A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery

A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery

by Holly Quinn

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683317715
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Sales rank: 285,965
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her first Handcrafted mystery.

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A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
djerickson14 10 months ago
A Crafter Knits a Clue is the first installment of A Handcrafted Mystery series. This cozy is set in the small town of Hearstford, Wisconsin and revolves around the Community Craft Store that Samantha Kane has taken over after the death of her friend Kate. The story begins with Samantha going to the Yarn Barn to assist fellow shop owner Ingrid and finds the woman dead with a knitting needle lodged in her throat. The new detective in town, Liam Nash is in charge of investigating the murder and Sammy can't help but investigate a little too. There are clues and suspects, and town secrets to unravel to solve this crime before the killer strikes again. This book is a good solid start to the series, with all of the required cozy elements, including Sammy's very loveable golden retriever. I enjoyed the crafting theme and the patterns provided in the back of the book. I look forward to the next installment with these quirky characters. I was provided a copy from the author for my honest review.
Miccox99 10 months ago
The background setting of a store that sells local artisans' creations and has a room set aside for teaching of those creations is a great one. The town is quaint and festive even though they are still battling the winter blues. The plot was a great premise and well thought out so it was quite entertaining. The characters were unique and diverse, but I struggled to like the main character. She was rude and "blunt" (more like inconsiderate) to others and was obviously not a personality trait that the character was supposed to be like as she was constantly apologizing to the people closest to her for hurting their feelings or being inconsiderate. The author also tended to have the main character have harsh words or fights with others that instantly ended with everyone happy again. I absolutely think that if these issues are corrected, this will be a hit series as the rest of the cast of characters, town and such are quite lovely and entertaining. I definitely will read the next book to see how the characters progress in their development. I gave a 3 star = good review on BN as the main character needs a bit of growth in the personality department before it can qualify for a 4=very good rating. I really look forward to the next book and hope that growth in the character is there.
kayteerufus 10 months ago
A Crafter Knits a Clue (A Handcrafted Mystery #1) Author Holly Quinn brings a new series to the cozy mystery genre’ in her first book in “A Handcrafted Mystery” series. “A Crafter Knits a Clue is fun, entertaining and has a great cast of characters. As with most firsts in a series, there are some slow parts to start. That is a necessity it seems in order to introduce the setting and characters to the reader. Once that was done, this was a fast paced read, full of intrigue and keeps the reader glued to the book. Sammy Kane is a good protagonist that I am sure will become more and more likeable as the series progresses. Set in Sammy’s hometown of Heartsford, WI, she returns for a funeral and ends up staying. I enjoyed the setting as well as the characters. Sammy’s best friend Kate has passed away and Sammy has to return to her hometown to attend her funeral. While dealing with the tragedy of losing her best friend, Sammy learns the store that meant the world to Kate and also means so much to the community is going to close. Sammy and her golden retriever Bara take it over and keep it going in honor of her dear friend. Unfortunately there is a competing yarn/craft store in the area too. It’s owner is a pain in the neck. That is until Sammy goes over to help Ingrid and finds she has a real pain in the neck, a knitting needle is sticking out of her throat and she will no longer be a bother to anyone. With a new detective in town, Liam Nash, assigned to the case, Sammy may just have to help find the killer. Not just because of her desire for justice and the right person being arrested, but also just maybe to get better acquainted with Liam. Sammy is no stranger to investigating mysteries. When she was a youngster, she had a detective club with her sister and their cousin. Can she help find the answers needed to knit together the real facts and help Liam before she becomes a victim herself? And can she do it without hurting the budding friendship (that is bound to become more) with Liam? And all of this is going on while they are trying to get things ready for the annual Spring Fling. I think I am going to really enjoy this new series. I love the setting, the community and friendships in the town are wonderful. I love the fact that Bara the golden plays a part in the town as well. Dogs rule, lol. Author Holly Quinn has a relatable and enjoyable writing style that brings the reader in and kept me interested throughout. Give her time to set up the series in the first section of the book, the payoff is well worth it. “A Crafter Knits a Clue” is a well written and fun cozy that is surely just the beginning of a wonderful series. I cannot wait for the next book. I was graciously given a copy of the book by the author. The opinion is solely my own and not influenced by that at all.
