Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cross-Stitch Before Dying - Amanda Lee

Cross-Stitch Before Dying
An Embroidery Mystery
Amanda Lee

Beverly Singer wants The Seven Year Stitch, her daughter Marcy’s shop, to go Hollywood.  Actually, she wants the stitchers to go Bollywood.  As a well-known costume designer, Beverly is working on a new film depicting the life story of one of Bollywood’s early stars.  The costumes will take an army of hands to stitch, embellish, and embroider.  Marcy and several of her steady customers are up for the challenge, including Reggie Singh, who’s thrilled to be able to use/showcase some of her stitching talents.

Hollywood moves ever closer when location scouts decide that a spot outside town would be a great substitute for a town in India.  The production arrives soon after, and Marcy immediately gets a dose of the downside of working with stars.  This is supposed to be a comeback vehicle for Babs Tru (BTru, if you read the tabloids.)  Launched as a child star, lost in her teens to drugs and alcohol, now ready for her redemption arc, Babs is not exactly radiating gratitude for this chance.  She’s being especially horrible to Beverly.  Somehow, all of Babs’ costumes are too small.  Beverly blames the craft services table, while Babs blames Beverly.  It gets loud at one point, before Babs stalks off in a fury.  Later, she’s found, dead.
Naturally, suspicion falls on Beverly.  Even though she’s highly respected in her field, she was the last person to have a fight with Babs.  But there are plenty of other people around who might have had a hand in it, for all kinds of reasons.  It could have been someone who wanted to stop the movie from being made at all.  Or someone who objected to the movie being shot in the U.S.  It could have been one of the many people who had it in for BTru, who did leave a trail of destruction in her wake.  Everyone, on the set and around it, is a suspect.  But Marcy’s not going to let anyone railroad her mom.
This is the Marcy I missed in the last installment (see below for list.)  Obviously, she stands behind her mom, knows she didn’t do it, and will do whatever she can to help prove that.  There’s a nice subplot on this one for Beverly; it’s hard not to feel it along with her as she tries to see longtime friends in new and possibly unflattering lights.  There’s also a subplot that lets a speeding bank robber start the book with a bang (gunshot.)  I tend to like this series better when Beverly is involved, but now that Marcy is settled, she’s really growing on me as a character.  A very entertaining entry in a fun series.
Rating: 7 ½
August 2013
ISBN# 978-0-451-24007-1 (paperback)

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