Berkley, March 2002, 5.99, 256 pp.
Betsy Devonshire moved away from California after her divorce seeking solace with her sister who owned a needlepoint shop in Excelsior, Minnesota. When her sister was murdered, Betsy discovered the identity of the perpetrator. She stayed on in Excelsior, owning and operating the Crewel World shop established by her deceased sibling. Betsy has made a place for herself in the community while solving several other homicides.
Lars, a local police officer, buys a Stanley Steamer antique automobile, which Betsy agrees to sponsor in the Antique for Run from New London to New Brighton. In an exhibition run that stops at Excelsior, Betsy becomes friendly with Charlotte Harrison. When Charlee's husband Bill is found murdered along the road, she asks Betsy to find the killer. Considering that Betsy never said a word to Bill, she manages to acquit herself quite nicely.
A MURDEROUS YARN is a delightful cozy that entertains as well as educates the audience. The heroine is a believable character whose investigations seem totally in character and very authentic though why the widow chooses an amateur sleuth rather than a pro to investigate always lingers in the back of the reader's mind. Monica Ferris is a talented writer who knows how to keep the attention of her fans throughout her latest novel. There is a secondary character that readers will want starring as a delightful private detective in his own series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner