The hardcover debut of Monica Ferris's popular Needlecraft mystery series is a fine piece of work -- a seasonal yarn that's sure to delight needlecrafters and mystery fans alike.
The time leading up to the holidays is always full of difficult choices, but this year that goes double for Betsy Devonshire, amateur sleuth and owner of the Crewel World needlework shop in Minnesota. She never expected to have to choose between coping with the joys and headaches of the holiday rush on her home turf and the thrill of attending the Nashville Needlework Market. Still, she can't afford to miss this chance to shop for her business at the huge cash-and-carry trade show where members of the International Needlework Retailers Guild pick up all the latest tips and tools of their trade. There's usually no conflict -- the holiday rush is only a memory by the time the Market's usual date rolls around. But, this year, the hotel overbooked their traditional February time slot and offered the stitchers a sweet deal for December instead.
Then tragedy strikes, and Betsy is witness to another shop owner's deadly fall from an upper floor to the atrium lobby far below. With a freak snowstorm interfering with access to the site and the Nashville police and the hotel staff eager to write this off as a deadly accident -- a case of wrong place, wrong time -- Betsy and her police officer friend, Jill Larsen, have lingering doubts about the pattern of events. Not only does the dead woman's fall seem inexplicable, but it soon becomes clear that there are many people at the market who had reason to want this particular shop owner out of business…permanently. Sue Stone