The cold, blustery Midwest winters don't exactly agree with Betsy Devonshire, but since moving to Excelsior, Minnestoa, she sure has met a lot of warm, friendly people. So she isn't too surprised when the town's most talented needleworkers volunteer to restore a damaged tapestry that was found in the basement of a local church. Betsy even offers to donate materials for the project, thinking that the free publicity will boost sales at her financially troubled needlecraft shop. But soon Betsy is afraid of losing more than her business - because her good intentions have unleashed some deadly secrets....
Sew much more: listen to another Needlecraft Mystery.
©2000 Mary Monica Kuhfeld (P)2011 AudioGO
I purchased A Stitch in Time because it is set in the area my mother's family was from. I was bemused by the woodsy small town feel of the setting, While Excelsior (why don't narrators check for local pronunciations) is a small town, it is on the shore of a large lake surrounded by big houses, waterfront businesses, lots of other small towns or villages, and lots of old money. There is very little open space left between the Lake Minnetonka area and Minneapolis and the intervening suburbs. Actually, this story could be set anywhere. A inside joke about hotdish (casserole to much of the country) was the only Minnesota touch I heard in the four hours I listened.
My biggest complaint was that, after 3.5 hours into the story, nothing mysterious had happened. Actually nothing much had happened at all. The potential (and I think eventual) mystery plot line about a tapestry was dropped almost as soon it was mentioned. Instead the listener was treated to a 10 minute internal monologue about the evolution of how Betsy's cat let Betsy know when it was feeding time and a scene at an overly long Christmas party. Neither did anything to move the story forward. Most of the story took place in a needlework shop Betsy inherited from her late sister. The subplot of Betsy having to economize because the business (Crewel World) was unprofitable at the moment was a laugh because Betsy was due to inherit $3 million in a couple of months.
What I really hate are supposedly smart heroes who do stupid things, and Betsy is so stupid she drove off into a raging blizzard to pick up and deliver a needlepoint pillow. Not only that, when her car went off the road in a whiteout, she actually got out and considered walking down the road. There was excuse for such a stupid action, all for the love of needlework. I don't care if Betsy had been living in San Diego, she was from Wisconsin where she would have learned some winter driving and survival smarts.
I have no idea what the crime or mystery in the story was because I just couldn't listen any more. Nothing happened and the narrator grated on my nerves. The writing is fine, it's just that a story should go somewhere before it ends. Maybe if I had been into needlework, I would have stayed the course. But I doubt it.
Every time I read a book in this series I wish I lived in Excelsior with Betsy and Jill. I love the plot, characters and setting in the series. Which is a good thing for this book. I figured out the who and the why midway through the book. However, I enjoyed listening to the plot unfold. Betsy and her supporting crew are delightful. The ending while predictable, did have a couple of surprises at the end.
This story also gave the audience and Betsy a chance to say a final goodbye to her ex husband. A fun and delightful read for anyone who likes cozy mysteries.
West Sunbury, Pa.
This is the third book in the series, and it is just as good as the first two. I love this series.
I really enjoy Monica Ferris mystery books because they are not a formulaic as others I have listen to recently. I am now listening to her 4th book in the series.
I purchased my first Monica Ferris at a libary book sale. After reading it I purchased all the others she wrote and make sure I have gotten each new one published since.
Really don't know. I thought I would like it because I am interested in needlework but the story moves very slowly and just never grabbed my attention.
Peony by Pearl Buck
I would call it "light" reading. You can certainly do other things while listening!
To long to get to a mystery... any mystery. The cat missing... something! You kept saying she had solved the mystery of her sisters murder... Guess kinda disappointing that it really had nothing to do with her own mystery.
I want to say 1st that the story itself held my attention. There were a few things in it thou that I don't know the purpose of mentioning, such as, someone being a witch?!?!.Didn't think it gave an flavor the the story what so ever. Also, getting to the actual mystery was a little lengthy. But overall story line was ok. Now, unfortunately, the Reader was the absolute worst part of the experience. I am so sorry to say these things but her reading sounded like an elementary child reading on one hand and the "Duke" on the other. Her voice never seemed to relax and just flow, like she never took in enough breath to read easy. Just being able to change your voice certainly is not enough, breathing is the most important part. Well i've bashed her enough and i am so sorry. I could never be a reader of novels but i do love being read to!
I have not listened to the entire book, but the characters are differentiated well. I did find, however, that the narration was cumbersome and difficult to listen to because much of the time the words were too carefully enunciated and the.pauses.between.words.were.too.long! I have found this to be an inconsistent problem since some sections of the book are fine and others are not. For this reason i have not been enjoying this book.
I would not recommend this book. It wasn't so bad that I turned it off, but it was farfetched and just...lame. I didn't care about any of the characters, and even the "needlework" element felt odd, like the author wrote with a needlework catalog beside her, so she could "name drop" brands of fibers now and then.
I knew whodunit long before the book ended; the plot twist of "why" felt forced.
It took a while to get used to the oddly robotic style of the narrator.
Not a chance.
I like both needlework and mysteries, and really wanted to like this, but I won't be bothering with any of the others in the series.
I could not listen to a sample before buying this book--the site wasn't working properly. Wish I had! The reader doesn't always use proper inflection and rhythm in her performance, and it distracted me from listening to the storyline. Also, the story moves very very slowly, and I found myself yelling at the ipod to hurry up and get to the point. Finally, it seems the author was encouraged to write a very PC story while plugging Ebay and Amazon, which bugged me. I suggest finding a different story.
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