Hems & Homicide

Hems & Homicide

by Elizabeth Penney

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Welcome to the first in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney, set in the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine where an expert seamstress turned amateur sleuth is getting measured for murder. . .

Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to stay in her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne—and bring her online hand-made apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles&Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement

Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop—this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades—she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250257956
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2019
Series: Apron Shop Series , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 15,287
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Elizabeth Penney is the author of more than two dozen cozy mysteries, among other novels. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the owner of 2 Penney Productions. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, Elizabeth grew up in Maine and now lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she also operates a small farm. Hems and Homicide is the first in the Apron Shop series. Visit her website to learn more.
Elizabeth Penney is the author of more than two dozen cozy mysteries, including Hems&Homicide, among other novels. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the owner of 2 Penney Productions. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, Elizabeth grew up in Maine and now lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she also operates a small farm. Visit her website to learn more.

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Hems & Homicide 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Dollycas 4 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts This was a delightful read! Iris Buckley and her grandmother Anne are excited to be opening their new shop in Blueberry Cove, Maine, selling their hand made aprons and other vintage items. Ruffles & Bows is supposed to open Memorial Day but the building they are renting needs a lot of work before they can open the doors to customers. Ready to jump right into the renovations they meet with their contractor and Iris’ old crush, Ian Stewart on-site to go over the plans. A trip to the basement leads to a gruesome discovery. A skeleton complete with a very identifiable headscarf. Anne thinks she knows the deceased, a friend she last saw over 40 years ago. The police are working the case when another dead body is found in the shop. Their landlord is the new victim and he and Anne have been fighting over a piece of property for years. With their history and the location of the body, she becomes the #1 suspect. Not knowing if they will ever be able to open Ruffles & Bows Iris along with her friend Madison try to clear Anne’s name, no matter where the clues may lead. And they lead to some unusual places. . . _____ Reading this book and learning about Blueberry Cove and the future home of Ruffles & Bows reminded me so much of my hometown here in Wisconsin. Many years ago my parents had a dream to open their own business and from the hardwood floors, tin ceiling, plaster walls and old fixtures along with getting everything just right brought back many fond and humorous memories, complete with my own cobweb entanglement and fall, no skeleton for me though. Also before my accident, I loved to sew and I had a dream similar to Iris and Anne’s, to open a craft and fabric shop. Since that is no longer possible I read books like this one and revel in the characters’ success and adventures. I really enjoyed meeting Anne (Grammie), Iris, Madison, Ian. They came across as very genuine. Anne is a new widow and has always been close to her granddaughter. It is such a wonderful thing that they are embarking on this new venture together. Madison and Iris are a great pair. They both push each other in different ways like true friends really do. Iris had a huge crush on Ian in high school and those feelings are still there. Madison also has someone interested in her. Miss Penney has created a terrific cast of core characters. So with the skeleton and the dead landlord, there are two mysteries to solve. Are they connected? The author has plotted a very clever and complex plot full of twists including some scary and funny episodes that made this book absolutely impossible to put down. I really enjoyed learning about the 60’s history that Anne participated in. Pulling out her old journals and pictures brought reality to the story and fueled her memories. I was totally captivated. Hems & Homicide was a story I hated to see end because I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. A Perfect Escape for Cozy Lovers!
PeggyRMI 4 days ago
This was a solid start to a new series by author Elizabeth Penny. I liked that the premise/theme was unique with the main characters opening a vintage linen shop in their hometown. I enjoyed the relationship between Iris and her grandmother and thought it was well crafted. Iris is also surrounded by three of her best girlfriends, with each one having a different personality the complements each other and completes the group. Where I wasn't wowed was with the mystery. I thought the author did a good job of crafting the mystery with a murder that happened in the past with many of the suspects still living in town. Throw in jealousy and some red herrings and it had promise. I was a bit thrown by how soon Iris began receiving threats when she hadn't even really begun any type of investigating at that point. I didn't feel like Iris did really any type of sleuthing that warranted the threats. Overall, the pace of the story moved along nicely, the characters were fun and engaging, and the mystery showed promise.
