Crewel Yule: by Monica Ferris.
Book synopsis taken from Amazon.com:
Murder is in the air everywhere–even at a needlework show. Betsy Devonshire, owner of the shop Crewel World, finds herself snowed in at the convention hotel in Nashville along with her policewoman friend, Jill, and employee, Godwin. When another shop owner, Belle Hammermill, falls over the railing, plummeting down nine stories into the middle of the atrium, even the most avid sewers look up from their tatting. Everyone, of course, assumes the fall to be an accident. However, as Betsy, Jill, and Godwin start talking to the show’s attendees, they begin to learn that a selfish and devious Belle had plenty of enemies–and they are all in the hotel. Ferris’ characterizations are top-notch, and the action moves along at a crisp pace. The ending, unfortunately, is something of a letdown, with hardly a twist, much less a turn. Still, with so many crafters out there, this has a built-in audience of those who like to mix their needlepoint with question marks.
At first, when I opened, the book I had a hard time getting into it because one, I’m not a needlecrafter and I knew they would use words for stitches that I had no idea existed; second, I had just finished reading My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and a murder mystery seemed odd. However, reading past page 11, I started truly getting into it- even if it meant not knowing what a hardanger stitch was. I still don’t know! The characters in the book seem almost real. You have Cherry Pye, who is in a wheelchair. You have Eve Suttle who turned into an attractive lady thanks to Belle Hammermill. Last, you have Lenore who was just trying to sell her beloved Christmas sampler.
When Belle falls from the railings on the ninth row, Betsy Devonshire and Sergeant Jill Cross Larson try to come up with a reason why she fell and died. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? That’s what they try and figure out. I really enjoyed seeing how they interact with each interview when they ask Cherry, Lenore, and Eve about Belle and if anyone was possibly around her at the time of her fall. Each character is really different in how they react with the questions. It can be quite comical.
Ferris’ writing really brings out the sleuth in you. As Jill and Betsy conduct their investigation, you keep trying to remember if there’s anything previously in the story that could tip you off. Was there someone standing near her? Did she jump? Or did she just slip? There are so many turns in this book that I did not want to put it down at all- but did just so I could actually get some sleep.
All in all, I love this book and will be reading more of her stories again!!!
So, if you are into murder mysteries and needlecraft, then this book is for you!