want to stop time and read all the books in the series back to back. I had never read a medical cozy either and was very surprised how much I enjoyed it. Add the fact the book takes place in the late 1800s and it was a recipe for greatness. Even though this is tenth in the series I had no problems just jumping in and understanding all the characters and their importance. I hope when I go back and read the ones before I get the story of Maeve. She is a feisty, strong young woman who compliments Sarah perfectly.