MarshaG 10 months ago
While I generally liked the book overall there are some things I didn't like. The story flowed nicely, but the main character and her cousin seemed rather shallow and a bit self absorbed. I also had a hard time with the fact that the main character kept saying how little she made, but yet had money to pay people to work for her while she ran around sleuthing. The rest of the characters were decent and somewhat likeable. What I did enjoy about the book was the way the author left red herrings without giving away the culprit. It was done very well. The descriptions were good without being overly done. I also liked the concept of the book. A store selling local crafts and goods is a place I enjoy shopping at. Overall I did like the book. I'll even read the next one. Hopefully the main character would have grown a bit. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Corgigirl13 11 months ago
A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Guinn is the first in her Handcrafted Mystery series. The main character, Samantha (Sammy) Kane has returned to Heartsford, Wisconsin to take over a community craft store after her best friend dies in an accident. The much-hated owner of a nearby yarn store is murdered and, since Sammy found the body, she is drawn into the mystery. Since no one liked the victim, nearly everyone in town has a motive. Besides Sammy, the main characters are her sister and friend from high school. They are unwillingly drawn into the mystery, mostly to keep Sammy safe. Add a handsome new detective who takes an immediate liking to Sammy and this is an enjoyable book. All of these characters are well developed and I felt like I got to know and like them. Although this is called a Handcrafted Mystery, crafting is not a main focus of the story. It is more about all of the different people in the town and the sense of community. Everyone is looking after each other, other than the killer, of course. I would definitely recommend this book and read more in this series. I received a free copy of this book for my review.
grandmareads102 12 months ago
Samantha Kane is back in her home town. The tragic death of her best friend continues to haunts her. To keep her BFF's dream alive, she now runs Community Craft which was Kate's store. Ingrid, a nearby shop owner, asks for a favor. When Sammy arrives, she finds Ingrid dead. After what she's seen Sammy is determined to find the killer. This town needs to feel safe again. Can she find the murderer? Sammy is an interesting character. She's not perfect. She's impetuous and stubborn. It's refreshing to see that she has flaws like we all do. The mutual attraction between our heroine and the head Detective Liam Nash added a touch of romance which I enjoyed. I was sorry that a bad experience made Sammy so fearful to take a chance. The Detective is playing it cool. I can't wait to see what happens next. I must say that I enjoyed the small town setting and the local characters who added drama and unexpected shenanigans to the story. I smiled when the ladies of S.H.E. helped with the investigation. I liked their spunk. I enjoyed the writing of Holly Quinn. I couldn't put down A Crafter Knits a Clue. The story was well plotted. There were so many suspects that I didn't know until the very end who committed the crime and why. I'm hooked. The tease at the end about Kate has me anxious for the next book in this series. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
lynnsreadingcorner 12 months ago
What a great debut cozy for the Handcrafted Mystery series by this new to me author! Our protagonist, Sammy Kane, is introduced to us on the very first page and it's hard not to want to stay and hang out to get to know her and her gang better! A delightfully executed mystery, you don't want to miss adding this book to your wish list now! While running a crafter's shop in Wisconsin, after the death of her friend and former owner of the Community Craft, Sammy walks in on her fellow shop owner dead in her tracks, with a knitter's needle stuck in her neck. As the mystery unfolds from the first chapter, the reader is taken through this close knit community, the shadowy, hidden history of its residents, meeting other shop owners, friends of the family and the infamous S.H.E. investigative group. S.H.E. was born out of family (Sammy, Heidi, and Ellie). Solving mysteries from a very young age, this group of cousins works hard to put their heads together and solve the murder of Ingrid Wilson. I surely don't want to miss mentioning Detective Liam Nash. While this great group of inquisitive ladies is surely helpful and smart, with the inside track on their community, they are definitely a small thorn in the side of the Detective. But maybe that's just Liam and Sammy's attraction coming out in uncomfortable and funny ways. I really do love how their friendship unfolds in this story. While reading this cozy mystery I noticed the author dropped subtle hints and clues throughout the book for discerning readers to catch on too. But one must pay close attention and work at putting the pieces together. The relationships displayed throughout the book were warm and well developed. I felt like everyone genuinely cared for each other and developed a place I would love to live and a group of friends I would have fun hanging out with. The idea of a crafter's paradise is also such a great idea too - a local shop, highlighting the crafts of locals for others to come together and purchase, or to gather and use the room available to make their own. I love this idea! I am very much looking forward to the release of the next book in the series!
