Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
Elderberry Bay, known as Threadville, is a small Pennsylvania town renowned for its textile arts boutiques. Kaylee found the place and her three moms followed with Batty About Quilts, Tell A Yarn, and Buttons and Bows. Willow Vanderling thought the locale was perfect for her new embroidery store In Stitches.
Although the townsfolk appreciate the revenue generated by the themed stores and considers the owners as part of the community, Zoning Commissioner Mike Krawbach detests the shops; at least apparently Willow’s. He rejects Willow’s request to renovate the Blueberry Cottage behind her store. She hoped to use the cottage as a means to earn extra money while he wants to replace it with an ATV track and public restrooms. When someone deliberately opens her gate and lets her dogs out, Willow concludes Mike did it as part of his harassment campaign to make her leave. She angrily shouts “I’ll kill him”. Soon afterward, Mike is found dead on her property. Already the sheriff’s prime suspect, evidence keeps popping up to further hang Willow. Concerned, Willow accompanied by Kaylee and the three other storeowners, begins an investigation that soon finds a myriad of people rejoicing that Mike is dead.
This is a charming cozy starring a likable lead protagonists supported by her storekeeping “sisters” and a vile villain who uses blackmail to get others to perform illegal acts for him. Kaylee and Willow are friends who have each other’s back while the three Moms allow her inside their close knit circle. Although the theme of an amateur sleuth investigating a crime in which she is the prime suspect is not new, sub-genre fans will enjoy this entertaining Threadville mystery.