When Betsy Devonshire arrived in Excelsior, Minnesota, all she wanted was to visit her sister Margot and get her life in order. She never dreamed her sister would give her a place to stay and a job at her needlecraft shop. In fact, things had never looked so good - until Margot was murdered. In a town this friendly, it's hard to imagine who could have committed such a horrible act, but Betsy has a few ideas. There's an ex-employee who wants to start her own needlework store. And there's the landlord who wanted Margot out. Now Betsy's putting together a list of motives and suspects to figure out this killer's pattern of crime….
©1999 Monica Ferris (P)2011 AudioGO
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Much of the story describes the shop, characters, and superficial mention of many types of needlework. The murder is "worked" into this background.
This book is right in the center: not excellent, not too bad. I did listen to the whole thing. This is the basis for the ongoing series, but I like more intensity in my listens. I haven't decided if I will continue with later installments.
The narration is suitable to the material.
This is a good beginning to a new series. The characters are likeable and the story is believable.
I got to the point in this book when I just yelled, die someone, die. Too much backstory, present story, fluff. Once someone died, it wasn't too bad. I don't know if this will tempt me to listen to other books in this series. Not bad, not great. Good thing it was short.
It ranks at a five out of ten.
I enjoyed the dialogue and relationships between some of the characters.
Susan Boyce does an OK job in this book.
Not really, it for made good company during my walks and runs.
Maybe knitting isn't my thing. I found the story simplistic, not intriguing at all. I will admit the writing is pure Minnesota. The reader mispronounces several place names and city names which to me is unacceptable. Both the reader and the producer should know better.
When I choose a "cozy" mystery centered in traditional women's worlds of cookery, needlecraft or typing, I look forward to clever story told with warmth and humor. This story had a fairly surprising windup at the end (rather abruptly), but the characters were tired and not very likable. Two sisters who know nothing of one another's lives, yet there is no explanation of an estrangement. They had a happy childhood and are close in age. One falls on hard times and comes to live with the other knowing NOTHING about her sister's life, career, friendships or finances. They treat each other as virtual strangers. One is surrounded by friends and everyone loves her, so why has she been so cold to her sister? It would have made more sense to make them old college roommates just back in touch. Anyway, it was a completely humorless tale and the writing was mechanical at best. The solution to the mystery comes out of left field at the end. Susan Boyce did a fine job reading. I found her delivery a little stilted after a while but I don't think there was much more she could do with the prose she was given.
The book did manage to make me as interested in needlework as I was in the actual murder.
The story was pleasant enough and I might have bought others (on sale) in this series as I am a fibre enthusiast but not with this narrator. I found that she enunciated each word, especially in the dialogue, so much so that I kept thinking she was targeting her reading to a 2 year old. However, I did finish the book so it certainly wasn't the worst narration I've endured.
I like mysteries...I like needle work...I even like Minnesota, but I did not feel like the narrator made the story come together. I did not respond well to the narrator's stilted sort of delivery, so I will not likely choose to follow this series.
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