Berkley, Jan 2003, 6.99, 272
In the small Minnesota town of Excelsior, everyone looks forward to the yearly Art on the Lake Crafts Fair. At this year's event, Betsy Devonshire, owner of Crewel World mans the hospitality booth. When she hears sirens and sees people heading toward a booth near her, she stays away from it but people quickly tell her that someone slashed the throat of the woodcarver Robert McFey.
It isn't long before the local police arrest sixteen-year-old Mickey Sinclair for the crime. Mickey's bloody fingerprint is found in the booth and money is found in his home. He denies being at the fair but other people have sees him there. Most townsfolk think he is a troubled person, but they don't believe he is a killer. After all the homicides Betsy has solved, the townsfolk want her to find the real killer so that Mickey's life isn't spent behind bars.
What's very interesting about CUTWORK is that the family, neighbors and friends all believe the suspect is capable of criminal acts but don't believe he is a killer so they band together to pressure Betsy into solving the crime. Betsy doesn't want anything to do with the case until she sees Mickey and believes that he might be innocent of this crime. CUTWORK is a fabulous amateur sleuth tales filled with red herrings and misdirection to prevent the reader from seeing who the killer turns out to be until the final stitch is sewn.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner