Hooking for Trouble (Crochet Mystery)
by Betty Hechtman
Cover Artist: Cathy Gendron
Review by Joe Eriksen
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425279458
Date: 01 November 2016 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Molly Pink is the unassuming manager of the yarn department within a bookstore, Shedd & Royal Books and More. She takes on the role of amateur detective after receiving a children's detective set as a birthday present from her son. After seeing a couple struggling in her neighbor's house and what appears to be a body in the yard, Molly decides to put her new skills to the test. However, her ex, real detective Barry Greenberg, and friends believe that she is just paranoid. Barry checks on the situation and finds nothing wrong, just that the couple was dancing and the neighbor's children had thrown a yellow cushion off the balcony. He cautions her against looking further, saying "stop finding crime everywhere you look." Molly then sees the cushion in the yard, but she still believes that something is wrong, asking "where was the music?" and saying "what I had seen was blue."
Later, Molly finds out that her new neighbor is Cheyenne Chambers, a national celebrity and member of the musical group ChIlLa ("shyla"), and is surprised when Cheyenne joins a Tunisian crochet class in her store. The store owners plan a ChIlLa concert and album signing on site and Molly's mother gets her old group, the She La Las, back together to make it a double concert. Molly keeps investigating what comes to be known as "The Mystery at Cheyenne's" and strategizes with Barry, her best friend Dinah, and her lawyer boyfriend Mason.
She continues to believe that someone was murdered and, through her investigation, she thinks she knows who the victim is. Her hopes are dashed when she speaks with the victim, but things are not quite adding up. Molly feels that she's hit a dead end. Thanks to the concert, she finds inspiration to keep going. Ultimately, she proves Barry wrong. Someone was indeed murdered at Cheyenne's house.
I felt that this book was impressively detailed, providing many insights into the everyday lives of the characters. However, because of the development of subplots, I thought that the main plot took a little while to really get moving. I was pleasantly surprised at the introduction of Eduardo, the one male member of the Tarzana Hookers, Molly's crochet group, within the first chapter. I wish he had played a larger role in the story since I think I could have related to the book more if he had (I was the one male member of the James Madison University Knitwits knit and crochet club for four semesters). Overall, I found that this book presents a nice and realistic depiction of everyday life as most people could understand while keeping the mystery alive for the reader.
I remind readers to stay around until the end of the book for a couple of recipes mentioned in the book and an easy scarf pattern for those wanting to learn Tunisian crochet.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting a mystery that depicts everyday life rather than a highly esoteric story. I think that this book would be great for an easy read by the fire on a snowy day.