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Dire Threads
A Threadville Mystery
Janet Bolin

June 2011 / 978-0-425-24189-9

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Willow Vanderling is the happy proprietor of In Stiches, a new embroidery shop located in Threadville, Pennsylvania. The shop is part of a group of similar stores, all intended to bring in likeminded needle and thread happy crafters.

Things are going well so far. That is until obnoxious, yet devilishly handsome Mike Krawbach, the zoning commissioner decides not only to make things extremely difficult for Willow, but he goes and gets himself murdered; on her property! Leaving poor Willow as the chief suspect!
With the townspeople, including a rather inept police officer, aiming accusations at Willow, she knows that she and her friend Haylee, and Haylee’s three mothers (you have to read this book to understand) have to sort through clues, motives, opportunities and longtime local grudges in order to find the real killer before Willow ends up in the slammer.

Dire Threads is a fabulous debut novel of what promises to be a must read series for cozy mystery lovers. I really enjoyed the clever plot, and the one-of-a-kind characters. The atmosphere of Threadville is charming, and if you are a fan of needle arts, you’ll wish you could visit in person. Willow, Haylee, the three mothers, and a wacky assortment of longtime residents of the small town are fun and interesting and I look forward to learning more about them in future installments.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments in the book, two adorable shelter-rescue dogs, lessons in machine embroidery sprinkled throughout the story, and enough plot twists and red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I for one didn’t guess who the killer was until almost the very end of the book. That says a lot to me about the author’s skill in leaving a trail of clues that could go in any of several directions towards a viable suspect.

The book is a wonderful addition to the ever growing list of cozy mystery series and will appeal to needlecraft hobbyists as well. It is appropriate for all ages. At the back of the book there is a machine embroidery project and thread art tips. As a June release, this is a perfect book for a day at the beach, but with the mentions of warm cider and snow on the ground in the story, it would also be appealing in the winter, and I’m sure just as fun to read at any time of the year. I look forward to the next book in the series, but in the meantime, plan to enjoy reading the back-story of how Willow came to Threadville on the author’s website .

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2011
© 2011