Christy41970 5 days ago
I loved Hems & Homicide! There are several things that drew me to the book and made me say yes to a review! First of all, that cover is adorable. Yes, I’m that type. I try not to judge a book by its cover, but a good cover does help! Second, I love starting book series with book one. Third, I was always very close to my grandma, so I can relate to Iris’s desire to stay with her. I used to try to sew. I made some cute jumpers for my daughter when she was a toddler, but let’s face it…it’s cheaper to buy kids’ clothes than to make them. My how things have changed since the old days! Notice I said I “tried” to sew. I wasn’t very good at it, and I hated threading the machine! The bobbin always got messed up! So, the sewing theme didn’t draw me to the book. But, sometimes you’ve just got to step out of your comfort zone and read themed cozy mysteries that aren’t your forte. Iris really does have a great job. If I were the sewing type, owning a shop like Ruffles & Bows with my grandma would be so much fun. She gets to buy and sell vintage aprons and other textiles. Sure, it’s a bummer that a skeleton turns up in the basement…And then someone’s got to go and get murdered in the store. Thankfully, with some smart sleuthing, both murders are solved, and the store will finally get to open…in the next book! I really enjoyed the plot in Hems & Homicide. The characters are well-written, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop throughout the series. You will love the descriptive settings because they make it so easy to picture yourself watching the scenes unfold. Though I’m not huge on romance in cozy mystery books, it’s okay if they develop slowly over time and remain clean throughout. Otherwise, they feel like the same old same old romances that turn up in some series. I’m crossing my fingers for romances that remain friendships for at least a few books as well as hoping they don’t dominate the plot. So far, so good in Hems & Homicide! I definitely recommend this to you cozy mystery readers! The Apron Shop Series is off to a great start!
CozyUpWithKathy 6 days ago
a multilayered plot and unique characters with flair HEMS & HOMICIDE by Elizabeth Penney The First Apron Shop Mystery Iris Buckley's online store selling aprons and vintage linens has been a success. Now she's partnering with her grandma to open a brink and mortar store in Blueberry Cove, Maine. The two have their work cut out for them, for though their storefront has great bones, it's a bit decrepit. Still, they're not afraid of stained ceilings, creaky floors, and spiders. The skeleton in the basement, however, is another matter. Grammie believes the remains are those of her friend Star Moonshine, a young woman who disappeared in the early 1970s. News of the skeleton spreads quickly and Iris is soon receiving threats. Not one to back down she's determined to not only open her store, but discover just what happened to Star all those years ago. The first Apron Shop Mystery introduces readers to Iris Buckley, a nice, somewhat klutzy and socially awkward woman with a penchant wearing for mid century modern clothing. She's also not afraid to stand up for herself and is willing to defend herself and her friends. Iris is surrounded by a cadre of good friends and her loving grandmother who make good compatriots in their first encounter with murder. Blueberry Cove, Maine, a small town on the rise, makes a charming setting and vivid descriptions make me want to visit. I really like that the mystery starts with a cold case. The skeleton is easily identified, but no one knows her real name. I appreciate how Iris and her friends piece together the puzzle of who Star Moonshine really is with old memories, pictures, diaries, and research. And I love how that research led to a unique former commune with a Shakespearean theme and my favorite characters, Alfie, Trooper, and Bacon. I certainly hope we see more of them in future books! With a multilayered plot and unique characters with flair HEMS & HOMICIDE makes a solid start to a new series. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
ebookaddictsuk 8 days ago
Hems and Homicide is book one in the Apron Shop series by Elizabeth Penney, this was a good clean enjoyable cozy mystery. Iris has moved back home to live with her Grammie Anne after her Papa passed away and she is planning on an Apron Shop in town, the only thing she wasn't banking on was discovering skeleton remains in the basement during the renovations of her new store. Her Grammie instantly recognised the remains of an old friend from the 70's Star Moonshine from a piece of cloth around the skull, everyone thought Star had moved on as people tended to do during the 70's. From here Iris and Anne's plans to open the shop are thwarted yet again when building's landlord Elliot turns up dead with one of Iris's aprons tied around his throat! As Iris starts to get threatening messages and the police start to investigate not only Star's murder but now Elliot's. With the suspect pool growing this book will keep you on your toes wondering who did the murder 40 years ago and if it was the same person who killed Elliot. This was a great mystery and a great start to this series, I really loved the characters and I can't wait to read more in the series and see what is store for Iris and her business. 5 stars
kacoat 9 days ago
HEMS AND HOMICIDE by Elizabeth Penney is a cozy mystery and the first in the Apron Shop Series. It's set in Blueberry Cove, Maine. Iris Buckley returns to her hometown of Blueberry Cove to help out her widowed grandmother. She and her grandmother, Anne, are taking Iris's online handmade apron designs to a brick and mortar store, Ruffles and Bows. The ink is still wet on the lease to the downtown store they rented when Iris stumbles down the basement stairs, crashes into shelves, and unearths a body. It just so happens the skeletal remains are of a woman her grandmother knew back in the 70s.  The storefront is cordoned off as a crime scene and two days later reopened. Before they can start the renovations, a second body is discovered—their landlord. Anne, who discovers the body, becomes a suspect when the police learn she threatened the latest murder victim after he pressured her to sell her land to him. To clear her grandmother, Iris begins to search for the real killer, enlisting the help of her friends. It's a fun cozy mystery with several quirky characters, a touch of romance with hunky contractor Ian Stewart, and a guard cat named Quincy. A really fun read.
