Thread on Arrival: An Embroidery Mystery
by Amanda Lee
Review by Harriet Klausner
Signet Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451238856
Date: 04 December 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In Tallulah Falls, Oregon, as Easter nears former San Francisco accountant, Marcy Singer, owner of the Seven Year Stitch embroidery shop, misses her Bay area mom who always made the holiday seem like a family parade. Her friend Rajano "Reggie" Singh takes her mind off of her mom when she asks Marcy to conduct an embroidery class to at least five domestic abuse victims. Marcy enthusiastically agrees.
One of the students Mary Cantor, accompanied by her daughter Melanie, asks Marcy for a favor. She wants Marcy to look closely at a tapestry her father-in-law Chester owns in which he insists it is a map to a pirate treasure off the Oregonian coast. A desperate Mary wants to flee with Melanie from her abusive husband Adam, but fears what her leaving would do to Chester; her hope is Marcy’s analysis of the tapestry will coax the elderly man to come to the shelter with her and his granddaughter. Marcy studies the tapestry that Chester's late grandma created and they agree he will go to the shelter while safeguarding his tapestry. However, before she can do so, someone murders Chester; his house is ransacked and the tapestry is missing. Reggie's husband Tallulah Falls Sheriff Manu and head Detective Ted Nash suspect violent Adam committed patricide. As Marcy searches for tapestry, a cold blooded killer targets her.
The latest exciting Embroidery Mystery (see The Quick and the Thread, Stitch Me Deadly, The Long Stitch Good Night, and Thread Reckoning) is a superb amateur sleuth starring a wonderful caring heroine who works the case of the missing tapestry one stitch at a time out of a sense of owing the late Chester.
The whodunit is clever as Marcy's sleuthing focuses on finding the stolen tapestry even though she knowingly risks her life, feeling increasingly in the cross stitch of a dangerous amoral killer. Still she follows clues diligently as Marcy compulsively needs to find Chester's tapestry and use it to locate and recover the alleged booty buried under the sea as a way the honor the victim.
The support cast either enhances the investigation or provide insight into Marcy. For instance she is shyly attracted to Ted, but once burned by an ex jilting her, Marcy is reluctant though Reggie and Manu encourage the pair to come together; though her six foot plus Irish wolfhound Angus is her current significant other. Readers will appreciate the exciting Thread on Arrival as Amanda Lee provides another strong murder mystery.