ToniN More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next one. Please tell me there will be a next one! Holly Quinn did an excellent job with character development and plot line. I was hooked from the beginning and honestly could not figure out who killed Ingrid. I felt like one of Sammy's friends helping to solve this. Sammy, the main character, was a totally believable person. I'm also glad that the tension between her and the new detective Liam continued through the whole story. I am hooked on this story line.
Vhar318 3 months ago
This is the first book in the Handcrafted Mystery Series. Samantha Kane has moved back to her hometown of Heartsford, WI to take over Community Craft for her best friend Kate who died suddenly in a tractor accident. Sammy is back home with her sister Ellie, cousin Heidi, pseudo adopted baby brother Carter (Kate’s Brother) And all the crafters that use Community Crafts craft room. Down the block from Community Craft is a new store The Yarn Barn owned by newcomer Ingrid Wilson, who just happens to be the high school basketball coach’s aunt. When Sammy by chance finds Ingrid murdered in the Yarn Barn, she decides its up to her to figure out who murdered the woman. Enter newly hired Detective Liam Nash, not not is he leading the investigation, but as Sammy has noticed, he’s also very easy on the eyes. Though Detective Nash has made it clear that he will do the crime solving and he prefer Sammy stay safe. Can Sammy figure out who killed Ingrid before she becomes a victim? Is there a relationship budding between Sammy and Detective Nash? For a Cozy Mystery, this book was a fairly fast read but had trouble keeping my interest. Though the book is good parts of it felt a bit sophomoric. I believe I would read more in this series to see if the characters and the writing mature and develop.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Crafters beware! This book will have you heading to your local hobby store and filling a cart. When I read the blurb on the back of A CRAFTER KINITS A CLUE, it mentioned the main character, Sammy, had moved back to town to run her deceased friend’s store, Community Craft. So, I was expecting to read the whole she-has-to-get-to-know-everyone book. I was pleasantly surprised to see the character was already three years established in the town. I read several reviews before I read this book. One thing many had in common was they thought Sammy was a little too “brusque”. I didn’t see that all. I saw her as a caring woman, willing to do whatever had to be done. Very take charge. As for the whodunit, I found it to be very well plotted. Because the victim was so un-liked, there were plenty of suspects to choose from. Author Holly Quinn did a wonderful job of leading me to wrong turns and down dead-end streets. When the reveal came, I was completely taken by surprise. Brava! A CRAFTER KNITS A CLUE is an excellent first in a series. Every time I had to set my book down, I was itching to get back to it. I definitely recommend it fans of cozy mysteries.