KrisAnderson_TAR 12 days ago
Hems and Homicide by Elizabeth Penney is the premiere of An Apron Shop Series. Iris Buckley and her grandmother, Anne are opening Ribbons and Bows in Blueberry Cove, Maine. They are going over the property with Ian Stewart, the carpenter, when Iris stumbles down the basement stairs, knocks over shelves and a skull is exposed. Anne Buckley, Iris’s grandmother, recognizes the scarf around the skull as belonging to Star Moonshine who disappeared around July 4th in 1972. When their landlord, Elliot Parker end up dead in the storeroom with Iris’s favorite apron tied around his neck, Anne becomes the prime suspect. Iris with assistance from her best friend, Madison uses her knowledge gleamed from mystery novels to do a little sleuthing. I enjoyed reading Hems and Homicide. I love the concept of a shop featuring aprons (vintage and custom creations) along with vintage linens. They will also have a room for sewing classes and Iris’s cat, Quincy will be in residence during the day. The author took the time to establish the characters along with the setting. I like Iris and Anne Buckley along with Iris’s friends. There is a close bond between Iris and her grandmother that I thought was sweet. They are grieving the loss of Anne’s husband, Joe who died three months earlier. Iris wears vintage inspired clothing, loves to read, and finds petting her cat soothing. She is attracted to Ian Stewart, their carpenter. Iris and Ian grew up together and she had a crush on him in high school. It may be the timing is right for Iris and Ian. We shall have to wait and see. There are great descriptions of the town, the shops and the Buckley farm. I would like to move to Blueberry Cove with its historic buildings and friendly (most of them) residents. There are two mysteries in Hems and Homicide. There is the cold case of Star Moonshine and the current death of Elliot Parker. I thought the mysteries were clever and intriguing. I enjoyed following the clues and solving the crimes. I thought the one manner of death to be unique. I am eager for the next book in An Apron Shop Series. If you like vintage clothing, charming towns, friendly character and crafty whodunits, then you will enjoy reading Hems and Homicide. Hems and Homicide has a cold case, antique aprons, a big pig, a poisonous plant, and a gritty granddaughter.
diane92345 15 days ago
Vintage linens, fifties aprons, a hippie murder and a 1963 Falcon named Beverly are all part of the atmosphere in Hems & Homicide, the first in the new Apron Shop Series of cozy mysteries. Iris and her Grammie Anne are preparing to open their own brick-and-mortar apron and vintage linen store in rural coastal Maine. When Iris tumbles down the basement stairs, she is flung feet first into a murder scene. The skeleton hidden for over forty years in the store’s wall appears to be Grammie old friend, Star Moonshine. Star was thought to have left town in 1973. When another person is murdered and the police focus their investigation on Grammie, Iris rushes in to find the real murderer. A sweet will they or won’t they romance and a twisty mystery are the heart of Hems & Homicide. Iris, Grammie and their friends already seem real to me. The unique mix of both generations and decades within the story is innovative. If you love cozy mysteries, you will enjoy starting this new series. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars! Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Great Escape Virtual Book Tours, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Tangen 18 days ago
cozy-mystery, amateur-sleuth, family-dynamics, friendship, small-business, small-town, Maine, murder, law-enforcement How have I missed this very good author? ! If you like reading about vintage clothing, interactions between family and friends, and small towns, you'll really like this book. But if you want a well done cozy mystery you'll be over the moon with this one! The landlord for the building Iris and Grammie are fixing up for their new small business is a lawsuit waiting to happen and few people like or trust him, but he's not the first body. The first body is a skeleton of a woman murdered and concealed in a basement wall in 1972! Excellent easily believable characters and situations make this well plotted whodunit with enough suspects to please all of us. LOVED it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from St Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
chefdt 21 days ago
Hems And Homicide is the first book in the Apron Shop series. Iris Buckley has returned to Blueberry Cove, Maine to help her Grandma Anne settle her grandfather’s estate. Iris decides to take her online business of hand made aprons and open a shop, along with Grandma Anne, selling aprons and the latest and vintage linens. They have rented a storefront from Elliot Parker, who has been badgering the family for years about purchasing some of their property. The store needs some renovations before opening and Ian Stewart, a flame from Iris’s high school days, has agreed to help get the shop into shape. As Iris is going down the stairs to the basement she falls and dislodges some shelves along a basement wall. The wall behind the shelved crumbles, revealing a skull, further looking discovers the rest of the body. When Grandma Anne comes to see what happened, she identifies the remains as those Star Moonshine, who disappeared some 43 years ago, by the scarf that is with the body. Since Anne was acquainted with Star before she disappeared, Anne will become a suspect, along with four or five of her other friends. When Parker is found murdered Anne becomes the prime suspect. Iris will call on her BFF, Madison, and Ian to help her find the killer. This is an exciting new and exciting series with a cast of believable and enjoyable characters. Looking forward to future books to learn more about Blueberry Cove and its residents.
