Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thread Reckoning - Amanda Lee

Thread Reckoning
An Embroidery Mystery
Amanda Lee
Usually, embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer enjoys doing projects on commission, especially when there’s a hefty fee involved.  This time, though, the proprietor of the Sever-Year Stitch just can’t find her motivation.  Part of that is no doubt because her client, Cassie Wainwright is a Bridezilla who wants her dress be-jeweled in less than two weeks.  She provides the vintage dress and commands Marcy to use the jewels, provided by her future mother-in-law, to embellish the dress and hide the yellowing spots.  Maybe Marcy can’t get into the project because it reminds her of her own cancelled wedding.  Her erstwhile groom, David, left her standing at the altar with no explanation.  And today, of all days, David arrives in town, trying to apologize for his cold feet and expecting Marcy to fall back into his arms.
All of this angst becomes secondary when Marcy arrives at her shop the following day.  Francesca, the future mother-in-law, is dead.  The police seem to think that someone killed her for the contents of the velvet bag she was carrying.  Marcy explains that the bag contained the rest of the gems and beads for the dress and quickly turns the gems in her possession over to the police.  The very real distress of Frederic, the groom-to-be, coupled with the fact that the woman was murdered just outside her door, makes Marcy determined to figure out who could have done this. 

Overall, this is a nice cozy mystery.  There are several good suspects and motives for the crime, and the plot is probably the most complex in the series to this point.  The main problem is that the ‘solution’ to the whole thing is dashed off in a very short Epilogue that might as well be written in bullet-point format.  It’s an abrupt and disappointing way to end what, to that point, was an interesting story; and only serves to undermine all that went before it.  Those who read the first two (THE QUICK ANDTHE THREAD and STITCH ME DEADLY) will enjoy seeing familiar characters again.  Those who are new to the series will be able to jump in here with no problems.
Rating: 6 ½
September 2011
ISBN# 978-0-451-23455-1 (paperback)


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