AmyWeidenaar More than 1 year ago
I have zero crafty ability but still find myself drawn to crafty cozies. Sometimes, I learn something. I especially enjoy it when I don't realize how dumb I am during my education. Holly Quinn does an excellent job of writing her cozy in such a way that people of all levels can understand it without feeling bored or overtly ignorant. There were plenty of possibilities as to who the bad guy was. I did get a sense of who was involved but I never put it together before the reveal. I thought the way that Sammy came back to the town was very believable and the world that was created was one that was realistic. In fact, it felt like this wasn't the first in a series and I had to go back and double check to make sure it was. We don't see the moving chaos and she's already established her place in the community and her store when the story begins. All in all, I found this to be a wonderful book and I look forward to reading more by this author. Thank you so much to Holly Quinn, NetGalley, and Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this story and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn is set in a small town full of caring folks. Sammy's craft store seems like the center of town with crafters selling their wares and clubs meeting to work on special projects. When a murder occurs in the local yarn shop it seems like so many clues are placed in front of Sammy she can't help but get involved. The cast of characters in this cozy mystery is about as long as there are residents of little Heartsford WI. The author weaves a lot of clues within this story and just when one suspect appears another one seems more likely to have committed the crime. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery mixed with crafting and a touch of romance. Sammy just can't let a clue get by her and when she has a brush of danger there is a certain Lieutenant Liam Nash who is close on her heels. This book is the first in a new series by Holly Quinn and likely to develop a following.
Kristen Bergh-Lewendon More than 1 year ago
This was a really fun start to a brand new series. I haven’t completely made up my mind about Sammy, but she and her S.H.E. squad were thoroughly entertaining to watch. My sympathies go out to the police force in Heartsford. I anticipate their jobs are about to become infinitely more difficult now that the S.H.E.s are fully operational once more. While I spend a lot of time reading romance and love the passion and excitement of watching a new love blossom, I like that what’s taking place here is happening at a slower pace and being allowed to grow naturally. I can’t wait to see what trouble Sammy gets into next and how else she’s going to get tangled in Detective Nash’s investigations. I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Knit one, purl MURDER! Sammy Kane has returned to Heartsford for her best friend Kate’s funeral and when she hears the craft store will close without a new owner Sammy decides to stay and take over the store. Community Craft has become a gathering place for the crafters in the area and also allows them to sell their creations. There is also another new shop owner in town. Ingrid Wilson has opened a store selling the most beautiful barn. While Sammy is happy to have The Yarn Barn in town, the owner is always needing help in one way or another. She has no problem calling Sammy’s employee, Kate’s little brother, with tasks she says she just handle. Carter and Sammy are trying to get Community Craft ready for the annual Spring Fling when Ingrid calls Carter for help. Sammy tells Carter to keep doing what he is doing while she handles a couple of things and then she will go over to help Ingrid. When she arrives, she finds yarn shop order dead on the floor, a knitting needle the killer’s weapon of choice. **** Heartsford, if it was an actual town would be a short drive from where I live in Wisconsin. I know the author lives nearby too because she has captured Springtime in Wisconsin perfectly. It is one of the places you can experience all four seasons in one day. Mother Nature is very fickle in the Spring. It can be snowing in the morning, the sun comes out in the early afternoon with rising temps, then later the wind picks up and by night she will throw a good old fashioned thunderstorm at us. Heck, there are days when it rains in the front yard while the sun is shining brightly in the backyard. Holly Quinn has inhabited Heartsford with fantastic residents too! So many crafters. I liked that in addition to the shops in town we see how important the school is to this community. School events play a huge part to the people in Heartsford and Wisconsin in general. Carter is on the basketball team and Big Ten scouts are at the game watching him and other players with scholarships hopes. The Spring Fling is more than just a shopping event, there is a parade that reminded me of the usual homecoming parade but for the winter sports. It was heartwarming that the town came together to support its own even with a murderer on the loose. The investigation had many facets. Sammy is a very observant person but so is the good detective. He found several ways to come in contact with Sammy, even sharing some unknown details while she filled him on things she had uncovered. Of course, he wants her to leave everything to him, but that was never going to happen. It was fun to follow along with S.H.E. and watching Sammy spar with Liam. This book follows what almost all first books in series’ do. It’s pace, in the beginning, is a little slow because the author has to introduc
