Monday, December 7, 2009

A Stitch in Crime-Betty Hechtman

A Stitch in Crime
Betty Hechtman
Berkley, Feb 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425233108

Molly Pink works as an event coordinator at Shedd & Royal Books and More. Her boss Mrs. Shedd hands over her rhinestone clipboard placing Molly in charge of the “Get Out of the Heat and Light Your Creative Fire” retreat weekend on the Monterey Peninsula. Her employer’s only admonition for Molly is not to get involved in a homicide investigation as is her inclination (see By Hook or Crook and Dead Men Don't Crochet).

Pink thinks that will prove no problem since a crafts retreat is an unlikely setting for a murder. She soon finds her theory wrong when one of the instructors, famous Izabella Landers is found on the beach. Rushed to the hospital she is dead from anaphylactic shock due to exposure to peanut butter that she is allergic to. Certain odd details make Molly wonder if a murder occurred even though the police believe a tragic accident happened; the coroner backs up the cops. Determined to find out whether her theory is correct, Molly almost gets killed too. Even more sure a killer is loose; Molly and the Tarzana Hookers investigate.

Betty Hechtman has written an enjoyable amateur sleuth featuring a likable lead protagonist who has reinvented herself one stitch at a time several years after her husband died. Although reckless, a bi-product of her spouse’s death as she believes life is to be lived every moment one has and her late mate would admire her for doing so; that zest for taking chances adds to her charm. The whodunit is fun as the woman carrying the symbol of power, the rhinestone clipboard, searches for a killer who may not exist.

Harriet Klausner