out of 5
Review by Kerry
I didn't enjoy this latest needlecraft mystery as much as I have the others. I'm not sure why, except that I wonder if moving out of the familiar setting of Excelsior was the problem. Here, instead of familiar characters (beyond Betsy, Godwin and Jill) we have a set of new strangers along with a bunch of people many cross stitchers will know by name because they are real people in the needlework industry. Ferris has given real, living people words to say that they have never said and an adventure they have never had. I think this may be my problem as this sort of thing very rarely works for me outside historical novels - and there I still expect the author to have done their research. Not only that, but she took an institution of the industry and moved it around by two months and made it do what she wanted. I feel that if Ferris wanted to write about the Nashville Market, she should have left it in February where it belonged instead of changing everything around. It was like she was trying to be clever, but couldn't make the story fit into the normal set of events so started changing them to suit herself. To me, that's lazy, fannish writing. If it didn't work, she should have changed the story, not the real events.
The murder is relatively simple really, with a limited number of suspects, none of whom really engaged me. I guess, all up, I didn't really care for the murdered woman, the suspects or anyone very much. It wasn't a really bad read, despite this, but certainly the lowest of the series.
[Copied across from Library Thing; 17 October 2012]