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Samantha (Sammy) Kane hails from a small Wisconsin town and has returned to small town life and runs a store that sells the work of local artists and crafters. She took over the store when her BFF died in an accident and has fully embraced the return to her hometown. When a fellow business owner is murdered, Sammy not only finds the body, she inserts herself into the investigation...and drags her sister and cousin along for the ride a well. While I really wanted to like this book, I just can’t manage to bring myself to it. Sammy lacks social skills that any successful small business owner should have, her love interest is the local detective (did the author take this from writing a cozy 101?), and I never had a moment where I was truly engrossed in the story. Nothing really made this stand out or made its own unique mark that makes me want to pick up the next one.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn is the first novel in A Handcrafted Mystery series. Samantha “Sammy” Kane took over running the Community Craft store in Heartsford, Wisconsin three years prior after her best friend, Kate Allen passed away in a tragic accident. Sammy and her part-time employee, Carter Allen are working on decorating the store for Spring Fling when she gets a call from Ingrid Wilson who owns The Yarn Barn. Since Ingrid had opened her shop, she calls frequently needing assistance. Sammy finds the back door to The Yarn Barn open and legs sticking out from behind the counter. Ingrid has a green aluminum knitting needle jutting out of her throat. Detective Liam Nash, the town’s handsome new detective, is on the case. When he arrests Miles Danbury, a woodworker for the crime, Sammy, with the assistance of her cousin and sister, sets out solve the twisty whodunit. They need to knit together the clues to reveal the killer. Ingrid was not a popular resident which provides an array of suspects. Sammy needs to be careful or she could end up in a knotty situation. A Crafter Knits a Clue is an engaging cozy mystery. Sammy Kane came to town for her best friend’s funeral and ends up returning to town permanently. The town relies on Community Craft for selling their craft items as well as a meeting place. It is a central hub for Heartsford, Wisconsin. Sammy took over the store and keeps an eye on best friend’s younger brother, Carter. Sammy is not alone in Heartsford. She has her sister, Ellie and her cousin, Heidi. The three of them grew up together and formed an amateur sleuthing club when they were children. I enjoyed the interactions between the three women (some of them will have you snickering). You can tell that they care for each and are supportive. Sammy can be a bit impulsive and brusque (especially with Liam). I did not like the way she dealt with Liam at times (put me on edge). She has her reasons which come to light later in the story. I liked the author’s writing style (conversational) which made the story easy to read especially with its steady pacing. I appreciated that the author took the time to provide the main characters background and establish the town. It helps me to imagine the characters and setting which brings a story to life for me. Ingrid’s home was especially appealing along with the handcrafted items in Community Craft. The mystery was uncomplicated. There is active investigating as the threesome hunt for clues and suspects. There are a few suspects and pointed clues. Readers will have no problem unraveling this whodunit. There are knitting patterns for socks at the end for those of you handy with knitting needles. A Crafter Knits a Clue is a pleasurable start to A Handcrafted Mystery series. I am giving A Crafter Knits a Clue 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). A Crafter Knits a Clue combines family, friends, food and crafts into one charming cozy mystery.
CozyMarie More than 1 year ago
For Sammy Kane, it is time to go home. In the wake of her best friend’s funeral she discovers her friend’s beloved business the Community Craft, is in danger of closing. Not wanting to see that happen, Sammy agrees to take it over. But when she finds a neighbor and fellow business owner dead, Sammy knows she needs to put the clues together and get to the bottom of things.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
cozy-mystery, yarn-crafts, murder, romance A pleasant little cozy set in my home state featuring my favorite yarn craft. The mystery is fairly well done and has some nice twists and red herrings along with decent suspense. The characters are interesting, but the protagonist seems stuck in high school mentality despite being in her early thirties. Maybe I just expected too much. The publisher's blurb gives hints and seems better than the usual, and there is no need for spoilers. I requested and received a free review copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley.