ArizonaJo 23 days ago
Hems and Homicide by Elizabeth Penney is an entertaining new entry into the cozy mystery genre. Ms. Penney has developed a lovely small town setting in Blueberry Cove, Maine and a new venue by setting this mystery around a apron and vintage linens shop. Iris Buckley and her grandmother, Anne Buckley, are very likable characters and I enjoyed getting to know them throughout the story. The secondary characters were also likable and helped to develop Iris more for the reader. The plot is quickly paced and well crafted as the clues and red herrings kept me on my toes trying to piece together if the two murders were connected. I was thrown off a couple of times while reading when there was a change of scene that was not clearly defined; but this could have been a formatting error. All in all this was a lovely afternoon read and I look forward to more in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
lynguy1 23 days ago
HEMS & HOMICIDE by Elizabeth Penney is a well-written cozy mystery. It is book one in the Apron Shop series. This story takes place in and around Blueberry Cove, Maine. Iris Buckley moved back to her home town when her grandfather was ill. With his death, she decides to stay home and she and her grandmother Anne decide to open a local store Ruffles and Bows to complement Iris’ online retail endeavor. She sells hand-made aprons and they are adding hand-made and vintage linens to the inventory for the store. While starting the retail space renovation a skeleton is found in the basement. Anne recognizes a scarf on the skeleton that belonged to an old friend. When a second body shows up in the store, Anne becomes a prime suspect. Iris and Anne are both likeable characters and the secondary characters enhance the story and add depth to the story. The author did a great job in depicting the small town atmosphere without making the situations feel contrived. There are plenty of red herrings in the story line along with a fast pace. It was certainly an entertaining read. This book contains plenty of themes ranging from murder, family relationships, romantic relationships, small towns, business start-ups, friendship, and much more. I recommend this book to those that enjoy cozy mysteries with a hint of romance. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I also want to check out this author’s other series. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Elizabeth Penney for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
CozyOnUp 23 days ago
Iris Buckley and her Grammie are opening a brick and mortar shop to complement Iris' online apron business. But when they find a dead body in the basement that dates back to the 1970s and Grammie recognizes the body, everything may turn sideways. The body of Star Moonshine brings back memories for Grammie and other locals from their free love hippie days where Star was a much beloved figure for a time as she passed through town. Several men are potential suspects in the murder and when one of those men turns up dead in the shop with one of Iris' aprons tied around his neck, Grammie becomes the primary suspect. Iris vows to clear Grammie's name and find justice for Star, but at what cost to Iris? When Iris shares that a potential suitor had a key to the shop and drives a truck that matches the description of one that hit and ran Madison's car, she may even lose her shot at love, just like Star had. A new series set in Maine with great promise. A solid whodunit with quite a few red herrings as you work your way through the list of suspects along with their motives. I particularly enjoyed the view of young life and love for Grammie as well as Iris and their friends, showing that we all have been young at some point in our lives.
nataliaramlal21 23 days ago
After her grandfather's death, Iris Buckley moves back to the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine to help her widowed grandmother Anne. Iris has an online apron business and with her grandmother's support, decides to open a storefront. While renovations are going on, she finds the skeletal remains of her grandmother's friend Star who disappeared in the 70s. Then a few days later, a man is found dead in their store. There seems to be a connection between the two murders and Iris is determined to get to the bottom of it. Hems and Homicide is an enjoyable new cozy mystery series. It has a delightful cast of characters, a charming, historic small-town setting, and two intriguing murder mysteries. The plot is complex, well-paced, and has plenty of suspects to keep you guessing. Iris and her grandmother were likable characters and I loved their strong bond with each other. If you like vintage clothing and historic towns, then this is the perfect cozy for you. This is a promising start to a new series and I look forward to the second book. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.