Blackwork: A Needlecraft Mystery
by Monica Ferris
Cover Artist: Mary Ann Lasher
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425229903
Date: 06 October 2009 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Monica Ferris Website / Show Official Info /
Blackwork is a classic locked room murder. Ryan's body is found in his locked bedroom. The door was locked from the inside there was no window in the room that could be opened, and the autopsy indicated that there was no unnatural cause of death--at least none the doctor could find. Naturally, it must be witchcraft. It's a perfect set up for a Halloween murder. Howdoneit is the key to the whole thing. If you can't figure out the how then you have no way to narrow down the suspects to figure out whodoneit.
Ferris doesn't just have a mystery story it also continues the stories of the major characters of her Needlecraft Mysteries as Gordy finds a new love, a couple that got together in a previous book marry, Betsy needs to find new renters for her apartments, Shelly designs are selling, and then there's the usual ups and downs in the lives of the Crewel World regulars.
This series improves with each book. For me that means that the mysteries are getting more challenging and the possible suspects are all plausible and not easily identified (as in the new character doesn't always turn out to be the criminal).
I first started reading the series because the needlework connection was of interest, but now I find that I like visiting Excelsior, Minnesota regularly to find out how my favorite characters are doing. Besides who could possibly resist a solid, well written locked door mystery?