BookloverUT More than 1 year ago
Samantha “Sammy” Kane moves back to her hometown in Wisconsin to run a craft store. When she goes to help the owner of a yarn shop, Ingrid, Sammy finds her dead with a knitting needle lodged in her throat. After the police are called, Detective Liam Nash walks in, and throws Sammy off her game. She wants to help with the investigation, but Liam wants her safe. Sammy is attracted to him, but doesn’t know how to work with him. Can Sammy find the culprit before she’s next on the killer’s list? This was a good start to a new cozy mystery series. The character of Sammy was a quirky and likeable protagonist who had all of the great qualities of an amateur sleuth. I loved how her close friends and relatives help her with the investigation, and have her back when she needs assistance. The plot was very twisty in nature, and kept me guessing until the end. The romantic tension between Sammy and Liam was a great reprieve from the murder investigation. The only drawback was the mention of Kate. Since she died prior to the story, I felt there should have been more on her character, and maybe a link between her death and the murder in the book. I was very confused as to why she was mentioned in the story. Maybe there will be more about her in the next installment? I can’t wait. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
Chatting-About-Cozies More than 1 year ago
Author Holly Quinn debuts a crafty new cozy series set in scenic Wisconsin. Right away, the story appeals emotionally as Sammy Kane, owner of the Community Craft Store thinks of her late friend, Kate, and the close relationship Sammy’s developed with her teenage son, Carter, since Kate’s unexpected death. The town of Heartsford is a close knit and caring community, and Sammy’s store stocks many handmade goods by the townsfolk. Local craft groups also meet at the store. The victim is a woman not well-liked in the town. Detective Liam Nash is assigned the murder case and Sammy likes his personality. When the investigation isn’t progressing fast enough to suit Sammy, she and her sister, Elle, and their cousin, Heidi, resurrect their childhood detective club, S.H.E., by channeling their inner Nancy Drew’s, and pledge to solve the crime! Protagonist, Sammy’s character comes across as brusque, at times, and impulsive, however, she’s obviously a caring and concerned citizen. I liked her sister and cousin, too, and Sammy’s faithful golden retriever, Bara. I look for Liam and Sammy’s relationship to heat up in future books. While the first half of this story moved slowly and dialogue or description was somewhat choppy and stilted at times; the second half read swiftly as revelations came to light and the motive behind the mystery began to make sense. I was flipping pages fast, thoroughly absorbed in the developing plot and eager to know what was going to happen and who the killer would be. I’m so glad I kept reading because I enjoyed all the bits and pieces coming together for a satisfying conclusion. The author includes two sock patterns for knitters. I reviewed a digital ARC provided by NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
A Crafter Knits A Clue is the first book in the A Handcrafted Mystery series. Samantha “Sammy” Kane returned to her small hometown three years ago to attend her best friend, Kate Allen’s funeral. While there she decided to stay and take over Kate’s Community Craft store. The businesses are all busy putting up decorations for annual Spring Fling. Carter Allen, Kate’s brother, get a phone call from Ingrid, who own the knit shop next door, asking for help with her decoration. Sammy says she can wait for a few minutes, Ingrid is one who feels that everyone should drop what they are doing to help her. A few minutes later she heads over to Ingrid’s shop, only to find her lifeless body, having been stabbed with a knitting needle. Heartsford has a new police detective and Sammy immediately locks horns with him when the investigation brings about the arrest of Miles Danbury, a local crafter that sells his work in Sammy’s. Sammy is sure that no way is Danbury a murderer and begins her own investigation. She enlists the help of her sister Ellie and their cousin Heidi to aide her. When they were young they were fans of Nancy Drew and called themselves: S.H.E. and searched for lost puppies and figure how hard can it be. I think the book is well written and provides the reader with an exciting and interesting story. I enjoyed reading about the residents of HeartslandHeartsford and look forward to learning more about them in future books. A description of different types of yarn is also included, as is a pattern that can either be knitted or crocheted.