Author: Monica Ferris (Mary Monica Pulver Kuhfeld)
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Copyright Date: 2009
Print Date: October 2009
Pages: 243 + Counted Cross-Stich Pattern
Series: 13th of the Needlecraft Mystery series
Book Description (from dust jacket):
As full-time owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth, Betsy Devonshire has unraveled more than a few lies in the USA Today bestselling Needlework Mysteries. But when Halloween brings about ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night, it's no surprise that Betsy is tied up with mayhem — and murder...Comments:
Thewre's a witch running loose in the town of Excelsior, Minnesota, and her brew is...beer. Actually, Leona Cunningham, co-owner of The Barleywine, is a practitioner of Wicca, the nature-based religion that many mistakenly believe to be sorcery or black magic. But that doesn't bother the thirsty crowds — or the Halloween Committee members who have fallen under the spell of Leona's tasty ales.
Then, after one too many pints, local alcohol aficionado Ryan McMurphy accuses Leona of being a real witch, blaming her for the series of accidents that have happened throughout town. When Ryan ends up dead without a mark on his body, Leona is not only the target of a witch hunt but the prime suspect.
But with Betsy on the case, the murderer doesn't have a ghost of a chance of getting away with it...
I'd been wanting to read this for so long (I did a Waiting on Wednesday post back in June), and then when it's finally became available I was caught up with some other series. But I finally managed to read this most recent Needlecraft mystery. And having the 13th book in the series be a Halloween book was a nice touch.
Anyway, Betsy was a bit slower with this mystery. Both with actually investigating (even though her assistance was requested fairly early on) and in making connections to clues (it seems her memory is getting weaker or something).
The needlework didn't make as much of an appearance. I mean it did to some extent... There is a Blackwork class, the little gossip fest over needlework (Monday something or other — I'm blanking on the name) still met, and there was a connection to the murder. It just didn't feel like as much of a focal point as usual.
I did enjoyed the story, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more. (Speaking of, anyone know when the next one is due out? Or know a title or anything?)