Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Quick And The Thread - Amanda Lee


The Quick And The Thread
An Embroidery Mystery
Amanda Lee
Obsidian

Mystery

Marcy Singer moved from fast-paced San Francisco to small-town Tallulah Bay in order to follow her dream and open an embroidery store. In keeping with her fondness for old movies, she calls it The Seven Year Stitch. During her opening night open house, the previous tenant of the shop appears. He’s clearly drunk and not making any sense. He says he has something to say to Marcy, but Marcy is in no mood to hear it. The next morning, she finds him dead in her storeroom, a cryptic message partially scratched on the wall near him.

The death is bad enough, but when Marcy’s landlord hears about the message, he gets really upset and demands to see it, immediately. Not long after, he, too, is found dead. Marcy’s best friend and college roommate, Sadie, runs the shop next door with her husband. She says the previous tenant was there for decades and rumor had it that he was leaving his wife and pulling up stakes. Instead of the quiet, small town life Marcy envisioned, she finds herself tangled in a web of murder.

This is the first in a new series. Marcy is a fun, intelligent character with a quick wit. There’s the obligatory maybe-love-triangle with Marcy, Todd the microbrewery owner, and Ted the cop. Marcy’s relationship with Sadie seems pretty realistic, with the two of them arguing and making up, the way friends do. Sadie has her own concerns and history, making her much more than a stock character. The mystery is interesting at the outset, but the story relies far too much on lucky finds, and bizarre coincidences to keep things moving. The ultimate resolution makes sense, but I’m not a fan of “I guess we’ll never really know” dangling threads in a mystery novel. Overall, the setting is great, Marcy is a character I’d like to spend more time with, and the whole thing shows a great deal of promise. I’ll be sticking around to see what happens.

Rating: 6
August 2010
ISBN# 978-0-451-23096-6 (paperback)

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