Thursday, November 10, 2011

Threadbare-Monica Ferris


Monica Ferris

Berkley, Dec 6 2011, $24.95

ISBN: 9780425243589

Two teens find the body of an apparently homeless elderly woman near a movie theater in Excelsior, Minnesota. The female is identified as fifty-three years old Carolyn Marie Carlson who had a long rap sheet. The assumption is she froze to death while intoxicated; but a week later the autopsy proved she had no alcohol in her blood. Thus Sergeant Malloy revises his assumption as he now believes Carolyn was murdered and suspects the family.

Carolyn’s cousin Margaret Smith, a frequent patron of Crewel World knitting shop, begs owner Betsy Devonshire to investigate the death of Carrie. Meanwhile North Dakota investigator Irvin Morcambe visits Emily Hame in Excelsior to ask if she knows where homeless Janet Turnquist is as she has inherited a fortune; Emily says no though she worries about her troubled Aunt Janet. A teen finds Janet’s corpse and on her blouse is embroidered her last will and testament in which her kind loving niece Emily inherits her estate if it proves legal. Wanting to know who killed her Aunt Janet, Emily asks Betsy to investigate. Betsy knows there is a link between the two homicides besides both are homeless females, but struggles to knit cohesively the clues.

The latest Crew World needlecraft mystery (see Buttons and Bones) is an engaging whodunit as Malloy and Devonshire find the evidence does not come together in either murder case or together with one murderer. The entertaining story line is fun to follow as Betsy works two seemingly related homicides, but how they tie together never seems to surface as series fans will appreciate what the “tie” is once Monica Ferris reveals it to the audience.

Harriet Klausner

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