Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Long Stitch Good Night - Amanda Lee

The Long Stitch Good Night
An Embroidery Mystery
Amanda Lee


It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and over at the Brew Crew, there’s a party.  Owner Todd is hosting a bunch of his frat brothers from college.  Marcy Singer, owner of Seven-Year Stitch, isn’t interested in the party.  She and her longtime friend, Sadie, are going to have a girl’s night in while the guys, including Sadie’s husband, Blake, have a good time.  The good time ends abruptly with a gunshot.  At the end of the evening, one frat brother lies dead in Todd’s office.  The gun belonged to Todd, but quick investigation show fingerprints belonging to both Todd and Blake.  The two men are arrested immediately.  The two men hire attorneys, but the bail hearing won’t happen until Monday morning, so they’ll be spending the weekend behind bars.

Marcy is sure that neither of the two would kill anyone.  Since Blake is Sadie’s husband and Todd is Marcy’s kind-of-maybe-casual-dating friend, she’s got a vested interest in proving their innocence.  This gets a little sticky, though, since the investigating officer, Ted, is Marcy’s other maybe-sort-of-dating friend.  Undaunted, Marcy sets up meetings with each of the remaining fraternity brothers who were present that night.  Someone must have seen something that would exonerate the two.

Up until this installment (THE QUICK AND THE THREAD, STITCH ME DEADLY, THREAD RECKONING) I really liked Marcy’s character.  This one wasn’t quite enough to make me change my mind completely, but it did some damage to our ‘friendship.’  The accused men have attorneys.  It stands to reason that the attorneys told them to keep their mouths shut about what happened in the pub.  Nevertheless, Marcy actually feels hurt and betrayed (to the point of tears, more than once) when neither Todd nor Blake will spill everything to her.  At least twice during the novel, different characters point out her oddly selfish behavior and she seems to acknowledge it, but continues to act in the same way.  It’s more than a bit off-putting.

Since all the guys concerned were at college together, it makes sense that the conflict started there.  What doesn’t make a lot of sense is that these guys, frat brothers who live within an easy drive for the party, and get the alumni newsletters, would be clueless about major aspects of one another’s lives.  It’s necessary for the plot, of course, but it doesn’t quite ring true.  The good news is that the plot contains a couple of interesting twists and surprises, making for an enjoyable mystery read.  As always, the author’s breezy writing style keeps things moving along at a nice pace. 

Rating: 6
April 2012
ISBN# 978-0-451-23648-3 (paperback)


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