Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thread On Arrival - Amanda Lee


Thread On Arrival
An Embroidery Mystery
Amanda Lee
Obsidian
 
Mystery
 
Marcy Singer owns the Seven Year Stitch, an embroidery shop in the small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon.  As a shop owner, Marcy is used to providing evening classes in various modes of stitching.  This time, there’s a difference.  Reggie Singh, the local librarian and sheriff’s wife, asks Marcy to hold a series of classes for a group of abused women.  It’s a form of therapy, allowing the women to relax, socialize a bit, create something beautiful, and feel a sense of achievement. 

One of the women in the class has an unusual request.  Her father-in-law, Chester, has a piece of tapestry that he believes is a treasure map to a ship that sank off the Oregon coast.  It’s his dream to locate the wreck and the treasure and use it to better the lives of his family.  Marcy can see at once that the tapestry is an antique, but she has no way to know if X really marks the spot.  Soon after Marcy’s visit, Chester is discovered murdered.  Naturally, suspicion falls on his son, who has a track record of abuse.  His wife – the victim of domestic abuse – remains adamant in her defense of her husband.  Marcy, over the strong cautions of many friends, feels the need to help the family and solve the mystery.
 
There’s a lot going on in this installment, and that’s not always a good thing.  Those who have read the previous books (THE QUICK AND THE THREAD, STITCH ME DEADLY, THREAD RECKONING, and THE LONG STITCH GOOD NIGHT) will be glad to know that the whole Ted-Marcy-Todd romantic triangle situation is finally resolved here.  Once that’s out of the way, Marcy is free to essentially meddle in the lives of people living with domestic abuse when she should realize that she hasn’t got the skills or training to do so.  The initial visit to view the tapestry is planned out like a Mission Impossible episode.  It just seems odd that Marcy would feel no reservations about stirring up an already volatile situation.  To her credit, Marcy truly cares for the people involved, and wants the best for all of them. 
 
Chester’s main stumbling block in searching for the shipwreck supposedly depicted on the tapestry was a lack of funds.  Marcy’s solution is absolutely daffy: Let’s make the whole thing a reality TV show so the production company will pay for the search.  Much of this is played for comic relief, the story moves along at a brisk clip, and everything works out in the end, as you know it must.  I’m not sure I like the almost romcom tone this series is starting to take, but I’m not at all ready to abandon Marcy yet. I know I’ll be headed back to Tallulah Falls for the next adventure.

Rating: 6
December 2012
ISBN# 978-0-451-23885-6 (paperback)

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