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn is apparently the first in a new cozy series and I thought that I would like it. However, I found it to be a struggle to read at times. Samantha/Sammy Kane now owns the Community Craft Store in Heartsford, WI. It was her best friend's store when she died in an accident. It would have closed if Sammy hadn't taken it upon herself to take it over. It sounds like a lovely shop and Heartsford sounds like a perfectly lovely small town that would be fun to visit. However, I never felt a connection to Sammy throughout the story. She was often abrasive with other people especially when she was trying to get information about the recent murder. I also didn't understand her attitude toward Detective Liam Nash. She didn't know him but she decided he didn't know how to do a proper murder investigation. Ms. Quinn's descriptive writing introduced me to Heartsford and the crafters and I enjoyed getting to know the town and the people who lived there. I liked Elle and Heidi very much and enjoyed the times that they were in the scenes. The plot was smoothly paced with just enough twists to keep me guessing for a short while; but I did come up with an accurate guess as to who the culprit might be. All in all, the conclusion was solid and satisfying. My rating is 3.5 stars. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
First in A Handcrafted Mystery Series, this cozy is an exciting and fascinating read that I enjoyed. The Wisconsin setting sounds beautiful, and those who live here remind me of the family ties, loyalty, and work ethic I’ve encountered in people from small-town Wisconsin. This is the kind of atmosphere that draws people to cozy mysteries and craft groups. Sammy is the owner of Community Craft Store and has been since her best friend, Kate, died in a freak accident about 3 years ago. The store was Kate’s dream, and she brought the community together through selling locally-made goods and various fundraisers to help people in need. Sammy feels she can never live up to Kate’s talents for inviting people to be their best. Carter, Kate’s younger brother, is fifteen years younger than Sammy. He is a senior in high school, a basketball star and team captain and helps in the store. He is seeking college scholarships based on his athletic and scholastic talents. He is like a younger brother to Sammy, and they are very close. When Ingrid, who recently opened a well-stocked yarn shop nearby, calls Carter for help with something, Sammy goes, after checking her emails, while Carter finishes some overhead decorating. Sammy goes to The Yarn Barn and finds Ingrid murdered. Despite how fiber arts crafters love her new shop, very few liked Ingrid. The man the police accuse of the murder is a friend and craftsman to Sammy and she is certain Miles didn’t do it. Ingrid is a long-lost aunt of Coach, the high school basketball coach. They were just getting to know each other when she died. Days later, Coach is run down by a hit and run driver. Sammy becomes involved with the murder and hit-and-run partly because of Carter and his team and partly because she is convinced of Mile’s innocence. Coach asks Sammy and her friends to help clean out his aunt’s clothing for donation, and the ladies find no clues except a hidden box of cash. Lots of it. As the suspects are narrowed down, the bad guy(s) make plans to keep Sammy from ever asking any more questions. I like Sammy; she has much more of Kate’s heart that she thinks, as is evidenced through her community concern and trying to clear the name of the friend accused of Ingrid’s murder. She also helps Carter prepare for a fundraiser to help Coach with his growing medical bills. Each of the primary characters are very well defined and 3-dimensional; all are described as suitable to their roles. This first in a new series cozy mystery drew me in from the start, especially with the murder occurring early in the novel, and it held my attention throughout. I had an ongoing list of who I thought murdered and who attempted murder; the list changed with each plot twist. Sammy’s store sounds like a great place, as I enjoyed the descriptions of various areas of it, including the craft room. All the elements that make a cozy mystery interesting to me are present: an interesting career (the shop), pets (a dog), small-town cozy, a tightly-woven, complex mystery, and characters I would enjoy as neighbors. The ending is satisfactory with some happy surprises. I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy craft stores, yarn, and very well-written cozy mysteries! From a grateful heart: I received an e-Arc of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.